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Treat yourself to a retreat | © bogdanhoda/Shutterstock
Treat yourself to a retreat | © bogdanhoda/Shutterstock
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11 Unique Retreats in Costa Rica That Aren't Yoga Retreats

Picture of Jenn Parker
Updated: 29 January 2018
Yoga is typically the first thing that comes to mind for most when the term “retreat” is thrown around. While Costa Rica is a popular yoga retreat destination, it is also host to a surprisingly large variety of other types of retreats as well. Here are some of the best.
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Sustainable building retreat

Costa Rica has become synonymous with eco-tourism and Earth-friendly initiatives. Small changes in the way we acquire materials, construct our homes, and harmonize our building projects with the planet can collectively make a significant difference in the future of our Pachamama, Mother Earth. Rancho Mastatal is a sustainable education center in the rural farming town of Mastatal. Throughout the year, workshops, apprenticeships, and customized sustainability retreats are offered to teach a variety of sustainable and natural building, permaculture, and agroforestry courses, among others.

Rancho Mastatal, 100 meters north of Centro de Acopio, Mastatal, Puriscal, Costa Rica +506-2200-0920

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Medicinal plant retreat

We live in an era of quick fixes. Every ailment seems to be treated with some pharmaceutical cocktail, which of course sometimes is totally necessary. However, prior to this era of modern medicine, maladies were often treated with plants. At Punta Mona, there are several medicinal plant retreats offered throughout the year. While each one differs a bit, the idea is to learn from an inspiring collection of herbalists about the power and magic of nature, and in particular, the plants.

Punta Mona, Puerto Viejo, Limon, Costa Rica

Ayahausca retreat

Ayahuasca is a psychedelic concoction that has been used for thousands of years in the Amazonian region of South America. Ayahuasca is typically taken under the guidance of a shaman. It is a plant-based brew that is intended for profound awakening and spiritual and self growth, as well as proving to be beneficial for those suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD, and drug addiction. Ayahuasca retreats have become quite popular in Costa Rica and there are multiple places that offer this shamanistic experience. Choosing the right one just depends on personal preferences, budget, and desired location.

Nada Brahma Healing Center: Alajuela, Costa Rica +506-6196-4336

New Life Ayahuasca: San Ramon, Costa Rica +215-310-1250

Her call will be clear
Her call will be clear | © Caroline Lib33/Shutterstock
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Silent retreat

A silent retreat is a rare opportunity to take a journey inward into the depths of our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls. It is a chance to reflect and reconnect with ourselves. Pachamama offers silent retreats for those who are truly dedicated to the sacred process and experience. In combination with guided meditation, Satsang, yoga, beautiful surroundings, and delicious vegetarian and raw food, a silent retreat is a gift to yourself.

Pachamama, 15 north of Nosara, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

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Astrology retreat

If the constellations are calling you to Costa Rica, an astrology retreat might be just what you are seeking. Whether you are new to astrology and have developed a peak interest in it or you want to further explore and deepen your understanding of the cosmological forces of our universe and beyond, an astrology retreat with Astrology Rising is an eight day retreat packed with astrologist led workshops and talks, as well as other keynote speakers. There are several astrology retreats offered in Costa Rica throughout the year in different locations, including Nosara and at Punta Mona.

Astrology Rising Retreat, Flamingo Resort, Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica 1-877-856-5519

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Fire dancing retreats

Set your soul ablaze during a one-week firing dancing retreat in Montezuma, Costa Rica. Whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned fire dancer, the retreat and workshops are open to anyone with a spark in their heart. The retreat includes classes by world-famous Cirque du Soleil fire dancer Srikanta Barefoot, daily Poi and staff dancing classes, one-on-one instruction, and plenty of time to play, experiment, and fine tune individual choreography.

Anamaya Resort, Montezuma, Costa Rica +506-2642-1289

Writing retreat

What better place to let your creative self free than in a place of inspiring beauty and warmth? Revive Retreats is hosting a “Power of Story: Writing Retreat for Women,” in Santa Teresa. This small retreat, with only seven available spaces, includes daily writing workshops, journal prompts, and creative sharing, mediation and yoga classes, daily surf lessons, and the space to develop your inner voice on the page. Your eight-night retreat package also includes healthy and locally sourced meals, a beach massage, and one-on-one empathy coaching.

So much space to create
So much space to create | © Zanzabar Photography/Flickr

Photography retreat

Costa Rica is a photographer’s – especially a nature photographer’s – dream destination. With twelve main ecosystems and 5% of the world’s biodiversity, there are endless captivating creatures and vistas to photograph. For both novice and experienced photographers, a photography retreat in Costa Rica is a unique opportunity to learn and improve your photography skills under the guidance and instruction of a highly experienced photographer, while also having the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful places in the country. There are multiple photography retreats that take place in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Wildlife Photography Workshop (8-day)

Colors of Costa Rica Photography Workshop (9-day)

Let nature be your inspiration
Let nature be your inspiration | © Brandon Alms/Shutterstock

Culinary retreat

If you are a total foodie, a culinary retreat in Costa Rica will definitely tantalize your taste buds. Costa Rica Culinary Tours offers food and drink enthusiasts the opportunity to go behind the scenes at some of the top gastronomical hotspots in Costa Rica, get their hands in the mix with exclusive cooking classes, and experience exquisite pairings, all while staying in luxury accommodations.

Eat your heart out
Eat your heart out | © Uber Images/Shutterstock
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Paddle boarding retreat

The Pacific coast of Costa Rica is an amazing paddle boarding destination. Between the abundant protected bays, lively estuaries, mangrove forests, and vast coastline, there are opportunities to paddle board in a new location and ecosystem every day, if you so desire. Blue Zone SUP runs paddle boarding retreats in Nosara throughout the year. The retreat is open to all levels and is a great opportunity to improve your skills and spend time out in the water in Costa Rica.

Blue Zone SUP, Casa Corona, Playa Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica

Surf retreat

It’s hard to talk about Costa Rica and not at least mention surfing. Surf retreats are incredibly abundant in Costa Rica. Where there are surf breaks, there are surf schools, camps, and retreats. There are waves for every level up and down the Pacific coast and on parts of the Caribbean coast. As a beginner or beginner-intermediate surfer, joining a surf retreat is a valuable way to truly learn the rules of surfing, important safety precautions and etiquette, and of course, the basics of this ever popular sport.