With dreamy coastlines, cloud-forest valleys and swathes of jungle, Costa Rica allows for an array of excellent wellness retreats armed with spas, rejuvenating activities and next-level yoga, all bookable with Culture Trip.
Whether you’re looking for a rainforest escape, a spa on a volcano or a treehouse-like lodging with sea views, these are the best wellness retreats in Costa Rica.
Explorers and adventurers will revel in El Silencio, a luxury lodge within the cloud-forest valleys surrounding Bajos del Toro. Accommodations are richly appointed using local woods and textiles, private decks and floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors. Suites have an outdoor jacuzzi and the two-bedroom villas come with a pair of whirlpool hot tubs. The spa offers beauty and massage treatments, plus there are yoga classes. The lodge excels in outdoor activities such as hiking, birdwatching, horse riding, zip-lining and exploring waterfalls.
Set alongside the beach on the Osa Peninsula, Blue Osa is a destination for immersive yoga teacher training, and yoga lessons. The spa offers an extensive menu of massages, facials, and body scrubs and wraps. Ecotour activities make the most of the rainforest and beach with hiking, a canopy and zip-line tour, surfing, waterfall rappelling, kayaking and more, plus a 20m (66ft) lap pool. The beach-deco accommodations are cheerful and comfortable, and the included organic farm-to-table restaurant meals are mostly veggie or vegan.
Found on the Osa Peninsula near the Corcovado National Park, a short walk from the beach, Chosa Manglar is a budget option for viewing wildlife, such as monkeys, birds, lizards and anteaters, along the trails and elevated walkways of the lush 4-acre (1.5ha) property. Bunk-bed rooms and doubles are modest; breakfast is available and the large, communal kitchen is sufficiently kitted out.
Fresh mountain air reigns at Finca Paraíso, a soothing retreat set in a natural forest in Santa Barbara, a short drive from the La Paz waterfalls. Shared areas include an indoor swimming pool, a tree house with a grill, and a koi pond. Well-kept suites are homey; upgrade to a family-size bungalow for a terrace and jacuzzi. Breakfast is an organic affair with ingredients sourced from the Finca Paraíso farm.
In the foothills of the Talamanca mountain range in Santa Elena, Kinkara is a sustainable retreat with a luxury tag. It has sophisticated glamping tents that depend on solar energy, and makes use of an organic farm to serve earth-to-plate meals. Activities range from the extreme, such as zip lining and river hiking, to more contemplative meditation.
By the shore on the southwestern end of the Nicoya Peninsula, Pranamar has the air of a rustic-luxe village – the bungalows, villas and houses constructed and furnished in bamboo and wood. It has a spa offering massage and bodywork menus, and you can refuel with a drink from the juice bar and relax by one of the two pools before hitting the beach restaurant and bar. Outdoor activities include canopy tours, snorkeling, an array of fishing trips and ATVs to the waterfalls.
Parked by the Chirripó Pacifico River banks between a national park and a nature reserve, Río Chirripo Lodge & Retreat is perfectly positioned to capture the sights and sounds of nature. Airy suites and cabins have balconies and are simply furnished so you’re not distracted from the surroundings. Mountain visuals and a flowing river soundtrack accompany the yoga space, while the spa offers massage treatments and healing rituals, such as a cacao ceremony and sound healing. Away from the lodge, enjoy hiking, birding, paragliding and ATV tours of the region.
Wellness at Peace Lodge comes in the reconnecting-with-nature variety. It sits in La Paz Waterfall Gardens, a nature park and wildlife refuge famous for cascades and a variety of rescued animals including big cats. Explore the 2mi (3km) of cloud and rainforest trails, then finish the day with an in-villa massage in front of the fireplace. Rooms and villas are luxe-rustic and a little Disney, but there will be few complaints about the views from the jacuzzi on your balcony.
Located on the slopes of Poás Volcano, Asclepios is a few miles north of Alajuela. The in-house spa includes an outdoor pool, heated indoor ionised pool, sauna and hammam, while also offering therapeutic and relaxing massages, plenty of beauty treatments, yoga, pilates and uncommon therapies such as stem cell transplantation. The organic restaurant serves both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals.
Treat yourself to a nature-infused wellness escape at Samasati Retreat and Rainforest Sanctuary, harmoniously situated on an elevated piece of pristine rainforest on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. The sustainable retreat sanctuary is a truly tranquil and magical place to come and revitalize your mind, body and soul. There are yoga classes, spa treatments, delicious meals and outrageously beautiful surroundings to help you recharge your batteries. Samasati also hosts different types of yoga and wellness retreats throughout the year.
Amatierra Retreat and Wellness Center is a place to relax and revitalize yourself through the practice of yoga and meditation, body work, herbal medicine, healthy food and exposure to nature. It offers detoxifying programs, nutrition consulting, energy-balancing therapy, massage therapy, biomat therapy, yoga classes and retreats. This rural eco-retreat is situated up in the mountains where the air is cool, crisp, and invigoratingly fresh. Surround yourself with nature, positive energy, and opportunities to take care of your body and inner self at Amatierra.
On a hill in the middle of a rainforest, near Barrio Jesus and close to the Pacific, The Retreat is far from the crowds. Rooms are cool and tranquil, the furniture modern and cozy, while bedding is organic and hypoallergenic. There are two saltwater pools, meditation areas and a gym. Treatments include a variety of massages, ayurveda, acupuncture, crystal healing and detoxing. The terrace restaurant and the café are grain-free and mostly dairy-free, and have veggie and vegan options, plus organic biodynamic wines.
Overlooking the gulf at the southern end of the Nicoya Peninsula, Anamaya has the notion of a peaceful hillside village. You can cozy up in luxury cabins with tree-house vibes, in which walls of windows invite sunlight, ocean views and salty air. The spa offers shiatsu, cranial sacral and lymphatic massages and beauty treatments. Sign up for yoga sessions led by resident instructors; yoga teacher training is also available. There are also surfing lessons and scuba certification.
The Alya Retreat Center is located just 30 minutes’ drive from Nosara and just south of San Juanillo. This beautiful retreat center offers guests a number of holistic options to aid personal growth, discovery and healing. It has body- and mind-cleansing retreats, meditation and yoga retreats, sustainable living, self-awareness, and self-inquiry workshops, yoga teacher training, and individual retreats. Personal retreats are self-guided, but Alya Retreat Center will help you customize your retreat to fit your individual intentions and needs.
The Peace Retreat is located in Los Pargos (Playa Negra) on the Pacific Northwest coast. It is the perfect place for those seeking relaxation, personal exploration, adventure, and yoga. You can sign up for ayurveda workshops, cooking classes, cleansing and healing retreats, yoga classes, and yoga teacher training programs. The Peace Retreat has several all-inclusive yoga packages that range from five to 30 days. Los Pargos is a beautiful beach town where other activities such as surfing, horseback riding, snorkeling, SUPing, mountain biking and hiking are available.
Jenn Parker contributed additional reporting to this article.
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