SUNFLOWER RETREATS' YOGA HOLIDAYS ON THE PACIFIC COAST OF COSTA RICA


Since 2014 we have been offering  yoga and soul wellness retreats in beautiful Costa Rica and we've expanded our programme of fabulous yoga retreats in Costa Rica this year:

We now have 9 weeks each year - each of them a once-in-a-lifetime holiday - which give you the chance to practice yoga in a tropical paradise and to experience the rich culture and diverse wildlife of this amazing country.

As well as the opportunity to practise yoga with an experienced teacher and enjoy Ayurvedic and holistic therapies, there's a fantastic programme of optional activities to help you experience the best of Costa Rica and build great bonds with other yoginis and fellow international travellers. 

There are many discount flights to Costa Rica via Europe and the United States and travel from the UK is even easier (and cheaper) now that British Airways has direct flights from London Gatwick to Costa Rica .

You can find out about best time to holiday in Costa Rica by reading about its weather on;  http://nicoyapeninsula.com/weather.php

Holiday Prices

In US dollars, for twin or double en-suite rooms, excluding flights, transfers and offers

  Shared Single
4 nights$850 $1,000
6 nights $1,200 $1,500

Holiday Dates

We've put together a full programme through to December 2019. Check out our dates and enquire about availability here.


The Location

Our base is an intimate and peaceful jungle lodge set in flowering gardens within a 90-hectare private reserve next to Cabo Blanco National Park. With its rich diversity of plants, trees and wildlife, the extensive property forms a continuous stretch of forest which is Costa Rica's longest established nature reserve.

Here you will find a mosaic of jungle, rolling hills, mountains and creeks, with some lookout points from where you can enjoy panoramic views to the Pacific ocean and beaches of Mal Pais and discover the fascinating jungle wildlife and nature within the resort's private mile-and-a-half long jungle trail; on foot or on horseback.

The location is also very convenient for the village and scenic beaches of Mal Pais, just a mile away downhill, while buzzing Santa Teresa, with some of Costa Rica's most coveted surf points, restaurants and shops is a fifteen minute drive from the lodge.

Our location is also close to the fishing village of Cabuya and Montezuma where you can swim and bathe in the beautiful ocean and enjoy wonderful beaches.

You can read more about Mal Pais and Costa Rica on the Rough Guides site and the Cabo Blanca nature reserve, which is connected to the lodge, on nicoyapeninsula.com.

We have a travel information page to help you get from San Jose to our lodge.


The Jungle Lodge

Guest rooms are arrayed on a hillside and are fronted by a sitting porch which looks out into the beautiful flower garden where butterflies and hummingbirds fly endlessly. There are four twin rooms which are spacious, simple and warmly decorated, featuring private bathrooms with a hot shower, mini-fridge, room safes and ceiling fans.

The eco-friendly lodge, used exclusively by Sunflower Retreats guests, has five guest rooms with private bathrooms, keeping it intimate, quiet and low-impact. It has a wonderful swimming pool, waterfall jacuzzi, yoga shala and a lounge-dining area and terraces which are ideal for relaxing and practicing yoga and meditation. There are hammocks to relax in and free wi-fi all around the property.

Meals

A delicious breakfast of local fruit (papaya, mangos, pineapples),fresh yogurt, cereal, coffee or tea, eggs ,toast with jam and honey is served after yoga practice each day and on the morning of departure day.

We'll also organise trips to experience delicious cuisine in authentic local restaurant in the seaside towns of Mal Pais or Santa Teresa on the evening when there is no buffet dinner. A small fee, per person, is charged for transport to-and-from the town for this service.

Delicious healthy dinners are included in the price five times within a six night stay and two times within a four night stay.

The food is mainly vegetarian but includes some local fresh fish dishes. The food is locally-sourced.

The lodge also has a maid service which you can book at breakfast-time for when you want a snack or drink during the day, or if you decide not to join the visit to a local restaurant.

Shopping and Dining

Nearby San Teresa is a great place to shop with a range of boutiques and restaurants serving a range of Costa-Rican and international cuisine from local dishes to sushi.

Yoga

Each morning before breakfast (except on arrival and departure days) we will practice yoga and meditation usually from 07.45 to 09.15 and some afternoons, on a 64-square metre teak platform with the sounds of birds and monkeys as a symphonic background.

The lodge is a truly spiritual haven and the location is a serene and secluded environment in which to relax and renew, in an extraordinary slice of the lush Costa Rican dry tropical rain forest. Your time here will rejuvenate you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Here you can experience a healthy and fulfilling connection with nature. The jungle has a healing and centering energy force which affords practitioners an unforgettable, deep level of communion with mother nature while they practice yoga each day.
— Liz, 2015
Lucy led us in traditional yoga postures and flows, on the covered jungle shala platform, with the birdsong and howler monkeys talking to each other and hummingbirds flitting about.
— Laura, 2017

Holistic Treatments

Holistic treatments are a major feature of Sunflower Retreats' path to wellness and complement the yoga we practice. We have a wide range of treatments, as in a spa, but we differ in that we use only natural, organic products and take a holistic approach in our sessions.

A brochure describing these relaxing, healing and rejuvenating therapies will be given to you when you arrive and you can book them with our own qualified practitioner each day at breakfast-time, when they are available to discuss each treatment and help you to choose the perfect one for your own requirements.

Our range of holistic therapies includes:

  • Holistic and Ayurvedic Massages 

  • Sunflower Retreats' Ultimate Healing Treatment

  • Bamboo massage

  • Reflexology

  • Aromatherapy using pure essential oils

  • Chakra balancing

  • Reiki and Smudging sessions 

  • Sunflower's original freshly picked organic Aloe Vera skin facials

  • The Bars

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Treatments are conducted in a warm, safe, healing environment in a purpose built treatment shala on the resort surrounded by the sounds and beauty of nature.

Prices range from $30 to $100 per session, depending on your choice of treatment and duration. They are available every day except the arrival and departure day.

A week of one-on-one yoga and fabulous luxurious treatments in the jungle was just what I needed.
— Liz, London

Yoga Teacher Profiles


Lucy Bremner - Costa Rica

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Our Costa Rica weeks will be led by Lucy Bremner or another International Yoga practioner in the Sunflower Retreats team;  Lucy is the co founder of Sunflower Retreats. and has been a holistic practitioner in the UK and worldwide since 1988. She specialises in a wide range of body work, therapies and energy and spiritual balancing treatments such as Chakra Balancing and Reiki.

Lucy was drawn to the practice of Hatha yoga and the yoga philosophy while studying holistic therapies professionally in London in 1989. In the late 80's and early 90's, then in her twenties, she travelled independently when at that time it was not common for women to travel alone, her journey took her to Nepal, India, Thailand, Malaysia,Indonesia, Bali, Australia, New Zealand, Sudan and the USA, where she broadened her studies of yoga, Eastern philosophy and the healing arts, including the American Indian tradition and philosophy.

Lucy is a qualified Holistic Therapist and international yoga teacher, accredited by the Friends of Yoga - a society and examination body for yoga in the UK and India which is recognised by Yoga Alliance©, as an international yoga school. Over the last twenty five years she has helped thousands of people with healing therapies and with yoga instruction, either through her yoga classes and treatments, or through all she has coordinated in the yoga and healing section at Sunflower Retreats' centre in Casperia. Lucy specialises in working with women’s issues and health and wellbeing and her interests also include Ayurveda, Soul food cooking, Shamanism, Astrology, art and the study of the sacred and divine feminine.

Lucy's group yoga classes are holistic and grounding, fusing the elements of Ying and Yang, yoga asanas and practices with some flow sequences and traditional asanas in order to bring balance (union) to the body, mind, emotions and spirit. She also teaches Water Yoga or Acqua Yoga where certain yoga asanas are practiced within the element of water; water being a supportive element for physical and emotional health and wellbeing.

Lucy loves to share and communicate the ancient knowledge of Western and Eastern traditions so to infuse our connection back to Mother earth, our body & self , this is done directly through the healing power of yoga and meditation and Yoga nidra, both in her classes and her treatments.

 She is a gentle teacher, encouraging and supportive in her teaching and holistic therapy work. 

A mother of two children born by natural childbirth methods, she also teaches pregnancy yoga and preparation for natural birth.

Yoga is letting go… the ability to let go of stuff that’s not important. Yoga refines your senses by giving you techniques to be in the moment. Yoga connects you to the natural world, the Earth ( Gaia ). Yoga helps you to obtain more patience and gratitude
— Lucy

Addie Griggs - Costa Rica

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Empowering people is the most rewarding gift I can receive. With passion to help others find their magic within themselves- I've dedicated my teachings to others for the past four years.

Yoga is a passion for me to spread into other beings lives.
— Addie

My goal is to help people find movement- find their youth within their bodies. Having studied at Kripalu Schools of Yoga and Ayurveda, the outlook on yoga itself gave me a whole new meaning. Going deep into the studies of anatomy, our different levels within the body, and true yoga philosophy, it has became a way of living, rather than a practice of having.

I hope to spread as much knowledge as I can with others, exceeding their abilities to be here in the present moment; to be strong physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Practice with me and understand the underlying principles there is to yoga, rather than just the asana you are in.

My classes are fun, invigorating, renewing, and empowering. I hope you think so, too! 

May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom for all.
— Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

Adi Keret - Costa Rica

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As an enthusiastic student of yoga since my aunt first introduced it to me at age 17, I wanted to go deeper into my practice and so I went to Neyyar dam, Kerala, south of India on 2004, when I was 24, for a Sivananda Yoga teacher training course. The idea of the ashram was to mimic the way the old yogis who have lived with their guru, eating with him and spending their whole day with him. After practicing asanas, meditation, karma yoga, Ayurveda, philosophy, ceremonies, mantras, I was ready and excited to share my knowledge with everyone.

Through the years, and after becoming a mother to three beautiful children, I came to realize that yoga is a daily practice and manifests in all aspects of life. It is in everything we think, feel or act. It is though consciousness, understanding, self acceptance, ease, vitality, that we can reach high levels of frequency and live fully.

 Living in the jungles of Costa Rica over twelve years and creating a life in the pace of nature, have gotten me to keep the Sivananda teaching as a back round of classic hatha yoga in my classes and choose to teach more of a flowing Vinyasa sequencing.

I put a great emphasis on breathing methods and exercises, and use them as a meditative base of the practice.

I believe the yoga practice is a personal journey. Through it we can change our perspective, creating a transforming experience that lasts outside of the practice and into our lives.
— Adi

Catherine McMahon - Costa Rica

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She has been a teacher in the US in Charlottesville, VA since 2013, after having completed studies at The Asheville Yoga Center, NC and now resides in Costa Rica. She is the founder of Mango SUP & Yoga a stand up paddling/yoga adventure experience and offers Yoga and SUP lessons at Sunflower Retreats these are bookable at Breakfast time daily . After over a decade of regular visits to Costa Rica, it is now her new home. Catherine spends her time surfing, teaching and practicing yoga and experiencing the country’s relaxed beauty and culture. In addition to studio classes, teaching at music festivals and offering retreats, Catherine also teaches stand up paddle yoga with her company in the US. As an E-RYT (1000+ teaching hrs), she continues on her insatiable path of learning by attending workshops and studying with many renowned teachers. She recently completed her 300hr Prana Vinyasa Flow studies under the guidance of Jess Lazar and Shiva Rea. She is full of gratitude for all of her beloved teachers and feels extremely blessed to be a part of the yoga communities in Costa Rica, Charlottesville and beyond.

Country lover, surfer, traveler and yogini united. It’s all about balance and play for Catherine. Forever inspired and challenged by living her yoga off the mat and around the world, Catherine's teaching embodies a philosophy that celebrates the beauty of life and body, mind, and spirit aligned with nature. She believes that the path to contentment lies in the power of connecting to the energies, cycles, and rhythms of our own natures and the greater universe. With flowing movement, breath work and meditation in her teaching and her own practice she hopes to help guide others in this direction

Celebrate the beauty of life and body, mind, and spirit aligned with nature.
The path to contentment lies in the power of connecting to the energies, cycles, and rhythms of our own natures and the greater universe.
— Catherine
Try the stand up paddle-board lessons in Mal Pais with Andy.
— Laura, 2017

Beaches, Surfing, Paddle-boarding And Diving

Nearby San Teresa is a popular beach location and the area has some of the best surfing beaches in Costa Rica and inside the Cabo Blanco nature reserve in Mal Pais there is a wonderful beach ideal for swimming and snorkling, the beaches of Montezuma and Cabuya are also beautiful beaches to visit with some of the best beaches Costa Rica has to offer.

Surf and paddle board rentals can be arranged at breakfast each morning. Surfing and Paddle boarding lessons for beginners cost from $50 for a 2-hours. Scuba diving is available too.morning. Surfing and Paddle boarding lessons for beginners cost from $50 for a 2-hours. Scuba diving is available too.

Horse Riding

The Jungle Lodge has its own stables so horse riding can be booked at anytime. Let the horses to be your gentle guides through mountains, jungle and beaches for a sunset ride. Depending on the rider's level, various tours are offered.
Riding can be booked at daily at breakfast-time and costs from $40 for a 2-hour ride.

Boat Trips

Enjoy a wonderful boat tour with Zuma Tours on the Pacific coast where you can snorkel and scout for turtles, dolphins, manta rays, whales, and a variety seabirds. You can also hire kayaks and explore for yourself.

Fishing

Fish for tuna, snapper, mahi-mahi and many other species, near Cabo Blanco island, with one of the local fishermen.

Walks And Treks

Included in your yoga holiday is a free guided walk on Sunday, after morning yoga and breakfast. The walk is led by a guide and is led through the private 225-acre reserve which has abundant water sources and medicinal plants. The evergreen trees attract many animals. 

Nature Tours And Bird Watching

Our property is adjacent to Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, but has significantly less foot traffic. The jungle lodge's 225-acre private reserve affords an opportunity to learn about the jungle's medicinal plants and exotic animals and is a wonderful launching point for bird tours. We also arrange visits to The Montezuma Waterfalls located in a tropical rainforest, guided tours can be booked each day at breakfast-time. We know you'll love a visit to the Butterfly Farm too.

 

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Booking and Travel Information

Prices

For twin or double en-suite rooms, excluding flights, transfers and offers

  Shared Single
4 nights$850$1,000
6 nights $1,200$1,500

Prices for our six night retreat vacation are in US dollars and include:

  • Accommodation in an en-suite bedroom

  • Fresh linen and towels

  • Room clean every other day and change of towels

  • Five ninety-minute morning yoga classes (Friday through Tuesday) per six night holiday

  • Three afternoon yoga and meditation classes of one hour per six night holiday

  • Use of yoga mats

  • Breakfast each day

  • Five dinners, serving vegetarian cuisine and some local fish.

  • A guided Sunday walk

  • Unlimited use of the pool, Jacuzzi and Wi-Fi

What's not included:

  • Flights to Costa Rica

  • Transfers to and from the lodge in Mal Pais

  • Transport to local restaurants

  • Holistic treatments

  • Any extra optional activities and tours

Four night breaks, from Thursday through Monday, are available and differ from 6-night retreats, only in that there are three morning yoga classes (Friday through Sunday ), one afternoon yoga class, two dinners serving vegetarian cuisine and some local fish.

Choose your own dates
We may be able to accommodate you outside our normal weekly schedule for breaks of 3 to 6 nights that fit-in with your flights and holiday plans. 

We can also offer retreats of more or less than 6 nights, at a pro-rata price.

Just send us an email.

Return Guests
Welcome back - we've a 10% discount for you!


Our Booking Information page has details of how to book online or through our office and a summary of what's included in your holiday and what to bring. Please read our Terms & Conditions before you book.

You may wish to book your flights before you book your holiday.  Our Costa Rica Travel page has information on flights to Costa Rica and how to get from San Jose to our jungle lodge.

Prices are in US dollars, but UK clients can book and pay online in Sterling through our Payment Centre, once the office has made a reservation.

Enquire and Book for 2018

Enquire and Book for 2019

 
Thank you again for everything and for making my stay so fantastic. I really was made to feel very pampered and special and very well looked after.
— Liz, London
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Costa Rica Travel Information

The retreat's beautiful eco-resort is in Star Mountain, Mal Pais on on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula which has some of the best beaches and jungle locations in Costa Rica.

The first stage of your journey will probably be a flight to San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.

Flights to San Jose

British Airways now have direct flights from London Gatwick to San Jose , also British airways in conjunction with Iberia, have flights from London to San Jose, Costa Rica, via Madrid. 

Alternatively there is a range of flight options direct from your country of origin via hubs in the USA. Try researching these on FareCompare, Expedia or Kayak. (The flight code for San Jose is 'SJO'. Remember this is NOT San Jose, California!)

If you're in the USA or Canada, there are daily direct flights from major airports with Delta and American Airlines.

Travelling from San Jose to Mal Pais

Here are two options to for travel to the retreat location in Mal Pais.

Domestic flights from San Jose to Tambor

Plan your journey to arrive a day before the start of your retreat and have an overnight stay after your long-haul flight, ready to start your journey the next day.

We recommend that you stay at the Holiday inn at San Jose airport or the Radisson Hotel there is also the Costa Verde Inn which is located in a good neighbourhood 25 minutes from the airport. The inn has accommodation from $60 per night and we have assessed it as a comfortable and sustainable Green Energy property.

The regional airline Sansa offers direct flights from San Jose to Tambor Airport, 27Km from our resort, for $87 - $110 each way. The flights, in 12-person planes, take just twenty minutes so they're definitely the fastest way to go as well as being a great way to see the country by air, with a landing just off the beach.

At Tambor Airport, you either take a taxi to Mal Pais for about $50 for the 27Km journey; ask the driver to drop you at Mary's Restaurant and we will collect you. Alternatively, we can arrange a transfer at a cost of $50 (each way) for 1 person, $70 for 2 people or $100 for 3 people. Book your transfer using the form below.


Currency

The currency in Costa Rica is the Colón but US dollars are accepted everywhere.

Security

Finally, do take the usual precautions that you would when passing through a city as a tourist; be aware of the people around you, avoid distractions and keep your possessions close at hand.

 

Overland and ferry travel to Mal Pais

Tropical Tours provides a daily air-conditioned shuttle bus service which includes ferry fee between Santa Teresa - Mal Pais and San Jose from $50 per person .

They can also collect you as part of their service at your hotel in San Jose or at San Jose airport and transport you direct to Mal Pais - ask the driver to drop you at Mary's Restaurant and we will collect you.

It's also possible to travel from San Jose to the Nicoya peninsula by local bus and ferry or to hire your own car. You can hire a car (try Budget) and drive, or book a mini bus from your hotel in San Jose to Puntarenas, where you take the ferry to Paquera, across the Gulf of Nicoya. The ferry costs around $2 dollars each way with Naviera Tambor.

When your ferry arrives at Paquera, drive west through Tambor and Cobano to Mal Pais.

At the Mal Pais/Santa Teresa intersection take a left into Mal Pais.

At Mary's Restaurant take a left and drive 2 Km on the jungle road towards Cabuya.

After crossing two creeks the hotel will be on your right.
Travel time will be about five hours.

If you plan to return to San Jose independently at the end of your holiday, we can organise a taxi to the Paquera ferry which will cost from $55 dollars depending on the number of people.

 You can also get a direct boat from Jaco to Mal Pais & Montezuma and we can collect you there.


Please use this form to notify us of your arrival time at least one week before your holiday and to book your optional transfer if you are flying to Tambor.