From the pristine, untouched nature to the warm waters of the Pacific or Caribbean on either side, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Costa Rica.
In recent years, a number of world-class yoga studios have opened, some of the best retreats are held in Costa Rica, and plenty of dedicated instructors have made Costa Rica home. Why? The yogic principles and lifestyle are simple to learn and ascribe to when surrounded by such calm and natural beauty.
Today yoga is commonly found in many parts of Costa Rica, but some areas are known especially for their top-notch programs and high quality teachers.
Here are 4 of the best spots to find your yoga in Costa Rica.
The Tip of the Nicoya Peninsula (Santa Teresa, Montezuma, etc)
This region of Costa Rica takes a little more work to get to, making it off-the-beaten-path, which is just the way locals like it. Sitting on a stretch of the Pacific Ocean, this part of the world is considered a Blue Zone in that people here live longer on average (over 100 usually) than other parts of the world. The air is pure, the water is clean, the food is fresh and local, and the people are happy. Sun shines year round and the rainy season doesn’t hit this area as hard as other parts of Costa Rica. Surf culture plays a large role in the local community and many travelers arriving in Santa Teresa never leave and become permanent transplants. Once you experience the sunsets, you’ll understand why.
Many well-known resorts are in this area. By the beach, there’s Hotel Tropico Latino in Santa Teresa with yoga decks literally on the ocean and Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat, also in Santa Teresa. In the mountains on Montezuma, surrounded by jungle and monkeys is Anamaya Yoga Resort & Retreat, and in the jungle of the Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge sits Punta Mona, an ecological center run by a husband-and-wife team who’s passion lie in seeking more sustainable ways to live our daily lives without compromising quality of life.
You can take a commuter flight from San Jose into Tambor airport to access these towns easily.
Nosara is probably the most well-known area for yoga if you ask most locals. It’s also on the Nicoya Peninsula, but further up the coast. The getting-famous Nosara Yoga Institute is in Nosara where many yogi greats go to study and teach due to the consistent high quality of instruction and the reputation of the center within the community. It was one of the first yoga studios in Costa Rica.
Nestled high up into the jungle on the edge of Playa Guiones is where you’ll find this center. The town itself has a great community of locals and expats and is peaceful. You can expect to find great surf and stunning nature views all around. Another well-known center to practice in Nosara is Blue Spirit Yoga and Healing Space, also on a hill that overlook Playa Guiones. Enjoy ocean views while you down dog in Paradise. Known for the exceptional yoga, service and amenities (think full-service spa and salt water infinity pool), this center is a favorite among yoga goers and vacationers of all kinds.
Finally, Nosara has a third gem called Harmony Hotel. The yoga studio is surrounded by jungle on all sides and they offer aerial yoga.
The Osa Peninsula
Known by National Geographic as one of the most biologically intense places on Earth, the Osa Peninsula is truly a magical part of the world. Surrounded by wildlife in every direction, you will be completely removed from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Here you will find Blue Osa, an all-inclusive eco-retreat center.
Striving to be completely sustainable, they serve organic food from their garden, have environmentally friendly landscaping, a self-sustaining grid for power and sewage, and they recycle waste and water. Disconnected from the outside world, you can truly awaken and find your inner self.
On the Caribbean side, Puerto Viejo is home to Samasati Nature Retreat. Hidden in the jungle and on a mountain overlooking the town, this property in abundant with wildlife and nature.
You might see sloths, howler monkeys, or toucans. Their passion is to redefine hospitality to include a commitment to the earth and healthy living. They host regular retreats and teacher trainings and are all-inclusive.
This is a guest post by Rima Danielle Jomaa. Originally from Los Angeles, California, and currently residing in San Clemente, Rima is heavily involved in California and Costa Rica yoga communities. She is currently working to launch a residential Treatment Center for adolescents and young adults in Costa Rica, and works as a brand ambassador for a number of yoga brands. Join her, Jesse Schein and Calvin Corzine for an amazing yoga and surf retreat in Costa Rica April 18 – 25, 2015.
Have you practiced yoga in Costa Rica? I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a comment below.