Saturday, June 17 —> Friday, June 23, 2023
Why Uvita, Costa Rica?
The short answer is….it’s off the beaten path and absolutely stunning.
Known for beautiful mountain landscapes that stretch down to palm-fringed beaches, Uvita is centrally located on the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. It’s more specifically known as Costa Ballena or the Whale’s Coast, for the large number of migratory whales spotted here, as well as the whale tail shape of the coastline during low tide. This quaint little village consists of a few dirt roads, lined with farms, underpopulated beaches, mom ‘n pop shops, and a scattering of hotels in the jungle-covered hills above.
Uvita is home to breathtaking waterfalls, warm uncrowded wilderness beaches, a pristine marine reserve, and an unparalleled richness of beautiful plant and animal species.
It may seem surreal that this environment is as untainted as it is. With its gentle pace of life, it will give you a good idea of what the central Pacific coast was like before the tourist boom….it’s truly “off the beaten path.” It likely won’t stay like this forever though, conditions will one day change and the best kept secret of the Costa Ballena will be out.
Where Are We Staying?
Manoas is a privately-owned sanctuary on a beautiful, expansive property located in the heart of the jungle. It’s a hidden gem, perfect for a retreat, where you’ll find yourself surrounded by tropical birds, native flowering plants, and if you’re lucky, the howler monkeys will visit. The grounds are gorgeous, just a few minutes drive away from the Pacific Coast remote beaches, and sided by a crystal clear river that is perfect for swimming and exploring. The resort offers a safe alcove to truly escape in a vacation setting, surrounded by nature.
Being a little higher in elevation and somewhat secluded, Manoas makes for a perfect place to softly land at the end of a day full of adventures! Every room is cutely furnished with a private bathroom. The property has a pool with covered cabana, free wifi, beautiful villas, glamping tents, and large community deck wrapped around an ancient wise tree. The staff is present & knowledgable. We ask that all guests be over 18.
What’s on the Sample Itinerary?
Day 1: Welcome to Pura Vida
• The group will arrive at Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) and board an air conditioned minibus to begin our road trip to Uvita. It takes about 3 hours & we will make a couple of stops.
• On the way to Uvita we will stop in Jaco to catch a glimpse of a stunning scenic ocean view and enjoy eats and a welcome drink at Bowie’s Point. This surfers’ hangout is complete with resident dogs, a pot-bellied pig named Morita, and beach front seating.
•Once we get into town, we will stop at the local general store to grab anything you’d like to have on hand. We will then jump in 4WD SUVs and head up the mountain to check-in at Manoas.
• Gather for a welcome dinner cooked by our private chef as you take in the sounds of the jungle and wind down for the night after a long-ish travel day.
Day 2: Snorkeling Expedition at Cano Island
• Leaving early in the morning, after breakfast, much of this day will be spent on the open ocean. You will enjoy breathtaking views of the beautiful coastline. This is the only place in Costa Rica where the mountains meet the ocean. Once we arrive at the island, we snorkel at two different locations, depending on conditions. The Caño Island Biological Reserve is considered a world-class diving destination, and the snorkeling is no less spectacular with the visibility usually exceeding 80 ft. All equipment will be included.
• We will have lunch at a local spot near the beach, and then head back to relax, have free time to enjoy the property, or take a nap.
• Sunset Yoga with Jenna, then dinner at Manoas with our personal chef.
Day 3: Vitamin Sea
• Jungle Fitness & Yoga Combo with Jose & Jenna in the morning….but, first, coffee.
• After breakfast, we will head out to the beach. When we arrive at Playa Ventanas “windows”, you can see right away why locals love it. It’s in a secluded little bay, surrounded by lush rainforest and lined with palm trees. There are two caves on the north end of the beach, formed from the surrounding mountain. We will aim to be there during low tide so we can explore inside the caves! There’s another beach that’s spectacular called Playa Arco and it’s Christina’s absolute favorite. If the conditions are good….we can go there instead….and you won’t be disappointed.
• Lunch at Manoas and then free time at the property to relax.
• Dinner will be offsite with Lucy, a Costa Rican chef who shares her passion for creative cooking and serves up a meal that past participants still rave about. She uses only local and seasonal items adds a whole lot of love!
Day 4: River Hike and Recharge
•Take it easy this morning and sleep in or join the group for a jungle work out with Jose followed by mindfulness meditation and breathwork with Christina.
•Together we will explore the hiking trails and river of the property where we are staying. We will navigate through the beautiful river’s edge and crossing it a couple of times until we reach a crystal clear swim hole and “secret” waterfall. The pebbles on the river bank make for a natural clay beauty masks that we will learn how to apply. Who doesn’t need a little natural pampering?!
•Lunch at Manoas followed by free time. By now you’ll have a favorite spot to lounge, know your way through the trails, and know where to spot the wildlife.
•After lunch, chill out at the pool or catch a taxi (not included) into town for shopping or to enjoy a beer at the local brewery.
•Dinner at Manoas.
Day 5: Sierpe Mangrove Boat Tour
•Free morning and meet up for breakfast.
•Terraba Sierpe Mangroves National Wetland is the largest, most biodiversity mangrove reserve in Central America.
•We will jump in a bimini-shade top boat and travel through the protected tributaries and mangroves teeming with abundant wildlife.
We will have a chance of seeing three different species of monkeys, many birds including Macaws, Herons, Egrets, Caracaras, Kingfishers, Hawks plus the slow-moving sloth, crocodiles, caimans, snakes, turtles, the very fast Jesus Lizard racing over water and so much more.
•After lunch there will be lots of free time to lounge and chill by the pool. There’s no where to go until dinnertime.
Day 6: Rainforest Hike
• Soak up our last Jungle work out with Jose and seal up the last morning with mindfulness practice and meditation.
• After breakfast, we will take a hike through the nature trails at Hacienda Barú. The trails pass through many habitats including primary forest, secondary forest, swamp forest, wetlands, pastures and tree plantations. Here you can spot monkeys coati, peccary, birds galore, and more. All the trails have informative signs with information about the flora and fauna. Our second trail will end at a beautiful remote beach where we can go for a swim before heading back.
•Lunch at Manoas and free time in the afternoon.
• Farewell dinner at Manoas.
Day 7: Adios Pura Vida
• Early to-go breakfast.
• All aboard for our road trip back to the airport to catch flights home for a safe and smooth trip home.
• Time permitting, and if we didn’t already see them on arrival day, we will stop at Rio Tarcoles to see the American Crocodiles on the way to the airport. The amount of crocs in this river is simply astounding. It is considered to have the highest population in the world….and quite possibly the biggest!
What’s the trip cost?
•Trip price is based on double occupancy with a 10 person minimum. A $500 deposit is required to hold your spot. The deposit goes towards your total trip cost.
OPTION 1. Standard Villa Room: Includes A/C, king or queen bed, private bathroom in each room, lock & safe, shared kitchen & common areas & shared washer/dryer, close proximity to pool.
Single or Double Occupancy $2,150pp
OPTION 2. Upgraded Villa Room: Includes A/C, private bathroom, hammock, jacuzzi hot tub, second outdoor shower, lock and safe, washer/dryer, river and rainforest view.
Double Occupancy Only $1,999pp
OPTION 3. Glamping Tent Experience: No A/C, fans, power outlets, full size bathroom, king bed, rainforest view.
Single or Double Occupancy $1,799pp
•Balance due in full by May 1st, 2023. Payment plans are available if needed.
•Deposit and/or trip payment is 100% fully refundable on or before May 1st, 2023 with written notice. No refunds after May 1st, 2023 for any reason. Trip Insurance is recommended, but not required. If unforeseen/uncontrollable circumstances occur such as natural disaster, pandemic related government closures, etc., trip will be rescheduled to a future date.
• 7 days / 6 nights comfortable rainforest accommodations in Costa Rica.
•All Meals: 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners. Most special dietary needs can be accommodated. Let us know in advance.
• All ground transportation within Costa Rica will be provided with professional local driver.
• English speaking guides and translator when necessary.
• All activities outlined in itinerary, fitness/yoga classes, entrances to all beaches and parks, excursions, etc.
•Some tips included such as porters, offsite restaurant tipping, and taxis / airport transfer.
•Welcome drink on arrival day.
What’s Not included?
• Airfare is not included. This trip launches at SJO airport (San Jose, Costa Rica) on June17th, 2023 at 1pm-ish and ends the early morning of June 23rd, 2023 at SJO. Please send Christina your desired flight itinerary prior to finalizing your booking. Recommended flight for this trip is JetBlue nonstop MCO to SJO Flight 1695 on 6/17/23 & Flight 1696 on 6/23/23.
• Some of the tips are paid by you directly to our team. It is customary to tip the guides, our chef, and the Manoas staff who will be working to make sure we have everything we need. Suggested amounts will be provided in the welcome packet.
• Trip Insurance is not included. Although not required, it is recommended that each participant purchases a travel policy in the case of an emergency or unforeseen circumstances. Without insurance, any cancellations after May 1st, 2023 could cause participants to forfeit their payment.
• Our trip launches and ends at SJO. You may wish to arrive early and stay after the retreat at your own cost.
• Any costs such as transportation/meals/activities/etc during your free time or if apart from the group is not included.
• Extras such as alcoholic beverages, massage, acupuncture, medical care, local or global calamities or other unexpected happenings such as pandemic related interruptions, airline cancellations, etc.