Sunday, March 26 —> Saturday, April 1, 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 grocery store to grab anything you’d like to have on hand. BM can take dollars and has many of the goodies you are used to, like kombucha. We will then jump in 4 wheel drive SUVs and head up the mountain to check-in at Manoas.
• We will 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: Peaceful Paddleboarding Expedition
• Our SUP expedition takes you through the Mangrove ecosystem of Matapalo in the Southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. This amazing tropical environment is filled with diverse wildlife and riveting beauty. You will be guided through the enchanting mangroves, where you can see and learn about the plants and animals that live there. The water is very calm, allowing even an amateur to enjoy this activity. Kayaks are also available.
• We will have lunch at Mono Congo in the surf town of Dominical which has a beautiful view of Rio Baru and an extensive menu that does not disappoint. There will be time to explore the beach town and do some shopping after lunch.
• We then head back to relax, have free time to enjoy the property, or take a nap.
• Sunset Yoga, then dinner at Manoas with our chef.
Day 3: Vitamin Sea
• Meditation, breathwork, & yoga practice in the morning….but, first, coffee.
• We will explore the protected and pristine beaches at the Marino Ballena National Park, a famous natural barrier reef that was created when the forces of two rivers on either side formed and maintained the shape of a whale’s tail. Truly spectacular! Despite being a favorite spot for visitors, it’s still quite remote. You won’t find vendors or high rises here. During low tide, you can walk out and explore the sea life in the tide pools.
• Lunch at local cafe and free time at the property.
• Dinner with our chef and sleep like a sloth surrounded by the sounds or the rainforest.
Day 4: River Hike and Recharge
•Take it easy this morning. Choose to sleep in or join yoga practice before breakfast.
•Together we will explore the hiking trails and river of the property where we are staying. With a little help from our friends, we will cross the river and navigate through the beautiful river’s edge 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 dinner you can join an optional night hike right on the property to see the variety of nocturnal creatures only visible to the trained eye. Our guide, César L. Barrio-Amorós is a Spanish herpatologist who dedicated his life to the understanding and conservation of nature. He produced more than 200 scientific articles and described 51 new species of amphibians and reptiles for science, mainly from remote and unexplored landscapes. Rubber boots and head lamps are provided.
Day 5: Restore Even More
•Morning Meditation, Breathwork, Yoga….or skip it and sleep in!
•If you booked yourself a massage, you’re in for a treat! The therapists will come to the property and set up your table in outdoor locations, so you can have your session with the backdrop of the nature sounds.
•After lunch there will be lots of free time to lounge and relax. There’s no where to go (until dinnertime). You can book your own taxi and enjoy your afternoon offsite if you wish or relax on the property. Find your favorite spot for a photo shoot, explore the nature trails, or swim in the river.
•Dinner offiste 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 and serves up a meal cooked with love!
Day 6: Connect to Self Through Nature
• After breakfast, we will take an easy guided hike through the nature trails at Hacienda Barú. The level and clearly marked 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, and we will take a short detour that will end at a beautiful remote beach with smooth beach stones galore.
•Lunch at Manoas and free time in the afternoon to sit by the river and let go of anything that’s not coming home with you.
• Closing circle is a tradition and then a gentle sunset yoga practice to seal our experience with sharing and ritual. Afterwards, we will have our final 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 $1,850. A $500 deposit is required to hold your spot. Deposit goes towards your total trip cost.
•Balance due in full by January 1st, 2023. Payment plans are available if needed.
•Deposit and/or trip payment is 100% fully refundable by January 1st, 2023 with written notice. No refunds after January 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 may 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.
• Ground transportation within Costa Rica will be provided with professional local driver.
• English speaking guides and translator when necessary.
• All activities outlined in itinerary.
•Some tips included such as porters, offsite restaurant tipping, and taxis / airport transfer.
•Adult welcome drink on our first day.
What’s Not included?
• Airfare is not included. This trip launches at SJO airport (San Jose, Costa Rica) on September 4th, 2022 at 12pm-ish and ends the early morning of September 10th, 2022 at SJO. Please send Katie your desired flight itinerary prior to finalizing your booking.
• Some of the tips are paid by you directly to our team. It is customary to tip the excursion 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 January 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.