Updated: Dec 30, 2018
Last November I had the opportunity to visit Cost Rica on a women's retreat called Rise. My best friend of 20 years was putting on this amazing experience that I highly recommend for those looking to get out of your element, rejuvenate and push your boundaries around comfortableness (www.riseretreatcostarica.com).
The retreat incorporates yoga (on the beach), surfing, daily group therapy sessions, pamper time, rooming with a stranger (whom you will adore later), more primitive type accommodations and various other activities throughout the week as well as individual/free time. The place we stayed at has amazing grounds and a to die for view right on the ocean in Samara, Cost Rica. Samara is kind of the gem of Costa Rica or what some like to call "off the beaten path". The flight is probably the most expensive part of Costa Rica… I had Hopper watching it for me for a few months and ended up booking two months prior for around $750.
I loved all the activities we did… surfing really pushed me out of my comfort zone but the guys at Tico's Surf School were amazing and I got up my second try and a million more times after that. They sort of do their own therapy on the water with you too. They are easy on the eyes and engaging as hell. One of the nights we went on a tour to the other side of the inlet and had the amazing opportunity to watch sea turtles be hatched and released into the ocean as well as watch the mother sea turtles dig a hole, go into a trance, lay 100+ eggs, cover the hole and camouflage it then head back into the ocean. I have seen sea turtles hatched and released into the ocean before and every time it is a surreal experience.
They hired locals who cooked all of our authentic meals and I made sure to make myself try everything. Needless to say I came home with a bag of Salsa Lizano to put on everything especially eggs. We had locals that offered massages too. Group therapy was intense and at times I hid behind my sunglasses. Feelings and emotions are hard for most people to talk about and extremely hard for me but it was one of those things I enjoyed when it was all said and done. We had a Doctor who was in our group and offered walk with a Doc where you could ask questions about anything medical related. She talked to us about the chemicals in our cleaning products, face products, lotions, etc. Very educational for me. I bought dryer balls and some non-chemical face products when I got home and that is all I have done but that is a start.
The weather in Costa Rica is beautiful. The locals are authentic and inviting. Food is great especially the ceviche. Costa Rica is definitely a place I want to go back to again and again.