If you are standing in a circle of people in Costa Rica, chances are that at least one of the people is a yoga instructor. It’s really that popular. Considering the pura vida lifestyle here in Costa Rica, it’s not a huge surprise that people are increasingly showing up to stretch, tone, and purify their bodies. Alongside regular tourism, the holistic tourism sector has developed rapidly in the last 10 years, and yoga retreats have sprung up along the coasts and in the mountains. Large groups come throughout the year to deepen their practices, and they’ve got quite a few options for where they’ll doing their om-ing and stretching. The best retreats are ensconced in nature, bringing guests closer to the Earth and more in touch with themselves. They serve healthy local food and often provide three meals a day, along with opportunities to get out and see a bit of the country.
Samasati Nature Retreat
This stunning property is tucked into the jungle, up on the mountain above Puerto Viejo. Bungalows are expertly constructed and comfortable, with uniquely adorned rooms for families, honeymooners, and anybody else looking to get back to nature. Yoga classes are at 6:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., three buffet-style meals are served daily, and all sorts of retreats are held here.
Anamaya Yoga Retreat
This well-known yoga retreat sits on a hilltop above the freewheeling beach town of Montezuma (known to locals as Montefuma because of all the pot smoking). The yoga deck is expansive, the infinity pool with the coastal view is refreshing, and the organic meals are served three times a day. Although the focus is mainly on yoga retreats, teacher trainings are also held at Anamaya, which means “good health” in Sanskrit.
Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat
Right up the beach from Santa Teresa, this dreamy resort was built by the same people who did Florblanca down the road. It’s an aesthetic marvel with a large pool and an exquisite yoga deck, where the intuitive and gentle retreat program director Nancy Goodfellow teaches daily classes and private lessons.
Blue Spirit Yoga and Healing Space
Overlooking Playa Guiones from a hilltop just past Playa Garza, this posh yoga retreat space features a wide yoga deck with ocean views, a full-service spa, a saltwater infinity pool, comfortable “eco-cottages,” and vegetarian meals three times a day. Retreats are held throughout the year, bringing in professional yoga instructors from around the world.
In the health-crazed beach town of Nosara, The Harmony Hotel is one of the most beloved yoga resorts in the country. It’s got a truly breathtaking yoga studio surrounded by jungle, where classes are held every day for both guests and the public. This is one of the few venues to offer aerial yoga, which involves striking poses in a hammock suspended from the ceiling.