Essence Arenal is an incredible volcano and lake view retreat in the hart of Arenal National Park with all the healing elements available for your well-being.
Yoga Retreats (28)
In 2008, Essence Arenal project began through destiny and universal guidance. Nico ended up in this rainforest paradise, where he immediately knew this was his place on earth to live. It has opened his eyes and he needed that change. He was 80 pounds overweight and had a wide collection of emotional wrecks stored in his soul. In a short time of balancing nutrition, emotions, and bad life habits, through learned techniques, these problems disappeared! Nico has found emotional, physical, and spiritual balance through the creation of this wonderful place. And he wants to share it with you!
Born in 1988 in the South of Costa Rica. In 2013 he received holistic therapy, who led him to a state of introspection about his life. It gave him the opportunity to reach a higher level of conscience, and he dedicated the following years to have a better understanding of the way he had followed. Now, he is a holistic therapist in integral balance, sound therapist, and certified Hatha yoga teacher (300 hours). He is known for his kind and soft approach to healing through energy and vibrational therapies, yoga, and integral massage, including also Reiki, Shiatsu/Thai, and Watsu.
Sarita graduated from the Naturaclass School of Massage and Natural Therapy, Spain, in 2016 as a holistic massage therapist. She has since continued her studies in spiritual healing and bodywork in Thailand, Mexico and Brazil to be certified in holistic massage, deep tissue massage, Thai massage, bamboo massage, pregnancy massage, and facial acupressure massage. With empathy, compassion, and intuitive touch, Sarita helps people reconnect to their natural self, and supports not only physical healing but a complete rejuvenation on an emotional and spiritual level as well.
Agatha Castillo is an engineer that become a Hatha Yoga Instructor in 2016, her constant inspiration and the passion led her to find different tools to make easier the vital balance of living. Her personal Ashtanga Yoga practice contributed valuable teachings for her life and acroyoga as an art of sharing and learning to trust body communication through acrobatics. She obtained her Reiki Usui Shiko Rhoyo certification and International Yoga Nidra Techniques in 2016. Also learning specialties in Kundalini Yoga, Yin Yoga, Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga, as well as in holistic and prenatal massage.
from Costa Rica, May 2021
Agatha and Marvin and staff made this trip memorable! Also loved the remoteness and the views - spectacular
from Canada, February 2020
"Amazing retreat was everything I needed "
I loved everything about this place. When I arrived I was feeling very low- being at this retreat on the farm with the amazing warm staff was great. When I arrived the staff all knew who I was, introduced themselves and gave me my itinerary for the week, they all made me feel like home and it was a small community. The farm property was stunning, healing and magical. The vegetarian meals were soooo good, I left the retreat 3 weeks ago and I still think of those meals.
The yoga was instructed by a girl who was filling in, Adalina ( I don’t know if that is correct spelling) she was a wonderful soul, and I loved every yoga class by her and the massage and mudwrap.
The other people I met who were part of the retreat were such great people and we all became friends.
I fell Inlove with the local dog who joined us for yoga everyday. It made my day. All around my experience here was amazing and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for peace, relaxation, great food, wonderful people and just for a nice experience.
Oh, also the Cocoa tour was unreal! One of the coolest things I have ever done, we got to make our own chocolate from an actual tree and it was actually the best chocolate I have ever had!
Thank you to everyone here, it was wonderful
from Denmark, February 2020
Physically it’s beautiful.
What it does for our mind body and soul is a whole other thing. Im so grateful to have been there.
Thank you all of you!
from United States, February 2020
"Wonderful classes for beginner to advance"
Everything exceeded my expectations, I could not have been more pleased. Everyone was friendly, homemade food was delicious and filling, grounds are unbelievably gorgeous, and my private room was perfect.
from Costa Rica, February 2020
"Perfect week of relaxation"
Spending one week in that Yoga Retreat was the best thing I've ever done. Everybody was so kind and sweet. The food was delicious, the landscape stunning and the Yoga instructurs - espacially Adelina - absolutely perfect. I have never felt so relaxed and peaceful with myself before. I totally can recommend this Yoga Retreat and will definatly come back.
from Canada, January 2020
"Its a paradise "
It was a magical experience feeling at peace and present on a beautiful farm in the middle of a rainforest on top of the mountains. Starting my days with yoga in a real paradise, facing the view of a lake and a volcano and hearing the birds sing was just extraordinary. I went for hikes in the lush green forest with breathtaking views. And I loved the close by natural hot spring which is one of the most beautiful places I have seen. The staff at Essence Arenal is very warm and friendly and the food is great.
And I can’t say enough good things about Alejandro. He is a compassionate healer with beautiful energy and extraordinary skills. He really does magic with his hands. He knew exactly what my body needed and provided me with an extraordinary massage in a very comfortable and peaceful atmosphere. I loved every minute of my stay at Essence Arenal and I can’t wait to go back.
from Sweden, January 2020
"A very pleasant stay"
The customer service was very personal and generous. I was low in energy when I arrived so needed to change my room, and they helped wonderfully with this. Really nice food, and staff! Did the cacao tour which was wonderful! Yoga and massages by Alejandro we’re wonderful! And when the volcano showed itself through the clouds, it was amazing!
from United States, September 2019
"Wonderful yoga retreat in the most beautiful location!"
Essence Arenal was an incredible experience. Nico and the staff were helpful when I was booking the trip, recommending things to do, how to get there, etc. Upon arrival I was greeted and shown around the property. The rooms are clean and mine had a private bathroom which was very nice. The food is all vegetarian and most of it is either bought locally or grown on their organic farm and you can taste the quality. I did two yoga classes per day: a vinyasa in the morning and yin in the afternoon. The teacher was nice to cater the class to my level (I practice yoga nearly every day) and helped me learn new poses that once were difficult. It rained almost every day usually in the afternoon, so bring rain gear and the sun sets earlier than anticipated. Also, I should note that I traveled solo and felt surrounded by amazing company the whole time, from the staff to the farm volunteers, to the other guests, everyone was interested in having a conversation. The biggest thing I’d recommend is doing the horseback riding tour with Li, it was the highlight of the trip outside of the beauty of the environment.
from Canada, September 2019
I did the 7 day yoga retreat package. Everything was very well organized. Upon my arrival, they had an itinerary for me so I knew when my massage was, yoga class, etc..
The staff were so friendly & accommodating. If I had any question about my trip, they helped me. The place never felt super packed or busy so the staff were available.
I traveled alone as a female and always felt safe.
The nature there is unbelievable. There's the view of the Volcanoes and the lake, the rolling hills, the unbelievably diverse amount of birds, butterflies, plant-life etc... Essence Arenal has incredible jungle trails you can explore.
About a 5 minute walk away there's a Butterfly Conservation that cost about 17$ US to visit. There's also a reptile zoo an 8 minute walk away.
I loved the Permaculture and Cacoa tour (They have their own cacoa plants!). The yoga was great and personalized for my level.
The vegetarian food was AMAZING and always fresh. Much of the food comes straight from the permaculture farm.
Essence Arenal gave me a chance to truly feel peaceful. Starting your day with yoga, breathing in fresh air, drinking the water, eating fresh vegetarian food, & talking with compassionate people is such medicine for the soul.
Thank you Nico and the amazing Team!
from Israel, April 2019
"Welcome to the Essence arenal Family"
The Farm is just beautiful. Anything you can ask for from a place for a yoga retreat.
The Yoga Class is taking place on a hill with the view of the Arenal volcano.
Almost all the food is grown in the Farm.
You are in the middle of a jungle, beautiful, you can hear the birds and monkeys. Paradise!
Most important is the Staff - you feel it is like a family. All are nice and caring and guided by the great owner Nico.
Olga Lucia Lewis
from Colombia, May 2021
"Lugar mágico "
Aparte del lugar , la calidez y amabilidad de todo el personal que llevan el lugar
from France, December 2020
le lieu, magnifique
le staff, aux petits soins et toujours disponible, souriant, so warmfull
from United States, December 2018
"Practicing Yoga almost in the jungle"
I enjoyed the whole concept of Essence Arenal Boutique Hostel, as well as the warm and welcoming atmosphere. Everyone has been really helpful and open.
Mahela varied the concept of her classes which made every class unique. She is a very lovely and kind teacher and understands to address the needs of her students.I can highly recommend a Yoga reatreat at the Essence Arenal Boutique Hostel.
from United States, May 2021
"Recharge in Arenal "
The quality, kindness and sincerity of the people were definitely 5 stars. We enjoyed the packaged activities as that kept us looking forward to different things each day. The chocolate tour was our favorite.
from United States, April 2021
"A week of pure bliss"
What was not to like!? I stayed for a week long yoga & NLP retreat and fell in love with the place and the people. Yoga every morning with sweet Adelina was strong, relaxing, and restorative. The welcoming hungs from Nico were a definite highlight. You can feel the positive energy radiating from this guy :) The fresh food from the farm and local organic farmers market was always amazing, very creative (thank you Marvin & Christian). The views of the volcano, jungle and surrounding permaculture farm were absolutely beautiful. I even grew to enjoy the intense/ stimulating walk to yoga and the spa every day. Much love to the Essence Arenal family. Namaste:)
from United States, March 2021
I stayed at Essence Arenal for 5 days. The staff was very nice and caring. Jairo was very diligent helping me to find a place to get the covid test and he went far and beyond to get transportation and information about things I needed to have done. I really appreciate it because that wasn't even his job. Food was really healthy and delicious. I'm a vegan and they always have great options. The place is clean, the view is beautiful, a lot of nature around with the beautiful volcano right in front of my room. You can walk down the road by yourself because it's safe, you might be able to see some wild animals, also there are some restaurants and convenient stores down the road fifteen minutes walk. I had an amazing trip. I did a Reiki massage, a visit to the permaculture to see and try fruits and make chocolate. One thing that was very sweet is that we planned on going to waterfalls and hot springs and they provided us a to go lunch with delicious wraps, and fruits. I was traveling by myself for the first time and made friends in this retreat. It was a life changing experience. Thank you for accommodating me! Thank you for everything :)
from United States, March 2021
"Mountain retreat oasis"
Came here from the hot tourist crowds of Tamarindo and couldn’t ask for a better experience, in fact we extended our stay because we weren’t ready to leave. In addition to our morning yoga sessions we did a mini meditation retreat with Agatha and it was awesome! Such a great way to start or restart a practice. Perfect location, delicious food mostly from their own farm and such peace! Thank you!!
from United States, March 2021
I was there to start an overall change in my life especially my health. This was a wonderful start to take back to Chicago.
from United States, February 2021
"Beautiful and peaceful location with amazing staff!"
The location was the best part if you are looking for beauty, quietness and peacefulness. It’s away from the craziness of La Fortuna. The staff (Jaido-especially) are amazing! They are kind, honest and extremely helpful.
from United States, February 2021
"14 days of heaven"
First let me start by saying something about the location! It was on a mountain overlooking a beautiful lake and volcano! The property was incredible, with so much flora and fauna!
Even more spectacular was the staff at Essence. Nico, Alejandro, Jairo and Lena.
They went above and beyond to make my stay perfect.
The food was so yummy and I can’t say enough good things about Marvin and Christian’s culinary magic! Carolin was also a huge part of the kitchen staff and she took care of my every need! Everyone that works there made me feel like family and I can’t thank them enough!
Highlights would definitely be the Chocolate tour, (thanks so much Jairo)
the delicious food, the massages from Alejandro and seeing the wildlife. From Howler monkeys, Macaws and leaf cutter ants! Truly magnificent!
It was sad leaving, but I’ll be back!
from United States, January 2021
"Very nice getaway in Arenal!"
The staff was very accommodating / helped us coordinate transfers and shuttles which was very much appreciated. The food was fantastic and the rooms were spacious and clean! The property itself is quite large with great views and is tucked away in a pretty remote location outside of La Fortuna. The farm tour of the property was very enjoyable and I would highly recommend it as you get to make chocolate from a cacao tree following the tour!
from United States, December 2020
"Amazing yoga retreat to connect with nature and yourself"
Essence is a truly incredible place. It has an amazing view of the volcano all over the property and the energy is very peaceful and pure. If you want to disconnect, find yourself and appreciate the beauty of nature, this is the place to go! The staff was so warm and welcoming and make you feel part of their community. Highly recommend doing the cacao tour with Nico so you can learn more about permaculture and the amazing place he built. The yoga classes were invigorating and the food was absolutely delicious. I hope to come back soon!!
from United States, November 2020
"Excellent retreat surrounded by nature "
The yoga, the food, the property and surroundings as well as the host and his staff. Anyone looking for a great yoga place immersed in nature with amazing vegetarian food prepared by a genius creative chef (Marvin). Jairo and Nico also make the stay an unforgettable experience with their hospitality and genuine friendliness.
from United States, November 2020
"Exactly what I needed "
I live in NYC, so I needed nature really bad. This place is all I wanted. It’s located in a very very beautiful place, surrounded by nothing but nature. I couldn’t get enough of it. It’s not a 5 star all-inclusive hotel, but it had everything I needed. I enjoyed yoga and massages with Alejandro, he made us feel so relaxed and back to life again, those who live in big cities understand me. He made yoga so joyful that even my friend who is not into yoga, enjoyed it so much. I loved the food that was prepared for us. I have sensitive stomach but their food made me feel energized and healthy. I slept so well there! Some nights I slept from 7pm till 5am and for me it’s unheard of. We had so much fun. We went horse riding to waterfall nearby, zip lining, hot springs - everything was just amazing. Nico, the owner, was extremely cool. He took us to hot springs twice. He played volleyball with us, cooked chocolate! This was by far one of the best vacations I’ve had in my life. I will definitely be coming back. I came back rejuvenated and happy from sleep deprived, cranky night shifter city person. Also, I left my IPhone there and Nico sent it to me to New York! How sweet is that!?!?! There is not enough space here to write how much more I enjoyed it. Definitely be coming back!
from United Kingdom, March 2020
"I didn’t do the yoga as everything dirty & old "
The view of Arenal volcano & the food was good.
from United States, March 2020
"Great Relaxing Place to Stay"
The experience on the farm was wonderful. The food was delicious and the instruction was very easy to follow but a challenging class nonetheless.
from Ireland, February 2020
I booked the yoga retreat with a friend and it was so much better than I expected.
The instructor, Alejandro, was brilliant and catered for people of all levels and ability. He was very approachable and friendly and the setting for the yoga classes was beautiful. In addition to the yoga, we were scheduled in for a massage or a reiki session, a mud wrap and an ionic foot detox, all provided by Alejandro. He, like the rest of the staff, went the extra mile to make sure we had a really enjoyable stay.
The staff here were extremely friendly and very welcoming. They were also really helpful and arranged shuttles for us whenever we wanted to take a day trip. They also arranged, as part of the retreat, a trip to the hot springs which was a lovely surprise!
The food here was amazing; fresh, vegetarian meals with the produce being grown on a farm within the grounds. They have plenty of options for breakfast and lunch and they have a different cuisine then for dinner each night so there is always something to suit everyone's taste.
Would highly recommend!
from United Kingdom, February 2020
Excellent yoga and wellness retreat in a beautiful location with a spectacular view. Alejandro went out of his way to make us feel comfortable and relaxed. The food and location were also excellent! We felt so rejuvenated after our retreat. Thank you Alejandro and the Arenal team!!
from United States, February 2020
"Magical little getaway "
Really amazing location/surrounding environment, super friendly and accommodating staff, wonderful food, met great group of girls. Loved all my spa treatments.
from Germany, January 2020
"Breathtaking nature, great getaway and mix of activities "
The whole experience is amazing and unique. The nature and location is breathtaking and pictures don’t do justice.
The whole concept of Essence with the organic food (mostly self grown on their farm), sustainability, mix of spa treatments and activities is great.
Nico and everybody working there is incredible kind, helpful and welcoming. Jairo was very helpful, patient and fast with questions even before I booked it. And during the retreat he organized perfectly any other activities I wanted to do (horseback riding, zip lining).
I really liked their flexibility regarding the different spa treatments. The food was amazing and they had options for vegan too.
Time passes fast if you enjoy it, so 4 days are not enough. I would definitely recommend staying longer and would definitely come back again!
Thanks again for everything to Nico and the whole team.
from United States, October 2019
Too BUST to Leave a Review!
from United States, September 2019
"A lovely retreat in the jungle"
I really liked the yoga teacher, Alejandro. He has kind, helpful, and, when I was inevitably unable to make certain yoga classes, he arranged for me to trade a certain number of classes for spa treatments, which felt like really top notch care. Diego, the cook, among making delicious meals that I enjoyed and helped me feel good, took some of his free time to show me and a friend around the farm. Nico, the owner, takes genuine interest in the people that come and try to help them feel better from whatever they’re struggling with, and was able to recommend a specific additional treatment for me that really helped. Liliana would ask how I was doing every day and spend time chatting with me. Everyone I talked to was kind, caring and helpful. It attracted very interesting and caring people. It was just an excellent environment. The many spa treatments and self-care I was given were terrific and helped me truly reset before I returned to work. My favorite was the Sweat Lodge ceremony. I look forward to staying here again.
from Canada, August 2019
"Welcoming ,with amazing view"
Location, staff and cuisine
from United States, April 2019
"Amazing, magical place"
The people at Essence are beautiful souls. They are accommodating, kind, helpful, friendly, thoughtful. Although the tents were very rustic and worn, the location could not be beat!!! It was gorgeous and well loved everywhere. The owner, Nico, is mindful of his guests and their needs and available. I loved going to the hot springs and going on horseback to a waterfall. Although I was scared to death of the ziplining, it was well organized and safe. Visiting the farm and garden was a definite highlight! The food was delicious everyday. I can’t say enough about how kind and helpful every staff member was!
from United States, February 2019
"Great experience. I loved every moment of it"
I have to say that I loved every minute I had spent there. Arenal Essence was exactly something I was looking for. I was looking for a quiet place surrounding by real nature. Yet, not boring as there are many outdoor activities to do around like hiking, horse riding, kayaking, hot springs, etc. The energy of the place was also indescribable. I was there on the 1st of January, so it was a major energy cleansing time and recharge for me, and I left the place with positive, fresh energy. It was how I wanted a new year with.
The food was amazing, on point. As I have a lactose intolerance, staff and chefs there manage to serve me food without lactose as I requested.
The yoga sessions were also good, the instructor was so friendly and easy going.
I wish I had more time to spend at Arenal Essence, apparently, 4 days is not enough!
Definitely will recommend to people and I would definitely go back again.
Ruben Cogolludo Herrero
from Costa Rica, May 2021
"la finca es grande y muy bien cuidada, plantada y gestionada"
la energia del sitio
el staff es joven, correcto y cercano
el cacao tour, es una manera maravillosa de entender en que consiste este proyecto, y claro con final felz... chocolate 😋
from Spain, January 2021
"Un paraíso en el interior"
La ubicación es perfecta para visitar el volcán Arenal y las termas locales. El propio recinto del retiro es precioso, un paraíso de vegetación con cascada, piscina, jacuzzi...
Marvin pone toda su atención en la cocina y el resto del equipo (Caroline, Jairo, Lena, Nico, Alejandro y Christian) son amables y mantienen una comuncación constante y perfecta. Es como sentirse en casa.
Realmente no es un retiro inmersivo de yoga, en la web hay un ejemplo de itinerario con meditaciones pero en realidad solo hay una práctica por la mañana (Alejandro es muy amable y me cambió la hora de la práctica un día), y el resto del tiempo es libre.
from Switzerland, January 2021
"Ein Stück Paradies auf Erden"
Liebe und sehr aufmerksame Gastgeber, ein empathischer und authentischer Yogalehrer, fantastisches veganes und vegetarisches Essen, wunderschöne Lage und Aussicht, die beste Massage, die ich bis jetzt genossen habe - alles in allem - der perfekte Ort zum sich erholen, sich heilen, sich transformieren.
Ich vermisse euch alle und danke euch für diese unvergessliche Zeit.
Danke an Carolin, Marvin, Alejandro, Lena, Jairo, Kay, Bruno und allen, die dieses Erlebnis mitgestaltet haben.
from Germany, February 2020
"Ein toller Aufenthalt mit herzlichen Menschen "
Es war ein so toller Aufenthalt! Die Farm ist einfach wunderschön und es gibt so viel zu entdecken. Ich würde die Kakaotour bei Jairo unbedingt empfehlen! Die Menschen waren mehr als nur herzlich und man fühlte sich wie eine große Familie. Man wird mit dem Namen angesprochen. Das Essen wird mit so viel Liebe zubereitet. Die Yogaklasse haben sehr viel Spaß gemacht und die Ganzkörpermassage war ein Traum. Die privaten Zimmer sind sehr geräumig, man hat ein großes Bad, Safe und Staumöglichkeiten. Wir haben sogar eine zusätzliche Nacht gebucht, weil wir nicht weg wollten. Tolle Aussicht auf den Vulkan und See. Am besten gleich eine Woche buchen. Wir hatten leider nur 4 Tage. Mein Highlight in Costa Rica!
from Canada, January 2020
"Paradis sur terre / Paradise on earth ! "
Essence Arenal est l’endroit le plus merveilleux que j’aie visité de ma vie. De l’environnement en passant par le personnel, le yoga et les repas, tout était excellent. Nico et son équipe Adelina, Lena, Jairo, Maria, etc. ont réussi à me faire me sentir zen et sereine pendant toute la visite. C’est un endroit reposant mais surtout ressourçant et je me sentais réellement chez moi, au point où je ne voulais plus partir.
I am very grateful I had the chance to encounter so much genuine and positive energies. I truly believe you get way more than what you ask for by visiting this place. Everyone was kind and attentive to my needs. The site is spectacular and the view of the volcano is just magnificent. The yoga classes are organized to challenge you in the morning and relax you in the afternoon. I would also add a special note for the food as I am a new vegetarian and I felt like I was inspired by everything I was eating. It was simply perfect all together.
Merci et à bientôt,
Thank you and see you soon 🙏🏾 ❣️
from Canada, January 2020
"Belle place à découvrir "
Le site est merveilleux ..le personnel vraiment sympathique et toujours prêt vous aider si il y a le moindre problème ..la nourriture a Lily est vraiment excellente à tous les niveaux ..Aleandro offre du yoga pour tous les niveau ..on sent bien ça passion et son soucis du détail .cest aussi lui qui donne les massages et je vous le conseil fortement !! J’ai passé 8 jours sur le site et ne me suis jamais ennuyer ..y’a tellement à faire dans le coin et le paysage est époustouflant !! Je recommande cet endroit à tous et j’y reviendrai certainement !! Merci à Nico et toute l’équipe !!
from Costa Rica, July 2019
Ce séjour fût ma plus belle expérience au Costa Rica, le lieu dégage une énergie incroyable et les gens qui y travaillent encore plus (chef cuisinier, professeur de yoga, personnel d'accueil, les gens qui s'occupent de la ferme et du lieu en général) 🙃
Ces 5 jours m'ont parus beaucoup trop cours mais m'on permis de me recentrer sur moi elle et d'en apprendre d'avantage sur les autres!
Merci Nico pour ce lieu incroyable, merci Alejandro pour tes cours fabuleux, et merci a tous pour la folie et la passion je vous avez sur me transmettre d'une manière ou d'une autre 🙂