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Elements and Ancestors Yoga Retreat Costa Rica

This is a journey made for the traveler at heart. You will be on the move with an adventurous itinerary offering the perfect opportunity to practice staying grounded while on the go, being in the flow, and keeping centered amidst continuous change. Along the way, you will call upon and honor the most ancient ancestors, the elements of air, fire, water, and earth.

Retreat highlights

  • 2 yoga classes daily
  • 2 meditation sessions daily
  • Guided nature hikes, day tours, and kayaking tour
  • A guided natural history tour, bicycle trip, and a visit to a local school
  • Experience group ceremonies and sacred dances
  • Relax on thermal hot springs and mud pools
  • Daily breakfast, dinner, and most lunches
  • 7 nights accommodation

Yoga styles

8 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
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Casa Maderas

Casa Maderas offers 24 rooms of various sizes available in 16 charming cabins. Couples, families, groups, solitary travelers of all profiles and budgets are welcome.

Enjoy peaceful moments lying in the hammock on your cabin’s terrace, have a restorative sleep laid on the comfortable bed protected by a mosquito net after a refreshing shower, or take time to relax and rediscover the pleasure of reading. The Nicaraguan style cabins are built to be, as much as possible, in harmony with nature while providing all modern conveniences.


The eco-pavilion is an information center open to guests who want to know more about the nature friendly initiatives both in the property and the community, such as building and recycling techniques and its support to sea turtle conservation. Casa Maderas guests will be amazed to discover that the eco-pavilion also serves as a hatchery for olive ridley sea turtles.

Lucky Monkey restaurant

Guests can taste a healthy and full-flavored food or just have a refreshing drink while enjoying a beautiful view of the property from the restaurant located on the first floor of the main building. The restaurant consists of a pleasant wooden terrace open to the green surroundings and the natural ventilation. The cuisine is a combination of Nicaraguan and international dishes.

The restaurant offers a menu for all tastes, including vegetarian dishes, as well as daily specials. They use delicious, fresh, and locally grown fruits and vegetables. They also buy the fresh products locally, supporting the local farmers and fishermen.


The large swimming pool with a waterfall and four feet-deep water level all over is perfect for swimming, relaxing, and even playing water volleyball if you are in the mood. There is a wonderful pergola, covered with natural plants and flowers offering an enjoyable shade.

You will also find picnic tables and hammocks. Long deck chairs are also available in the surrounding terrace. The pool is lit by colored LED lights at night offering a beautiful and romantic light show.


All of the rooms in Casa Maderas include a private bathroom, mosquito nets for every bed, two to three windows, ceiling fans, and lockers inside the rooms, please bring your own small lock.

Yoga pavillion

The yoga pavilion is built overlooking the resort atop the windy hills of Casa Maderas, offering breathtaking views of the sunrise and the surrounding countryside. It is constructed from wood flooring and features a palm leaf roof, as well as lots of natural light and ventilation.

Soak up the serenity of this space as you relax to the sounds of the wind and birds and take in the views of the stunning Nicaraguan hillside. It is an ideal place to achieve a sound peace of mind, either during a solo practice or a group yoga class.

Hotel Santa Cruz

Hotel Santa Cruz waits to welcome you in a rustic colonial setting nestled in the Santa Cruz splice, Merida and Balgue. It is the gateway to the Maderas volcano and only a five-minute walk from the Santa Cruz beach, the best beach on Ometepe.

The location on the island could not be better, at 120-meters above sea level, the view of the two volcanoes is stunning and will give you the feeling of being in paradise.

Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin

Hotel Hacienda Guachipeln is next to Rincón de la Vieja National Park and a true eco-tourism lodge for adventure and nature lovers. Hacienda Guachipelin is perfect for the active traveler, with plenty of adventure activities, including horseback riding, canyoning, canopy zip lines, river tubing, hiking, and natural volcanic hot springs and mud pools.

The hotel is surrounded by lush gardens with native trees and exotic flowers that attract a great variety of birds. The look-out point gives you a 360-degree panoramic view of the Rincón de la Vieja and Santa Maria volcanoes, the Guanacaste plains, and the Pacific coastline.

Sunset viewing is spectacular from there and near the reception area, you will find the corrals, where real cowboys and ranch hands get an early start in the morning working with the horses and cattle. All the guest rooms in Hacienda Guachipelin feature air-conditioning and ceiling fans, safe, and private bathrooms with solar-heated hot water.

Bar and restaurant

At the downstairs bar, you can order delicious snacks and your favorite drinks and dance to live marimba music at night.

Savor the flavors of authentic Costa Rican cuisine. The delicious fresh meals are lovingly prepared by Costa Rican chefs following time-honored traditional recipes from the region of Guanacaste and Costa Rica.

The restaurant offers you farm-to-table homemade meals produced on the ranch. What Hacienda Guachipelin does not grow, they source fresh from sustainable local vendors. They offer both an a la carte menu and a buffet menu with traditional Costa Rican cuisine and international dishes.

No artificial ingredients, monosodium glutamate, canned foods, or boxed juices are found in the kitchen. They make everything fresh, including using only fresh herbs and spices from the garden. They offer many possibilities for persons with dietary restrictions like gluten-free, non-dairy, vegetarian, and vegan options.

Taste the distinctive flavors the wood burning ovens give the meals, from homemade breads to pizzas and desserts. The woods are sustainably harvested from the ranch. Relax with friendly service staff and spectacular views across the ranchlands and forest to the Pacific Coast. The expansive open-air restaurant offers special seating areas for groups, hotel guests, and day tour guests.

Standard rooms

Simple yet comfortable, the cozy standard rooms are located near the reception area. All rooms have either one double bed or one double and one single bed. An extra single bed may be added upon request.


The two suites, el cenizaro and el cedro, are named after two of the tall trees that grow around Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin. Very spacious and comfortable, the suites have fine furnishings with a king size bed, a sitting area with sofa and chairs, and a four-person dining table with additional luxury details such as cable television, telephone, coffee maker, a mini-refrigerator, and a hairdryer in the bathroom. A large and private garden terrace behind the room offers incredible views of Rincón de la Vieja Volcano.

Superior rooms

Larger and more spacious, superior rooms are located around the gardens with excellent views. All rooms have either two double beds or one double bed. An extra single bed may be added upon request. In addition to the standard guest room amenities, superior rooms offer cable television, telephone, and a coffee maker.

Natura Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica and Nicaragua Program

After crossing the Nicaraguan border and traveling onward to Lake Nicaragua, you will explore the wonders of Isla de Omtepe, the world’s largest volcanic island inside a fresh water lake. Rising from the depths of Lake Nicaragua, two volcanoes, the active Concepcion to the North and the quiet Maderas to the South, surface as one, united by a thin isthmus of fertile land.

Since 300 BC, Ometepe Island has been considered sacred by its inhabitants who thinks of it as their promised land. These adventurous ancients left a rich history of stone petroglyphs, idols, and ceramic artifacts making Ometepe Island one of the great rock art places in the world.

Today, this peaceful oasis is home to friendly and happy people known for their connection to the land and for celebrating more religious and folk festivals anywhere else in Nicaragua. Your journey into Ometepe will give you a look into the island's rich history, remarkable flora and fauna, its humble people, and its potent relics.

You will have the opportunity to kayak the Istian River flowing between the two volcanoes, hike to the top of Volcano Maderas for a swim in the cool crater lake surrounded by cloud forest, soak in the revered Ojo de Agua hot springs, enjoy one of the islands beautiful beaches, and discover the famous rock art petroglyphs that still reside on the island.

Encounter a sweet but simple way of living as you bike through the villages and connect with the local school and children. There you will have the opportunity to offer donated learning utensils to the students as you gain insights into their unique culture.

From Ometepe Island, you will have a chance to visit the old colonial town of Granada with its charming streets and colorful markets, along with the beach town of San Juan del Sur before heading back across the border to Costa Rica for your final stay near Rincon de la Vieja where we can enjoy hot springs, horseback riding, and more.

Through this retreat, the group will create a sacred space where you will find yourself at the center of the circle, coming into relationship with the world’s most primal of energies. From this sacred hoop, you will anchor in the True North, fine-tuning your inner compass to be at home within yourself wherever the journey takes you.

Each day, as the group focuses on a specific element or direction, you will learn practices for healing, embodying, and empowering the archetypal forces at play within and around you. From there, you will take on a new perception of being in the world. You will learn that true paradise is wherever you find yourself to be in the moment.

Circle and connection

Creating a circle has always been a way for communities to come together for healing, empowerment, and guidance, so it is with Natura. Becoming part of a sacred circle encourages each of you to be present, improve your listening skills, speak your own truths, support each other throughout the journey, and learn from one another’s experiences.

Dance and song

Throughout the ages and across the globe, dance and song have been a direct link to experiencing the divine. Your portal to the heavenly realms exists within you and Natura wants to create the platform for your liberation and ascension. Even if you are not a big mover and a shaker, or the thought of expanding your voice scares you, Natura promises the experience will be a journey itself.

Hatha yoga and Vinyasa flow

The word Hatha is a combination of ha, meaning sun and tha, meaning moon. Through your daily Hatha yoga practice you will unite the masculine or solar and feminine or lunar aspects of yourself. The practice is a combination of balancing the yin or relaxation with the yang or action. The Vinyasa flow allows for the various yoga postures or asanas, to flow into each other seamlessly through the breath.

Ritual and ceremony

You will use ritual and ceremony during your journeys to help you ground, become present to your own power in the moment, ignite your intentions, and open up to the flow of spirit. Some of your daily rituals stem from traditional practices of purification, such as cleansing with sage, incorporating mantra and mudra with meditation, or calling upon all forces prior to creating circle, ceremony, and honoring the sacred earth.

Included excursions

  • Bicycle trip and visit to the local school
  • Day tour through San Juan del Sur and visit to the famous Jesus monument
  • Day tour through the colorful colonial city of Granada and market place
  • Guided kayaking between two sacred volcanoes along the scenic Rio Istian
  • Guided natural history tour of rock art and Isla de Ometepe
  • Guided nature hike near Rincon de La Vieja National Park


Hannah Donkersloot
Hannah is an artist, natural horsewoman, and spiritual explorer deepening her roots and expanding her wings in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Raised in a small fishing town in Southwest Alaska, Hannah grew up with a great sense of wonder of the world and affinity to the wild. In college, Hannah studied art, dance, yoga, theater, philosophy, astronomy, biology, and natural horsemanship. After completing a degree in fine arts with a minor in biology from the University of Montana in 2007, Hannah lived and traveled around the world.

Retreat location

The retreat will be held in Casa Maderas Hotel, San Juan del Sur, Rivas, Hotel Santa Cruz, Ometepe Island, and Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin, Rincón de la Vieja Volcano and National Park, Guanacaste.


During this retreat you will be served daily breakfast, dinners, and most lunches. Four lunches during the travel days are not included in the price. Natura's menu offers healthy and typical foods featuring local seasonal fruits and vegetables served up fresh, along with your choice of fish or poultry, choices in line with sustainable consumption.

A typical Costa Rican dish, or casado, features rice and beans, local cheese, fried plantains, salad, and your choice of meat. Natura respects all dietary preferences and they suggest that if you would like to eat meat during your journey, try the chicken or fish choices that in the long run help keep the ecosystems available to support the diversity of life that thrives in Costa Rica.

As for enjoying alcoholic beverages, Natura wants you to enjoy a frosty Pina Colada at sunset on the beach or a glass of sparkling wine with dinner. Natura only asks that you drink responsibly.

Things to do (optional)

Casa Maderas

Fishing (55 USD per hour for a minimum of four hours, maximum of four people)

Casa Maderas offers fishing trips aboard a 28-foot panga off the coast of San Juan del Sur where you have a good chance of catching a wide range of species. You are free to choose the duration as well as the departure time of your tour, which is subject to captain availability. It is recommended to go early in the morning, the trip must be reserved the day before.

The meeting point is Marsella Beach. Fishing equipment is included. The captain will clean and fillet your catches, so please bring something to take it home and you can ask the restaurant to cook it for you. From May to November you may be able to catch some dorado, sailfish, wahoo, mackerel, grouper, yellow fin tuna, and rooster fish. From December to April, you can catch some jack, bonito, and red tuna.

Horseback riding (25 USD perperson for approximately two and a half hours)

Explore the Nicaraguan countryside and ride on the breathtaking nearby beaches by horse. Casa Maderas appeals to a neighbor provider for this tour which ensures that your guide knows the area perfectly and him and your horse will pick you up and drop you off right at Casa Maderas. The departure time is flexible and subject to horse and guide availability.

It is recommended in the morning or late afternoon as the midday heat can be draining and not enjoyable for you and your horse. This is open to all levels and long pants, closed shoes, and a hat are strongly advised.

Sailing (minimum of six and a maximum of 25 people)

If you would like to spend a day sailing the Pacific Ocean, Casa Maderas offers you to board for an adventure or just a relaxing trip along the amazing Nicaraguan coast, where you can occasionally see sea turtles, dolphins, or whales. Your captain and his crew will meet all your needs like sunbathing on the deck with a cocktail in your hand.

You will stop in a beautiful and secluded cove for a refreshing swim before sailing back to the San Juan del Sur harbor, just in time to witness a wonderful sunset. The boat is a 38-foot Fontaine-Pajot Catamaran. A half-day trip from 13:00 to 18:00 with snacks and an open bar costs 75 USD per person while a full day trip on request from 11:00 to 18:00 with lunch and an open bar costs 125 USD per person.

Sea turtle watching (23 USD per person)

Each year between July and February, more than 150,000 olive ridley sea turtles come ashore La Flor Reserve Beach. This complete guided night tour will allow you to learn about these magnificent but threatened creatures and witness them nesting or hatching at the beach. The tour is offered by Casa Oro Tours, a well known tour operator in San Juan del Sur.

The tour is offered only if the probability of seeing turtles is good. The whole tour lasts for approximately five hours and begins around 19:00 in Casa Oro in San Juan del Sur with a 30-minute multimedia presentation in English about sea turtles and tour guidelines.

You will then be lead to La Flor Reserve for a night walk on the beach in search for adult or baby turtles accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. The price includes the presentation, the guided tour, the entrance fee to the reserve, and the transport from Casa Oro to the reserve and back. You must make transport arrangements with Casa Maderas front desk for your transport to San Juan del Sur and back.

Surfboard rentals (10 USD per day)

If you already know how to surf, Casa Maderas rents different options of boards according to your level.

Surf school (25 USD per person)

The surf package includes board and rash guard rental for a day, the round shuttle transportation to Maderas Beach, and the expert instruction for approximately three hours, open to beginners and intermediates. You will learn everything from handling your board, paddling, catching waves, and standing up. All you need to bring is lots of energy and patience.

After the instruction, Casa Maderas encourages you to continue practicing alone, until the shuttle comes to pick you up. The departure time must be confirmed with Casa Maderas.

Hote Hacienda Guachipelin

Adventure races

Costa Rica has become a magnet for adventure races and high-endurance extreme sports. Elite international athletes travel to Costa Rica several times a year for competitions. One of the most popular zones for adventure races is Guanacaste and Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin has become the headquarters for several top international adventure races due to its exceptional location next to the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano and National Park.

Archaeology tour (20 USD per person for one to one and a half hours)

Explore the mysteries of the ancient people who lived by the Rincon de la Vieja National Park in this fascinating tour.

Canyon canopy tour (50 USD per person for one and a half to two hours)

Get an incredible adrenaline rush on Hacienda Guachipelin's exclusive Canyon Canopy Tour, one of the best adventure tours in Guanacaste.

Butterfly garden, sepentarium, and frog exhibit (20 USD per person for one and a half hours)

The dry tropical forest covering the western side of Rincon de la Vieja Volcano in Guanacaste, Costa Rica creates an interesting ecosystem for many different animals and plants than you would see in the other parts of the country.

Hiking in Rincon de la Vieja National Park and Las Pailas trail (35 USD per person for four to five hours)

Hiking in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park is a must-do activity while you are staying at Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin.

Hiking in Rincon de la Vieja National Park and Oropendula waterfall (45 USD per person for five hours)

Combine the fun adventure of hiking in Rincon de la Vieja National Park by one of Costa Rica’s most active volcanoes and swimming at a beautiful rain forest waterfall.

Horseback riding

Guanacaste is the heart and soul of Costa Rica’s cowboy life. Vast rolling plains, towering volcanoes and mountains, and the sunny hot climate of the dry tropical forest create ideal ranching conditions. For generations, Guanacaste families have loyally worked the land and raised cattle and horses. Even though the region’s main economic activity is now tourism, the traditions of sabanero or cowboy customs, folklore, and music are deeply rooted.

La Cangreja waterfall hiking tour (52 USD per person for five to six hours)

Hiking in the Rincon de la Vieja National Park is an adventure you must do while you are staying at Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin. The journey is even better when your destination is the magnificent Cangreja or Crab waterfall.

Las Chorreras waterfalls (25 USD per person for two hours)

Close to Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin, the Chorreras waterfalls canyon is a beautiful place where you can relax in nature and enjoy swimming in a tropical waterfall pool.

Mountain biking

The rugged dry terrain of Guanacaste is one of the best places for mountain biking in Costa Rica. The hard trail costs 30 USD for two hours, 40 USD for four hours, and 60 USD for a full day. The full suspension costs 45 USD for two hours, 55 USD for four hours, and 75 USD for a full day.

Rio Negro tubing adventure (55 USD per person for two and a half to three hours)

A fun and exciting adventure tour in Rincón de la Vieja is the Rio Negro tubing adventure.

The Red pond (Free for one to one and a half hours)

The walk to the Red pond is a self-guided nature tour by Hacienda Guachipelin. The area on the Rio Blanco or white river features a very interesting lava rock formation in red and white colors made from volcanic minerals.

Victoria waterfall hiking tour (25 USD per person for three hours)

The stunning Victoria waterfall dramatically drops 115 feet or 35 meters into the black river or Rio Negro.

Waterfalls canyoning tour (60 USD per person for one and a half to two hours)

Challenge yourself on this ultimate adventure tour at Rincon de la Vieja in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Your adrenaline will be pumping with thrilling rappels down majestic waterfalls, ending with a splash into the pool below for a refreshing swim.

Spa treatments

Casa Maderas massages (35 USD per person)

To take full advantage of your holiday opening your mind and your body to the absolute relaxation, nothing is better than a one-hour massage in a dedicated room at Casa Maderas. The bodywork on the energy points help to reach a physical and mental well-being.

Free from your tensions, you will achieve peace of mind and lightness. The experienced masseuse will focus on specific body areas at your request.

What's included

  • 2 yoga and meditation sessions daily
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All transfers upon arrival
  • Bicycle trip and visit to the local school
  • Daily breakfast, dinner, and most lunches
  • Day tour through San Juan del Sur and visit to the famous Jesus monument
  • Day tour through the colorful colonial city of Granada and market place
  • Guided kayaking between two sacred volcanoes along the scenic Rio Istian
  • Guided natural history tour of Rock Art and Isla de Ometepe
  • Guided nature hike near Rincon de La Vieja National Park
  • Sacred dance and group ceremony

What's not included

  • 4 lunches on given travel days
  • Airfare
  • Optional activities

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (MGA). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Natura will pick you up from the airport.

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