Let Natura take you on a journey to the secluded nature wonderland of the untouched Osa Peninsula. Experience a retreat where wildlife rules and yo will be learning from it every step of the way. This transformative experience will take you back to the practices of ancient spiritual traditions including ceremony, ritual, interpreting lessons from nature, the shamanic journey, song, dance, and story.
The research center is located along the shores of Golfo Dulce, offering simple and rustic accommodations in harmony with the precious mangrove ecosystems surrounding the area. At El Chontal, you will have the chance to get up close and personal with the sea friends in the area through marine mammal research and sea exploration.
Golfo Dulce is the primary birthing ground for humpback whales, from both the northern and southern hemispheres, providing a warm haven for nursing and rearing newborns before seasonal migrations.
Finca Exotica offers access to the magic of Corcovado while enjoying amazing vistas, tropical food, nurturing atmosphere, Natura yoga, and the real meaning behind pura vida. The facilities surround the central meeting place, Casa Grande, which hosts the organic food restaurant with a communal dining table and stretches out to an amphitheater suited for presentations and lectures by day and dance parties by night.
Between them is the bar and together they all encompass the terrace where you can lounge under the open sky or swing in a hammock in the shades of almond trees, while scarlet macaws are feeding on them. Tents, cabins, rentals, and other facilities stem out from this centerpiece to provide easy access to the beach, an isolated meditation ambiance, and quaint trails that lead you through the labyrinth of exotic plant life.
The Beach House will be your first stop upon arriving at Finca Exotica. Rightly named because of its close proximity to the beach, this building has a wonderful history to it. Dated to be over 50 years old, this was the original pulperia of Carate, serving the many gold miners of the area at the time with basic food supplies such as flour and rice.
Finca Exotica extended the building to help serve its many current purposes. The main office is located at this site, where there are always staff members available to answer any questions you have between 08:00 and 14:00. When you arrive, you will be invited to the office to complete a check in form and explain basic information to you about your stay.
The Beach House is always open, so take full advantage of the pool table and please just remember to keep the noise down after 20:00 as some of the workers live here and are early risers, tending to the garden from 06:00.
Finca Exotica is happy to offer you a choice of five uniquely handcrafted Tarzan-style jungle cabins, great for couples, families, or groups of up to five people, and furnished with a queen or single beds, flowers, candlelight, mosquito nets, a private toilet, and an outdoor shower. You can choose between the accessible garden cabins or those uphill with magnificent ocean views.
One of the most remote beaches in Costa Rica, Carate is a long, scenic beach surrounded by mesmerizing lush vegetation. The place is for swimming, surfing, boogie-boarding, beach combing, or just laying back in one of the hammocks under shady almond trees, reading, and just relaxing to the sound of crashing waves and scarlet macaws.
Aside from cooling off on the nice shimmering waters of this picturesque Costa Rican beach, you can witness olive ridley, leather back, green, and hawksbill sea turtles coming ashore for nesting, as well as outstanding mammals from the region, such as playful monkeys and squirrels, lazy tapirs coming out to the beach, and of course, a wonderful variety of marine life common in the area, like the majestic orca and humpback whales.
This sustainably-built edifice manifested itself in February of 2010. The crew of builders and collaborators joined forces to harvest bamboo from the farm, collect wood scraps from tropical hardwoods, and design a building that, using the Pacific breeze and bright tropical sun, requires very little energy input.
This jungle headquarters of the beach lodge is outfitted with a first class kitchen, hammocks, handmade furniture, a disco ball, and an observation deck. Here you can eat organic food, play, stargaze, dance, laugh, relax, bird watch, read books, and join together to contemplate it all.
In 2002, Finca Exotica was made of a small chicken coop, a shade house nursery, and planting open areas previously occupied by cattle. The property stands at over 90 hectares in size, home to both primary and secondary forest. When the land became what is now known and loved as Finca Exotica Eco Lodge, the garden area was a naked, barren land.
Once used to graze cattle to feed workers of the booming gold mining industry, most of the soil nutrients were leached, leaving it unable to be able to grow anything at all. The tireless efforts of the gardeners have proved that with a little love and care,the soil could be used once again to grow a variety of plants and trees.
Have a look around and observe, in amazement, the trees more than 10 meters in height yet less than 10 years old in age. Founded over 12 years ago, the Finca Exotica botanical garden is a natural extension of the untouched forest all around. You may not even realize you are there until the nature guide tells you because it is so natural looking.
It is a sanctuary for botanists and nature lovers, these gardens are a continuous work in progress and are meticulously maintained by the gardening team. Wander with the guide through the landscaped paths blooming with so many exotic ornamental fruit trees, ginger plants, spices, herbs, and medicinal plants.
You will go away with a new love and appreciation for the green friends. Since then, Finca Exotica has planted over 1,200 trees, about 130 varieties of tropical fruits, a wide variety of bamboos for future constructions, herbs, and medicinal and food crops. Finca Exotica is now able to offer fresh and locally grown fruits and vegetables and also cure some of the guests’ sunburns with their own aloe vera.
There is often nothing sweeter than snuggling down into a hammock overlooking a stunning landscape and spending time relaxing, reading, pondering the art of life, and sleeping. It can be in these moments that one has revelations about what is important in life and how to achieve it.
Since one of Finca Exotica's main goals is to inspire transformational thinking and encourage simple living, you are invited to plop down into one of the many hammocks around Casa Grande or at the beach and browse the library. To provoke deep reflection and learning on topics of interest like health and well-being, sustainable living, green architecture, and the meaning of life, Finca Exotica provides an extensive collection of literature in the library.
Some themes include permaculture, organic farming, tropical architecture, design and landscaping, tropical medicinal plants, culinary and cocktail guides, wellness topics like massage, reiki, and cultivating awareness, travel guides for Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, and other Latin American countries, and dictionaries and encyclopedias.
Finca Exotica also provide chess and classic board games for day or evening entertainment. You are encouraged to share your favorite readings by adding books to the library. This way, the library will have a larger and broader panel to offer. Lots of the books cover several languages including Spanish, English, German, and French. No doubt you will find the perfect book to bring to the beach or to devour while lying on Casa Grande’s couches.
The Rancho is a large cabin with a spectacular view of the ocean and surrounding primary rain forest. This rental has two levels. On the first floor, there is a general living area with a hammock, table, chairs, and entrance to an open area containing shower, small pool, and thatched bathroom.
On the second floor there is a wide room with a library, one queen bed, and two single beds. This structure, with suita palm thatched roof, can comfortably accommodate a honeymoon couple, group of friends, or family as long as they like to share the sleeping area. It is up on the hill and it requires a seven-minute hike to get there, but Finca Exotica can promise that the view is definitely worth it.
If you are dreaming of living in the jungle and communing with nature, no doubt you will love the Tiki tents. These are small or large locally handcrafted jungle tents for two people, containing either a queen size or two twin beds, perfect for couples, singles, or friends. To keep you dry and away from insects and animals, they are placed on wooden platforms and can be entirely closed.
The largest ones also include a front deck with chill out areas, where you can rest, read, or take a nap in the shadow of palm trees. The Tiki tents are spaciously spread across the garden, providing you the opportunity to immerse yourself in nature.
Finca Exotica also regrouped a few of them in small camps, perfect for groups or large families desiring to live the full experience together. Although most have a private outdoor shower, you may be sharing a communal bathhouse with all facilities.
Endless deserted beaches, blue ocean, and lush green, wherever you look you will see colorful feathers flashing thru the leaves, that is the Osa Peninsula. Most of its surface composes the famous Corcovado National Park, which is the last existing tropical rain forest on the Pacific coast of this continent.
Finca Exotica is surrounded by this unparalleled biodiversity and forms biological continuity with its biosphere, in other words, when you are on Finca Exotica, you practically are in Corcovado. This area harbors over 500 species of trees, 400 species of birds, there are about 850 in Costa Rica, 140 mammals, 116 species of reptiles and amphibians, and way over 6,000 identified insects.
All this lushness and diversity brings the miracle of life to your awareness, you will feel the wealth of the natural treasures surrounding you.
Your wildness within journey will begin at Osa Peninsula, along the tranquil warm waters of Golfo Dulce. You will be diving into a flow of new insights, expanding perceptions, and wild discovery as you come to know and experience the essence of the Osa. Joining a team of local marine-life researchers who have studied the area for years, you will journey into the heart and soul of experience itself.
Imagine dolphins at play just beside a boat. Feel the swell and blow from whales breaching, surfacing, and swimming with their young. This is where magic is born and bred. This is where the wildness within rises up to breath. During your stay at the Osa Peninusla, you will be joining a research team at El Chontal, along the shores of Rincón de Osa, to participate and gain insights from their study of bottle nose dolphins that frequent the warm waters of the Golfito.
Besides dolphins at play, you are likely see the blow of humpback whales surfacing with their young since the gulf’s caldera has been the birthing ground and nursery for these gentle sea giants for centuries. After your initial stay at El Chontal Research Center, diving into Golfo Dulce’s whale and dolphin discoveries, you will journey onward into the wild to Finca Exotica Eco Lodge.
Your transformational experience will take you back to the practices of ancient spiritual traditions including ceremony, ritual, interpreting lessons from nature, shamanic journey, song, dance, and story. Prepare to meet and greet the spirit of the Osa Peninsula and its unbounded power while you take an inner journey to reveal your own wildness within.
Discover the many teachers within nature, the infinite voice of spirit and the messages they have for you. Your practice begins rooted in the eternal present uniting mind, body, and spiritual awareness. You will explore myth and archetype, symbols and synchronicities, along with ancient beliefs and traditions.
You will walk an old path in a wild world, developing witness consciousness as you rekindle all your senses and learn to observe and feel through the lens of the sacred. You will learn to sing your soul song and dance yourself into empowered ways of being. You will interpret the teachings of nature, guided from within and explore the many ways it reveals itself to you.
You will also open the faculties of the mind and explore the portals in between. You will become the bridge, grounding powers unique to your own wildness within, and embody them into the here and now.
The Natura yoga practice creates the container for inner awareness and change. Natura yoga focuses on all aspects of being, including mind, body, energy, emotions, and of course, spirit. Each journey with Natura offers something unique to each place and time, so no two experiences will be alike, especially since Natura yoga is practiced with nature as the guide.
Expect the unexpected as you unite with nature’s rhythms and flow on a sandy beach at sundown, on top of a misty mountain, along the banks of a tropical river, and wherever else the you find yourselves.
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.
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.
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.
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.
During this retreat, you will have professionally guided nature hikes near Corcovado National Park, visit the El Chontal Whale and Dolphin Research Center, a guided kayaking tour in a mangrove, and a guided night hike.
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.
The retreat will be held in Finca Exotica Eco Lodge, Osa Peninsula, Corcovado National Park, and El Chontal Whale and Dolphin Research Center, Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. The Osa Peninsula is home to at least half of all the species that live in Costa Rica and was declared as one of the most biologically intense places on earth by the National Geographic Magazine.
It is home to many of the country’s rare and endangered species including the puma, jaguar, harpy eagle, and scarlet macaw. The Osa Peninsula is a marine mammal mecca, being home to 24 different species of dolphins and whales, both migratory and residential. It is celebrated as the world’s best, both for whale watching and wildlife viewing.
Golfo Dulce serves as the legendary birthing bowl and protective nursing pool for whales from both Southern and Northern Hemispheres. Whales from the south journey for up to 11,500 miles, some of them coming all the way from Antarctica and can be seen in the Osa from late July to early November.
Northern hemisphere humpbacks arrive in Costa Rica waters around late October and stay until late April, making the Pacific and gulf waters of the Osa Peninusla one of the only places in the world where northern and southern humpback whales co-exist. With a large chunk of the peninsula forming Corcovado National Park, this area has the single largest expanse of a lowland tropical rain forest in Central America and is one of the tallest rain forests in the world.
Finca Exotica Eco Lodge is the only beachfront property in this pristine area of Costa Rica and the closest place to Corcovado National Park accessible by car. Corcovado is Costa Rica’s emerald gem. It is the pristine wild, abundant with a diversity of life, protected and preserved.
Corcovado is alive in all ways. It is a land vast and varied, both pristine and rich beyond measure. It is home to some of the great mysteries of the wild like the jaguar, Harpy eagle, tapir, ant eater, many wild cats, various monkeys, incredible bird life, and an array of insects that will blow your mind.
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.
Aside from enjoying the views, the privacy of your cabin, and exploring the depths of relaxation, you may get interested in becoming active. At Finca Exotica, you can experience many activities in the surrounding rain forest, immersing in nature, and observing the abundant wildlife that can only be found in or near Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park.
Bird watching, or birding, is a form of wildlife observation in which the observation of birds is a recreational activity. It can be done with the naked eye, through a visual enhancement device like binoculars and telescopes, or by listening for bird sounds. Bird watching often involves a significant auditory component, as many bird species are more easily detected and identified by ear than by eye.
Most birdwatchers pursue this activity for recreational or social reasons, unlike ornithologists, who engage in the study of birds using formal scientific methods.
The garden tour is a wonderful way to better appreciate the wonderful flora that Finca Exotica has growing on site. You may even see an animal or two along the way. After all, it is not just humans who take full advantage of the scrumptious fruits and herbs. Resident monkeys, coatis, toucans, and iguanas can regularly be seen feasting on nature's gifts.
Some of the fruits, such as mangosteens, have very short seasons, just four to six weeks. Be quick and get to the good stuff before they do. Guests have also seen tanagers, hummingbirds, scarlet macaws, various frogs, and other creatures that make these gardens home throughout the year.
The garden tour in the botanical garden is not just a look-and-see type of tour. You will be tasting various things in season, awakening your taste buds to some real natural, organic delights. This tour is not just a visual tour with an informative narrative of the plant life and a great photo opportunity.
You will have the rare opportunity to experience this luscious site through the smell, touch, and taste of nature’s flora, be prepared for an hour of learning using all of your senses.
Take an easy step up onto the back of a spicy or tranquil horse that will take you deep into the mountains or along a remote beach in the Osa Peninsula close to Rio Piro. The local vaquero or cowboy will welcome you with bright eyes and a story only told by the sweet smell of a flower, the taste of wild pepper, or the growl of a howler monkey. This is a great trip for friends and families. Horseback rides approximately last for two hours.
Leisurely explore the nearby Peje Perrito lagoon on a large and comfortable kayak early in the morning or late in the evening,to see the tropical lowland ecosystem up-close. You will discover a wide variety of wading birds like herons, egrets, ibis, and roseate spoonbills, along monkeys, crocodiles, and caimans.
You can explore the water’s edge for excellent early morning bird watching, paddle with a string and hook it in-tow to catch a snook, or just drift where the wind takes you as fish jump out of the water for their bug bit. This activity lasts for approximately two hours, round-trip, with a 15-minute walk to the kayaks.
Learn to surf in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica’s most biologically diverse area. The water is a wonderful 85 degrees all year round. Lessons are taught at Pan Dulce Beach. The waves are a perfect right point break for beginners, it is gentle and forgiving and makes learning fun without any hazards. The lessons are priced 55 USD per person, which is also the rate for a stand-up paddle tour.
Please arrange your flight to arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Natura will pick you up from the airport.