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Sunflower Retreats' yoga holidays have been delightful since 1998. The lodge you're staying in is a truly spiritual haven and the location is a serene and secluded environment in which to relax and renew, in an extraordinary slice of the lush Costa Rican dry tropical rainforest. Your time here will rejuvenate you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You will also build great bonds with other guests and this holiday will be an unforgettable and joyful experience.
The eco-friendly lodge, used exclusively by Sunflower Retreats' guests, will consist of five guest rooms with private bathrooms, keeping it intimate, quiet and low-impact. It has a wonderful swimming pool, waterfall Jacuzzi, yoga shala, and lounge-dining area and terraces are ideal for relaxing and practicing yoga and meditation.
There are hammocks to relax in and free Wi-Fi all around the property. Guest rooms are arrayed on a hillside and are fronted by a sitting porch which looks out into the beautiful flower garden where butterflies and hummingbirds fly endlessly. There are four twin rooms which are spacious, simple, and warmly decorated, featuring private bathrooms with a hot shower, mini fridge, room safes and ceiling fans.
Each morning before breakfast (except on arrival and departure days), you will practice yoga from 07:45 to 09:00 and one afternoon on a 64-square meter teak platform with the sounds of birds and monkeys as a symphonic backdrop.
Included in your yoga holiday is a free guided walk on Sunday, after morning yoga and breakfast. The walk is led by a local guide with a vast knowledge of the area and is led through the private 225-acre reserve which has abundant water sources and medicinal plants. The evergreen trees attract many animals.
Lucy has been a holistic practitioner in the UK and worldwide since 1988. She specializes in a wide range of bodywork, therapies and energy, and spiritual balancing treatments such as chakra balancing and Reiki. Lucy was drawn to the practice of Hatha yoga and the yoga philosophy while studying holistic therapies professionally in London in 1989. She is a gentle teacher, encouraging and supportive in her teaching and holistic therapy work. A mother of two children born by natural childbirth methods, she also teaches pregnancy yoga and preparation for natural birth.
The retreat's beautiful eco-resort is at Star Mountain, Malpais on the southern tip of Nicoya Peninsula which has some of the best beaches and jungle locations in Costa Rica. The base is an intimate and peaceful jungle lodge set in flowering gardens within a 90-hectare private reserve next to Cabo Blanco National Park.
With its wide diversity of plants, trees, and wildlife, the extensive property forms a continuous stretch of forest which is Costa Rica's longest established nature reserve. Here, you will find a mosaic of jungle, rolling hills, mountains, and creeks, with some lookout points from where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and beaches of Malpais.
The jungle lodge's 225-acre private reserve affords an opportunity to learn about the jungle's medicinal plants and exotic animals and is a wonderful launching point for bird tours. You can discover the fascinating jungle wildlife and nature within the resort's private mile-and-a-half long jungle trail, on foot or horseback.
The lodge's location is close to Montezuma where you can swim and bathe in the beautiful ocean and enjoy wonderful beaches. It is also very convenient for the village and scenic beaches of Malpais, just a mile away downhill while buzzing Santa Teresa, with some of Costa Rica's most coveted surf points, restaurants, and shops are a fifteen-minute drive from the lodge.
Nearby San Teresa is a great place to shop with a range of boutiques and restaurants serving a range of Costa Rican and international cuisine from local dishes to sushi. It is a popular beach location and the area has some of the best surfing beaches in Costa Rica. The lodge is just four miles from the famous Playa Carmen surfing beaches.
A delicious and healthy buffet lunch and dinner are included in the price three times within the week. The food is mainly vegetarian but includes some local fresh fish dishes. The food is locally sourced, as much as possible. The lodge also has a maid service for when you want a snack or drink, or if you decide not to join the visits to local restaurants.
A delicious breakfast of local fruit (papaya, mangos, and pineapples), fresh yogurt, cereal, coffee or tea, eggs, toast with jam and honey, is served after yoga practice each day and on the morning of departure day.
Trips to experience delicious cuisine in authentic local restaurants in the seaside towns of Malpais or Santa Teresa on evenings where there is no buffet dinner are available at an additional cost. A small fee, per person, is charged for transport to and from the town as well.
Enjoy a wonderful boat tour on the Pacific Coast where you can snorkel and scout for turtles, dolphins, manta rays, whales, and a variety seabirds. You can also hire kayaks and explore for yourself.
Fish for tuna, snapper, mahi-mahi, and many other species near Cabo Blanco island with one of the local fishermen.
Holistic treatments are a major feature of Sunflower Retreats' path to wellness and complement the yoga we practice. They have a wide range of treatments, as in a spa, but they differ in that they use only natural, organic products, and take a holistic approach in the sessions.
A brochure describing these relaxing, healing, and rejuvenating therapies will be given to you when you arrive and you can book them with their own qualified practitioner each day at breakfast-time when they are available to discuss each treatment and help you to choose the perfect one for your own requirements. Their range of holistic therapies includes:
The lodge has its own stables so horse riding can be booked at any time. Let the horses be your gentle guides through mountains, jungle, and beaches for a sunset ride. Depending on the rider's level, various tours are offered. Riding can be booked at daily at breakfast time and costs from 40 USD for a two-hour ride.
The property is adjacent to Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve but has significantly less foot traffic. The jungle lodge's 225-acre private reserve affords an opportunity to learn about the jungle's medicinal plants and exotic animals and is a wonderful launching point for bird tours. Local nature guides can be booked on an hourly basis each day at breakfast-time. You'll love a visit to the Butterfly Farm, too.
Nearby San Teresa is a popular beach location and the area has some of the best surfing beaches in Costa Rica. Surf and paddle board rentals can be arranged at breakfast each morning. Surfing and paddle boarding lessons for beginners cost from 50 USD for two hours and scuba diving is available as well in the morning. Surfing and paddle boarding lessons for beginners cost from 50 USD for two hours and scuba diving is available too.
Please book your flight to arrive at Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request.
British Airways now have direct flights from London Gatwick to San Jose, also British Airways in conjunction with Iberia which has flights from London to San Jose, Costa Rica, via Madrid.
Alternatively, there is a range of flight options direct from your country of origin via hubs in the USA. If you're in the USA or Canada, there are daily direct flights from major airports with Delta and American Airlines.
To arrive in Malpais, you can book domestic flights from San Jose to Tambor. Plan your journey to arrive a day before the start of your retreat and have an overnight stay after your long-haul flight, ready to start your journey the next day.
The regional airline Sansa offers direct flights from San Jose to Tambor Airport (TMU), 27 kilometers from the resort, for 87 USD to 110 USD each way. The flights, in 12-person planes, take just twenty minutes so they're definitely the fastest way to go as well as being a great way to see the country by air, with a landing just off the beach.
At Tambor Airport (TMU), you either take a taxi to Malpais for about 50 USD for the 27-kilometer journey. Ask the driver to drop you at Mary's Restaurant and Sunflower Retreats will collect you. Alternatively, Sunflower Retreats can arrange a transfer at a cost of 50 USD (each way) for 1 person, 70 USD for 2 people or 100 USD for 3 people.
It's also possible to travel from San Jose to the Nicoya Peninsula by bus and ferry or to hire your own car. You can hire a car (try budget) and drive, or catch a taxi, from San Jose to Puntarenas Port where you take the ferry to Paquera, across the Gulf of Nicoya.
The ferry costs around 2 USD each way with Naviera Tambor. If you plan to return to San Jose independently at the end of your holiday, Sunflower Retreats can organize a taxi to the Paquera ferry which will cost from 55 USD, depending on the number of people.
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