Story 12: A Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica

Have you ever wanted to go on a yoga retreat? So have we! We asked fellow traveler, Stephanie Schill, about her 9 days spent doing yoga in Costa Rica!

Palm trees in Dominical, Costa Rica

Swell Travel {ST}: Where did you stay?

Stephanie Schill {SS}: We stayed in a villa in Tinamaste up in the mountains and spent most days in Dominical which was the beach town 30 minutes down the mountain.

{ST}: And how did your trip go?

{SS}: It was really amazing. We managed to spend time both on the beach in town and up in the mountains where we had the place to ourselves.

{ST}: How long did you go for and who did you go with?

{SS}: I was there for nine days, but the first and last days mainly consisted of traveling. I went with a small group of folks whom I am friends with. The trip was focused on recovery and spiritual growth, with a heavy dose of yoga.

Mountains in Tinamaste, Costa Rica

{ST:}: Other than yoga, what did you do while you were there?

{SS}: We hiked a mountain to enormous waterfalls, went zip lining, and hung out on isolated beaches. There were a couple of waterfalls on the grounds of the villa we stayed at, so we hiked around the property usually in the early morning. We enjoyed a lot of good food as well. We did yoga in a treehouse in the jungle, and also at the villa and a few different beaches. There are so many memories crammed into that 9 day period that I’m not sure I’m getting everything.

Market in Costa Rica

{ST}: Was there something remarkable that happened to you while traveling? Did it change the way you think or behave in the place or back at home?

{SS}: I returned to Arizona with more gratitude for some of the luxuries I have in my daily life. I definitely identified with the positive aspects of living what might be considered a more simple life, with less of a drive towards materialism and the ability to really enjoy life in the moment.

Yoga on a surfboard in Dominical, Costa Rica

{ST}: Did you come back feeling a certain way about the place, people or culture you visited? Please explain.

{SS}: I loved the country and the people. There was a real authenticity to their way of life, one that I don’t always find in America. There were also a lot of expats there who seek to identify with the laid-back culture. It appealed to me on many levels, but it is hard to imagine leaving the country permanently especially since I don’t speak the local language.

Waterfalls in Tinamaste, Costa Rica

{ST}: What’s your favorite memory of the trip?

{SS}: Finding a beach near town that was completely desolate, and spending some time there practicing yoga, running around and trying to knock down coconuts.

{ST}: How did you plan the trip? The stops along the way?

{SS}: We had a friend who does some business down there and he’s traveled extensively in the area. He found the villa to stay in and basically planned out a large part of the trip. We had a large list of potential activities, and the group picked the things we wanted to do the most and went from there.

A villa in Tinamaste in Costa Rica

{ST}: Would you recommend the same or similar trip to a friend or family member? Can you provide some tips for the trip?

{SS}: Absolutely! Definitely get a vehicle with 4wd like the trucks we used because there is a lot of driving on unpaved roads. Bring clothing that will be comfortable if it’s wet or dirty, I recommend quality athletic apparel. Laundry is key, we changed often, and the villa had someone do our laundry on a daily basis. If I went again I’d bring a smaller backpack to bring with me everywhere with dry clothing, a towel, sunscreen, water and snacks.

Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica

{ST}: Is there anything else about the trip that you’d like to add?

{SS}: I would say something about how beautiful it was when I went, the flowers and animals. Everything was so lush and green. The mist would literally hang in the air. There was a dog that lived at the villa that played with us. We also saw a sloth and drank from coconuts. We learned about the cacao nibs that grow in the jungle and I bought some to bring home in an open air market in San Jose.

Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica, Stephanie hugs a dog

Stephanie Schill is from the Philadelphia area, and three years ago she moved across the country to Scottsdale for work. She’s sober and active in recovery. After moving to Arizona she discovered yoga and started meditation regularly in the last year or so. Fitness and eating healthy is a way of living out here and she subscribes 100%. She also enjoys off-roading and taking day trips in her Wrangler.

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