This page is a continuing list of all the information you could want about the retreat.
In the weeks before the retreat we will continue to post information here in answer to questions and to help you make the most of your trip.
FLIGHTS & TRANSFERS
You should plan to fly to Liberia airport in Costa Rica (LIR). We highly recommend booking a flight that arrives in the morning or as early in the afternoon as possible the first day of your retreat. Transfer from the airport to the hotel takes approximately 2 hours. Though private taxis are plentiful at the airport, we do not recommend using them. It is generally more cost effective and much easier to arrange your transfer through us in a carpool with other students. Just email your flight info and let us know you’d like to carpool, and we will group you with other students arriving at the same time, and arrange for a driver to be waiting for you at the airport when you arrive. Costs for transfer with us is only $65 each way, which is generally hundreds of dollars cheaper than standard transfers.
PASSPORTS & VISA – URGENT
In order to travel to Costa Rica, you must have a passport with at least 6 months of validity and you must to have an entirely blank passport page in your passport. No Visas are required for American citizens entering Costa Rica. You may also want to make a photocopy of your passport and bring it with you to facilitate replacement if it is lost.
TRIP INSURANCE – URGENT
In order to attend the trip, you MUST purchase emergency medical evacuation insurance, which will ensure that you get proper medical care if something were to go wrong. You can purchase this insurance at www.squaremouth.com. Most trip insurance includes this emergency medical evacuation insurance (often at a cheaper price than a medical evacuation only plan) and may additionally protect your investment in case an emergency stopped you from participating in the retreat. I generally use one of the Travelex plans listed on Squaremouth when I travel. However, be aware that the higher the amount you enter for the cost of your trip, the higher the premium will be. So if you’re really only interested in the emergency medical evacuation insurance, you can decrease your premium by entering a lower number for the cost of your trip. Just be aware that this is the maximum that your insurance will reimburse if circumstances arise that keep you from attending.
SPENDING MONEY, CREDIT CARDS & ATMS
Costa Rica’s currency is the Costa Rican Colón and exchange rates are generally around 500 Colón to one dollar. But don’t worry about exchanging money. US Dollars are accepted just about everywhere. Generally you will get your change in Colónes. Be sure to contact your bank in advance to let them know the dates you will be traveling and all countries you plan to visit (including any layover airports) or else your card will not work. It is generally a good idea to also bring some spending money in cash in case you have trouble with your cards while away. Your retreat includes breakfast and dinner every day, as well as daily yoga and all writing classes. You may want to budget some additional spending money for lunches, massages, drinks, private hypnosis sessions or optional tours (discussed below).
Breakfast and dinner are included every day. We will have our own private chef, who is happy to accomodate specific food allergies, vegetarian requests or special needs. Please make sure to let us know about your needs when you sign up so that our chef can take them into account when planning the menu. For students who like to prepare their own food, Super-deluxe rooms also offer kitchens.
The hotel features gorgeous private bungalows, and beautifully designed rooms with queen-sized beds. All rooms are air-conditioned. For students desiring an extra bit of luxury or who wish to save by sharing rooms with other students we recommend Deluxe or Super-Deluxe Bungalows. Deluxe Bungalows are perfect for sharing, with two Queen sized beds semi-divided by a spacious bathroom. Super Deluxe Bungalows offer separate sleeping rooms as well as special amenities such as kitchens, balconies and living rooms.
Dress in Costa Rica is super casual and the weather is warm. You are going to be spending most of your time in shorts and sandals. If you plan to do some wandering around, you may want to invest in a good pair of hiking sandals (I recommend Chacos, http://www.chacos.com/US/en) If you plan to do a hike or zip line tour, make sure to bring a pair of sneakers or light weight hiking boots as well.
Some other clothing items you should definitely bring:
- Swim Suit
- Short Sleeve Tops
- Yoga Clothes (if you plan to participate in the included morning Yoga sessions)
- Light Rain Jacket
- Beach Towel
We will have a printing station set up with unlimited printing throughout your stay and many outlets for you to plug in your laptop. You should plan to bring your own laptop and charger. If you’re visiting from the U.S. or Canada you can leave the electric converters and plug adapters at home. The current and plugs are the same and your appliances should work just fine.
OTHER WRITING ITEMS TO BRING WITH YOU
- Laptop + Charger
Your cell phone may or may not work in Costa Rica—and the cost of using it there may be exorbitant. Check with your cell phone company before you go. You most likely will not have much need for a phone during the trip. The hotel does have a phone available for international calls, and wireless internet is available for Skype.
Prior to your arrival in Costa Rica, you can contact us at 917-464-3594 or email with any questions. We will be in touch in June with our number in Costa Rica if you need to reach us while traveling.
MEDICINE & IMMUNIZATIONS
You should speak to your doctor about any immunizations you may need for your trip to Costa Rica, and make sure to bring any prescription medicines with you. You may also want to ask your doctor for a prescription for CIPRO in case of traveler’s diarrhea. According to the CDC, there is no need for anti-malarial medications for travel to the Nicoya Peninsula where the retreat is located. However, if you plan to continue your travels to other parts of Costa Rica, you may want to discuss with your doctor.
Costa Rica time is 1 hour earlier than Eastern Standard Time.
We are planning several fabulous optional day trips in which you may wish to participate. The cost of these trips is generally under $100/person. More information will be available at the retreat.
Daily yoga instruction is included with your retreat. If you would like to participate, please either bring your own yoga mat, or let us know so that we can purchase one for you and have it ready for you the first day of your retreat.
OTHER ITEMS YOU MAY WANT TO BRING WITH YOU
- Insect Repellent
- Shaving Cream
- Hair Products
- Photocopy of Passport