You have done it! You’ve been dreaming about leading students through flowing yoga and mediation practices within the heart of the jungle or along the shore of the ocean. And, now it is manifesting into reality! You are leading your first retreat in Costa Rica! First of all – YAY YOU! Secondly – Now what? Well, here is where we can help. Now it’s time to not only share and promote your retreat – but also to learn that you will probably be bombarded with many questions that have absolutely nothing to do with how to put your legs behind your head or how to start a mediation practice. These questions probably have a lot more to do with the logistics of navigating how to prepare to travel outside of the country (aka outside of a lot of peoples comfort zones!).
We have combined our 10 years of leading retreats in Costa Rica into this Top 10 list of questions you will probably be asked by a student registered for or thinking about attending your retreat. We’d LOVE to hear your feedback if you think we are missing anything!
1. Who do I ask questions to?
In general if you have questions about the retreat topic, classes, teacher background, etc. it is best to talk directly to the teacher. If you have questions about travel, registration, Costa Rica, dietary needs, excursions, accommodations, etc. please ask TNE.
2. What will be the itinerary? What will we be doing?
Each retreat is unique, each teacher is unique, and each group is unique. Over the past 10 years of leading retreats the formula we have found that works best is to “have a plan and then be ready to modify.” The best teachers can move with the energy of the group and the best retreats are the ones where as many students as possible feel supported, fulfilled, and transformed. Put together a rough layout of the week which we can also help you out with. Let students know, “Yes! You will be doing yoga! (usually two session a day) and… you will also have personal downtime (because we need it so bad in our culture right now), we will have free time to explore, excursions, wonderful group meals, possible morning/evening activities. If you have a group that has the need to know, let them know they will receive a tentative itinerary before they depart. But…if all possible it is best to keep you itinerary private and let them know each day an itinerary will be posted which will reveal the magical plan for each day.
3. How do we get there?
Each trip will have a flight window, which will provide specific windows of time for arrival and departure. Some trips have a group flight option where everyone can fly together. True Nature has a group travel agent that would be happy to help you book your flight within the specific window provided for your retreat. All flight will be met at the airport by a TNE Staff member.
4. What are the accommodations like?
True Nature Education has searched long and hard throughout Costa Rica to find unique, ecologically friendly, and inspiring accommodations for our guests to stay in. All of the accommodations are clean, comfortable and close to nature. Lodging includes electricity, hot water, internet and phone on the property, comfortable beds and linens, and an environment which allows you to rest peacefully after a long day of activities. Most accommodations for large groups are either double or triple occupancy. Roommate requests are honored when possible. Private rooms are occasionally available for an extra fee on a first-come first serve basis.
5. Can you meet my dietary needs?
These days we all have our own personal needs as we continue to evolve as humans.
At TNE we continue to strive to meet the needs of our guests. We have the ability to meet the dietary needs of all of our guests using the resources available in Costa Rica. This includes dietary options for vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, etc. Please remember the Costa Rican diet in general is very simple and made of many whole foods. We don’t have various milk options, supplements, various meatless options (ie. tempeh, saitan, etc.). If you have a strict diet we also recommend bring snacks that will help supplement and support you while in CR.
6. Is Costa Rica Safe?
When we think of safety at True Nature, we think of “Mindful Awareness”. When we are focused on the moment at hand we have statistically a much greater chance of being safe. When on retreat we support the cultivation of presence and mindfulness and therefore support having a safe experience. Part of being aware is knowing what to be aware of? In the US in certain places we need to be aware of weather such as tornados, or in certain urban areas we need to be aware of where we talk at night. In Costa Rica we also need to be aware. Depending on your location we will make it know of what you need to be mindful of.
Beach: sun, drinking enough water, riptides, leaving valuables on the beach
Mountains/Rainforest: critters, certain plants, storms
We have been running programs in Costa Rica for a decade now and have not had any serious injuries or major safety issues on any of our trips. We are committed to continuing this trend by educating you and our staff and supporting a mindful awareness on all of our trips.
7. Activities! Can I do them all, how much do they cost, when do I sign-up, etc?
Costa Rica boasts a wide-range of incredible excursions and activities which draw people from around the world. During your time in the country you will have time to take part in these activities! Prior to your departure you will receive an activity list. (Teachers we can get you your list now!) Once arriving in Costa Rica you can book your activities, excursions, and spa treatments too! Each retreat normally has one day that is dedicated to activities. You can take part in 2-3 activities in that day and often the group decides to go together. If you are an activity junky you can always book more during your free time in your schedule during the week.
8. What will the weather be like?
We do our best to base all of our programs on pleasant times of year to be in CR. The months we avoid to hold retreats are September-November, during the rainy season. If you are at the beach between Feb-April you can expect lots of sun and heat. If you are in the mountains or traveling to the beach outside of these months you can expect Sun with some periodic showers.
9. What do we bring?
TNE has an ever-evolving “What to Bring List” on our FAQ Page. After every trip in our evaluations we ask, “Is there anything that was left off the What to Bring List.” Because of this, the list is long and quite expansive. Take into consideration what you think you really need. We suggest bringing only one suitcase that you are comfortable handling and that is easy to use/move, and one daypack. We offer a prize to the one who packs the smallest bag!
10. When all else fails what do I do?
We strive to be available for our teachers as close to 24/7 as possible from the time you come on-board until the time you return back to the US. When all else fails…Text or email TNE or Joshua, The TNE/Costa Rica Guru! We are here to support you!
There is some additional great info over on our FAQ Page as well!