This retreat’s legit: Blue Spirit Costa Rica
For when your head says zipline but your heart says shavasana.
What: Blue Spirit
Where: Nosara, Costa Rica
Duration: The center hosts a range of retreats that last anywhere from 5 to upwards of 20 days
Cost: Totally depends on the retreat you go with (and just how luxe and private you want your accommodations to be), but a week-long retreat starts around $2,000
Frequency: Offered year-round
Vibe: A large retreat center with a boutique hotel feel—and the most stunning views of the Pacific Ocean…ever?
Vacation or nah?: Definitely. In addition to the gourmealthy food you’ll be served all week and hotel-style rooms (you can also opt for more affordable platform tents, BTW), you can sign up for everything from massages to surfing lessons and zipline excursions.
What You Need to Know
If you’ve ever been to Omega Institute in upstate New York and thought that it would be so much more relaxing if it was positioned in a tropical paradise, good news: it’s happened.
Stephan Rechtschaffen, the founder of the holistic education center, opened Costa Rica’s Blue Spirit, a “spiritual refuge” that you can only visit via retreat. The offerings range from low-key yoga workshops to shamanic ayahuasca ceremonies, but what doesn’t change is the fact that you’re nestled right between the jungle and the ocean—with the most epic views of both. Oh, and did we mention that the three-mile white sand beach it faces is also a turtle refuge? (Cue “awwww” comments on your Insta pics.)
The offerings range from low-key yoga workshops to shamanic ayahuasca ceremonies, but what doesn’t change is the fact that you’re nestled right between the jungle and the ocean.
While you can opt for more rustic accommodations—think platform tents or their eco-cottages—there’s a touch of luxury to the property; in other words, you can get your own private room and bathroom if that’s more your vibe. There’s less of a choice when it comes to food, since everything is vegetarian (save for the occasional fresh, locally caught fish that gets served up). You do, however, have access to a cafe that does the whole organic wine-and-raw-dessert thing.
Because of Rechtschaffen’s cache within the wellness world, the center attracts its fair share of big-name practitioners—but even if you’ve never heard of the person leading your retreat before, you really have to work hard to have a bad time. That’s because, in addition to the retreat activities, Blue Spirit also offers a slew of add-ons for guests looking to turn their trip into more of a vacation. Think surfing, horseback riding, ziplining (this is Costa Rica, after all), and an impressive spa and spiritual menu (in case your retreat practitioner doesn’t offer, say, reiki).
Working on yourself has never felt quite so relaxing.
Notes From the Inside
Our insider this week is Mel Allison Grigonis, Sakara Life’s Chief of Staff and a longtime luxury marketing guru (think Dior Beauty, Tory Burch, and Conde Nast) who has a thing for retreats. (Current count is at about 20.) She recently attended Blue Spirit—here’s what you need to know.
It’s a big place with a small vibe
“There were three other retreats going on at the same time as mine, but it feels very boutique. The yoga studio that I had my retreat in had floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the ocean and the jungle behind. It was magical.”
For people who can’t decide between a trip and a retreat
“There are the things you might specifically go to a retreat to do, and then things you might specifically go to Costa Rica to do; here, you can do both—they build the itineraries of all the retreats so that you can do different activities. I went horseback riding and I had a surf lesson almost every day.”
Their healers are legit
“The best astrologer I’ve ever seen came from this small village two hours away to give us readings—it was a really cool experience.”
“Some parents brought their kids on the retreat, and there’s babysitting. So it could be a good option for a young family if they want to get away.”
It doesn’t require a ton of planning…
“It’s a place for people who want to get away and have a bit more of a structured vacation but still have freedom to do different activities. It’s all built into where you’re staying, so you don’t have to do much legwork. And they’re super professional—I’ve been on some retreats where they’re not as organized.”
…Other than getting there
“It’s very far south in Costa Rica on the Pacific side, so it takes a while to get there—I took a really bumpy, three-hour Jeep ride from the airport. So plan your travel in advance because it’s far.”