My friend Sydney went on a yoga retreat with Synchronicity in the beginning of 2020 in Bali and she told me about how amazing her experience was. She knew that she wanted to go on the next retreat with Synchronicity. Towards the end of 2020 she told me that the leader of the retreat, Kevin Wathey, was planning on doing another yoga retreat in Costa Rica June 2021. I was on the fence. However, within speaking on the phone with Kevin for about 5 minutes I was convinced that this was something I definitely wanted to do. I had never traveled with Sydney before so I was also really looking forward to that. This retreat was easily in my top 5 most life changing experiences of all time. Especially after a year full of distance it was beautiful to be able to connect with people on such a deep level.
Info about Nosara, Costa Rica:
Our flight from LAX to LIB was about 5.5 hours. From the airport we had a 3 hour shuttle ride to our hotel, Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort. Nosara is a district located on the Nicoya Peninsula. There are a lot of healthy places to eat, lots of yoga classes at the Bodhi Tree Resort, and lots of opportunities to surf. Everything that we wanted to go to was about a 15 minute walk from the hotel. There are also Tuk Tuk cars that you can get rides from and the Bodhi Tree Resort has golf carts that can take you to the beach or nearby restaurants. Our meals were included with the retreat & the food was incredible at the hotel, however we decided to venture out a bit to try some of the food in town. Everywhere we went took US dollars. I recommend bringing money before you get there because there are international ATM charges. Nosara is very safe, quiet, and the beach is incredible. It is very clean, the water is bathtub warm, and the sand feels like velvet. Apparently, we were there during rainy season, but it was pretty sunny during the day and thunderstorms at night. There are a lot of bugs. Typically, I don’t get bug bites, but I did this time. I brought this bug spray from Primally Pure with me and it saved me (Cod: GAF10 for a discount). It is all natural & essential oil based. You will probably also see monkeys, green iguanas, beautiful birds, giant ants, and much more! It wasn’t until the last day that I found out there were crocodiles in the river. Lastly, the water at the hotel was very safe to drink (even from the tap) so definitely bring a reusable water bottle and ask your host about this! No-one on the trip had any stomach issues from the food, it was all really safe & delicious. I actually felt better eating the food there then in America (makes you think about our food system).
Blue Zones are regions of the world where a higher than usual number of people live much longer than average. Nicoya in Costa Rica is one of the Blue Zones. The 5 Blue Zones are: Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; Ogliastra Region, Sardinia; Loma Linda, Calif.; and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. I took a picture of a Blue Zone sign at the airport that said the power 9 that make up a blue zone are:
- Move naturally
- Down shift
- 80% rule
- Plant slant
- Wine at 5
- Right tribe
- Loved ones first
On the first day we had a little orientation and they told us that the main thing that makes Nosara a blue zone is that they appreciate all of the little things. I noticed this throughout my week there and I am hoping to carry this energy back with me to the states. Community & connection are of great importance there.
Day 1: June 5th
Sydney and I flew out of LAX to Liberia International Airport. The people sitting next to us on the plane had Erewhon for breakfast & lunch of course. This was a sign that we were on the right path. We made some superfood in flight tonics, which you can watch here. Once we landed, we met up with our new friend Brie and we instantly clicked over our love for Bee Propolis spray. We all took a shuttle to the hotel. On the ride there Sydney had these amazing chocolate chickpeas that I am linking here because they were the best ones that I have had. It was about 3 hours of winding, mostly unpaved roads. The second we arrived we knew it was worth it. We got situated in our room, 201 (hello angel numbers), had a late dinner, and got ready for our first full day of retreat in the morning.
Day 2: June 6th
Good morning Nosara! Today was our first full day here. We didn’t sleep that well because of the environment adjustment, but we somehow felt refreshed.
Morning: We began our morning at 6:45am with some fruit (papaya & pineapple) and coffee with coconut milk. This became my favorite tradition during our retreat. Next, our first yoga class led by Kevin in the Akasha Yoga Shala. Followed by a conversation & details about the week. Around 9:30am we headed to breakfast at the hotel. I had fresh fruit juice, vegan/gf pancakes, 2 eggs, plantains, quiche, and coffee with Shilajit that I brought with me.
Mid Day: We headed to the beach and spent a few hours relaxing and swimming. The water is bathwater warm & the sand is velvety. The beach was not crowded either & it is surrounded by lush greenery. On the walk to lunch we stopped for some fresh coconut water, walked into a beautiful store called Love Nosara (we both ended up buying things here), and we walked down a jungle path to get to lunch. We ate at Destiny Cafe, recommend by Mia (@realfoodredwine). We both ordered smoothie bowls & they were delicious. We stopped and got a coconut cold brew at a juice bar in town and met a young kid who had lots of recommendations for us and it was the highlight of our day.
Afternoon: We arrived back to the hotel, showered, and went to our 5pm Yin Yoga Class taught by Debbie.
Day 3: June 7th
Morning: Fruit & coconut milk coffee to start the day. 7am yoga taught by Kevin. For breakfast Sydney and I ordered smoothie bowls from the hotel juice bar (not included in our meals). They were DELICIOUS and probably the closest smoothie bowl to what I would make at home. They have 4 different smoothie bowl options and by the end of our stay I had tried all of them. At 10:30am we got massages. I did a 60 minute lymphatic drainage massage and Sydney got a 60 minute half lymphatic drainage/half deep tissue massage. It was heavenly. The views from the room were beautiful and they used all natural oils & essential oils. The lymphatic drainage was especially nice on the stomach since digestion also gets funky while traveling. Post massages we got juices from the hotel juice bar. Sydney got a green juice & I got a watermelon one.
Mid Day: Did some journaling. We took a little ride to El Local to get a grass fed burger. We talked to multiple people in town the previous day who recommended it for a good burger. It was phenomenal. We ordered buffalo cauliflower & yucca fries to start, and burgers for our main. Highly recommend checking out that farm to table restaurant! We spent the rest of our afternoon at the beach. Sydney took a nap. I read the book Earthing, found a couple of dogs chilling on the beach (one looked like a coyote) and we watched the beginning of the sunset.
Afternoon: We ended the day with a 5pm Yin Yoga class taught by Debbie in the beautiful Oceana Shala. The sunset was incredible.
Day 4: June 8th
Morning: Same routine as other mornings. One of my main intentions for the trip was opening up my heart chakra and breaking through my heart wall. I started doing lots of heart openers. My favorite is placing 2 blocks under my back and opening up my chest.
Mid Day: We were on a quest to find a health food store. We found Organico in Nosara. It was a 5 minute drive from our hotel (also walkable, but it is on the main road). They had so many fun things. Sydney got some French Squirrel Beret look alikes, you can watch her review video here. I got cacao nibs, Yerba matte tea bags, multiple kinds of chocolate, a gf homemade cookie (delicious), bee pollen (duh), local honey (duh), coconut water, and grassfed/finished beef jerky. It was fun trying different Costa Rican chocolates…it became our nightly dessert tradition. I was surprised to see brands like Coconut Bliss & Bob’s Red Mill in the that store. I loved some of the sustainable packaging they used for the fresh produce. We didn’t try them, but I heard their Poke bowls that they make in house are amazing (next time 😉 ). Next stop: Sacred Plants Farmacy. This is the first apothecary I have ever been to. Any herb or tincture that you can think of, they have. They even have psilocybin for purchase. I ended up getting a Burdock Root tincture because I love drinking the tea and know that it helps stimulate the lymphatic system. Next stop: Hot Tamale vintage store. This store has lots of fun vintage finds for cheap! Definitely worth stopping in and checking it out. For lunch we went back to Destiny Cafe and tried some of their savory dishes. I had a more traditional breakfast plate & Sydney got the tuna poke bowl. Both were great!
Afternoon: We headed to the beach, went to 5pm Yin Yoga, and ended the night with dinner & chocolate.
Day 5: June 9th
Morning: Fruit & Coffee. Incredible Power Vinyasa flow taught by Kevin in the Oceana Shala. Smoothie bowls from the hotel juice bar for breakfast.
Mid Day: Went Zip Lining! I had never gone zip lining before so I was shocked when I found out we were doing 13 lines instead of 1. The highest one was 900 feet in the air. It was pretty surreal when it started raining. Definitely out of my comfort zone, but the most growth happens in discomfort.
Afternoon: Got back from Zip Lining and went to a sound bath at the hotel.
Day 6: June 10th
Morning: Fruit & Coffee. Power Yoga Flow taught by Kevin. I took over the Synchronicity Instagram for the day, which you should all check out. Breakfast was smoothie bowls.
Mid Day: Another adventure! I liked this more than the zip lining for sure. We went ATVing through the jungle in the rain. When we got to the middle of the jungle we stopped for some fresh coconut water, a swim in a water fall (after going down lots of steep stairs), fresh pineapple, and sugarcane juice. This was really adventurous and I would recommend that everyone does it. For lunch Sydney and I ordered the Buddha bowls from the hotel restaurant.
Afternoon: relaxed by the pool & had a Yin Yoga class in the Oceana Shala, followed by lots of deep meaningful conversations.
Day 7: June 11th
Morning: Fruit & Coffee. How are we feeling? Fucking unstoppable. Yoga class led by Debbie in the Akasha Shala. For breakfast I had a cacao smoothie with cacao nibs on top from the hotel juice bar.
Mid Day: We spent all day at the beach. Tanning, relaxing, swimming, and boogie boarding. For lunch we ate at Beach Dog Cafe. I ordered the breakfast burrito & Sydney ordered the tacos. Both were great. After we went back to Love Nosara and did a little shopping. We went back to the hotel and ordered juices and coffee.
Afternoon: We showered and got a little dressed up for our closing ceremony. I won’t give you the details for the closing ceremony because that is something only you can’t truly experience for yourself. However, this entire retreat for me was definitely focused on healing childhood traumas. I came with no intention except to relax, but I left with changed stories & perspectives.
Day 8: June 12th
We began the morning with breakfast at the hotel. We packed and then headed to town for a few last things. We had been wanting to try the Banana Coffee all week. They blend banana, cold brew, honey, and coconut milk together. I thought it was good, not amazing, but I am still glad that we got to try it. We stopped at Love Nosara one last time. They have beautiful mugs, clothes, and jewelry all handmade in Nosara. See you soon Costa Rica <3