What’s the latest vacation craze? Surfing and yoga retreats in the balmy tropics are the hot fashion.
But what if you don’t know how to surf or live far from the nearest ocean? Is it still an adventure worth taking? Try it and you’ll see. Here’s what a few surf retreat fans had to say:
“This week has been about so much more than learning how to surf … the support & encouragement you have given me, and this beautiful place will stay with me for years to come. I never imagined myself as a surfer chick … but despite my doubts … you guys got me up on the waves.”
“Thank you for the best vacation! I went down to Costa Rica feeling like I was simply walking though life but not actually living it and now I feel more alive than ever.”
“The best moment was the first time I caught a solid wave. Amazing!!! I can’t believe that just two and a half months ago I couldn’t swim, and now I am actually surfing and loving it!! There is nothing like facing your fears. After that, I was like, ‘bring it on’, I can do anything.”
On Costa Rica’s Pacific Nicoya Peninsula, Santa Teresa Beach is a hot destination for surf and yoga retreats. Popularity is so big that beachfront Hotel Tropico Latino holds retreats all year in partnership with Pura Vida Adventures surf vacations.
On a scale of 1 to 10, Santa Teresa gets a 10 – warm Pacific Ocean, excellent waves, dazzling white sand beach, palm trees, balmy weather, and a shout-out in Forbes Magazine as one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world.
Seven-day/six-night surf retreats are taught by highly-trained, professional and bilingual surf instructors. Yoga is added into the mix for stretching and relaxation. Both co-ed and women-only retreats are offered.
A typical day on a surf retreat goes something like this: Early morning yoga class, followed by breakfast and a few hours of surf instruction. In the afternoon, lunch and time to relax (go for a massage or spa treatment, swim in the beachfront pool, lounge in a hammock, or enjoy a “siesta”). If surf conditions are optimal, there will be a sunset surf session, followed by dinner and social time. There is time during the week for optional day tours.
Beginner surfers will learn basic surfing skills: Proper etiquette, water safety, wave riding skills (how to properly stand up and ride waves), and effective paddling techniques. Intermediate surfers will focus on strengthening their surfing game. Advanced surfers will sharpen their surfing abilities and learn new maneuvers. The student to teacher ratio is three-to-one, but there are also one-on-one sessions. Pura Vida Adventures offers a full cadre of surfboards: “SoftTops,” epoxy, fiberglass, high-performance long boards, fun-shapes, fish, and short-boards.
You don’t have to be 22 and from Southern California or Florida to go on a surf and yoga retreat either. Declared one senior retreat participant: “What a way to celebrate being 60! AND just what I needed … a surf vacation in warm water without the bother of a wetsuit. Despite having 5 years of surfing experience, at first I was very intimidated by the waves. However with … calm encouragement and attentive guidance, I pushed through my fear and discovered that, yes, I can ride these waves!”
Surf retreats are available at Hotel Tropico Latino in August, November and December 2013, all the way through May 2014.
At beautiful Santa Teresa Beach, Hotel Tropico Latino is a gorgeous surf and yoga vacation destination in Costa Rica. The 4-star resort fronts the white sands and brilliant blue Pacific Ocean of Playa Carmen at Santa Teresa on four acres of lush, tropical gardens. Accommodations are comfortable and luxurious. Hotel facilities include a full-service beachfront spa and an award-winning restaurant. Sunsets are breathtaking. Santa Teresa has been named one of the top beaches in the world for several years by TripAdvisor.
By Shannon Farley