Do I need a passport? Will I need any special vaccinations before my trip?
Costa Rica is in Central America so you will need a current passport for your trip. No vaccinations are necessary for this trip.
What airport should I fly to?
For most of our retreats we recommend flying into SJO - Juan Santamaría International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. Please check your specific retreat info to figure out which airport you need to fly in and out of (SJO or LIR in Liberia)! Our shuttle will pick you up when you arrive and will drop you off again on your departure date.
(See our travel recommendations below for traveling from the Charlotte area.)
What should I bring?
Consider the following items for your comfort. If you forget something, no worries, we can hit a nearby supermarket if needed. Yoga mats + props are available for your use so no need to bring yours!
- light layers for warm days and cool evenings
- comfortable walking shoes are fine for most excursions. If you are visiting waterfalls or hiking, your shoes may end up wet or muddy, so you may want to bring a second pair of shoes or even water shoes and a plastic bag to wrap them in for your trip home. (Consider hiking shoes or boots if you are participating in a Finca Calma tour.)
- you may want long pants for hiking, horseback riding, etc.
- rain jacket
- insect repellent
- flashlight or headlamp
How's the weather?
The weather in the mountains is pretty much perfect all year round! Comfortable temps in the upper 70s to mid 80s during the day with crisp, cool nights in the 60s. Most mornings are clear and sunny, clouds may start to roll in after lunchtime. During Costa Rica's 'green season' (May-November) you may expect some rain, mostly in the afternoons. Sunrise is around 5:30am, sunset is around 5:30pm. If your retreat goes to the beach, it is usually a bit warmer there. Expect humidity.
What if I don't speak Spanish?
No worries! Pretty much everyone involved with Costa Rican tourism speaks some English as do many of the locals. Your hosts and retreat leaders speak English and some of them speak enough Spanish to translate if needed. If you decide to venture into town to get a taste of the local culture, it's helpful to have someone with you who can communicate in Spanish. The Google Translate app is very helpful as well!
Can I use US dollars or my credit card in Costa Rica?
Most places will take US dollars. If you plan to bring cash, bring 20s and smaller as many places will not accept anything larger. Also, if you pay with dollars, you will receive change in colones. Major credit cards are widely accepted, but in our experience it is easier to use cash. We do not recommend changing money at the airport, the exchange rate is usually higher there.
What is the difference between single and shared accommodations?
Single means you want a room all to yourself. Shared means that if you're traveling alone you may be placed in a room with one or more of our other wonderful retreat participants. If you have your own travel partner, simply let us know and we will put you in a room together. (NOTE: This option only available if listed on your specific retreat package info.)
What type of food will be served?
Menus will vary based on venue but much of the food served will be typical Costa Rican dishes with a little flare. Vegetarian options will be available. Please let us know if you have specific dietary needs, especially any allergies or intolerance.
What will the daily schedule look like?
The daily schedule will vary with each retreat and even each day within the retreat. You can count on 3 meals per day, daily yoga if attending a yoga retreat, plenty of free time, and 2-3 days will include partial or full day excursions if you choose to participate.
Do I have to join excursions and yoga classes?
Everything with Vida Calma Wellness is optional! You may opt in or out of anything included in your retreat package, however, no discounts or substitutions will be made.
Can I book extra excursions?
We can help arrange any tours that you like in addition to those included in your retreat package. You will be responsible for the cost of these activities so be sure to bring extra cash.
How much are Thai Yoga Therapy sessions and how can I schedule one?
Please bring cash for all Thai Yoga treatments.
Thai Yoga Therapy is offered by Rachael and you can schedule directly with her. Only a handful of sessions will be available during each trip so be sure to schedule early!
- $80 for one hour
- $99 for 90min
- $120 for 2 hours
How does staff gratuity work?
Gratuity is very much appreciated by our hardworking staff, drivers, + tour guides! It is customary to tip your driver with each trip. Thai Yoga and any other spa or wellness services are by the session. For kitchen and housekeeping staff, you will have an opportunity to leave a cash tip at the end of your stay. If you have multiple hotels in your trip, please leave your housekeeping tip in your room.
Do you have flight recommendations from the Charlotte Area?
Spirit Airlines out of Atlanta, GA (ATL) and Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) to San Jose, Costa Rica are notoriously cheap, sometimes as low as $150 round trip, typically under $300. Megabus is a good cheap alternative for getting to ATL (never use Greyhound, ever). Allegiant Air is often overlooked by most flight finders, but they fly regularly from Concord Regional airport to FLL for around $200 round trip or less.
Our favorite Charlotte option - Allegiant from Concord to FLL; Spirit from FLL to SJO
What time is check in/check out?
Check in/check out times will vary by retreat + venue. Most places you can check in by 1 or 2 and check out will be before lunch. If you arrive early or leave late, no worries, you can still hang with us. (If you need lunch on check in/check out days, there may be an extra fee depending on venue.)
May I book extra nights?
Additional nights may be available before or after your scheduled retreat, please contact us for a quote.
May I rent my own vehicle?
While a vehicle is not needed with your retreat package, some looking to explore on down days may want to venture out solo. While many of the major rental car companies operate out of the airport nearby, we personally recommend Sun Valley near San Jose, a family owned and operated car rental place for 20+ years with prices ranging from $200-$300 per week for cars and SUVs.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions that haven't been addressed here!