I have just returned from the most magical week in Nosara, Costa Rica.
I was honored to be hired as the photographer for the Pura Vida Retreat.
For one week each year three fitness professionals from Minneapolis rent out an entire resort and host the Pura Vida Retreat.
It is billed as a "luxury jungle resort" and I can confirm that they practice truth in advertising...
You are definitely in the jungle - surrounded by greenery with swinging monkeys, exotic birds and lazy lizards.
And you are also definitely immersed in a luxurious experience .. with a wonderful spa...
Gorgeous grounds filled with bamboo, flowers and waterfalls.
A very healthy selection of delicious meals! I made a little list of foods that I tried because they were sooo good. I came home inspired to keep up the healthy eating and make some of these at home:
Tofu kafta balls
Mushroom risotto with cous cous
Pan fried carrot cakes
Eggplant caviar (dip)
Tofu with vegetables
Red snapper ceviche
Shrimp salad inside half an avacado
Fresh Juices: watermelon, tamarind juice, papaya juice,
Grilled bananas, carmelized with ice cream
Beet salad with mayo and apples
Made-to-order omelet bar
A bar with fresh drinks. They used nearly half a pineapple for each Piña Colada.
And the most beautiful open air structures called shalas to practice yoga and other exercises.
It is also a short walk (or bike ride) to town and the beach.
However, my favorite part of the retreat was the people! Looking at this photo - I just want to run and hug every single person in that line. I miss my new friends!
We all settled into a routine during our week together...
First we'd wake up & attend one of the several exercise classes offered: Yoga with Jill W...
Barre with Adrienne
Total Body Resistance Exercise (TRX) Class
High Intensity Training (HIT) Class
or Spin Class with Jim (to name a few of the options!)
After class we would head straight to the buffet that was stocked with healthy food and great Costa Rican Coffee.
After that, we would spend the days doing whatever we liked.
A lot of the folks took surf lessons. My husband and I tried it and loved it.
Guests also went zip lining, horse back riding, shopping, had spa appointments, went on hikes, read books.. there was no shortage of things to do!
In the late afternoon there was usually a resortative exercise class option. Like a very slow stretchy yoga or a mat class featuring lots of stretching and essential oils.
We made a point of watching the sunset every night of our trip.
Evenings were spent eating seafood and other healthy options, drinking a little wine and doing a lot of laughing. Many of the nights had live music. I was in bed by 10pm nearly every night. Content after a full day.
On our final night, we all gathered by the ocean to form a circle and say our farewells. (I took this with my drone.) It was a magical way to end a magical week.
A lot of the folks on the retreat have already signed up for next year! My husband and I hope to go again. It is a life changing experience. It felt so good to concentrate our health for a week. We've been really inspired since we've returned home - exercising every day and making heathy meals with lots of veggies for our entire family.
From new friends to a healthier lifestyle, this is a trip that sticks with you long after you come home.
Thank you Pura Vida Retreat for this amazing opportunity!
IF YOU GO:
Pura Vida Retreat happens once a year in the spring.
2019 dates have been set and the resort has been reserved!
February 23 - March 2, 2019.
Delta and Sun Country offer direct flights from Minneapolis to Liberia, Costa Rica.
Once you arrive, it is a 2.5 hour ride from the airport to the resort. The retreat handles all of the arrangements.
You do not need to be "in shape" to attend this retreat!
And yes - you can drink the water!
There were couples and singles. Men and women. There were quite a few travelers who came on their own. No kids.
Ages ranged from 20's to 70's!
Treat yourself and make it happen!
Visit www.PuraVidaRetreat.org to learn more.