Costa Rica: A Country with Multiple Wellness Options

by Erin Davis, July 22, 2023

With its endless ocean views, hues of green and peaceful forests, Costa Rica naturally puts the soul at ease. 

For those in the market for wellness-focused travel, the country is full of options to help both your mind and body feel better – hopefully, for long after the flight home touches down. 

Here a just a few options for your wellness vacation in Costa Rica.

Flow in the Forest. 
Take your yoga practice outdoors and enjoy your flow surrounded by flora and fauna. Benefits of practicing yoga in the forest include improving focus and concentration with little to no distractions. With sounds of hummingbirds and howler monkeys as a backdrop, you’ll learn how to adapt to a new environment while increasing strength and flexibility. While you’re in the forest, there is also no better setting to practice the Japanese art of forest bathing, where visitors can partake in a guided forest walk or simply sit or stroll by themselves amongst the trees and meditate, rejuvenate and bask in the forest flow. 

Surf and Spa
Balance an active vacation with a soothing spa experience. Hotel Punta Islita is a beachfront retreat embraced by nature in the acknowledged Blue Zone of Nicoya, Costa Rica. Here, four-night (and longer) activity-packed programs can be crafted to include morning hikes, surf lessons, zip lining, horseback riding, mangrove kayaking, authentic ancestral spa experiences, and Blue Zone Life Classes (to name just a few of the many options available). At Hotel Punta Islita, chefs prepare dishes with locally-sourced products at two on site restaurants.

Credit: Hotel Punta Islita

Reflect in the Gardens 
Experience the beauty and tranquility found when reflecting and meditating in the peaceful and easy-on-the-eyes botanical gardens. Heighten your senses with the enchanting scents of orchids and hibiscus as you breath in the outdoors. This unique environment provides an added layer of healing and restoration along with the potential to strengthening both mind and body. 

Glamp Among the Mountains
Catering primarily to nature-lovers and seekers of unexpected experiences, and located just 20 minutes east of San Isidro de El General – the largest city in Costa Rica’s biodiverse Southern Zone – Kinkara is an experiential luxury clamping retreat perfect for one-of-a kind activities, personal relaxation, and collective group experiences. Tucked away in the lush foothills of Mt. Chirripó, the country’s tallest peak, Kinkara reflects the earthy experience of mountain and farm life while simultaneously offering a restorative atmosphere through contemporary design and curated amenities.

Credit: Kinkara

Start the Day with Sunrise Morning Meditation
Start your day on the right note and boost your serotonin with a sunrise morning meditation on the beach. What better way to start your morning in Costa Rica than with a few affirmations as you watch the sun rise? The smell of sea salt and rhythmic sound of ocean waves can provide a breathing element like no other. You’ll find yourself replicating the sounds of the waves with your breathing while inhaling the ocean air (we can smell it already). Later, you can finish off with a dip in the ocean to relieve the tension for an inner calm experience. 

Go Barefoot Beside a Waterfall 
If you’re looking to chase waterfalls, there is no shortage in Costa Rica. Few things are as soothing as the sounds of a cascading waterfall as you connect your mind and body with nature. With the sounds of rushing water while getting your daily dose of Vitamin D, travellers will restore the body with a view.  This is a great opportunity to practice barefoot yoga that not only energizes the body but aligns your chakras with the environment. Barefoot yoga strengthens the muscles and mobility while increasing arch support and balance. End the session with a barefoot walk into the waterfall to increase the blood flow from the feet through the body for a stimulating experience.

Soak in Natural Hot Springs 
Restore your mind and body as you soak in Costa Rica’s natural hot springs that are fuelled by an active volcano. The geothermal activity beneath the base of an active volcano provides the unique experience to meditate silently while naturally detoxing the body. It provides the ultimate combination of relaxation and mindfulness to promote restful sleep and health.

Image: Hacienda AltaGracia

Experience a Wellness Retreat

Hacienda AltaGracia is an all-inclusive, 50-casita resort that encompasses a coffee farm, equine stables, organic chef’s gardens, plus 180 bird-song-filled acres of untamed tropical forest. The Well, an onsite holistic spa/wellness center, offers wellness retreats and longevity programs including a year-round, personalized four-day retreat, and a five-night (or longer) Well Integrated Experience.

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Erin Davis is a Toronto-based writer and regular contributor to Travel to Wellness.