Montezuma, a village hidden on the Nicoya Peninsula, is isolated enough to feel like a private paradise for your Costa Rica vacation. The lush forest that surrounds it teems with monkeys and swells with the sounds of their calls. Parrots perch in trees screeching and flashing brilliant colors while giant anteaters traipse through the trees nosing the underbrush. A country that locals will tell you has the most diversity in the world with forests expanding every year, I felt humbled by the raw untouched landscape and the respect that Costa Ricans have for it.
We arrived by bus early in the morning and even then the wash of heat clung to the valley, to our clothes; made everything sweat. I was relieved just to be touching firm ground again. Coming down from a mountain town on a small bus packed with locals, chickens and the rare brave traveler was a true test of faith or epic adventure depending on your perspective of single lane dirt roads and cliffs.
I traveled solo, seeking a remote village for an immersive cultural experience as part of my Costa Rica vacation. Hoping to stretch my limbs on a warm beach and ride some waves. It was before the country ballooned with yoga retreats that I ventured to see how travel and yoga could co-exist. And this is how I discovered Costa Rica – strike a yoga pose anywhere and find your Zen in nature.
Mountain Pose by Montezuma waterfalls
I always go out of my way to see a waterfall. But in Montezuma a 20 minute hike offers a lot more with a gorgeous backdrop. Costa Rica is rugged and during the rainy season flash floods are common, but swimming in the pools with water crashing from 79 feet is not something to miss. A perfect spot for contemplation.
Warrior Pose while riding the waves at Playa Montezuma
Surfing is one of those things that I had to work up to. With the white sand and turquoise waters of Playa Montezuma, it was tempting to lie back and watch the amazing wildlife ecosystem meet the gorgeous beach landscape. The waves were small, but the current strong. I think the ocean won that round. Sublime bliss.
Tree Pose in the open air ‘feria’ or farmer’s market
Local growers from all over the region meet every weekend offering all the bounty this countryside has to share. It is a social outdoor affair where people go to meet, spend the day, try the endless colorful array of produce and learn about Tico culture. The choices are endless. I left with three huge pineapples feeling like a part of the community and went back feeling like family.
Savasana in a hammock
On my trek through this breathtakingly delicious country, my above all most precious moments were spent in a hammock. It was quite damp and even the birds opted for an afternoon nap. A perfect place for the savasana. This is the true Pura Vida!
Bound Angle Pose in Ylang Ylang
Montezuma’s high end resort sits on a secluded beach and offers healthy cuisine for eco-minded travelers. Vibrant mint cocktails, tropical fruit salad and a giant crab in your hotel bathroom… what could ever be better than this?
Hit these pretty spots on your Costa Rica vacation and you can have your own DIY yoga retreat surrounded by nature. You may or may not attain enlightenment but you’ll definitely feel at one with the universe.