Anamaya's Costa Rica Yoga Retreats Teacher Training & Surf Camp FAQs

 

What’s Included?

All the retreat packages include daily yoga, three gourmet organic meals per day, transportation to excursions and various beaches, use of the guest kitchen and refrigerator in the main hall, and luxury accomodations. Arrival and departure transportation to and from the hotel is not included.

How do I get to Anamaya?

The best way is to fly to San Jose and then take a short flight or shuttle-bus to Montezuma, then a taxi up to Anamaya. For details, check our travel page here: Montezuma Travel. We have scheduled the retreats to start and finish on a Saturday, so that you will be able to take a week off work and be able to make it here in back from the U.S. or Canada on time. Many of our guests stay longer in Costa Rica either before or after. We recommend that if you stay longer than just the days of our retreat, you end your trip at Anamaya, because your time here may likely be the highlight of your trip!

Typically, our retreat guests will follow this itinerary:

1. Take a red-eye flight Friday night to San Jose International (SJO) Airport in Costa Rica. Typical cost is $350-$700 from the U.S. or Canada.
2. Arrive Saturday morning, and from there, jump on the shuttle to Montezuma ($45-55), booked through Montezuma Expeditions (email: info@montezumaexpeditions.com or phone 2642-0919) or The Costa Rica Shuttle (email: reservations@ShuttleBusMontezuma.com). The shuttles leave the airport, which is actually located in Alajuela (a town west of San Jose), at 8:00 am so you have to make sure your flight arrives in time.
3. The shuttle goes to Puntarenas, where you catch the 11:00 am ferry. You walk onto the ferry with your luggage and will catch another shuttle on the other side that will be waiting.
4. The second shuttle takes you all the way to Anamaya by around 1:30pm

If you can’t make it by 8:00 am, then in the HIGH season (Dec16-May31), there’s another shuttle offered that leaves at 2:00 pm from the airport, arriving at Anamaya at 7:00 pm… just in time for dinner.

Renting a Car and Driving to Anamaya:

If you want to rent a car and drive instead, it won’t cost much more than the shuttle if you have two or more people. We recommend Budget or Dollar. Caution! Many companies hide some fees, especially insurance, so be very careful. Budget is very upfront about their fees, and they have two local offices so they’re a good bet. If you do drive, then you can get from the airport to the Puntarenas Ferry in 1.5 to 2.5 hours.

New Shortcut! There’s a new road from San Jose to Caldera, and you can use this superhighway to rapidly get to the ferry… saving up to an hour of driving time. As of this writing, there are no signs for how to do this, so follow these instructions: Drive west from the airport on the main freeway (Interamericana) until you see an exit for Atenas. Take that exit and cross over the freeway to your left. Drive for approximately 2km and turn left between a soccer field and a blue school. There is no sign here for the freeway. If you get lost, ask for “La Pista por Caldera”. Drive for 3.5km the then you’ll see an overpass. Don’t go under it but instead turn left just before the freeway, and that will take you to the onramp. Get on that and head west (right) again. It will take you to Caldera, which is the main port next to Puntarenas, and from there, drive north along the coast. You’ll pass a big development called “La Roca” and eventually you’ll pass up and over the top of the road you want to turn right onto. There’s a sign for Puntarenas, but it’s been covered with tree branches for several years, so it’s difficult to see. Loop around to the right and get onto this road, heading west again, and follow that in a straight line all the way to the very tip of the Puntarenas peninsula, and then turn right and it will curve around to the ferry line.

The ferry times are shown here: Ferry to Montezuma/Malpais Area. Or better call the Ferry to hear the times. 2661-2084 ext 4. It’s only in Spanish, so a good way to do it is to ask the person at the rental car desk to help. There are two ferries. One is to Paquera and one to Naranjo. Take the Paquera Ferry, and from there, drive to the left and go to Cobano, which takes 45 minutes normally. From Cobano, turn left and head to Montezuma. From Montezuma, head south along the beach road and at Hotel Amor de Mar, you’ll see a paved road up the hill. Drive up about 1/2 km and you’ll see Anamaya’s sign on the right.

Flying to Anamaya:

If you can’t make it to the shuttle by 8am and it’s low season (June 1 – Dec 15) when there’s no afternoon shuttle bus, then another option is to fly. There are two airlines with flights to Tambor, which is a 30 min drive from Montezuma. (Take a taxi for $30 from Tambor to Anamaya). Flight times:

Sansa (High Season Nov20-Apr19, 2010):

7:40am, 10:25am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm, 4:00pm ($85 incl tax)

Sansa (Low Season May15-Nov19, 2010 ): ($85 incl tax)

May15-Jul31: 7:40am, 10:15am, 2:00pm
Aug1-Aug31: 7:40am, 2:00pm
Sep1-Nov19: 10:15am

CLICK HERE to book Sansa tickets at a discount rate: Sansa Discount Flights.

Nature Air (Low Season May1-Nov30, 2010): ($75)

May1-Aug31: 9:15am, 2:00pm
Sep1-Nov30: 9:15am

Note: For Nature Air flights, you will need to take their $5 shuttle service from SJO airport to a smaller airport nearby. Their shuttles leave at 6:15am, 10:15am, 12pm, 1pm which doesn’t work out so well for Sept and Oct flights, because you have to arrive in the San Jose airport by 5am to catch the shuttle and make the 9:15am flight to Tambor.

How Else can I get to Anamaya?

1. Private vehicle all the way for $200-250. We will book it for you. This will leave from San Jose or the Airport whenever you want, but it will need to wait for the next available ferry.

2. Water Taxi! Get yourself to Jaco (1 hr drive from San Jose) and then take a speedboat to Montezuma at 10:30am. $45 per person each way. If you want to go back this way, the water taxi leaves Montezuma at 9:30am. It’s also $350 for a private service at the time of your choosing, for up to 5 people.

3. Helicopter or private plane! VIP Costa Rica Charter Flights (Email: andreszclients@gmail.com / Phone 2241-5364)

By plane from San Jose to Tambor airport (one way flight):

4 passengers plane : $457
12 passengers plane : $1265

By Helicopter from San Jose to Tambor airport ( one way flight):

4 passengers Helicopter: $1722
6 passengers Helicopter: $2750

4. Teleportation! This technology is currently not yet working with regard to transporting humans, but check back with Anamaya frequently for availability.

What should I bring?

We recommend bringing the following:

1. natural sunscreen
2. aloe vera
3. natural bug repellant spray for hikes
4. rain jacket (may through november)
5. hiking shoes or sandals
6. camera (underwater preferable)
7. flip flops and swim suit, of course :)
8. small flashlight or a head lamp
9. beach towel
10. you can bring your own Yoga Mat if you like and it travels well, but we do provide mats, straps, blocks and other props. However, if you would like to bring a Black Mat Pro, we would likely be interested in purchasing it from you to add to our collection. This would lighten your load to bring home!

How far is the beach?

The closest beach is in Montezuma, which is a 5 minute drive or 20 minute walk. You can also walk to Playa Las Manchas, which is cleaner, and spectacularly beautiful, with the best snorkeling in the area. That’s about 7 minutes by car or 30 minutes by foot. Playa los cedros, the famous Montezuma/Cabuya surf spot, is 9 minutes by car. The beaches of Santa Teresa / Malpais are 30 minutes by car.

How far is a town with stores?

Anamaya is located on a cliff edge above the small beach town of Montezuma. It’s only a 5 minute drive to town and the beaches. You can walk down in about 20 min, and the walk back up the hill is a great work out. You can also take a taxi back for around $4/$6 (green/high season). There are two grocery stores, and the smaller one is actually better. You will find many fancy imported food products, due to the fact that many gourmets have lived in the Montezuma for 20+ years so this small store (Pachi’s) caters to them. There’s also a bank machine but no bank.

What’s the weather like?

The temperature ranges from a very minimum of 65 degrees to the low nineties. It’s very nice weather, but it can be humid, especially down by the beach. Anamaya is 400 feet up on a cliff so it’s drier and we have a nice breeze all year…. much more comfortable than on the beach.

September and October are the rainiest months, on average, but there are some years where they are beautiful months.

Generally speaking, even in the rainy season (May-Nov) it’s generally nice for most of every day. There are beautiful puffy white clouds and sunshine on and off, the jungle is at its lushest, the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, and the waterfalls are full. A few times a year, large storms come in and it can rain all day for a few days… usually these “temporals” last 2-3 days and then it’s nice again. But this can happen anywhere. Costa Rica does NOT get hurricanes… there’s only been one in recorded history, which hit the Caribbean side of the country around 100 years ago.

What’s included in the rooms?

We have organic cotton sheets on all the beds, with pillows, blankets, etc. We have organic or non-toxic soap and shampoo.

We have hairdryers and an iron upon request from reception.

What’s in the kitchen that I can use?

We have two kitchens… one outside that our staff use for 80% of the food prep, and a “show kitchen” in the main hall to do the final touches on the meals. Our guests can use that kitchen too, as well as the refrigerator. We have an ice maker, coffee makers, blender, pots & pans and all that stuff, plus a water filter.

Note: We don’t spray bug poisons in our kitchen so we expect our guests to be very clean and clean up after themselves as they would in their own kitchen if they’re preparing snacks. Keeping crumbs and food bits away from the bugs is the best way to control them organically.

Do you offer Room Service?

No, and in fact we discourage our guests from eating anything in the rooms. In most hotels, they spray poison like crazy to kill the bugs, but we don’t spray poisons on our bugs (which then our guests would breathe and absorb.) At Anamaya, we think that is nuts, even though everyone else does it. So, we need your cooperation to keep the bugs at bay organically and naturally, by not providing food sources to attract them into the rooms.

If you have your heart set on a romantic, private dinner then we can set up a private table for you in one of multiple locations away from the other guests, but that very rarely happens. We have lots of honeymooners here at Anamaya and they seem to always enjoy dining with the other guests at our large table in the main lodge.

Do you have Internet/TV?

Internet: We have a fast internet connection and WIFI throughout Anamaya, and you don’t need a password to access it. Because we live in a remote area, the connection can go out at times. Many of our guests arrive with laptops, iphones, ipads, etc and use them frequently, especially to take photos and videos of Anamaya to send back home or post on Facebook to their friends and families!

Television: The rooms don’t have a TV, but we have one in the media room, along with a digital projector. We don’t have cable signal (we don’t want it) but we do have a DVD player and sometimes we show movies.

Currently we have one laptop with WIFI that our guests can use if they don’t have their own.

Do you have Phones?

We have a phone with a local number (011 506) 2642-1289 that you can use for calls anywhere within Costa Rica, and friends/family can call it in case of an emergency. We also have a Vonage phone you can use to call the U.S. and Canada for free. We can receive calls at that number too, which is 1-866-412-5350. We don’t have phones in the rooms. Many of our guests are using Skype these days from their own laptops.

Are the electrical outlets the same as in Canada or the US?

Yes, they are!

What currency should I bring to Costa Rica, and is there an ATM/Bank close by?

You can just bring US Dollars. You can spend it anywhere and almost everyone knows the current exchange rate. There’s no big racket here with foreigners being ripped off with exchange rates. DO NOT BRING TRAVELLER’S CHECKS! Almost no one will take them. Many places don’t take credit cards either. Forget about American Express and Discover cards.

There is an ATM in downtown Montezuma to get dollars or the local currency (Colones), and there is a bank in the closest urban town Cobano, a 20 minutes taxi drive from Anamaya.

Health Concerns: Malaria, the Water, etc

Costa Rica is much safer and cleaner than most other countries in Central America! You don’t need shots, and you don’t have to worry about Malaria in this part of the country. The water is drinkable almost everywhere in the country. At Anamaya, our water comes from our own well.

Safety Concerns: Crime, Snakes, Scorpions, etc

Again, Costa Rica is a very safe place. We don’t have kidnappings, etc. We do have petty crime, especially thefts of backpacks left in cars, or valuables left unguarded on the beach. Generally, Costa Rica is the safest country in Central America. Our health system rates better internationally than in the U.S. Our part of Costa Rica has almost no venemous snakes. There are scorpions, but they aren’t dangerous like the ones in the U.S. and in Mexico. Their sting is no worse than a bee or wasp. So relax and enjoy our amazing country!