10 Years of Awesome Reviews: Bodhi Surf + Yoga Camp on Tripavisor

Bodhi Surf + Yoga / Surf + Yoga Camp Blog / 10 Years of Awesome Reviews: Bodhi Surf + Yoga Camp on Tripavisor

We may not be able to travel right now because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but there will come a time when it’s safe to do so again. Not only will the world be a different place (one that is hopefully more clean, kind, and connected), but the travel industry may be as well — more flexible and accommodating. The fact of the matter is that it’s a great time for all (individuals, businesses, organizations, and governments alike) to reflect, simplify, and prioritize.

In honor of our 10-year anniversary, and because we like many others are taking this time to look back on where we’ve been in order to inform where we want to go, we have re-read some of the reviews guests have shared over the past decade. We’re incredibly proud to have 10 years worth of positive reflections from those who have visited us. We will continue to utilize all of the feedback going forward to ensure that Bodhi Surf + Yoga camp in Costa Rica maintains this high level of guest satisfaction.

Guest satisfaction at Bodhi Surf + Yoga

Reflecting on Bodhi Surf + Yoga camp’s 450+ TripAdvisor reviews

If there is one thing I’ve gleaned from combing through the more than 450+ “five star” reviews of Bodhi Surf + Yoga on TripAdvisor which date all the way back to 2010, it is that Bodhi has maintained a high level of consistency in the delivery of its “kick-ass” vacation experience over the years.

From humble beginnings in 2010 to smooth sailing — or should I say surfing? — in 2020 (coronavirus aside), Bodhi Surf + Yoga camp has grown, matured, developed, and ultimately been fine-tuned to a tee over the course of a decade. Moreover, its ethos — founded upon authenticity, compassion, transparency, and integrity — has remained the same since day one.

The most rewarding aspect of sorting through seventeen pages worth of Bodhi Surf + Yoga TripAdvisor reviews was to see the large number of people who keep coming back to Bodhi again and again, claiming that the experience is “more like visiting friends and family,” than taking a typical vacation. That is the goal, after all — to have members of the Bodhi Tribe continue to return year after year.

According to former Bodhi Surf + Yoga guests, some other top reasons for enjoying their stay are:

  • Community engagement
  • Personalized attention
  • Environmental stewardship
  • Surf lessons in a Marine National Park
  • Family-run and family-oriented
  • Rejuvenating and peaceful
  • Authentic and “one-of-a-kind”

In honor of Bodhi Surf + Yoga’s ten year anniversary, we have organized a year-by-year list of some of our favorite TripAdvisor reviews for you to enjoy!

2020: Effective teaching methodology

“I absolutely LOVED my week here. I came mostly for the surfing- I’ve been to several surf camps and Bodhi’s method is hands down more effective than anywhere else I’ve gone. The waves were very beginner friendly- its a nice clean beach break. We also took a body surf clinic which I have never done and didn’t even know such a thing existed- super fun and cool experience. There is a good balance of activities and down time, great clean food, and the bungalows are very nice and very clean. The whole week was amazing, but I think my favorite thing about it is the people and thoughtfulness behind it. The people at Bodhi are warm, authentic, kind, fun, happy and truly good souls. Travis, Pilar, and Adrienne have created a magical environment that manages to have zero carbon footprint, gets involved with and gives back to the local community, and makes us somehow feel a little good about indulging ourselves in a vacation like this- BRAVO Bodhi! I will most definitely return!” – Jen Portman

2019: Like visiting friends and family

“This was my second visit to Bodhi Surf & Yoga and I loved it just like the first time I visited. A lot of people asked me why I go to the same place twice since there’s so much to see in the world but going to Bodhi is more like visiting friends & family than a regular vacation. It’s the perfect mix of being active and having time to relax, explore, and reflect. The food is also amazing, alongside everyone at Bodhi being so kind. I appreciate the patience of the surf teachers and Bodhi’s engagement in the community. The community walk led by Wayner is still one of my favorite parts of the trip. I can only recommend Bodhi to anyone considering.” – Larissa

2018: A trip that changes you

“Bodhi is a truly unique and unforgettable experience. If you want to take a trip, learn something new, expand your sense of self, be part of a community, and have a trip that will change you – then you should go to Bodhi. They have created something really special here that is about connecting to the world around you – while learning to surf, exploring yoga, embracing new food and people and exploring the local community. The instructors are patient and excellent at what they do, the accommodations are spectacular, the scenery is breathtaking and the people are authentic. The whole experience left me feeling inspired and feeling connected to the world in a different way.” – Britt

Green wave surfing with Bodhi Surf + Yoga

2017: Passionate lessons, phenomenal teacher

“So this is my second time back to see Travis, Pilar, Adrianne and Gibran and it was even better than the first- hard to believe as that was so epic. The beach, the waves, the brilliant sunsets with monkeys in the trees overhead- that was the same. As was Travis’s passionate lessons integrating the art of surfing with environmental integrity and even neuroscience (don’t worry, he won’t do that to you unless its your thing ;).

They have added more beautiful cabins and created a communal dining space which is a fabulous new feature as its really fun to hear about the interesting lives of your fellow adventurers- oh and the food was divine!!! I also have to add that Pilar studied in India since I was last there and her practice has deepened even further. She is a phenomenal teacher- class at sunset with bird calls and the deepening hues of the sky will insure you’ll be, stretched, rested and fit for the morning waves.” – Alison M

2016: An amazing place to spend time in Costa Rica

“Such an amazing place to spend time while in Costa Rica. You are being taught by experienced surfers who have been surfing their whole life. They have everything you need from boards to rash guards. Wish a little history about the town! Then later in the day you can enjoy yoga at their 2 story yoga bungalow on the same compound that you are staying on. The rooms are very cool, clean, comfortable, and most important peaceful. Whether you are sitting on ur deck, laying on the bed or swinging in the hammocks, you can close ur eyes and let the sounds multiple birds just put u to sleep. Or go hang around the common area and kitchen and make new friends!

The town Bahia Ballena is incredible. Untouched by tourism so it is still pure, and makes you feel like you are experiencing culture. The people are so nice and friendly and most importantly they love their home. It’s their life! The beaches are beautiful. The “whale tail” is a sight must seen. Local waterfall was a lot of fun. The waterfall is also a slide within the rock structure u slide down and get spat out into a refreshing pool! Surf is great. Snorkeling off the islands is one of the best experiences I’ve had. Swam with turtles, Sharks, stingrays, and schools of fish around coral reef. Local restaurants are very delicious and affordable.

If you want to make your Costa Rica visit worth that much better, go visit Bahia Ballena in Uvita and stay with Bodhi Surf School.” – GlobeTrotting607142

2015: Deeply ingrained in the local culture

“My husband and I have wanted to give surfing a shot for many years and had read that Costa Rica is one of the top surfing destinations in the world. We feel so fortunate to have come across Bodhi Surf School’s website and booked a two day lesson package with Travis. He and his wife (who teaches yoga at their amazingly cute B&B, which doubles as the surfing meet-up spot) are sincerely passionate about what they are doing, have incredible skill, and are kind and thoughtful teachers.

We were both up and surfing within the first few hours and the methods/techniques that Travis taught us have allowed us to spend many additional days of surfing without needing more lessons. As we progress we will stop back for more intermediate instruction.

In addition they are deeply ingrained in the local culture and the entire operation has a purpose of aiding travelers in achieving their goals to learn how to or become more advanced at surfing/yoga but also giving back to the community in which they reside.

After being in the area for some time and seeing other options out there we can unequivocally say that this is the only place you should consider for your surfing/yoga pursuits.” – Kristen B

Partner yoga at Bodhi Surf + Yoga

2014: Relaxation at its best

“This was our second trip back to Uvita and this time we were able to bunk in the brand new Bodhi Bungalows. We stayed in Espiritu, which was the perfect size for my family of three. The bungalow has its own bathroom, and kitchenette supplied with everything you need to have a nice breakfast on the private patio right outside the bungalow. We were also able to sneak in a couple yoga sessions with Pili on the open air yoga platform located on the Bodhi compound. And of course a trip to Uvita and Bodhi Surf school would not be complete without a surf session. Travis conducted our surf lesson and in no time I was standing on the board!! His attention to safety, and care for nature, left me riding the waves with a sense of security and serenity. One other thing to note is that the bungalows are not ocean front; in fact nothing is really ocean front, so don’t expect to walk right out from your bungalow on to the beach. Rather, you’re nestled in the heart of the quiet town where you feel like a local. Instead of hearing ocean waves crashing, you will hear the melodic sounds of the numerous species of birds that call Costa Rica home. For convenience, the local grocery store is a short walk from the property as well as a couple of great restaurants. Hopefully you are able to visit Uvita and are able to call Bodhi your retreat from the real world, because after all it is relaxation at its best.” – jjperez82

2013: Warm and genuine people

“My husband and I spent our honeymoon in Uvita and Bodhi Surf planned the whole trip! We also took 2 surf lessons with Gibran and had 2 yoga sessions with Pilar. It was great to not worry about the plans after planning a wedding and I would recommend this to any honeymooners. They know the area and other businesses well, so you know your trip is in good hands. We did not stay in their bungalow, as we wanted a more secluded romantic spot for this trip, but we hope to stay there in the future! Pilar came to where we stayed for our first yoga session, which was just what we needed after travel, and we got to see her great platform for our second session. Pilar was an excellent instructor and corrected things I have never had any other teachers notice. We loved our surf lessons and cannot wait to surf again! We both felt like we got the basics down and would feel comfortable going out to surf on our own, but wished we’d had time for at least one more lesson! They were such warm and genuine people! I began dreaming of our next trip to Uvita with Bodhi before we left. I cannot recommend them enough for all the services they provide!” – Emily S

2012: Amazing family experience

“I am an old dude (66) and never been surfing, so I ventured in with my two 30-something daughters. Travis was patient and encouraging, and I had a marvelous time. I would love to do the surfing again. Not only did we do the surfing, but Travis is a community-minded entrepreneur, and we did a two hour community tour the same afternoon. I would highly recommend the brief but interesting exposure to the community.

Travis and his wife, Pillar, also helped plan our entire week in the Uvita area. We did a marvelous one day adventure on horseback to a gorgeous waterfalls, and another day did snorkeling and a nature hike with Bahia Aventuras. Both were amazing experiences. Pillar and Travis’ suggestions and planning made all the difference for our family having an amazing experience in the Uvita area.” – Dennis W

Cozy bungalow for two in Costa Rica

2011: Super safe and comfortable

“My husband and I stumbled upon Bodhi Surf’s website while planning our Costa Rica trip. We were so impressed by the social awareness and community development that the owners were involved in that we contacted Travis and Gibran. They were gracious enough to help us organize our trip down the Pacific Coast, recommend great places to stay and sights to see, decide on a rental car, etc.

When we arrived in Bahia Ballena, Travis and Gibran took us on a tour of the community and gave us inside information about the history of the small beach town. Having spent lots of time in the area as a Peace Corps volunteer, Travis is a wealth of knowledge and seems to know everyone in the community! We were keen to do some volunteer service while in Costa Rica and the guys got us involved in some projects with the tour agency Bahia Aventuras as well as the local surf youth group. What an amazing way to be immersed in the community and culture during our trip!

On top of all this, Travis and Gibran also found time for 2 surfing lessons with us! On the first day, we learned the basics and even get up on the board (with help from Travis who stayed in the water with us the whole time)! The first lesson was very simple yet comprehensive. On the second lesson, we actually paddled out and caught some waves on our own, learned to sit on the board and turn around, tried ‘turtling’ even surfed right to left instead of straight toward the beach (I’m sure there’s a technical term for that, but I have no idea what it is.)! As we advenced, Gibran gave us a little more info about reading the waves and let us try things out on our own. Neither of us have had much experience with the ocean, but we felt super safe and comfortable with both of our instructors!

We definitely understand why Bodhi Surf focuses on surf school retreats instead of single lessons. For people who haven’t surfed at all, the first lesson is really about getting comfortable in the water and feeling safe. After that, we could really feel more confident on the second lesson and actually make progress on the board!

If you get a chance to book a retreat or a series of lessons with Bodhi Surf while you’re in Costa Rica, take it! We are so happy that we met Travis and Gibran and could have spent our whole vacation catching waves and soaking up the sun in Bahia. The town, the park and the people are beautiful. We definitely want to come back someday and experience more the Pura Vida!” – mcoatley

Thank you, and how to help!

If you’ve made it this far and read (or at least skimmed) through all of the above reviews, then you’re probably pretty fired up about planning a trip to Bodhi Surf + Yoga in the future! If that is the case, then feel free to send your questions about travel here.

If you have already visited Bodhi Surf + Yoga camp in Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica, and never got around to writing that TripAdvisor review, you can help us out greatly by leaving it here. You can also check out this list of ways to you can help us, and some resources we have created to help you in this strange moment!

Thank you!

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About the author

Spencer Dunlap

Spencer is a former Division I college baseball player, San Diego lifeguard, ISA certified surf instructor, bodysurf retreat leader, and published writer at Bodhi Surf + Yoga. Spencer is passionate about surfing, bodysurfing, music, reading, writing, and playing with his dog Nefta.