With so many places that you could visit — a myriad of things to see and activities to do all around the world — why should you come do a surf and yoga camp with Bodhi Surf + Yoga in Bahia Ballena, Osa, Costa Rica?
We have compiled this blog which aims to break down our Bodhi Sessions Costa Rican surf and yoga camp, who it’s designed for, and what to expect if you opt to join.
And if this doesn’t convince you, we encourage you to visit our TripAdvisor profile, where over 200 of our beloved guests from over the years have shared their firsthand experience.
What are Bodhi Sessions: Adult Surf + Yoga Camp?
What exactly is our “Bodhi Sessions” vacation option? They are our signature adult surf and yoga camps, held here in Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica.
The goals of these 7 or 14-night camps are to immerse you in surfing and yoga; to encourage community engagement; and to provide you with ample opportunity to connect with yourself, to nature, and to the little place we call home!
Here are a few fun facts about our Bodhi Sessions 7 or 14-night adult surf and yoga camps…
- Come when you can: we host these camps every week (Saturday-Saturday), closing only for a few weeks in October of every year, which makes it easy for you to choose your optimal dates.
- Small groups: we limit the number of guests who can join weekly to a maximum of 10 people to ensure that every person has an intimate learning experience.
- Inclusive vacations: there are accomodation options for singles, couples, groups of friends, and families, and we have designed an experience that is optimal for any of these different groupings.
- Tried and tested: we started our business in 2010, and have been improving and modifying the experiences that we offer every single year since then.
- “Best of” both surfing and yoga: they feature an equal number of surf and yoga classes (five each) as we have seen firsthand how complementary the two activities are to one another, both mentally and physically.
- Responsible tourism: we offer you the opportunity to venture out into the community and experience it in a myriad of different ways, fostering connection and learning opportunities.
- Food lovers’ paradise: one of the hidden gems of your stay is the food at Bodhi Surf + Yoga! It is impeccable (hearty, homemade, healthy), and the portions are heaping! Check out our Bodhi Cookbook to get an idea of how well you’ll be eating.
When we have shared our experience with people after coming home we can’t even explain how awesome our trip was. It’s hard to put into words what the week was like. The people at Bodhi are the most wonderful humans who care so much about the planet and the people on it and do everything to make your stay enjoyable, challenging, fun, safe, absolutely delicious and the perfect amount of educational. Can’t wait to go back.Heather H, August 2022
Is the Bodhi Surf + Yoga experience a good fit for you?
No one experience could possibly appeal to every single type of traveler. However, we have deliberately aimed to make this vacation experience both suitable and enjoyable to people of different walks of life, and in different formations: singles, couples, pairs or groups of friends, and families.
In summary, this surf and yoga camp is be a good choice if you identify with any of the following:
- Consider yourself a good learner — there’s so much to learn about surfing, yoga, and Costa Rica!
- Want to connect with other people — fellow “campers”, staff, community members, etc.
- Are open to experiencing our community of Bahia Ballena during one of the many opportunities to do so: taking the community walking tour, visiting local restaurants and supermarkets, renting bikes, etc.
- Enjoy physical movement (even if you don’t feel like you’re in the best shape of your life)
- Are a lover of nature and the great outdoors, and immersing yourself in it
- Are a total novice or more advanced surfer or yogi, as we can cater to different skill levels
In order to provide more specific information about why people often opt to join, we have consolidated these interesting travel tidbits.
A few reasons people choose Bodhi Sessions: Adult Surf + Yoga Camps
- Bodhi Surf + Yoga vacations are all about facilitating learning. The surf lessons and yoga classes are designed with education in mind. Our teaching methodology goes deeper than the physical activities themselves, covering their respective histories, philosophies, and ways of life.
- Community connection is built into the Bodhi Surf + Yoga experience. There is a community walking tour included on the first full day in Bahia Ballena, which highlights information about the community’s history, culture, as well as the flora and fauna of Costa Rica and our community.
- Guests keep coming back because at Bodhi Surf + Yoga, they feel like family! With the ability to go anywhere in the world, why do so many of our guests return time and time again? There’s much that could be said about this, but we will let the guests speak for themselves in this “What is Bodhi” video.
If you are looking for a surfing and yoga camp, where you get to know other travelers and become fast friends, and are treated like family by the staff – do yourself a favor and book this!! I went during the “green season” in June and am absolutely so happy that I did! It was warm and sunny in the mornings and the rain would come through and cool things off in the afternoon. And surfing in the rain is the absolute coolest experience!Lydia Maurer, June 2022
Why choose Bahia Ballena – Uvita
- Bahia Ballena is a natural paradise. Come see this small, coastal community that is surrounded on all sides either by lush jungle, verdant mountains, or the Pacific Ocean. Quite simply, there aren’t many places left like this in the world! Read more.
- There is so much to do in Bahia Ballena! Whether it’s an outdoor, adventure, or cultural activity, this place has so much to do for all budgets, travel styles, and levels of desired activity. Learn about some of the most popular activities in Bahia Ballena, and start planning your day off!
- Bahia Ballena is home to the stunning Marino Ballena National Park. The first marine park created in Central America, its main purpose is in the protection of the two visiting groups of humpback whales as well as the host of other marine flora and fauna. Bonus: if you vacation with Bodhi Surf + Yoga, it is within this very national park that you will be learning to surf!
- The people here are just so friendly. Whether you are patronizing a local business, enjoying a tour, or simply strolling the streets, you will find that the people in our local community are kind souls who are happy to welcome you into their home.
Why visit Costa Rica
- Costa Rica is a safe country to visit. While there are risks here like anywhere else in the world, we sincerely believe that if you prepare accordingly and practice common sense, the instances of trouble will drop drastically. Read more about common travel risks and how to avoid them.
- There is potable water in the majority of Costa Rica. This means there is a greatly reduced chance of getting sick. We’ve all heard of (or had personal experiences with) how horrible it can be to get sick in the tropics. Here are a few reasons why high water quality is correlated to the general health of residents and visitors in our community of Bahia Ballena.
- Costa Rica is a wonderful place to visit whether on your own or with others. Costa Rica is a country that genuinely has something for everything: whether you want to have a solo adventure to learn about yourself, or you want to experience what this beautiful country has to offer alongside your loved ones.
- This country is a global leader in conservation of nature and biodiversity. There is something so refreshing about how ostensibly passionate “Ticos” are about protecting the natural resources of their beautiful country. It is refreshing to see such high value placed on something so simple yet fundamental.
Learn about our various vacation options aside from Bodhi Sessions Adult Surf + Yoga Camp, choose your dates based on our availability calendar, and book quickly as spaces are limited to a maximum of 10 special guests per week and fill up quickly!
What you can expect on a Bodhi Sessions Adult Surf + Yoga Camp
Bodhi Sessions are our most popular vacation option: one or two-week long, set-date, semi-inclusive Costa Rican surf and yoga vacations in beautiful Bahia Ballena, Osa.
These camps allow you to surf, stretch, breathe, and sweat while learning about the environment, engaging with the community, and having lots of fun.
One of the main reasons that many Bodhi Surf + Yoga guests return again and again is that the trip is easy: Just give us your flight number, and our shuttle will be at the airport to pick you up.
Four hours later, you’ll be pulling into the Bodhi Lodge, in Bahia Ballena, Osa, Costa Rica. It is at this point that your adventure really gets going!
(FYI: Likewise, we provide a shuttle back to the airport so you don’t have to worry about the back and forth).
I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the experience, the location, and the Bodhi team. From the personal What’s App messages from the co-owner, Travis, answering our questions when we were thinking of booking, to meeting Adrianne who stayed up late to welcome us when we finally made it Bodhi after our flights, to walking into our beautiful cabin nestled in the greenery, it immediately set a welcoming and familial tone. And from there on out, it only got better…Seema P, May 2022
Our Bodhi Sessions Adult Surf + Yoga camps run Saturday to Saturday and each week includes the following:
- Round trip transportation between the Juan Santamaria Airport and Bodhi Surf + Yoga
- 6 nights of lodging
- 1 night (six at the Bodhi Lodge and one at a hotel near the San Jose airport)
- 3 delicious dinners and 5 breakfasts
- 5 surf lessons
- 5 yoga classes
- A community walking tour
- A visit to the local waterfall
- An unscheduled day
- A $20 donation to our Travelers’ Philanthropy Program
Also, you get the benefit of staying at a quaint lodge with a group of passionate individuals, some of whom have lived in the community of Bahia Ballena for decades and who have a ton of local knowledge to share.
Opportunities for independence
We leave some flexibility in the Bodhi Sessions: Adult Surf + Yoga Camps, because we know you’ll love getting out into the community. We have a ton of recommendations for meals to eat out and activities to participate in.
We’re here (literally onsite) to help — all you need to do is ask!
Our ethos here at Bodhi Surf + Yoga is one of responsible travel. We have opted to be semi-inclusive so that our visiting guests get out into the community and visit its shops, supermarkets, and restaurants.
There is no better way to experience connection with a place than by immersing yourself in it!
The community of Bahia Ballena – Uvita is mostly comprised of small, family-owned and operated businesses. Guests provide a big economic benefit to our community by patronizing these businesses.
Offsite meals and activities
For any meals that are not included, options abound. If you opt to stay in one of the larger bungalows, you will have kitchenette access and can purchase ingredients at one of the several supermarkets which are walking distance away.
There are also many restaurants in the Uvita area — some within walking distance, others which are accessible by taxi.
If you’re interested in squeezing the juice out of your vacation, note that there is ample time to do activities outside of the surf and yoga program. As mentioned above, there is plenty to choose from!
There was instant connection among all the guests which made for a really extraordinary week. Bodhi’s approach is to use Yoga and Surf to provide memorable learning experiences with the idea that guests will leave inspired to continue learning long term. I’m sold! And their commitment to the environment and sustainability, and dedication to being a certified B Corporation shows they are walking the walk.Rick B, May 2022
Sample Bodhi sessions schedule
The following breakdown is designed to give you an idea of what to expect.
Note that this is a sample schedule, as exact times of activities are subject to change; the surfing component of our schedule requires us to change it weekly, around the tides and wave conditions.
Saturday (Day 1)
Guests are asked to arrive on the first day (Saturday) before 2pm at the San Jose, Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose, Costa Rica. After everyone clears immigration and customs (which can average anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours depending on the time of year), you convene at the meeting spot outside the airport, Deli “La Malinche” hopefully by 3pm).
You can grab a bite to eat at the restaurant prior to making the approximately four hour trip to Bodhi Surf + Yoga in our private shuttle. Upon arrival at the Bodhi Lodge, the staff will welcome you, check you into your room or bungalow.
Guests and staff will go out to a local restaurant to enjoy the first group dinner together, go over expectations and goals for the week. After that, it’s early to bed to get up early and be ready for the first full day of our Bodhi Sessions Adult Surf + Yoga Camp.
Sunday (Day 2)
Sundays start with an early breakfast of locally sourced fresh fruit, coffee, banana bread, and eggs. To beat the heat, we start with the community walking tour first thing after breakfast. This activity is a great way for guests to learn the ins and outs of the local community, get a “lay of the land” from a trained local guide, and learn some local culture and slang. Expect to see some of the local flora (and maybe even fauna), and maybe even finish with a local snack or drink!
After returning to home base, there is a little break before the first yoga class at the onsite Bodhi Shambala Yoga studio. Next up, take a stroll to the local supermarket to stock up on snacks and meal stuff or go out for lunch at a nearby restaurant.
In the afternoon, the whole crew will head down to the beach for the first surf lesson of the week where you’ll learn about where you’re surfing, equipment, and do some preliminary drills from a prone position.
Sunday night is unscheduled so everyone is welcome to do their own thing. Head to a local restaurant or make something simple to eat before relaxing in the hammock or playing some games before an early bed.
Monday (Day 3)
By Monday morning, guests have an idea of the rhythms and flow of Bodhi Surf + Yoga, Bahia Ballena, and life in general in a quaint coastal Costa Rican community. After a morning yoga class (usually consisting of a philosophy, breathing, meditation, and postural component) you will be physically and mentally limber for the day’s activities.
Next up: a leisurely, healthy, and filling breakfast at the Bodhi Lodge. Then guests head to a local waterfall to cool down from the mid-morning heat. When you return to the lodge after this refreshing outing, there is a period of chill time prior to the sunset surf session where you will work on your pop up and surf stance.
Monday night is group dinner number two at Bodhi Surf + Yoga, an experience that consists of delicious local fare and many moments of laughter. Bodhi Surf + Yoga team members may prompt reflections of the day or a “High, Low, Ha!”!
Tuesday (Day 4)
By Tuesday, you are going to be so into the way of life in the tropics that you rise, bright and early, with the sun and the sounds of local animals such as roosters, howler monkeys, and what Bodhi staff call “funky chickens”.
You know the drill by now: an invigorating yoga class is up next — much needed class after two days of physical activity!
After you float down the stairs of the yoga platform and over to the common area, enjoy some local coffee or fruit juice, a delicious home-cooked breakfast, and conversation with fellow guests and staff.
After breakfast, everyone will head out for the first morning surf lesson of the week.
Post learning about waves and generating a surf report, as well as doing some shredding of your own, you will return to the lodge for some chill time in the pool or hammocks. Tuesday is a free night, so guests are most often found going out for a meal at one of the nearby restaurants.
Wednesday (Day 5)
Wednesday is the full free day! There are many activities to participate in and sights to see. For example, visiting the local Farmer’s Market, going to a nearby café, walking the Whale Tail, or just chilling at the Bodhi Lodge.
If you opt for the latter, you can hang in the hammocks, by the pool, or on the day beds. Guests can also do one of the many half or full-day tours of the area: boat tours (whale watching, snorkeling, or to a famous nearby national park), canyoning, ziplining, horseback riding, and more.
Thursday (Day 6)
On Thursday, we are back at it with a delicious and nutritious breakfast followed by a morning surf lesson in which we cover techniques for paddling out into the “lineup”. Guests may opt to spend more time at the beach, perhaps even enjoying the views from a comfy position on the sand.
There is an evening yoga class in which you can listen to the birds chirp as the sun goes down on yet another wonderful day. Thursday night is the last group dinner at the Bodhi Lodge, and game night!
On this last evening together we share an epic meal, reflect on some of the experiences we have had both together and apart, and maybe even play a game.
Friday (Day 7)
On Friday morning, it’s not unlikely to have a “dawn patrol” sunrise surf session, where the aim is that everything “comes together” and if conditions allow, you have the opportunity to catch a green, unbroken wave.
Following that, a light and delicious breakfast along with a hefty cup of coffee is in order.
The final yoga class of the week where some of the threads of the week are woven together, and you have an intentional “yoga goodbye” with your instructor. After packing, pool time, and lunch, guests and staff share one last activity together: the thoughtful and reflection-filled Bodhi Gratitude Ceremony.
Finally, at 3:30pm, you are picked up at the Bodhi Lodge for your shuttle transfer to your hotel in San Jose where you will be spending your last night. A farewell, but not a goodbye. After all, you can always come see us again. We hope you do.
Saturday (Day 8)
On this day, guests typically fly out of San Jose back home.
I visited Bodhi back in February for a week of surf and yoga. I have done a fair few surf camps in my life – some good and some terrible, so I did ALOT of research before choosing Bodhi. I eventually decided to go with them because of their holistic approach to surfing and small group numbers. After nearly a month of travelling around Costa Rica, the area Bodhi is in was the most beautiful area I visited. Green, lush, empty beaches, community vibes, and full of wildlife. Nowhere else compared.Jodie O, February 2022
We hope you will come see us!
Bodhi Surf + Yoga is a small family-owned and operated business that was founded in 2010. We feel blessed to be able to offer our multitude of passions to visiting guests from around the world, and do it in a responsible and community-centered way.
We sincerely believe that business can and should be conducted in a way that uplifts its workers, protects the environment, enriches its patrons, and benefits the community.
In our 12+ years of being operational, here are a few of the accolades that we are most proud of:
- We have been awarded with TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Award multiple years running, and have over 600 five-star reviews
- We’re a certified B Corporation, and a recipient of their “Best for the World” honor in 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022
- We have been a proud 1% for the Planet member since 2018
- We’re a Transformational Tourism Council partner and a proud Platinum Sponsor of the Center for Responsible Travel
- If you have any questions that have not been answered in this blog post, please feel free to email us at [email protected]! We are happy to speak to you directly as well.