FAQs: Visiting Bodhi Surf + Yoga During COVID-19

Bodhi Surf + Yoga / Surf + Yoga Camp Blog / FAQs: Visiting Bodhi Surf + Yoga During COVID-19

Updated April 11, 2022

Throughout the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, the situation has changed frequently. We have done our best to update information on our website as we learn it, as well as point to some very useful and trustworthy resources for our guests.

Here is our consolidated version of all of that information.

For full and updated information, please check Costa Rica’s official tourism board, the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT).

Table of contents

Surf and yoga camp Covid policy

The Bodhi Surf + Yoga promise during COVID–19

At Bodhi Surf + Yoga, we believe in using our business as a force for good. We know that we can and must be the change we seek in the world.

Our mission is to educate, inspire, and empower our stakeholders to live more sustainably through surfing, yoga, nature immersion, and community engagement.

We are proud to be a 2021 Tripadvisor Travel Choice Winner, a “Best for the World” award-winning Certified B Corporation for the last four years, and 1% for the Planet member. We hold ourselves to the highest of standards, and will continue to provide the best quality service while offering a clean and safe environment.

Why visit Bodhi Surf + Yoga in the COVID era

At Bodhi Surf + Yoga, we believe that the vacation experience that we offer here at Bodhi Surf + Yoga is not just appropriate for the moment, but also beneficial for guests who are interested in resuming travel in the COVID era.

Commitment to safety and wellbeing

Bodhi Surf + Yoga is committed to providing a safe, responsible, and unique vacation experience for guests, and we hold ourselves to the highest of standards.

Our offerings are optimal for this moment:

  • Small groups (10 guests max/week, but the realistic average is actually six guests/week)
  • Plenty of space: our lodge is spaciously distributed on just under an acre of land
  • Socially distanced activities in a natural setting
  • Healing properties of nature combined with learning, laughter, and fun

Costa Rica surf and yoga camp lodge

Commitment to responsible travel

Moreover, we are committed to responsible tourism in general. In April 2020, we achieved B Corporation recertification and increased our impact assessment score in all areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers.

We are proud to share that as a responsible company we have earned “Best for the World” honor in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021 and look forward to achieving it again.

Being a responsible company, we have consulted multiple sources when developing our on-site COVID protocols:

  • The Costa Rica Tourism Institute
  • Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health
  • Airbnb protocols with CDC guidance from experts in the fields of sanitization and medicine, such as Ecolab and Dr. Vivek Murthy, Former US Surgeon General
  • TripAdvisor’s Clean & Safe to Visit

We believe in being transparent with our future guests about the reality of the situation in order to help them decide if visiting us is a good fit!

What protocols you can expect during your stay at the Bodhi Surf + Yoga Lodge

We have a total commitment to safety and cleanliness. Here is a bit of what you can expect from us at the Bodhi Surf + Yoga Lodge in the COVID era:

  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Hand sanitizer available to guests & staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands
  • Contactless check-in and check-out
  • 24-hour minimum vacancy between guests

We also implement the five-step cleaning process:

  1. Preparing equipment and getting the space ready for cleaning
  2. Cleaning each surface by removing dust and debris
  3. Sanitizing all high-touch areas, appliances, and electronics
  4. Checking that the space has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized
  5. Resetting the room for the next guest and restocking supplies

Traveling in Coronavirus Era

Why choose Bahia Ballena as a vacation destination in the COVID-19 era

Our hometown, Bahia Ballena, has been very proactive during the COVID pandemic. In mid-July business started to review and implement the ministry of health and Costa Rica Tourism board COVID protocols. We have worked together to develop a best practices guide, create a checklist, and have even started to self-organize and certify that protocols were being followed.

Our local community foundation, Fundación SOMOS is currently working on a proposal for funding to help train and certify restaurants, hotels, tour operators as Clean & Safe to Visit. Fundación SOMOS, the Uvita town council, business leaders, and park officials collaborated to make our local Marino Ballena National Park a fun, safe, and enjoyable place for everyone to visit. This has included adding wash stations, social distancing protocols, and limited capacity for visitors for each entrance to the park.

Why visit the Costa Ballena area (Ojochal, Bahia Ballena, Uvita, Dominical) in the COVID era

Our area remains beautiful and tranquil through this scary situation and we feel very fortunate to call it home. The population density is low enough that it rarely feels crowded. Spending time in the Costa Ballena area is conducive to health and wellbeing for both our bodies and minds, which is more important than ever. Being immersed in the beautiful natural setting here gives both respite and invigoration.

Another nice thing about our location is that while it’s still quite remote, we do have access to many modern conveniences such as good quality healthcare. We are located a mere 25-minute drive away from the Hospital Thomas Casas Casajús of Ciudad Cortés that serves a large portion of the Southern Pacific Zone of Costa Rica.

We are also approximately three hours away from several major hospitals in the country’s capital, San Jose, where: “Private healthcare is also available, which is affordable and high quality,” according to International Living.

Road Less Traveled

Why choose Costa Rica during COVID-19

Costa Rica is an amazing place to visit for so many reasons, even amidst COVID. For those concerned about the quality of health care in this country, as International Living reports, “By almost any standard, Costa Rica has some of the best healthcare in Latin America.”

At Bodhi Surf + Yoga, our collective experience has been the same. Costa Rica is a very clean country at the best of times, and with these extra precautions in place, it’s safe to assume it’s never been cleaner!

Just as an example, in much of the country (including our area!), the water is potable which drastically cuts down on the amount of people who get sick.

Entering Costa Rica in the COVID-19 era

As of April 1, 2022 the temporary immigration measures that were in place for entering Costa Rica due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been repealed. This means….

  • Costa Rica is open via air or land transfer to citizens of any country in the world
  • Tourists are not required to quarantine or self-isolate for any amount of time
  • Visitors do not need to show a COVID-19 test to enter the country
  • There are no insurance requirements to enter Costa Rica, whether or not individuals are vaccinated
  • Tourists no longer need to fill out a Health Pass (epidemiological form)

Covid Travel Trends

Departing Costa Rica amidst COVID-19

Where can I get a COVID-19 test in Costa Rica?

There are many countries requiring that its citizens and residents require a negative COVID-19 test (either Antigen or PCR) prior to returning home.

The United States, Canada, and the UK are on that list.

There are many private hospitals and clinics around Costa Rica offering COVID-19 PCR and Antigen tests with results ranging from 24-48 hours.

Here is the full list of government-approved testing sites in Costa Rica.

Where can I get a COVID-19 test in Bahia Ballena?

In the Bahia Ballena-Uvita area, there are two options nearby to get either an Antigen or PCR test.

  1. Uvita Urgent Care in Uvita. Results are provided within 12-48 hours. Both Antigen and PCR tests. This is our most recommended clinic due to the close proximity to the Bodhi Lodge, ease of testing, and timely results.
  2. Vargas Consultorio Medico in Uvita. Results are provided within 24-72 hours. Both Antigen and PCR tests. This is one of the clinics our guests have used due to the close proximity to the Bodhi Lodge.

Is there a COVID-19 test center at the Costa Rica airport?

There is! You have the option of Antigen or PCR testing, with expedited results for a higher cost. You can book your appointment here.

Will I have to quarantine in my home country?

Please make sure that you confirm any quarantine guidelines in your home country for your return home.

What if I get COVID-19 while on vacation in Costa Rica?

If a tourist is diagnosed with COVID-19 during their trip to Costa Rica, they will be issued a 7-10-day quarantine (isolation order) and will not be able to leave the country until the isolation order is complete.

There is currently no information listed about this on Costa Rica’s official tourism board website, but this blog is a very good, constantly updated resource on the subject.

Outdoor tourism amidst Covid

Bodhi Surf + Yoga’s reservation and cancellation policies

Below is an outline of Bodhi Surf + Yoga’s up-to-date reservation and cancellation policy. For the full policy, read here.

Reservation and payment policy

Bodhi Surf + Yoga requires a USD $500 reservation deposit per person for vacation packages. Once the reservation deposit is received, your desired dates and accommodation preferences are booked. The deposit is credited to the total amount of your Bodhi Surf + Yoga vacation package.

Reservations are to be paid in full no less than 30 days prior to your arrival date.

For vacation package reservations made less than 30 days prior to your arrival date, packages must be paid in full immediately upon notification that your reservation has been confirmed and reception of invoice from Bodhi Surf + Yoga.

Cancellation policy

Reservations may be canceled and refunded based on the following:

  • Less than 60 days prior to arrival date: No refund of deposit
  • Less than 30 days prior to arrival date: No refund of payment or deposit

Is Bodhi Surf + Yoga waiving its cancellation policy due to COVID-19?

At this moment, we are unable to waive the cancellation policy. That being said, we understand that situations outside of the norm do come up (even outside of the global COVID-19 pandemic), and so we do handle these situations on a case-by-case basis.

Has Bodhi Surf + Yoga’s cancellation policy changed due to COVID-19?

Yes, Bodhi Surf + Yoga’s cancellation policy did change temporarily for guests who had made reservations prior to September 1, 2020. Since September 1, 2020 onward, however, we reverted back to our normal cancellation policy (see above) and will handle situations outside of the “norm” on a case-by-case basis.

If I am unable to travel to Costa Rica during my scheduled week, what happens regarding my reservation?

The cancellation policy will apply. That being said, we understand that situations outside of the norm do come up (even outside of the global COVID-19 pandemic), and so we do handle these situations on a case-by-case basis.

Can I reschedule my trip?

Yes, but we cannot guarantee there will be spaces, as we operate on a “first come, first serve” basis. We do fill up in advance, as we limit our week-long experiences to 10 guests per week.

What if I can fly to Costa Rica, but I cannot arrive on my arrival date due to limited flights?

If the limited flights available mean that you will arrive a day or more later than your scheduled arrival date, you will be responsible for booking your own lodging for those nights (if necessary) as well as how you arrive to Bodhi Surf + Yoga.

You can book a shared shuttle using EasyRide or Monkey Ride. Alternatively, you can reserve private transportation via Bodhi Surf + Yoga starting at USD $250 one way (San Jose – Bodhi Surf + Yoga).  We will do our best to catch you up on what was covered in missed surf and yoga sessions.

Covid-safe yoga retreat in Costa Rica

What a vacation at Bodhi Surf + Yoga looks like post-COVID

There are some differences between what a trip to Bodhi Surf + Yoga looked like prior to the coronavirus pandemic and what it looks like now.

However, the modifications are not that extensive and will be things you have likely become used to doing by now (such as wearing a mask when social distancing is not possible).

We have outlined an entire blog on this subject so that you know what to expect, called The Ultimate Guide to Preparing for a Bodhi Surf + Yoga Camp in the COVID-19 Era.

If you are thinking about coming down to Bodhi Surf + Yoga to participate in one of our vacation options — Bodhi Sessions Adult Surf + Yoga Camp, Bodhi Family Surf Camp, or two-week Bodhi Awaken Ocean Awareness, Bodysurf, Surf and Yoga Camps, we encourage you to read it in full!

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About the author


Adrianne is the fun-and-food-loving socialite of Bodhi Surf + Yoga. If she's not whipping up a feast for Bodhi Surf + Yoga guests, or out in the water giving surf lessons, she's probably busy writing for the Bodhi blog or keeping people up-to-date on the goings on via social media!