Perhaps you’ve stumbled across this guide as you research “surfing”, “yoga”, “Costa Rica”, “vacation ideas”, or any combination therein. Perhaps you’re preparing for an epic week of surfing and yoga here with Bodhi Surf + Yoga in one of the most beautiful areas of the world (arguably — we realize we’re biased). Either way, we’re glad that you’re here, on this ultimate guide to preparing for your Costa Rica surf and yoga camp. We hope that you can find some useful information — whether it’s to provide you with some reasons why you join us, or to help you know how to prepare for your upcoming Bodhi Sessions adult surf and yoga camp.
One of the main reasons that many Bodhi Surf + Yoga return more than once, is that they quickly learn how low-maintenance the trip is for them. What’s included in Bodhi Sessions adult surf and yoga camp? Round trip transportation between the Juan Santamaria Airport and Bodhi Surf + Yoga, 7 nights of lodging, 3 dinners, 5 breakfasts, 5 surf lessons, 5 yoga classes, a massage, a community walking tour, a visit to the local waterfall, a free day, flight offsets, and a $20 donation to our Travelers’ Philanthropy Program are all included. Also, you get the benefit of staying at a quaint lodge with a group of passionate individuals who have lived in the larger community of Bahia Ballena for up to 15 years and have ton of local knowledge to share.
Ultimately, this guide is designed to consolidate some of the resources we have gathered and/or created over the years to facilitate the visit to Bodhi Surf + Yoga, and your Costa Rican vacation in general. We hope that it helps, and that it pushes anyone on the fence about visiting to book! Remember that spaces are limited to 10 spaces per week, and it is getting more and more imperative with each passing year to secure your space earlier than later!
Before you decide: Is this experience a good fit for you?
In order to answer these important questions, we have put together eight interesting tidbits that may answer these questions for you.
Traveling to Costa Rica
- Costa Rica is a safe and friendly country. While there are risks here like anywhere else in the world, we sincerely believe that if you prepare properly and practice good, old-fashioned common sense, the instances of any trouble will drop drastically. Read more about common travel risks and how to avoid them, here.
- Costa Rica is very clean, and potable water in the majority of the country means there is a greatly reduced chance of getting sick. We’ve all heard of (or had personal experiences with!) getting sick in a tropical or developing country. Read a few reasons why we believe that, at least in our community of Bahia Ballena, the high water quality is correlated to the general health of residents and visitors.
- Costa Rica is a wonderful place to visit as a solo traveler. Adventuring alone is a great way to learn about yourself, and Costa Rica is a place to adventure. You have the benefit of it being a safe and accessible country, so it’s a great starting place if you’ve never traveled alone before. Read more!
Visiting the community of Bahia Ballena
- 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. There is so much to learn and do, you will absolutely not get bored here. Learn about seven of the top activities in Bahia Ballena.
- Bahia Ballena is home to the stunning Marino Ballena National Park. The first marine park created in Central America, it’s main purpose is in the protection of the two visiting groups of humpback whales (yes, lots of opportunity for whale watching here) as well as the host of other marine flora and fauna. Bonus: if you learn to surf with Bodhi Surf + Yoga, it is within this very national park that you will be learning!
The Bodhi Sessions Surf + Yoga camp experience
- The Bodhi Surf + Yoga experience is, above all else, about learning. The five surf lessons and five yoga classes themselves are designed with education in mind — and not just about activities themselves, but about their respective histories, philosophies, and ways of life. There is also a community walk included which highlights information about the history, culture, and flora and fauna of Costa Rica and our community. All in all, Bodhi Surf + Yoga vacations are designed to facilitate connection to something greater, and awakening purpose!
- 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 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, and on our TripAdvisor profile!
Bodhi Sessions daily schedule
Note that this is a sample schedule, as exact times of activities are subject to change. Due to the surfing component of our schedule, we must operate around the tides for optimal conditions for our guests!
Saturday (Day 1)
Typically, guests arrive on Saturday before around 2pm at the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose, Costa Rica. At approximately 3pm, a shuttle will pick you up at the San Jose airport near the Deli “La Malinche”. You can grab a bite to eat at the restaurant prior to making the approximately four hour trip to Bodhi Surf + Yoga. Upon arrival at the Bodhi Surf + Yoga lodge, staff will welcome you, show you around, and you will enjoy the first group dinner at a local restaurant! After that — early night to bed for all to be ready for the first full day of the Bodhi Sessions adult surf + yoga camp.
Sunday (Day 2)
Sundays typically start with an early breakfast of fresh fruit, coffee, and an array of other food groups. To beat the heat, we usually have our community walking tour first thing after breakfast. This activity is a great way for guests to learn about the local community from a trained local guide, see some of the local flora (and maybe even fauna), and to generally get a “lay of the land”. After returning to home base, there is a little break before the first yoga class at the onsite Bodhi Shambala Yoga studio. Next up, a visit to the local supermarket to stock up on snacks and meal stuff for non-included meals. In the afternoon, the whole crew heads down to the beach for the first surf lesson of the week. Sunday night is free, so everyone typically does their own thing, whether heading to a local restaurant or making something simple to eat before relaxing in the hammock or playing some games before bed!
Monday (Day 3)
By Monday morning, guests have an idea of the rhythm of Bodhi Surf + Yoga, Bahia Ballena, and life in general in a quaint coastal Costa Rican community. After a morning yoga class to get limber for the day’s activities, there is a leisurely and filling breakfast at the Bodhi Surf + Yoga lodge. Next up, guests head to a local waterfall to cool down from the mid-morning heat. Returning to the lodge after this refreshing outing, there is a period of chill time prior to the sunset surf session (lesson number two of five). Monday night is group dinner number two at Bodhi Surf + Yoga, full of laughter and reflections of the day, and maybe even a “High, Low, Ha!” prompt!
Tuesday (Day 4)
On Tuesday, guests are likely to be so into the way of life in the tropics that they rise — bright and early, with the sun. Guests know the drill, yoga is up next, and it’s a much needed class after two days of activity! Next up: enjoying some local coffee or fruit juice, a delicious home-cooked breakfast, and conversation with fellow guests and staff. After breakfast, everyone heads out for the first morning surf lesson of the week. Post learning and shredding the waves, everyone heads back to the lodge for some chill time in the pool or hammocks. There are massages included which occur on the yoga platform right at the Bodhi Surf + Yoga lodge. Tuesday is a free night, so guests often opt to enjoy a meal out at one of the local nearby restaurants.
Wednesday (Day 5)
Wednesday is the full free day! There are so many activities to participate in and sights to see. For example, eating meals out at the local favorite spots, going for a walk to the Whale Tail or a hike into the local mountains, or just chilling at the Bodhi Surf + Yoga lodge, chilling in the hammocks, in 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 breakfast first thing, followed by a morning surf lesson. Guests may opt to spend more time at the beach, perhaps even enjoying the beautiful sunset from a comfy position on the sand. There is an evening yoga class, listen to the birds chirp as the sun goes down on another wonderful day. Thursday night is the last group dinner at the Bodhi Surf + Yoga lodge, and game night! On this last evening together, we reflect on some of the experiences we have had together or apart, and share some more laughs together.
Friday (Day 7)
On Friday morning, it’s not unlikely to have a “dawn patrol” sunrise session where the aim is that on the fifth surf lesson, everything comes together. Following that, a light and delicious breakfast is in order. Next up, the final yoga class of the week where some of the themes of the week are tied together. After some packing and pool time, guests will attend the “Bodhi graduation”. Finally, at around 3:30pm, you are picked up at the Bodhi Surf + Yoga 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!
Saturday (Day 8)
Guests typically fly out of San Jose back to their homes on this day.
Bodhi Sessions Surf + Yoga Camp packing list
- A few sturdy, comfortable bathing suits. For guys, you’ll want to bring at least two pairs of board shorts, and note that some stretch is good. For the gals: there is a lot to be said about finding a good surf bathing suit. Read more about this subject here.
- Hat. The sun here is much stronger than in other parts of the world, and being diligent about wearing a hat while out in the sun will help to prevent sunburns, heatstroke, and dehydration. If you are very concerned about burning, we strongly suggest a waterproof hat with a strap to wear while you surf. Read more about this subject here.
- Sunglasses. The sun and saltwater is very hard on the eyes, so bring your sunglasses! If your eyes are sensitive, polarized sunglasses are recommended for optimal protection. If you are worried about losing or damaging your sunglasses, it’s a good idea to bring a less valuable pair for the beach and other activities.
- Sandals. Flip flops or strap on sandals are everyone’s favorites for going to the beach. Sturdy, good quality sandals with a hard sole and straps that are sewn are recommended.
- Shirts. Bring a variety of t-shirts and tank tops. Cotton or other natural fabrics such as linen are preferable. If you are visiting between June-November, you may want to bring a light sweatshirt or jacket as well, as it can cool off at night.
- Shorts. Bring several pairs. Again, if you’re coming between June-November, you may also want to bring light pants.
- Waterproof sunscreen. While it is available to purchase down here, it is significantly more expensive and there is significantly less selection than in your home country. We recommend mineral sunscreen both for you and the planet’s health — read more about it!
- Reusable water bottle. The water here is both potable and delicious! We at Bodhi Surf + Yoga care greatly about the environment and thus try to reduce our plastic consumption. We hope you will join us in this effort!
- Some cash. Credit cards are widely accepted and there are several ATMs in town, but it’s always good to have some cash on hand at the beginning of your trip.
- Running or hiking shoes. There are many worthwhile places to see in the area which involve walking or hiking. Paths can be anywhere from in perfect condition to mildly treacherous, therefore we highly recommend a closed-toe shoe with good grip.
- Day backpack. Great for going to the beach, on hikes, walks, or other tours.
- Camera. It’s a beautiful area. You’ll probably want to brag about your trip when you go home. GoPros with durable casings and waterproof/break-proof cameras are recommended if you want action shots (Costa Rica seems to have a way of destroying cameras).
- Personal rash guard. Bodhi Surf + Yoga has rash guards in a wide variety of sizes, but often times people like to bring their own to ensure a good fit. Ladies with sensitive skin: knee rashes are quite common. If you’re concerned, get some into rash guard pants or simply bring some tight yoga pants that cover the knees.
- Natural insect repellent. Bugs aren’t a huge problem here, but sometimes it’s nice to have repellent if you’re out during the evenings or early morning.
- Personal toiletries and medications. Again, most items can be found here but just in case, it’s best to bring your own!
- Earplugs and eye mask. These are suggested only if you have issues sleeping. As we are located within the community, there are certain sounds associated with that: birds, dogs, music, weed whackers, etc. Also, keep in mind that it gets light around 5am.
- Dressy outfit. There are several nice places to go out for dinner if you feel like treating yourself; there is no dress code here at the beach in Costa Rica but you may feel like getting dressy at least once during your stay! Note: “dressy” here in our beach town is actually pretty casual: sun-dresses for girls, and short-sleeved button up shirts and non-sport shorts for guys.
- A few good books or magazines. The Bodhi Surf + Yoga lodge does not have any televisions on premises, but there are plenty of comfy areas to lounge around and read! We have a small library here, but you may want to use this time to power through your personal reading list.
- Games. We have several games at the Bodhi Surf + Yoga lodge (as well as painting and drawing supplies), but if you have personal faves, this is a good opportunity to get some quality game time in
Bodhi Surf + Yoga is an award-winning B Corp certified, 1% for the Planet member, and a Transformational Tourism Council partner. Learn about our various vacation options, and book soon as spaces are limited!