Costa Rica has, for many years now, been referred to as the "Happiest country on the planet." Whenever we tell people that, they always seems to ask the obvious questions: "Why?" and "Do you believe that's true?"
Our own answer is easily summarized based on what anyone can see and feel on a trip to this beautiful country, and it is not false, so yes, we believe that it's true for the following reasons and more:
1) The friendliness of the people of Costa Rica, who live by the phrase "Pura Vida" (pura life) which is equivalent to Hawaii's "Aloha" and then some!
2) The diversity (loaded): cultural, racial, ecological, biological...the list goes on. When you have a constant mixture of cultures (from historic conquistadores and the indigenous tribes, to current visiting tourists, expats who choose to call this place home, and, most importantly, the locals), you get a much more balanced society where how you look is celebrated, the natural beauty is celebrated and protected, the flora and fauna aren't the only things that flourish!
3) No military. That's right. Costa Rica abolished its military in 1949, instead choosing to spend funds on healthcare and education.
4) Blue Zone. Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula is one of five places on the planet known to have one of the highest concentrations of long-lived elderly in the whole world. You'll notice during your visit that people of all ages spend time together, and that people maintain active, healthy, lifestyles far into their older years!
5) The Ocean. We're ocean people (obviously), but studies from around the world name closeness to water, time and time again, as a source of tranquility and peace, a stress and anxiety-reducer, and a healing power. With the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east, Costa Rica has no shortage of water, and the name translates to Rich Coast because of the thousands of miles of beautiful coastline on both sides of this small country (roughly 80% of the size of West Virginia).
If you want the OFFICIAL answer on why Costa Rica is the happiest, though, you'll have to go to The Index. That's right; It sounds crazy, but there are actually in depth studies done that combine factors like Gross Domestic Product (GDP), ecological footprint, life expectancy, well-being, inequality, and population to determine a "Happiness Index!"
You can check out what makes Costa Rica, number one, happiest nation in the world, time and time again at the Happy Planet Index, which is broken down into their major factors and where Costa Rica ranks in each of those factors individually.
If that's not enough to quench your thirst for happiness knowledge, simply Google search "Costa Rica happiness" to see pages of articles on how and why Costa Rica is amongst the happiest nations in the world and often ranked number one, no matter the standards used by the different Happiness researchers.
Where does YOUR home country fall on the index? No matter where it lands, we hope you'll get a chance to come see the happiness in Costa Rica and drink from its cup!
Stay Happy! Pura Vida!
We're happy to announce we'll be heading back to Tamarindo January 11-17, 2020 for another incredible surf, yoga, and golf retreat at the luxurious Diria Hotel in Tamarindo, Costa Rica!
We had such an incredible group (of 27 participants from age 8 and up!) this past year that we wanted to do it all over again and we hope you'll join us to get a small taste of what we offer in our custom trips and a big taste of awesome!
The best part about our retreats is that there's something for everyone (and you don't ALL have to do the SAME things)! Each person in a room (up to 4 people/room allowed) chooses his or her package (so you can do yoga 3 times a day and your friend can do one a day with you and surf once a day since they've always wanted to try both)! Everyone wins when they can travel together AND each do the activities they most want to do!
You'll stay in a beautiful hotel with well kept grounds, multiple pools on site, right at the beach and in town with restaurants for all tastes! Tropical buffet breakfast at the oceanfront dining area will start your day off deliciously, no matter what package you choose!
Lisa Pineda out of New York will be back with us for yoga sessions 1-3 times/day (depending on the package) and our all-star local surf instructors will be ready to get you up and riding in the crystal blue and tropical waters daily if you choose to do surf and yoga, add-on surf lessons, or the stick to the beaches excursion with us! Pristine golf courses and beautiful views await our golf-lovers at two of the best courses in Costa Rica!
The most basic package (read: most relaxing, fewest activities) is the Along for the Ride which includes roundtrip ground transfers to/from LIR airport (on January 11th and 17th), daily breakfast, 6 nights luxury hotel room, 24 hour on site guides, and a full day excursion (your choice from Rainforest, Volcano, Adventure, and Stick to the Beaches)! Packages only get better from there with the option of yoga 1-3 times a day (Yoga Lite, Yoga, and Full Yoga packages), surf AND yoga package once a day, or golf packages, with 2 rounds of golf at top courses! The only bad choice is no choice!
The dates are during our high season/summer so our rooms are limited. If you're interested, be sure to grab your friends and family to book early. We even made it easier on your finances; If you book by June 1, 2019 you can make the full payment in 20% increments (the first payment includes an additional $250 security deposit). All of the details can be found at our website page for the 2020 Costa Rica Surf Yoga Golf Retreat Packages.
If you're ready to book already, you can head directly to the booking page and grab your room for the 2020 Costa Rica Surf Yoga Golf Retreats while they are still available.
You asked, we listened! Merchandise can now be seen and purchased via CC on our online store!
Currently all purchase are for pickup in Sámara, Costa Rica. We hope to be able to offer domestic and international shipping in the future (it's in the works), but for now we hope this extra feature will help you to see and purchase all of the sweet Costa Rica Surf Trip swag that your hearts desire!
Visit the Costa Rica Surf Trip online store by clicking here for your safe and secure checkout with Square.
Choose the items (and sizes where applicable) from the available inventory and pay by card, then we'll contact you to deliver your purchase locally!
We hope you enjoy this new purchase option!
-The CRST Team
It's easier than ever to book your Costa Rica surf lessons with us in Playa Samara now that we will publish our availability online for you to check out potential lesson times before you book! See the current Costa Rica surf lesson availability here.
We hope this will allow you to have a better idea of when you can surf during your vacation or stay in paradise before you book! We will update availability as often as possible to keep it current, but will let you know within 24 hours of your reservation if there are any conflicts!
Can't wait to hit the waves with you! ~The Costa Rica Surf Trip Team
We thought the moment would never come, but we're finally ready to announce our 2nd Annual Luxury Surf, Yoga and Golf Vacation Packages for February 2-8, 2019 with Lisa Pineda Yoga in Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica!
Taking the feedback of our first year's participants into consideration, we have made the retreat packages better than ever! Let us count the ways!
This year's retreat will take place in Playa Tamarindo, one of the most famous in Costa Rica at the luxury Costa Rica Tamarindo Dira Beachfront Resort! This year, there are discounts based on multiple occupancy, as well as multiple room options from Beachfront Bliss Sunset VIllage rooms to Family friendly fun Lagoon Village rooms and Adults Only magic in the Tropicana Village!
There are 5 restaurants and 1 dessert bar on the premises, which is located in the center of town near more local restaurants, bars, nightlife, shopping, and more! There are also 4 bars on site and 5 beautiful pools, including one of the largest in all of Costa Rica!
We have dedicated, reserved, flat yoga deck for yoga practitioners to enjoy their yoga sessions in peace and tranquility and have additional indoor and outdoor options to consider before we make the final decision.
We have added a full day of an excursion of choice to each participant, with four options to choose from each varying distances from the accommodations.
The furthest locations from Tamarindo for this years excursion options, but majestic must-sees at some point on a trip to this magnificent country are the Volcano Excursion and the Rainforest Excursion.
Finally, our newest addition to the activities this year is the Full Golf package (as well as the a la carte golf options)! These option prices are based on 2 golfer minimum. We will contact anyone who signs up for any option should that option not meet the minimum. There are four courses, the idea is that we will offer one each day except for the excursion day. The following are the courses on offer: 4 Seasons, Playa Conchal, Hacienda Pinilla.
Sunday morning chills! What a great surprise to see our intern, Mary Eggert, on the cover of the Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart Spring 2018 Cordecho Magazine!
Mary joined our team in November, signing on early in order to take part in the majority of our high season and to participate in the planning, marketing, and execution of our yoga retreats in collaboration with Lisa Pineda Yoga. We felt that allowing Mary to see how professional collaborations are formed in the travel world and the process from conception through fruition would be beneficial to giving her a more full understanding of how we work as a company, and things she may do if she decides to pursue travel as a career!
Mary was an integral part of our team, taking time to meet via videochat and on her own to plan and create blog posts, flyers, brochures, and exit surveys that were and/or will soon be implemented. She also got to sit in on planning conversations about our surf yoga retreats and get insider information on marketing strategies, even participating by choosing key locations in Buffalo where she could advertise using the flyers she had designed!
We are proud to see Mary on the cover of the Sacred Heart magazine because we believe she is a deserving young woman who works hard, is focused, organized, and driven. We couldn't be happier to have had her as part of our team (and to have her for a few more days as she wraps up her school year, and her time as a senior at the Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart (SHA) in Buffalo, New York!
Here is a bit more information on how we fit in to Mary's final portion of career development at her high school (owner, Meg's, alma mater):
We were the last step on Mary's career preparation journey, which may explain part of the maturity and professionalism that she demonstrated throughout her time with us. She began her time in high school with a Fresh(wo)man seminar, and followed it up with Sophomore to Sophomore sharing to connect with SHA grads in college. From there, she was encouraged to participate in College Fairs and to meet with college representatives. SHA holds an annual career day where alumna come to the school to talk about their careers and the paths they took to get there. Students go through the Naviance software program for college and career readiness while also creating a resume that is updated throughout their time in the all-girls Buffalo high school. They receive training and critique on college essays, preparation for the dreaded standardized tests, and finally, Mary ended up with us in her Senior Internship Program!
Mary was one of four students chosen to highlight different career paths taken by seniors of the class of 2018.
This is what Mary had to say about how she decided on her career path, what she learned at Costa Rica Surf Trip, and what she plans to do in the years ahead!
We are so lucky to have had such an intelligent, creative, and motivated young woman representing us this academic year, and grateful for all of her hard work and dedication! We wish you the very best as you pursue your dreams of sharing travel with the world, Mary; We can’t wait to see you in Costa Rica!
While planning my own trip to Costa Rica, I have learned some interesting and amazing things about this glorious country! Costa Rica is so beautiful and lush that, literally translated, it means "Rich Coast". This country is full of sunny beaches, thriving rainforests, and stunning volcanoes. Costa Rica is also famous for rushing waterfalls, where visitors can hike and go for a dip in the surrounding water, or do white water rafting in the rivers heading downhill, offering innumerable moments where this country will take your breath away!
Because the country is naturally so beautiful, the people of Costa Rica are intent upon protecting their land and taking care of what this resource. As such, 25% of the land is made up of protected national parks and refuges (Schriever) and the nation continues to progress towards a greener future, being an example for sustainable energy by already running 80% of its electricity from hydroelectric power. In 2017, Costa Rica went over 300 days using only renewable energy, making it a leader in sustainability (Embury-Dennis).
Even though Costa Rica is such a small country, it contains over 5% of the worlds biodiversity (Schriever). The rainforests, mountains, rivers, beaches, reefs and waters of Costa Rica are full of different animal, plant, and insect species, ranging from crocodiles to butterflies to monkeys, and everything in between. All around Costa Rica, different types of fruit grow, including bananas, pineapples, mangos, coffee, and many more.
Wondering what to do in your free time in Costa Rica? There are activities in abundance that will either relax you or give you the rush of adrenaline you've been looking for. Thrill seekers can zip line through rainforests and feel connected to the surroundings, then take a hike and pay attention to the wildlife in every direction. For those looking for something that will help them unwind, a deep tissue massage or horseback ride down the beach or mountain awaits! To experience more of what the beaches, Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea have to offer, you could paddle board at sunrise, spend hours surfing, and maybe end the day with yoga on the beach!
Above everything I've learned about this gorgeous country, one specific thing has stuck with me. The people of Costa Rica are so happy that the country is nicknamed "the happiest country on earth". Residents are very family and community focused, giving them a sense of support and purpose. Because of the climate, many people spend constant time outside, which supplies their bodies with sunshine and vitamin D, making them feel better both mentally and physically. The culture, food, connection to nature, and community may be part of the reason the nation is home to some of the oldest living people on the planet! Finally, one can’t escape the Costa Rican saying, "Pura Vida" (and they wouldn’t want to if they could)! "Pure Life" is the way of life for those in this wonderful country who try to be happy, relaxed, peaceful (they disbanded their military), and friendly!
by Mary Eggert
Being able to escape everyday life to surf or take part in a yoga class seems like a good way to relax and find time for yourself. However, there are more benefits than just relaxation and fun that come with these experiences. Both yoga and surfing unwind your spirit and helps you get in touch with your body and soul. Even more than this, surf and yoga can join together to have a positive effect on your every day life.
According to Disrupt Sports, in order to surf, you must allow yourself to be truly present in the moment. This consciousness and existence in the moment have physical, emotional, and mental benefits for everyone who participates! It is a gift from surfing that you enjoy every wave and rush of adrenaline as it is happening. Most times in life, we are not so lucky to be so present since we constantly worry about the past, the present, the future, and things we cannot change. Surfing also makes you realize how small you and your problems are in the grand scheme of things. You understand that you are at mother nature's mercy when it comes to the waves and that they are not something that you can control.
Yoga also forces you to be present in the moment. It requires concentration on your breathing and focus on each pose, and you realize soon enough that you are too relaxed to worry about the problems in your life. Since yoga connects the mind and body, there is no surprise that it has positive effects, both mentally and physically. Yoga acts as therapy for some people as it reduces their stress, anxiety, and depression (you can find the expanded list of advantageto trying yoga out by visiting this Yoga Journal article). Physically, you are more in tune with your body and there are a plethora of benefits yoga has for your physical health. For example, yoga helps drop your blood pressure, increases your blood flow, betters your bones, and so much more!
Surf and Yoga have the option to be both individual and group activities, offering the possibilities for private practice and focus as well as the camaraderie of a group activity for interpersonal growth before, during and after the practice of the activity.
When surf and yoga come together, you have that much greater opportunity to better yourself and bring positive effects into your everyday life. The physical and mental benefits of yoga work together to give you better overall health and make you more in tune with your body. Surfing makes you realize how good it feels to be living in the moment as it happens. Once you leave your yoga or surf session, you take the calm with you and feel more positive vibes, making you a an all-around happier, healthier, and more positive version of yourself!
So if you were wondering if yoga or surfing was right for you, or if you should spend the time and money on them, the answer is yes. There is no better way to improve your mental and physical health, and to ultimately better your life.
Now that you understand how both yoga and surf can improve your life, check out the details for our Costa Rica surf and yoga retreat April 7-11, 2018 and sign up now while there's still time to get started on becoming an even better version of yourself!
You heard that right! Costa Rica Surf Trip would like to welcome our first intern ever to the team!
Mary Eggert, a senior at The Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart, will be joining us for the remainder of her senior year and will be an integral part of our team! Meg's alma mater contacted her this fall about a student whose intention was to learn about travel planning, tourism, and how a travel agency works. We agreed and have only the highest hopes for the next few semesters of working with this bright, fun, and friendly young woman. Check out her biography to learn more about what made Mary want to join CRST and what her plans are for the future!
Welcome to the team, Mary!
We'd like to announce Costa Rica Surf Trip's very first Surf & Yoga Retreats!
With surf, yoga, and relaxed vacation package options to choose from and the ability to add-on activities (if you just can't get enough), there's surely a package for everyone in the family! Traveling with friends who all have varying interests? No problem! There's a package for everyone and the dates are all the same so you can come together, meet new people, and still be able to do what most interests you!
So what are you waiting for? Grab your plane tickets before April prices jump, and reserve your spot at our Costa Rica Surf & Yoga Retreats today! Pay your $250 refundable damage deposit online now. Once received, we'll send you the reservation package to submit your 50% deposit and information required to officially reserve your spot(s) at the retreat!
Costa Rica Surf Talk Blog
Information, articles, and fun facts about Costa Rican surf, waves, swells, competitions, athletes, events, and more!