Yoga Retreats

7 Happy New You! Yoga Retreat Highlights // Panama 2016

The  Happy New You Yoga Retreat week, the last one of 2016, was hands down my favorite week of the year. Why, you ask? Because two words: GOOD VIBES. Good vibes that restored my faith in humanity, life, my yoga practice, allowed me to laugh at myself, to share stories with others, to experience several good hearted laughs, experience far flung tropical locales, meet cool, smart, inspiring people, remind me of my purpose in life, and to be warm and relax. It’s’s hard to beat.

Here are some highlights. Enjoy! See you again in 341 days!  But who’s counting? 😉

Beach Group Shot Panama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa .jpg


1. We Yogad Three Times A Day


Yoga Practice Panama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa .jpg


Yoga Practice Panama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa 1.jpg

Half Moon Yoga Practice Panama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa .jpg


2. We Rang In The New Year With Paper Lanterns, A Bonfire And Fireworks!


NYE Paper Lanterns Panama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa .jpg

Bonfire NYe  Panama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa .jpg

FireworksPanama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa .jpg



3. We Savored Every Bit Of Sansara


Sansara Dinenr Time  Panama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa .jpg


Sansara Sign Where The MAgic Happens Panama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa .jpg





4. We Explored Beautiful Landscapes


Beautiful sunset Panama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa .jpg


Jungle Road Panama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa 1.jpg


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Sunrise Tidepools Panama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa .jpg



5. We Surfed Like Pros


Lisa and Kenny Surfing Panama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa .jpg

Lisa and Kenny Surfing Panama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa 1.jpg





6. We Made New Friends And Bonded With Those We Already Knew



Making Friends Dunut Pool Panama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa .jpg

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7. We Visited Panama City, Casco Viejo and The Canal


Panama Downtowan View Panama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa .jpg


Panama Boats Panama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa .jpg

Panama Canal Close Up Panama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa .jpg



Casco Viejo Church Panama Happy New You! 2017 Cambutal Sansara Yoga and Spa .jpg




Photo credits: Mike Phillips, Susan C. Hines

Panama Cambutal New Year's Eve yoga retreat 2016
Yoga Retreats

Sansara Scouting Trip For Happy New You!

One of the best experiences I’ve had so far this year has been to visit Sansara Yoga and Spa in Cambutal, Panama.

Ewa and I had spotted this gem some time ago when we decided to host our forth annual New Year’s Eve yoga retreat called Happy New you! In the spirit of discovering new locales and broadening our horizons, we decided to explore a new part of Central America.

Sansara Magic- Our Scouting Trip To Cambutal, Panama For Happy New You! Yoga Retreat- group photo

This retreat will offer similar tropical climate, similar fun, lighthearted and vibrant concept, but wait ’till you see the incredible place we have chosen!

We are so excited to share it with you. For this mini-scouting trip it we put together a group of six friends and ventured out for Panama City.

For the record, organizing a trip between as few as us was NOT EASY. Between logistics, flights,  timing preferences, lengths of stay…it really made us appreciate the idea of going on a yoga retreat where all the logistics are already taken care of for you.

Panama Cambutal New Year's Eve yoga retreat 2016

The vibes are high at Sansara. The staff is uber friendly, the owners Mike and Janel are super inspiring (with a  baby on the way!) and the chefs so talented.

Some of us arrived early in Panama City and spent some time in Casco Viejo, enjoying the beautiful historic part of the city, its alleyways and the stark contrast between old and the modern parts.

Sansara Magic- Our Scouting Trip To Cambutal, Panama For Happy New You! Yoga Retreat- Panama City

Past Panama City, the drive becomes lush, beautiful and green.

Sansara Magic- Our Scouting Trip To Cambutal, Panama For Happy New You! Yoga Retreat- road to cambutal

The first thing that hit me when I arrived in Cambutal at Sansara was just how beautiful the property was. Sansara emanates a mediterranean feel with little thatched roofs staked with adorned walls and stylish details everywhere.

Sansara Magic- Our Scouting Trip To Cambutal, Panama For Happy New You! Yoga Retreat- sansara pool

Upon arriving some of us had already decided to hop on a cruiser bike and explore the lush and serene countryside, whereas some of us barely had any time to drop off our bags before getting whisked away by Mike, the owner for a rad surf session with the locals.

Sansara Magic- Our Scouting Trip To Cambutal, Panama For Happy New You! Yoga Retreat- Ewa- Fania-riding cruiser bikes

Sansara Magic- Our Scouting Trip To Cambutal, Panama For Happy New You! Yoga Retreat

Group sunrise yoga was stupendous on the elegant moroccan inspired yoga deck, and the beach in the morning creates a surreal mirror-like effect that will leave you in complete awe.

Sansara Magic- Our Scouting Trip To Cambutal, Panama For Happy New You! Yoga Retreat- sansara beach

My favorite parts of the trips perhaps were the mornings. Getting together with friends in the cool morning breeze, sipping tea, chatting and laughing, airdropping photos, trying all sorts of chia-seed puddings, whole wheat waffles, poached eggs over rooted vegetables.

The other thing I loved was hanging by the pool and getting smoothies delivered and snacks while kicking it in the sun with our group.

Sansara Magic- Our Scouting Trip To Cambutal, Panama For Happy New You! Yoga Retreat- sansara


Sansara Magic- Our Scouting Trip To Cambutal, Panama For Happy New You! Yoga Retreat- pool side lounge

If the surf was incredible, the surf instructor Nick is even more. Ewa could not be happier about his through, two and a half hour session where he shared literally all his passion and knowledge. Ewa is now completely hooked on surfing! For the non surfers, stand-up paddle boarding and snorkeling were a great and more chill alternative.

Sansara Magic- Our Scouting Trip To Cambutal, Panama For Happy New You! Yoga Retreat- surf

And did I mention the rooms? And the beds????? Because Sansara is practically brand new, everything is in pristine shape. The beds are soft white clouds and the aromatherapy makes you feel like you’re in heaven upon entering the room.

All the stone work was done by Mike, the owner, as well as the wood work. Stone showers and big slabs of wood as bed frames make the look of the rooms dramatic, stylish and edgy.

Overall, we absolutely adored the vibrant, chill and healthy energy of Sansara and cannot wait to get back and share it with all of you.

We are about half-way booked up for the retreat. Contact us at to reserve your spot or book below.

Dec 28, 2016 – Jan 3, 2017, Sansara, Cambutal, Panama.




Sansara Magic- Our Scouting Trip To Cambutal, Panama For Happy New You! Yoga Retreat- dancing gods

Blog, Yoga Retreats

Powerful Costa Rica Yoga Retreat Testimonial

How many times do you see a description of a yoga retreat deemed “transformative” and “life changing?”

Let’s be honest, unless the retreat is specific to deep personal work, aimed towards a spiritual path or incorporated into a well established program, it won’t and shouldn’t claim to be transformative.

Early on, Ewa and I  thought about the kind of market we wanted to cater to and what kind of retreat we wanted to create at Blue Osa.

We decided something fun, light and vacation-like was best suited for our collaboration and style during our last Happy New You! Yoga Retreat.

Click here to see more of a typical day on the retreat.

Happy New You Yoga Retreat Testimonial Valentina Rose Blog Costa Rica Temple Ritual
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hokklo


We were both amazed, however, at how powerful our last yoga retreat turned out to be for one of our participants.

While we all had a grand time, and will always remember this week as very meaningful, for some of us the week turned out to have deeper effects.

In all of my yoga career, this is the most powerful feedback I have ever received. I am honored to have been part of this positive transformation, and hope for many more to come.

This feed back is also an important reminder that even from fun, simple and lighthearted times deeper transformation can occur.

We are keeping this post anonymous for privacy reasons.


“Hi Ewa and Valentina,

Just wanted to check in and say hello!  I miss you guys!  I can’t believe it’s been one month since our fire/lantern ceremony and super fun night at Martina’s.  In some ways, the time has gone by so quickly and in other ways, mainly because I feel so different, it seems like a really long time ago. 

In the last month, I’ve found myself reflecting so much on how much the yoga retreat has meant to me.  I really believe in synergy and life alignment – and I believe that there was something out there directing us all to Blue Osa this year.  Coming to a yoga retreat is (or, probably more correctly, was) a bit out of my comfort zone, but the internet help us find the two of you and I am so much better for it.

Although this sounds like a serious email, the retreat was PURE JOY, FUN AND PLAY and I think that this is what caused (somehow imperceptibly) this big change in me.  During the week, I became re-connected with my physical self.  I like to thing that I’m fairly in touch with my emotional self (we do a lot of work on that in the field of work that I’m in), but during this process I think I became a bit stuck in my head and disconnected from the rest of me.  During the retreat, through yoga and surfing and swimming and trying handstands and doing cartwheels, I remembered what it felt like to be in touch with me.  Throw in some delicious, whole, and fresh food, great conversations, and new friendships, and I do feel like a new me.

More than that, since coming home, this feeling has grown and developed further rather than faded.  And I think there’s been positive feedback on my mental/emotional self through this connection.  I’m happier and more content, confident, and willing to be vulnerable in relationships and try new things.  I’ve been doing lots of yoga – I finally joined the studio that I having been thinking about joining for years, but was a bit afraid to commit to because I didn’t think I was fit or good enough.  I’ve been cooking more, sleeping better, and taking more time for myself and the relationships that are super important to me. 

I’ve been trying to journal a bit and this is the type of private thing I might write in there, but I also thought it was so important for the two of you to know the impact of the retreat.  I believe that lives of people often cross paths at just the right time, when you’re open and willing to recognize these moments.  That’s how I feel about you.  

So thank you for being just as you are, being brave enough to organize retreats like this, and opening your heart me and all of us!”


Happy New You Yoga Retreat Testimonial Valentina Rose Blog Costa Rica Tadasana
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hokklo


Are you ready for our next retreat?

Happy New You 2016!

December 28th 2016- January 3rd 2017

Sansara Yoga Retreat

Cambutal, Panama


How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Ewa and Valentina Yoga Instructors
Life, Yoga Retreats

5 Ways to Go Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Retreat

Going on the Happy New You! Yoga Retreat was exhilarating, eventful, fun-filled, exciting, relaxing, insightful  and overall a splendid way to change our routines, step away from patterns and enter a new way of life.


But how do we go back to our normal lives after experiencing such bliss, you ask?


All photos by Jonathan Hokklo


How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Ewa and Valentina Yoga Instructors


Some of us are returning to cold weather climates, most of us are returning to work, to duties, to things to do, problem solving, and sleeping less.


Here are five ways to maintain healthy habits even after you return from your yoga retreat.


1.Create Structure and Consistency In Your Life


How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Retreat Blue Osa Yoga Studio Temple


During the yoga retreat we went by a pretty structured schedule, with our 7am yoga class, followed by breakfast, the 10am yoga class, followed by lunch and then some rest before the last yoga class of the day.


While your real life schedule is almost guaranteed to not look like that, you can still ensure to have routines.


Give yourself plenty of time to wake up and ease into your day before heading out the door. 


Make  tea/coffee, and take the first 10/20 minutes of your day for something that serves YOU. You may journal, read the news, check your personal emails, read your book, eat cookies, or even do social media. (yes, you are allowed). The point isn’t so much WHAT you do, but the fact that you are taking time for yourself as a small gift of self- indulgence before the daily grind begins. Do all these things preferably in silence.


Honor the new day with a good start, so that the rest of the day is already more likely to continue on that note.


Try not to rush but prepare for the tasks ahead so that you feel confident and ready to focus.


When you can be still and grounded from the inside, you will be able to carry that feeing with you no matter where you are or how much you travel.


2. Enforce Enough Sleep


How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Retreat Blue Osa Yoga Pete the Chocolate Labrador


During the yoga retreat we all got lots of rest. Most of us went to bed early, and then got plenty of naps. No matter what your sleeping preferences are, you want to ensure and commit to getting enough sleep every night.


8 hours is good, 9 hours is ideal, 7 hours ok okay. Any less than that, especially when occurring several days in a row should be a warning that you need to slow down.


Sleep is incredibly important for a healthy functioning of our minds and body. When rested, we are able to function better, think more clearly and be more productive.


Most of the time late at night, we are procrastinating and not being productive. Decide on a bed time for each day and stick to it. 


3. Channel Your Healthy Chef


How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Retreat Blue Osa Yoga At the Dinner Table Healthy Farm to Table Eating


While we all indulged with the Blue Osa desserts and the second trips to the buffet, most of us felt lucky to be served fresh vegetables and fruit daily. Said ingredients were being incorporated in creative salads, soups, smoothies and other meals. While it takes time to prepare vegetables and cut up fruit, remember it doesn’t have to be intricate.


For breakfast, you can cut up a cantaloupe and eat the whole thing.


For lunch, you can slice a few tomatoes, add some olives, lettuce, feta cheese -optional 😉 good olive oil,  and you got yourself a delicious salad that takes less than 5 minutes to make.


For dinner you can cook a piece of fish in the pan and sauté some spinach.

Remember: less is more, and quality is usually preferable over quantity.


4. Establish Your Yoga practice, On And Off Your Mat


How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Retreat Blue Osa Yoga Class with Ewa giving Adjustment


Whether you were already an avid practitioner or a minty beginner, take this opportunity of being back from your retreat to revise your yoga practice, how often you practice, where, with who and what types of yoga.


If you’re new to yoga, try out a few different studios before committing to one. If you already have a yoga studio membership you might feel inspired to try out different styles of classes.


Also don’t forget that “doing yoga” doesn’t limit itself to walking into a class and doing the postures.


Yoga, in an energetic and spiritual sense, is practiced daily in lots of other forms. A walk in nature for example is a great way to reconnect to your “prana”, your energy force, and rekindling with the elements, the sounds, spending alone time or just practicing sitting are forms of meditation as well.


Being mindful and self-reflective, becoming aware of your thought patterns, the way you speak and enacting kindness, IS a form of yoga.


5. Reflect On Your Social Behavior

How to Return Back to Normal Life After your Costa Rica Yoga Cute Monkey on a Branch


When we travel we tend to become a lot more outgoing and open to socializing. That’s because we feel a bit more vulnerable, a bit more humble, and a bit more willing to talk to strangers.


In our daily lives however, we tend to go by the I-already-have-my life-I-already-have-my-friends-so-why-should-I-talk-to-you-when-I am-busy mode.


Truth is, there are never enough great people that can enrich our lives. And when you start to smile to people, greet them enthusiastically and strike conversations, door will open in ways that might surprise you 🙂


Travel, Yoga Retreats

What To Pack For Your Costa Rica Yoga Retreat

Keep in mind that Costa Rican life lends itself to a simple life. The most famous expression in Costa Rica is “Pura Vida” which translates to “Pure Life”. Pura Vida reminds us to remain simple and light in life. The weight of life can be cumbersome and drag us down.


For this reason, the list of things you need to bring to Costa Rica to enjoy your vacation is small and light.


Traveling light allows you more freedom to move from place to place more effortlessly without the mental burden of worrying about your stuff on your journey.





1. Passport – This might be obvious, but make sure your passport is current and up to date. Your passport must have at least 6 months validity. (There is NO visa required to travel to Costa Rica.)

If you are entering Costa Rica from South America, you will be required to show proof of having a yellow fever vaccination.


2. Money – bringing some cash is great, but you can use your credit cards at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat + Spa (they accept Visa, Mastercard, and Discover).

Keep in mind you do NOT need to exchange currency when you get to the airport. American dollar is widely used in Costa Rica and the airport exchange fees are not favorable.

We recommend bringing about $500 or less and bringing lots of small bills for easier currency exchange and small store change. You will need cash when taking taxis around San Jose, buying from local markets, tipping tour guides, eating out.

Keep in mind you do NOT need to exchange currency when you get to the airport. American dollar is widely used in Costa Rica and the airport exchange fees are not favorable.


3. Tooth brush and toothpaste –  if you forget yours of these items can be easily purchased anywhere. Body wash will be provided.




4. Yoga mat – we suggest your bring your yoga mat but if you can’t because you want to travel light you may rent one at Blue Osa for $30 for the week. 100% of the proceeds for yoga mats go to Blue Osa’s community outreach projects.


5. Clothing  – 2 or 3 pairs of shorts/ yoga leggings, 3 or 4 tank tops. Favor light and breezy clothing, things you would be okay getting wet.


6. Shoes  – Sandals/flips flops, and a pair of old sneakers – you do not need a lot of footwear.  Old sneakers are for hiking in waterfalls and in the jungle. Expect for your shoes to get wet and not dry fully before you departure. Sturdy shoes are essential for any adventures. High heels are not recommended.





7. Warmer clothing – bring a pair of long pants and a long sleeve shirt to wear on your flight to San Jose, Costa Rica. At certain times of the year, the nights in San Jose can get quite cool. Also, if you plan to take a side trip to the mountains before or after your yoga retreat or go horse back riding, you will definitely want some more coverage.


8. Journal and pen – optional.  A powerful practice in yoga is to take the time to journal your thoughts, ideas, dreams and goals.  You will receive invaluable insights from this practice.


9. Bathing suit – essential for the beach.





10. You DO NOT need to bring a beach towel. Blue Osa Yoga Retreat + Spa, as well as most hotels, provide these.


11. A camera/binoculars – you never know what whales might be breaching in the distance, monkeys might be swinging from the trees, or interesting birds you might want to capture.


12. Underwear and socks – pack as as much as you think you need, then return 75% back to the sock/underwear drawer.


13. Flashlight –  an essential part of your vacation to Costa Rica. Blue Osa is an eco-resort, and as such has low lighting at night. Having a flashlight ensures that you will be able to find your way around without stepping on any creatures that may be on the path.




14. Sunscreen – Another essential item for your vacation to the tropics. Sunscreen is readily available in most stores in Costa Rica, as well as the Blue Osa boutique.


15. Water bottle – to stay hydrated during yoga, at the pool, and anywhere you go. We recommend stainless steel water bottles like Klean Kanteen or Swell.


16. Bug spray – For dusk mostly, the time when mosquitoes tend to come out, you want to preferably have some natural bug repellent.


17. Sunglasses and hat – to protect you from the sun. if you have expensive sunglasses you might want to opt for something a little cheaper that won’t get ruined. Same thing goes for watches and jewelry.


18. Books  Once settled in the resort you’ll find it is really enjoyable to lay on a hammock or by the pool pavilion and immerse yourself in a great novel. Blue Osa also has a small shelf of book trades in case you finish your reads and want to keep going.




19. Spare the makeup – you’ll rarely enjoy wearing makeup in Costa Rica. The humid and warmer climates can make it uncomfortable and literally melt it off your face.


20. Leave your blow dryers at home – most hotels and resorts provide hair dyers, however, those types of electronics are NOT allowed at Blue Osa because the solar generated power system cannot handle the voltage.


21. Electronics and chargers  outlets in Costa Rica look the same as the ones in the U.S. You will be able to change your phones/tablets/cameras in your rooms at Blue Osa. Please note that Wifi is provided in the lobby area but not through the whole property.



costa rica to cali transition- Pete
Yoga Retreats

5 Things about Happy New You! Yoga Retreat that you Won’t Get on Other Yoga Retreats

We’ve all seen it, there are so many yoga retreats out there. Which to pick? Where to go? It’s tough to choose!

But what’s different about ours?

Here are five things you won’t be doing on other retreats that will make your experience with us completely unique!

1. New Year’s Eve Temple Ritual and Paper Lantern Ceremony

Ewa+Valentina after teaching yoga in Costa Rica Paper Lantern Ceremony

For New Year’s Eve we are arranging a paper lantern and fire ceremony on the beach. We will focus on letting go of beliefs that no longer serve us, so that we can set a new intention for how we want 2016 to be and send it out with our lantern into the night.

There will also be a dance party afterwards!

2. Two Different Styles of  Yoga

Ewa+Valentina after teaching yoga in Costa Rica

You get to pick and choose, or try both! Valentina’s classes focus primarily on alignment and precision, through simple postures to understand them at their core, for a more sustainable and focused practice.

Ewa’s signature Skanda style is characterized by strong sequences focusing on movement as a tool for transformation, including lots of inversions and arm balances, plus pranayama, stories about mythology, dream yoga and more!

3. Organic Garden

yoga retreat costa rica ewa valentina New Year's Ave Blue Osa Garden Tour Vegetables

Blue Osa, as a proud eco-resort, provides a lush and bountiful organic garden of their own that you can visit or even help out in. See for yourself spinach, basil, tomatoes, papaya, cilantro, peppers, cucumbers that all transition literally…from farm to table.

Check out this great article about 5 things growing a garden will teach you about life from the Blue Osa Blog.

4. Pet Cuddles for Days

yoga retreat costa rica ewa valentina New Year's Ave Blue Osa Yoga studio Rama Dog Pet Cuddles

yoga retreat costa rica ewa valentina New Year's Ave Blue Osa Yoga studio Rama Dog Pet Cuddles

You know that pet you’ve always wanted but never got because you want to have a life? At Blue Osa you get to enjoy all the benefits of pets without any of the responsibilities!

Join Pete, Rama the doggies and the four kitties for endless cuddles and walks on the beach.

5. Martina’s Jungle Bar

yoga retreat costa rica ewa valentina New Year's Ave Blue Osa Yoga Martina's Jungle bar Osa Peninsula Costa Rica

Who doesn’t love the random experience of getting in a 4×4, driving on a dirt road through cows and horses and arriving at a colorfully entertaining, cheetah cushioned, jungle bar?

There you can dance the night away, hula hoop, browse the open air market, purchase Allison’s organic handmade soaps and oils,  people watch while sipping a cerveza or enjoy Barbara’s  homemade ice cream (not to be missed!)

That’s what we call jungle fun!

Happy New You is all about being comfortable with yourself, as you already are, by letting go of the ideas that are holding you back. Besides, we will have so much fun!

Zucchini Flan Blue Osa Costa Rica Yoga
Travel, Yoga Retreats

For Foodies Only: Blue Osa’s Seven Best

One of the aspects that makes your Blue Osa experience divine is the gourmet food made with love.


Blue Osa 6 foods that will have you rave Costa Rica Yoga


Here are the six best Blue Osa foods that will have you rave for days.  Ranging from savory to tangy, exotic and subtly sweet, these flavors are bound to blow your mind.


1. Zucchini Flan


Zucchini Flan Blue Osa Costa Rica Yoga


This is one of my personal favorites. Often served for lunch alongside a refreshing salad and some other veggie dishes, this fluffy flan is always perfectly executed and emanates pure summertime sweetness.


2+3. Coconut-Encrusted Mahi Mahi with Mango Salsa


Mahi Mahi Coconut Encrusted With Mango Salsa Blue Osa Yoga Costa Rica


Mango Salsa Blue Osa Costa Rica Yoga


If you are a lover of coconut and a lover of fish you will adore this entree. The finely chopped mango salsa freshens the crisp Mahi Mahi texture for a combo made in heaven.


4. Fresh Guacamole With Patacones


Guacamole with Patacones Blue Osa Yoga Costa Rica


Guacamole Extra Blue Osa Costa Rica Yoga


This is a Costa Rican classic. Smooth and velvety avocado served with the crunchy, salty plantains and a dash of lime. It’s a party in your mouth!


5. Blue Osa’s Star Fruit Crumble with Fresh Vanilla Whip Cream

Star-Fruit-Crisp-Costa-Rica-Blue-Osa-Dinner-Valentina Rose Blog


Healthy and decadent, this dessert is a Blue Osa original. The warm, slow cooked star fruit is topped by a sweet crumble with a dash of soft whip cream on top to finish it off.


6. Piña Colada


Pina Colada Blue Osa Costa Rica Yoga


When in the tropics, a Piña Colada is a must! You just can’t go wrong with this tropical and luxurious cocktail involving fresh pineapple and coconut milk. Sweet and inviting from start to finish, with a tad of rum that will pleasantly relax your night away.


7. Passion Fruit Cocktail


Passion Fruit Cocktail Blue Osa Costa Rica Yoga


With tangy notes and a kick this elegant passion fruit cocktail will surprise your taste buds. Enjoy the passion fruit’s crunchy bits a the bottom!


10 Places to See Before Your Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica Valentina Rose Blog
Travel, Yoga Retreats

10 Places To See Before Your New Year’s Eve Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica

Here’ s a list of places you might like to consider before or after our Happy New You! yoga retreat in Costa Rica.

The one thing we are not going in depth about in this post is that San Jose, the capital, has great museums, restaurants and sightseeing to offer.

But, if you were to wander outside of the city, this list is for you. Note that we are mentioning places that are conveniently located on the way or near Blue Osa, where the retreat will take place. The list goes from North to South. Enjoy!

10 Places to See Before Your Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica Valentina Rose Blog

1.Volcan Arenal

Volcan Arenal Costa Rica Valentina Rose Travel Blog

About three hours North of  San Jose.  Positioned within Costa Rica’s fertile northern lowlands, the Arenal Volcano is tall, imposing and has a reputation that precedes itself. Arenal’s perfectly symmetrical shape and abundance of outdoor activities make it a sightseer’s dream.

Thanks to geothermal activity beneath Arenal, the area surrounding the volcano is home to a number of hot springs. There are springs for every budget and style, and many serve up unobstructed views of the volcano.

2. Volcan Poas, La Fortuna Hot Springs, Rio Celeste

Volcan Poas Costa Rica Valentina Rose Travel Blog

Located about 1½ hours from San Jose, Volcan Poas is a very popular day trip. Poás Volcano is one of the major attractions in the Central Valley region and one of the most visited national parks in all of Costa Rica. Considered by most to be one of the most breathtaking sites in the entire country, the Poas Volcano sits high above 14,000 acres (5,666 ha) of various habitats and life zones.

Hot spring like the ones at La Fortuna are popular locales offering a relaxing spa-like experience among rainforest-inspired settings.

The Río Celeste is one of Costa Rica’s most spectacular rivers.  This river’s light blue color – the result of sulphur and calcium carbonate mixing – has earned it a unique place in Costa Rica.

3. Playa Hermosa-Jaco

Playa Hermosa Jaco Costa Rica ValentinA Rose Blog

An easy hour and a half drive from San Jose, on your way South is Playa Hermosa ( a few Km down the road from Jaco) offers an excellent vibe with chilled out surfers and pretty beach sunsets. Be aware that while Jaco offers great beginner waves, Playa Hermosa can pump monster swells. Still, even if you’re not a pro, you can sit back and watch!

4. Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio National Park Costa Rica Valentina Rose Blog Travel
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hokklo

Manuel Antonio National Park, on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, encompasses rugged rainforest, white-sand beaches and coral reefs. Manuel Antonio is one of only two locations in Costa Rica where you can see all four types of monkey; spider, howler, white faced and the endangered squirrel monkey, many of which can be visible from your hotel window. The area is also a prime destination for spotting sloths, both in and outside of the national park.

Between the main town and the national park there are several world-class beaches in the area. Here, you can swim, hike the park, or simply relax. Plus, available are all the amenities you would come to expect as well as a jumping nightlife.

5. Catarata Nahuyaca

Catarata Nahuyaca Valentina Rose Blog Costa Rica Travel

The Nauyaca Waterfalls are one of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica’s South Pacific.

One of the falls is forty-five meters high and the other twenty meters high. There are also other smaller natural pools where tourists can walk, swim, climb, jump, take photographs and spend a marvelous day in the warm waters of Rio Barucito, enjoying one of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica’s South Pacific.

6. Dominical, Uvita, Parque Marino Ballena

Dominical Uvita Parque Marino Ballena Costa Rica Valentina Rose Blog

Dominical remains the sort of place where it’s best to just slow down, unwind and take things as they come.

Dominical offers sweet barrels, motley crew of surfers, backpackers and affable do-nothings alike. Dominical has no significant cultural sights, no paved roads and no chain restaurants, and if you’re not here to learn to surf or swing in a hammock it might not be the place for you. Pacific Edge is highly recommended as a hotel for a more pampered stay.

Uvita is a tiny town further South that is best known for its National Park, Parque Marino Ballena. At low tide, you will be able to see the mystical wale tail shape where the two beaches connect. It’s worth it!

7. Drake Bay

Drake Bay Cano Island Costa Rica Valentina Rose Blog Travel

Resting on the northern side of the Osa Peninsula, Drake Bay (Bahía Drake) is an adventure-seekers paradise. It is named after Sir Francis Drake who is believed to have ventured here in the late 16 century. With scattered hotels and lodges, Drake Bay is the ideal vacation spot for those wishing to relax and escape from it all. While Drake is best known for scuba diving and snorkeling on Cano Island, other activities include  swimming, kayaking, horseback riding, hiking (Corcovado National Park), sport fishing, bird-watching or exploring the miles of deserted picturesque coastline.

8. Playa Zancudo

Playa Zancudo Zancudo Lodge Costa Rica Valentina Rose Blog

A long stretch of black sand backed by coconut palms and almond trees forms the idyllic setting for Playa Zancudo. Located along the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica in the Golfo Dulce, Playa Zancudo is a beautiful and untouched area that sees significantly fewer tourists than other parts of the country. The atmosphere here is laid-back, and if you are into fishing, this is the place to be. 

9. Pavones

Pavones Costa Rica Valentina Rose Blog

Pavones  is a small town located in the southern Pacific Zone about 1 1/2 hour drive from Golfito. The little pueblo exists almost entirely for surf tourists who make the journey for the left point break that runs the entire length of the village of Pavones.  Pavones is definitely at the end of the road and a little out of the way. However for the opportunity to catch rides that will make your legs ache it is well worth the journey. There you can also find the Yoga Farm Pavones at Punta Banco, a rustic yoga center and sustainable living project centre.

10. Finca Bella Vista, Piedras Blancas

Finca Bella Vista Costa Rica Golfito Valentina Rose Travel Blog

Finca Bellavista is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.  Finca Bellavista is a residential treehouse community located in the south Pacific coastal region of Costa Rica. They are a rustic, yet comfortable, private retreat off the beaten path where owners and limited numbers of guests can explore the natural wonders of the rainforest canopy.

They are located in a relatively untouched portion of Costa Rica that is removed from many of the influences of the outside world. Their neighbors and friends are indigenous families and hard-working farmers. No souvenir shops, no mini-malls, and no rowdy bars.

Near Finca Bellavista is Piedras Blancas National Park.  The Piedras Blancas National Park, located along Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast just outside the town of Golfito, protects over 34,595 acres (14,000 hectares) of evergreen primary forest and a great number of indigenous plants and wildlife.  Today, the park offers visitors the chance to explore its thriving rainforests and immaculate beaches, winding rivers and powerful waterfalls

For the Adventurous at Heart

Cerro Chiripo’

Cerro Chiripo' Costa Rica Travel Valentina Rose Blog

Mt. Chirripó, the highest mountain in Costa Rica (and second highest in Central America) stands tall at 3,820 m (12,532 ft.). Climbing 19 km up Chirripó is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of Costa Rica. Monkeys roam the forests; the terrain continues to change every hour; the flowers come in every color. But the most motivating reason hikers put themselves through this rigorous trek is its collection of amazing views, one of which includes a view of both the Pacific and Caribbean Oceans from the summit.

Carara National Park

carara National Park Costa Rica Travel Valentina Rose Blog

Carara National Park is located just 9.3 miles (15 km) north of Jaco and about an hour from San Jose. Several miles of hiking trails are open for visitors. Early morning, or around sunset is often the best time to see the wealth of birds living in the park, especially scarlet macaws. due to its close proximity to the capital city, however, if you can beat the crowds, the experience and wildlife which runs rampant throughout the park will impress any nature enthusiast.

The Tarcoles River, which borders the park and flows into the Pacific Ocean, is an amazing place to witness the American crocodile close up. Boat tours are available to see them, as they can be up to several meters in length!

This is just a little glimpse of all that the beautiful and diverse country of Costa Rica can offer. Make the most of Costa Rica while you’re at it! 🙂

Retreat in Paradise 5 reasons you should go on this yoga retreat
Blog, Travel, Yoga Retreats

5 Reasons You Should Go on The Blue Wave Yoga Retreat

Are you on the fence about booking your plane tickets? Maybe wondering if this is really the vacation for you? Never been on the Blue Wave Surf & Yoga Retreat before? Here are five reasons you should commit and book- no regrets!

Retreat in Paradise 5 reasons you should go on this yoga retreat

1. To vacation without the stress of vacationing

With this yoga retreat, you get to see a new place without having to hassle to figure out all the details. You will get to experience new landscapes and adventures without having to do insane amounts of research on your Lonely Planet. We have it all figured out for you! Just book a flight ticket and we got the rest covered 🙂

Practcing yoga

2. To experience yoga in a whole new way

Have you ever had that feeling that an hour of yoga doesn’t give you enough time to really unwind? Or you have all those questions about a certain pose that you never get a chance to ask? Driving to class and rushing into class has you feeling a little stressed? This yoga retreat is for you. Yoga classes will take place conveniently near your doorsteps, and in front of the ocean. And several times a day. Need we say more?

*Not as into yoga? Not a problem. There will be plenty of opportunities to surf, on the Boca Sombrero break right in front of the resort.


3. To meet cool people

The great thing about the Blue Wave yoga retreat is that everyone who attends is awesome. You will find yourself connecting with people from all walks all life, from different countries and of all different personalities. You will be pleasantly surprised.

4. To leave with a lighter load

Whether you are seeking resolution or not, it is guaranteed that you will emerge from this yoga retreat with new perspectives. Many times we need to walk away from our daily routine, our problem, stress and frustrations so that we can distract ourselves and then come back with a clearer outlook on life. Or maybe. after you take some time “off”, the problems you had before don’t seem as challenging anymore 🙂


5. To establish healthier habits

We want you to be healthy, and we want you to know how that feels so you can continue doing it back at home. We have gourmet healthy meals prepared for you. We want you to know what it feels like to get restful sleep. To unplug. To have the opportunity to read a book in peace. To hear the sounds of the jungle. And to be inspired to seek those quality lifestyle adjustments once you return home. Click here for a typical day on the yoga retreat.

Got more questions?


BDYR studio group shot

Surfing the Osa Costa Rica
Blog, Travel, Yoga Retreats

Surfing the Matapalo // Osa Peninsula //- A Guide

The Osa peninsula is known for many things, and among them, some world class waves. Whether you’re an experienced surfer or a beginner wanting to learn, you will find just what you need in the Osa.

Note that all the surf spots in Matapalo are point breaks.

Aaron surfing pan dulce Blue Osa Costa Rica

 Surfing the Osa

Pandulce 1

Location: Cabo Mata Palo. Drive past the little jungle bar of Martinas, cross the river and take the first left into the road that takes to Cabo Matapalo. Pass casa Bambu, Casa Pina and Casa Dulce on your left and then turn left on a little road that will take you to a tiny parking lot. Lock your vehicles and keep all valuables with you!

Difficulty level: easy. This is a forgiving wave and the best one to learn surfing on.  (this spot is also known by the locals as “Pussy Point”, because it’s one the most beginner surf spots in the area.

Wave direction: Right

Barrels?  Yes, usually smaller ones.

Best part about it: this spot has a fun right wave with a good speed which can make for fun sessions.

Good to surf during: low tide

Crowded? Yes

Watch out for:  When you go in at low tide you will need to walk on some flat rock as you enter the water, which can be a bit slippery. Also sting rays sometimes hang out in the sandy bottoms, so shuffle your feet as you walk in.

Pandulce 2

Location: Cabo Mata Palo. This spot is still Pan Dulce, but a bit further down on the Matapalo road. You can enter from a few different points. You can get to it by walking on a little trail from PanDulce 1 at low tide on your right. You can also go from the Encanta la Vida yoga deck and then take a right on the trail. You’ll see a few benches.

Difficulty level: intermediate

Wave direction: Right

Barrels? yes

Best part about it: all the waves here are great for ripping

Good to surf during: When there’s a big swell you can surf both tides, the high and low, but when the waves are small you want to surf at high tide.

Crowded? Usually yes

Watch out for: rocks

Surfing the Osa Costa Rica


Location: Cabo Mata Palo. Once again take the main Matapalo road and continue until you get to the Backwash parking lot right before a little river. If you passed a steep hill you’ve gone too far.

Difficulty Level: fairly Difficult. Definitely for people who can already surf, not for beginners.

Wave direction: Both rights and lefts

Barrels? yes

Best part about it: All the waves there are good, there’s a good drop and good sections for its airs and maneuvers!

Good to surf during: low tide

Crowded? sometimes

Watch out for: Water currents and rocks. The rocks that divide Backwash from PanDulce 2 are surrounded by strong currents, so make sure you don’t go in/get out from there.


Location: Cabo Mata Palo. Drive all the way to end of the Matapalo road. The beach will be right in front of you.

Difficulty Level: difficult. Experienced surfers only.

Wave direction: right

Barrels? yes. Good barrels

Best part about it: the drop

Good to surf during: low/medium tide

Crowded? it depends on the swell and the season. During the low season you could find only locals surfing there.

Watch out for: rocks underwater and currents during big swells that push towards the rocks. Go in front the right side, not from dead center.

Sunset Watch Matapalo Costa Rica
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hokklo

The rest of the beaches below are NOT located in Cabo Matapalo, but rather in the surrounding area.

 Germany Beach

Location: playa sombrero, right in front of Boca Sombrero. It’s a beach break.

Difficulty level: easy wave

Wave direction: both lefts and rights

Barrels? yes, small ones

Best part about it: it’s a short break, close to the beach. good sessions for barrels

Good to surf during: high tide

Crowded? no

Watch out for: rocks

Playa Tamales

Location: before Blue Osa, while you are driving from Puerto Jimenez. It’s right in front of the  river mouth

Difficulty level: intermediate

Wave direction: left

Barrels? yes

Good to surf during: high tide

Crowded? no

Watch out for: crocodiles and sometimes sharks


Location: Playa Carate. Instead of driving towards Matapalo keep going towards Park Corcovado.

Difficulty level: Not recommended for surfing

Wave direction: both left and right

Barrels? yes

Crowded? no

Watch out for: dangerous currents, crocodiles and sharks.

Surf Lessons

Aaron Garcia lezcano Surf Costa Rica Osa Peninsula

For surf lessons or a private surf guide contact Aaron Garcia, local pro surfer.

Email him at:

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