Discovering Tranquility: A Journey Off the Beaten Path to Nosara, Costa Rica with Erika Gibson Yoga

Discovering Tranquility: A Journey Off the Beaten Path to Nosara, Costa Rica with Erika Gibson Yoga

Discovering Tranquility: A Journey Off the Beaten Path to Nosara, Costa Rica with Erika Gibson Yoga

If you've been following along with my Wander & Rove journey, you may recall that I traveled to Nosara, Costa Rica for an Erika Gibson Retreat in February 2023. Well, I fell in love with Nosara—the food, the people, the sunsets, and of course, practicing yoga under the open-air pavilion at the Nomadic Hotel. This led me to travel back for a second retreat with Erika and another adventure in Nosara.

Over my years of travel, I am so grateful to have been able to visit special destinations more than once. Every time you return somewhere you've visited before, it surprises you with new discoveries yet provides you with a sense of comfort. Nosara was just that for me. Traveling back with a different group of individuals than the first year, I ventured out a bit more on my own as I knew the area and discovered new places to indulge in the Blue Zone cuisine. Every corner of Nosara is a hidden treasure that leaves you feeling inspired and connected.

This time around, I'll be sharing a bit more of Nosara and what an Erika Gibson Yoga Retreat looks like. This comes at a perfect time as she just announced another international retreat location in Milfontes, Portugal!

 

Emerging from the jungle to Playa Guiones 

 

Let's Wander To Nosara, Costa Rica

In a world that often moves at a fast pace, there exists hidden gems around the world where time seems to slow and the rhythms of nature prevail. Welcome to the tranquil paradise of Nosara, Costa Rica. A sanctuary for those who seek simplicity, connection, and the untamed beauty of the wild. Embark with us on a journey off the beaten path as we discover the true essence of Nosara, where all good things are indeed wild and free. Nosara is a place where the vibrant energy of the jungle meets the soothing sounds of the South Pacific Ocean, known for its beaches like Playa Guiones. Nestled within the renowned Blue Zone on the Nicoya Peninsula, Nosara is a haven for wellness seekers, surf enthusiasts, yogi’s and yogini’s and nature lovers alike. We are venturing off the grid on a transformative yoga retreat led by Erika Gibson. As we dive into the heart of this idyllic oasis, we immerse ourselves in daily yoga practice, cultural exploration, and the breathtaking beauty of Nosara.

The Journey is the Destination

Have you ever heard of the phrase, “the journey is the destination”? The journey to Nosara is a true testament of these words. The journey begins with a plane ride into Liberia airport. From there you hop into a van for a scenic two and a half hour ride through the different landscapes of Costa Rica. Venturing from the urban center of Liberia through the farmlands, the winding mountain roads, over the rivers, through the jungle to the sea. When you step foot off the van onto the soil of Nosara your soul instantly is revived, a sense of freedom washes over you and suddenly you feel at ease after a long travel day.

Airports

Libera International Airport (LIR), 80 miles to Nosara which was about a two and a half hour drive or you can fly into San Jose (SJO); 159 miles from Nosara, closer to a 4 to 5 hour drive.

Transportation

We booked a van ahead of time for our arrival and departure trips to and from Nosara with Terra Tour Nosara. They were extremely reliable, timely and friendly. It was great to have a local navigating the roads to and from Nosara. The drive was scenic and be prepared for unpaved and winding roads. To get off the grid you have to put in leg work.

Retreat Location

Erika curates her retreats with thoughtfulness and attention to detail. It is no surprise that she chooses to lead her retreat at The Nomadic Hotel. A stunning jungle oasis; an open concept hotel with a clean, light and airy atmosphere.

About The Nomadic Hotel

  • Location: absolutely perfect, 6 minute walk to the beach, restaurants, cafes and shops.
  • Staff: Extremely friendly and accommodating.
  • Amenities: pool with lounge chairs, outdoor showers, dining nook, open air pavilion, lounge swing and hammocks, bikes for rent and the Honey Hole shop.
  • Food & drinks: hot Costa Rican coffee is offered every morning, an assortment of teas, fresh and locally sourced meals and snacks to order throughout the day.

The Nomadic Hotel

What To Expect On An Erika Gibson Yoga Retreat

Erika leads her retreats and each yoga session with grace, passion and light. She has a way of creating and holding space for you as you pull yourself from your thoughts and connect with your heart and body. She creates a space for you to discover yourself in a new light, feel re-inspired and step away from the day to day labels and routines you may carry at home.

The retreat kicked off on Monday evening with a beautiful welcome dinner. It was held onsite at the Nomadic Hotel with private chef, Sarah. Followed by an Opening Circle.

Pro Tip: Give yourself a grace period with travel days before and after the retreat, if you can. Last year we arrived on the first day of the retreat and left on the last day of the retreat but this year we gave ourselves an extra day before and after which is highly recommended. It gave us time to ground and settle in before and after the retreat.

The Day to Day Schedule

Each day began with the gentle embrace of the sunrise. Some of the retreat goers met every morning by the pool of the Nomadic Hotel before sunrise to wander down to the ocean and enjoy the magic of sunrise together. We walked, collected shells, soaked in the beauty of Nosara and watched the joyful pups run up and down the beach.

After sunrise and a fresh cup of Costa Rican coffee or hot tea we would enjoy our first session of the day. We would gather under the open air pavilion for a rejuvenating morning yoga session led by Erika Gibson herself. Set against the backdrop of swaying palms and the distant murmur of the ocean, these morning practices serve as a sacred opportunity to cultivate mindfulness and connection. After the first yoga session alone I felt a sense of ease, freedom and peace wash over me. This is Nosara, this is Erika Gibson Yoga.

Once the morning sessions were completed, we would make our way to the open air breakfast nook and nourish our bodies with a wholesome breakfast sourced with local ingredients as we engaged in warm conversations with all the retreat members and friendly staff.

After fueling and nourishing our bodies and souls, the rest of the morning into the early afternoon was ours for exploring, relaxing and enjoying all that Nosara has to offer!

We embarked daily on journeys of discovery through the vibrant streets of Nosara. From exploring the bustling farmers' market ( on Tuesday’s), brimming with exotic fruits and artisanal crafts, to meandering through lush jungle trails beaming with life, indulging in local cuisines and immersing ourselves in the local culture. Each moment in Nosara offers a chance to immerse yourself in the rich environment of Costa Rican culture.

In the afternoons, we returned to our sanctuary for a restorative session ranging from breathing, journaling and meditation exercises. We even had the opportunity to learn about the cacao of Costa Rica in a Cacao Ceremony. During these afternoon sessions we dove deeper into self discovery and surrendered to the serenity of the present moment.

 As the sun descent towards the horizon in Nosara, the whole community would gather on the beach to witness the breathtaking spectacle of sunset, casting its golden glow across the endless expanse of the ocean. It seems to be a ritual in Nosara, it was surreal to witness people and dogs emerge from the jungle onto the beach to enjoy the evening magic together.

Some sat and enjoyed the sunset in peace, others surfed the waves with the backdrop of the sun going down behind them, children played in the sand, while others plunged into the ocean. It is a unique experience like nothing else I have ever witnessed. Nosara is a profound and inspiring community, appreciating the beauties of nature as one.

Evenings were spent savoring the flavors of traditional Costa Rican cuisine, as we indulged in nourishing meals prepared with love and care from chef Sarah three nights of the retreat. We were amidst the company of newfound friends, as we shared stories and laughter, forging bonds that will last a lifetime.

The two other evenings were spent enjoying the culture of Nosara and enjoying the local cuisine. Nosara is truly a foodie's dream with locally and freshly sourced ingredients. You do not have to think twice about the quality of the food you are eating. It is no surprise because Nosara is one of the five blue zones in the world.

 

A look into the daily schedule 

Exploring the Blue Zone

As we delve deeper into the essence of Nosara, we uncover the secrets of its renowned Blue Zone status – a region celebrated for its longevity, vitality, and sense of community. Inspired by the wisdom of the local inhabitants, we learn valuable lessons in holistic living, embracing a lifestyle rooted in balance, connection, and gratitude.

The Five Blue Zones

  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Sardinia, Italy
  • Nicoya, Costa Rica
  • Ikaria, Greece
  • Loma Linda, California

Eating Local, Living Local in the Blue Zone

In Nosara, food is more than sustenance – it's a celebration of the land and sea that sustains us. From farm-to-table eateries serving up vibrant dishes bursting with local flavor to a bustling farmers' markets brimming with organic produce and artisanal delights, we are invited to feast upon the bounty of nature's harvest.

By embracing a diet rooted in local, seasonal ingredients, we nourish not only our bodies but also our connection to the land and the community that sustains us. In every bite, we taste the essence of Nosara – simple, pure, and alive.

A Foodies Paradise: recommended eats

Organico Market

Organic Cafe & Bakery

Rolling Waves

Coyal Restaurant

Harmony Hotel Juice Bar & Cafe

In Things to do in Nosara

Surf the waves, embark on a jungle excursion or ATV tour or hop on a boat to the Pink Sand beach.

Recommend Surf Shops: both offer lessons

  • Corky Carroll’s- Corky’s was wonderful, we took early morning lessons one day and rented boards to surf on our own the next day. They were so accommodating and scheduled us at the last minute for lessons. Extremely friendly and helpful staff!
  • Coconut Harry’s

  

Corky Carroll's

Highly Recommend…

  • Catching every sunrise and sunset you can!
  • Beach walks or runs- Playa Guiones is a long, open and sandy beach perfect for walking or running and enjoying the scenery.
  • Hang with the beach pups - local pups were all around town and loved to hang on the beach with you!
  • Immerse yourself in the local culture- don't be afraid to practice your Spanish and enjoy the local cuisine, sodas.
  • Chat with the locals- they love sharing about their home and are so friendly
  • Yoga or other fitness classes at:
  • Ride bikes or an ATV around town - we rented a few bikes from the Nomadic- it was a great way to cover a bit more ground.
  • Farmers market/ vendor market on Tuesday’s
    • Coquette’s Armoire- beautiful, handmade jewelry and baskets.
  • Sauna, cold plunge and or massages at the Harmony Hotel Healing Center. Highly suggest booking a sauna and cold plunge session while in Nosara. You can book the healing space for one hour, $40. The space was private with a shower, bathroom, lockers and changing area.

The Spa at Harmony Hotel

Forced to Slow Down, Detached From the Noise

In Nosara, there is a gentle force that compels us to slow down, to disconnect from the noise of the outside world, and to reconnect with ourselves and the natural world that surrounds us. Simplicity isnt just a lifestyle- it’s a way of being here.

Amidst the lush embrace of the jungle and the gentle ocean breeze, , we found sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of modern life and comfort in the minimalist beauty that surrounded us.

As we detached from the distractions of technology, we are free to immerse ourselves fully in the present moment, to bask in the beauty of the here and now. Whether it's a sunrise stroll along the quiet shore, listening to the Howler monkeys among the treetops or watching the waves crash along the shoreline as the sun sets in the distance. jungle, a silent meditation on the beach, or a sunset surf, we found peace in the simplicity of being. Embracing the rhythms of nature, we are reminded to slow down and savor each moment, finding joy in the simplest of pleasures.

Sunrise at Playa Guiones

What to Pack

Nosara is very laid back, so no need to bring anything too fancy. Casual, comfy and practical is the way to go! I always say less is more and packing versatile pieces that you can make a few different outfits with is key! 

  • Beach towel- The Nomadic does not provide beach towels so definitely bring your own, lightweight towel such as Turkish towel, these are a great option to pack.
  • Bathing suits
  • Yoga attire- shorts, leggings, sports bras, lightweight/ comfy pants for meditations/ journaling sessions
  • Dresses
  • Skirts
  • Beach cover ups
  • Comfortable sandals
  • Hat
  • Sunblock
  • Journal
  • Water Bottle
  • Sneakers if you are looking to go for runs along the beach
  • Sunnies

Bag from local brand: Turtle Works Nosara

Coming to a Close

As our journey in Nosara comes to a close, we find our spirits rejuvenated and transformed by the magic of Nosara– a place where time seems to stand still, and the beauty of the natural world reigns supreme. We depart with hearts full of gratitude, souls replenished by the beauty of simple living and a new found connection to nature and ourselves through adventure, connection and self discovery.

In this wild and untamed paradise, we have discovered the true essence of freedom – a freedom found in embracing the rhythms of nature, in savoring the simplicity of each moment, and in living life unencumbered by the trappings of modernity. Wander with us on the path less traveled, and experience the magic of Nosara for yourself as we embark on another unforgettable retreat in 2025, where the journey of self-discovery continues amidst the timeless allure of Nosara, Costa Rica.

 

Pura Vida Amigos!

Sarah

@wanderandrove_withsarah

 

 

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