|Enjoying the view from the infinity pool at Anamaya Resort|
Day 1- Miami to Montezuma
Arriving in Montezuma is quite easy- with some advanced planning. In my case, I booked last minute and found no flights on either Sansa or Nature Air from San Jose to Tambor — the closest airport to Montezuma. So- I was stuck taking the 7- hour public bus ride from the Coca Cola station in downtown San Jose to Montezuma. This was not a ride for the faint of heart– giant potholes… steep climbs…torrential downpours…barely-there-bridges. So- imagine my relief when I arrived at Anamaya Resort and found out I was staying in their Bali Suite. The one- room, floor-to-ceiling-windowed, wood-floored villa boasts a direct view of the Gulf of Nicoya and an outdoor tub/shower. Absolute heaven. I fell asleep to the sweet sounds of waves crashing on shore and the chirps, howls and mating calls of Costa Rican wildlife. Sweet dreams indeed.
Day 2- Yoga With A View
Anayama regularly holds yoga retreats and teacher trainings. So- every morning I started my day with a nearly two-hour practice facing the Gulf of Nicoya. The deck sits in the shade and the view is breathtaking. Anayama hires highly-experienced teachers who tailor their practice to their students’ various levels. In my case- as an experienced Yogini- I was able to work on perfecting Scorpion and back bends. This was a perfect, nurturing environment to take my practice to the next level- or just meditate and stretch after a long day of surfing. Aside from Yoga, Anamaya fosters a healthy-living environment by providing only organic and local food. The fish is caught daily. The fruits and vegetables are pesticide free and they even offer gluten-free dining. Dinner is served around a large, wooden dining table so you can enjoy your meal with guests.
Day 3- Surfs up!
My retreat was a yoga/surfing vacation. I have never surfed before, so Anamaya set me up with a local teacher/guide from Uruguay who has been surfing for 20 years. We had to hike about a 1/2 hour to our location on a nearby beach. Boards are provided, and I was able -after many falls- to finally get my balance and ride the waves. Surfing, like yoga, is highly addictive once you get the hang of it. It is such a meditative experience. And feeling so connected to nature is what keeps surfers constantly searching for that perfect wave. But- beware… the ocean will exhaust you. After my first day of surfing, I was battered, bruised and physically spent.
Day 4- Isla Tortuga
A half-hour boat ride from Montezuma beach took us to Isla Tortuga. On the way- we spotted Humpback whales taking a break before their migration to Hawaii. Isla Tortuga is an isolated island with a beautiful beach. The water was warm. And- our crew consisted of a chef who cooked fresh catch on the island with potatoes and fresh fruit. They even sliced open some coconut for us while we waited for lunch. I spent the 2 hours we had onshore (this was snorkling trip as well) walking the sand, collecting volcanic rock and making friends with a Javelina who lives on the island and is fed quite generously by the constant stream of tourists.
Day 5- Montezuma Town
Montezuma is a sleepy, hippie/surfer Pueblo. There is one bar: Chicos– which plays Reggae music on Thursday nights. There are several restaurants including Sano Banano which shows movies on Tuesday nights. My favorite place for lunch in town is Organico Cafe – an all-vegan restaurant with the most amazing vegan shakes I have ever tasted and a great falafel platter. Nearby Santa Teresa and Mal Pais have a more active night-life scene. But- since my vacation centered around surfing and yoga, I skipped the evening activities for quiet evenings with the host, staff and guests at Anamaya.
Day 6-Horseback Riding
Anamaya books several private tours for guests using experienced, bi-lingual guides. On my last full-day I went on a 3- hour horseback ride along the beach to a secluded waterfall. My guide gave me a quick refresher on riding, but since I had some experience and my horse was extremely cooperative, this ride was rather easy. We trotted along the beach- picking up the pace where the sand was compact and smooth. We also took our horses further inland at times- navigating some steep hills. This was a beautiful experience and a great way to get to some hard-to-find spots for perfecting swimming/sunbathing.