It was exactly what we wanted - learn to surf and do some yoga in a place that's a bit away from civilization. The staff is all really friendly and helpful. Our group was 7 of the 12 guests, so there was some flexibility in the schedule as well. Max they can fit is 16, so definitely on the smaller side, this is great because you can get lots of individual attention from instructors and staff. Always people around to chat with and plenty of room to spread out if you want some privacy. For a surf vacation in Costa Rica, I would stay here again.
Shaka is outside of town, which is nice - you're away from the noise and the dust. Plenty of people sharing the beach though that you can get some interaction. And easy to get into town if you want. I saw more wildlife in Shaka's yard that on previous "nature-hunting" trips to Costa Rica. Growler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, many species of birds, iguanas, etc. awesome!
The surf instructors seemed to really care that you learned to surf - they were out there with us for hours each morning and hung around in the afternoons in case we had questions. Megan, the yoga instructor, is a professional. Yoga classes are in the brand new open air purpose-built villa. Beautiful.
To note: as with all resorts in this area, Shaka has 3 dogs that are super friendly. Paco would come to the beach with us each day and sit with our stuff. If you really hate dogs though, I would consider staying elsewhere as they're definitely part of the experience.
What I would improve: the beds could be a bit more comfortable, but frankly I was exhausted from surfing, cruising the beach and doing yoga all day that I could sleep just about anywhere. Definitely not a deal breaker.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located just 5 minutes North of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa, is the highly desirable upscale neighborhood of "Playa Hermosa." Shaka Beach Retreat is a private haven offering an alluring example of modern tropical architecture, nestled in the tropical jungle surroundings, home to monkeys, birds, and fruit trees. A short walk leads to one of the most beautiful quiet beaches the country has to offer. Perfect for swimming, relaxing on the sand, and all levels of surfers. Join us for our popular Surf and Yoga Retreats, offered year round. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Shaka Beach Retreat Hotel Santa Teresa
- Shaka Surf Camp Hotel
- Shaka Surf Camp Santa Teresa
- Shaka Beach Retreat Costa Rica/Santa Teresa