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“A life changing experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Sanctuary at Two Rivers

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The Sanctuary at Two Rivers
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Beach Road, Cabuya, Montezuma 5361, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Toronto, Canada
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3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“A life changing experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

Learning to be a Yoga Teacher in the Costa Rican Jungle

I spent 19d doing Yoga Teacher Training at the The Sanctuary and in short it was life changing.

For me personally, my greatest takeaway staying in the Costa Rican jungle was this idea that I was more connected to the people around me and the environment than I had realized.

The Sanctuary is a gorgeous space. On the one hand you're in a beautiful, well maintained environment. Surrounded by diverse wildlife; capuchin and howler monkeys, exotic butterflies and other insects, natural bamboo, starfruit trees, and so many other varieties!

Jeff is a great host, really friendly, knows his stuff and makes sure guests are well looked after. While we were there he also organized massages for us, transport for all of us into the local town (Montezuma), restaurant tips, etc. Michelle is the chef and her food is kind of miraculous. You're eating healthy but you'd never know it. 3 course vegetarian meals (gluten and lactose free options) and phenomenal desserts to boot: chocolate cake, macaroons, dairy free mousse, and lots more (lots of pictures online!).

The Sanctuary is designed to have a close to zero carbon footprint. The accommodations are impressive wooden structures, that extend above the jungle canopy. Hot running water,
Massage rooms, a swimming pool to cool off in, a beautiful pagoda for yoga and meditation and every faucet in the sanctuary runs filtered drinkable water. All solar powered!

If you are visiting, I highly recommend going on the river hiking trail. First time I went with a small group. The second time I went alone. It was my first time walking through a river. The water is gorgeous, clear, and shallow. You skip between river rocks, and the bank, dodging around vegetation, listening to amazing sounds, knowing it's just you and the environment and knowing you're safe. After a 30-40 minute walk you arrive at a waterfall with small lagoon beneath it. The water is that gorgeous aqua marine colour, and you can just hang out, swim and reflect.

Perspective is probably the single best word to describe what The Sanctuary gave me. I've been back in Toronto for a little while now, but that perspective is still there (I just miss the buzz of the jungle :) )

Raj Kotecha (RYT200 Training - Aug 2013)

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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55 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Charlottesville, Virginia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

Surrounded by two rivers with waterfalls, built on a bed of crystals with beautiful plants and animals always around, the Sanctuary is a magical place. The people who work there are charming and personable; the tree houses we stay in are peaceful and allow you to live alongside monkeys in the amazing Costa Rican jungle. It is a great place to get away from your ordinary life and get in touch with your extraordinary self !

Room Tip: I stayed in room 3B which is on the edge of the jungle so you cant see any other tree houses which i...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

I honestly can't say enough good things about The Sanctuary at Two Rivers....I had reviewed the website, but it couldn't prepare me for the majesty that awaited my arrival. As a yoga teacher training student in residence for three weeks, it was a gift that EVERYTHING exceeded my expectations.

The food was gourmet cuisine with each dish artfully prepared and intentionally thoughtful. I felt better each day I was there.

To know that we were "living off the grid" during our time there meant a lot. Being completely solar powered and the water from the rivers being filtered multiple times for our use, only elevated my sense of connection with nature during my precious time at The Sanctuary.

All the additional services - health coaching, acupuncture, massage and more - were excellent. The best of the best.

The treehouses, yoga pagoda, pool, and kitchen all feel like they were meant to be part of the jungle. The quality of the craftsmenship was wonderful. I truly felt like I was part of our beautiful earth - no car noises only birds and beautiful monkeys.

Mostly, it is the people....Jeff, Michelle and the entire family at The Sanctuary who made my three-week stay there feel like home from the very first day. I am grateful to have met everyone one of them and honestly call them friends!

I cannot wait to return and share the goodness with my family.

Truly - a game changer for me.....

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2013 via mobile

If you're considering attending a Yoga Teacher Training that you'll never forget put this retreat at the top of your list. Impressive!

I don't consider myself a 'city girl' but my 3 week visit during the month of August 2013 proved I was more 'city' than I thought & provided me a welcome return to awareness of Mother Nature. The moment we arrived & stepped onto 'basecamp' I was captivated by this one of a kind adventure as we began our jungle river hike with the owner & our guide Jeff. On arrival at the Sanctuary we found impeccably designed tree house accommodations including open air teak & stone loft bedrooms & outdoor showers -completely engulfed by a powerfully peaceful jungle backdrop including 2 rivers, waterfalls, trails & gorgeous scenery. The fact that this Sanctuary is operating on Solar powered energy is impressive & Im grateful for the gift of learning about & participating in that environment. Daily yoga in the Yoga Pagoda is another experience I'll never forget: the facility is gorgeous. Here (well pretty much anywhere on the property!) I was able to video howler monkeys swing past us within 10' and during my stay I met myriads of creatures, butterflies & beautiful & unusual vegetation & flowers daily. Picturesque sunny jungle siestas by the pool or moments spent watching wild jungle rainstorms are difficult to describe to anyone who hasn't experienced it except to say it's powerfully affecting. On that note keep in mind that you will need (environmentally conscious) bug spray & proper clothing for this extremely humid jungle atmosphere; at least that was my experience at this time of year. Everything including your bedding retains the moist jungle air; bring enough changes of clothes. Impressive massage therapists, acupuncture & beauty treatments were available on site as well as an impeccable gourmet &environmentally conscious menu. All in all this Sanctuary vibrates with positive intention and I can tell you that after my visit here I'll never be the same. Yoga Teacher Training is simply the 'icing on the health-conscious cake' here because anytime you're not learning on your mat you'll be learning from your hosts - & Mother Nature. So if you're considering a jungle yoga retreat or Yoga Teacher Training, The Sanctuary at Two Rivers is 5* & life changing.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Fresno, California
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2013

We had the pleasure of leading a yoga retreat here at The Sanctuary. It surpassed any vision we could have imagined. Getting to base camp and walking up the river was a wonderful introduction to the jungle. From the yoga pagoda which I must say is the most beautiful place I have ever done yoga, to the jungle tree houses, the massages, the waterfalls, and the outdoor showers, this place is truly blissful. Then to top it off, the food was a delectable and delightful mix of flavors and colors to excite the palate and nourish the belly. We left with new awakenings, peaceful loving hearts and new found friendships. Thank you Jeff and staff for a wonderful week of sheer bliss!!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2013

I recently co-lead a Yoga & Pilates retreat at The Sanctuary. We had titled our retreat "Self Care Sanctuary" and that it was plus so much more. With a sold out group of students, we shed layers of stress and created deeper layers of connection to each other, the natural world, and ourselves.

Prior to the retreat, Jeff (one of the owners and full time resident of the Sanctuary), made it very easy and organized to plan our trip and helped us coordinate a variety of things such as transportation from Tambor and dietary needs/concerns of the retreat participants. He was a pleasure to work with before, during and after the retreat.

The retreat grounds are stunning. A lot of care and thought must have been given to where and how to build not only the sleeping accommodations (tree houses) but also the practice pagoda, and the swimming pool w/with treatment rooms (for massage, acupuncture, etc.). The pictures only touch on the amazingness of materials, build, structure and view. You really need to be there to experience the sights, sounds and perspective of what went into creating this jungle sanctuary.

The whole time at the Sanctuary you feel part of nature and the jungle surroundings without feeling inconvenienced or uncomfortable. There is a thoughtful minimalistic approach that avoids clutter and emphasizes necessity and green design. I thought the beds and sheets were some of the most comfortable I had experienced in comparison to other places I have stayed in Costa Rica.

The food was delicious. While not a vegetarian, I adapted easily to eating that way during our stay. I thought I would have a hard time keeping up with my perceived need for additional protein. That was not the case, since each meal was carefully considered to make sure there was a healthy balance of protein, carbs and fat. I would have enjoyed the option for tea/coffee earlier in the morning. I was waking up with the boom of the howler monkeys around 5am. It would have been nice to sip a hot beverage and write in my journal as part of my morning routine.
The Sanctuary does set out granola bars and apples in the early am. Having some yogurt and tropical fruits at that time would have been been more satisfying for my taste (especially since the freshness of mangoes, pineapple, papaya and other lesser known Costa Rican fruits are so delicious in comparison to what I get at home).

Meals are plated and served and care is given to purity of taste, presentation and variety. Michelle, the chef, was new to the Sanctuary but not new to creating gourmet, healthy, delicious meals. I

Both Michelle and Jeff took their meals with us. Having time to talk and laugh with Michelle and Jeff, along with Max, another full time staff member added to our experience. The whole group enjoyed having this time together and learned more about Costa Rica (including the birds and wildlife) and options we had for excursions. Jeff, Michelle and Max were also available during the retreat to guide us on an adventuresome river hike to a waterfall and beyond. They were also there to help coordinate trips/transportation away from the Sanctuary and to offer insight and advice on different things that came up during our retreat. At the same time they allowed our group lots of freedom and space to have our own experience.

The Sanctuary is remotely situated and once there you are truly taken care of. I recommend planning explorations of other areas before or after your stay at the Sanctuary. At the most one or two 1/2 day trips during the stay but not much more than that. The magic exists in staying put and dropping into the the beauty of the environment, the sounds of the wildlife and waterfall, and a slow downed more natural pace of living.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2013

This past March I had the honor of co-leading a yoga & Pilates retreat at The Sanctuary. It was my first time both in Costa Rica and at the Sanctuary. Honestly, it could not have gone better. This had almost everything to do with The Sanctuary. Well, and we also had a really rockin’, down to earth group of participants from our yoga & Pilates studios in San Francisco & Portland, OR. And yes, fabulous daily Pilates and Yoga classes. What more could you ask for? When we first arrived on the Sanctuary grounds, after a beautiful walk up a little river, I had a “pinch-me” kind of moment.. like, is this really where we will be for the next week?!

My students, now all back in SF, are still talking about The Sanctuary two months later. One of my students recently asked me.. “can you just go there on your own? I want to go back soon!”

The Sanctuary is the perfect blend of deep nature/jungle, decadence and remoteness. As an instructor, I absolutely loved the “yoga pagoda” (the yoga deck) where we practiced every day. The design of every building is stunning and merges seamlessly with nature. The gardens are exquisite and the wildlife is fully alive wherever you are.

One of the big highlights for everyone in our group was the food. Three delicious, healthy and gourmet meals served every day. Each meal so unique, special and satisfying. Some of our participants were a little concerned about the vegetarian-only aspect of the cuisine, but after the first day, that concern quickly melted away!

Oh, and we had some great excursions. As a group, you can opt to partake in a day of surfing, nature walk in the nearby national park, etc. Depending on your group, I recommend the surfing. For most of the folks in our group, it was their first time surfing and this was a great first-time experience for everyone.

Finally, Jeff the resident owner was incredibly helpful in all of the pre-retreat business as well as a delightful host throughout the week. The two staff members we had the most contact with, Michelle the chef and Max, were super sweet and a pleasure to talk with during the week.

As a retreat leader I highly recommend the Sanctuary - we already booked the same week next year! Just go.. you’ll love it!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sanctuary at Two Rivers

Address: Beach Road, Cabuya, Montezuma 5361, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Montezuma > Cabuya
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Cabuya
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Unique Boutique Private Yoga Retreat & Yoga Teacher Training Wellness Center in Costa Rica. Our 40 acres are located directly across from the beach yet hidden 1000 yards in the jungle. Designed with the intention to commune with nature, practice yoga, contemplate, meditate, and become balanced through a Health and Wellness Yoga Retreat Vacation. Our 100% off-the-grid solar powered facility with luxury-deluxe-modern accommodations, Extensive Spa menu, and Tropical Fusion Gourmet Organic Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten-Free Cuisine is exclusively for Yoga Retreats, Yoga Teacher Trainings, Wellness Retreats, and Nature Wildlife Adventure Retreat Vacations. Become a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Instructor in Paradise. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Sanctuary At Two Rivers Costa Rica/Cabuya

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