The community meal time made for a lot of great meals and we met so many great people. Everybody was there on the Groupon deal and it was a great eleven days. We met so many people that it was sad to leave, but thanks to the internet we are still in touch with many of them.
Samasati is so relaxing. Some days were spent hiking around the property, some were spent biking around Puerto Viejo. The pace of life here is just right, not too fast and not to slow.
I did forget how loud a jungle can get at night, but thankfully my wife brought plenty of ear plugs. The howler monkeys are like an alarm clock and they rise with the sun. If you cannot get back to sleep walk down to the restaurant area and have a cup of coffee while watching the sunrise over the Caribbean. It is a great sight and then you can get ready for morning yoga practice.
Filtered water is a precious commodity in Costa Rica. Plan ahead and bring your water bottle and get a large 5 gallon tank for your bungalow. I think it ran about $9 US for one, compare that to $2.55 for 2L of water in a bottle. They do serve a jug of water at every meal, but you will be sweating buckets, so just get the big jug. They will deliver it to your bungalow. When you go into town you will pay for water there as well.
Everyday was started with a great breakfast and a pre-dinner yoga session. Max is a great yoga teacher and applies a very practical perspective on yoga practice by relating it to everyday movement.
Get a massage and facial. This is a must. The therapists are excellent. Plus you cannot beat the sound of the jungle in the background as you are kneaded and massaged into a coma (in a good way).
We would run into people from Samasati everywhere we went and we even went on excursions together. The staff is wonderful and fun to talk with. They have the best recommendations on where to go and what to avoid.
When you go into town, rent bikes. You can find some for as little as $4-5 a day and they do not ask for credit cards or passports. Then you are off and ready for the day. Playa Cocles is the local's spot and everybody is very welcoming. They don't tolerate any sort of the shady behavior that occurs at Punta Uvas. We were warned many times to be mindful of our things if we went there. Playa Cocles was the opposite. If you stay close to where everybody gathers near the main break and the surfboard rental people will keep an eye on your stuff. We made friends with some of the Samasati staff and ran into them at Playa Cocles while surfing and they made sure we were treated well. If you get thirsty at the beach, look for the guy walking around with a bag of coconuts and a machete. They ask $1/coconut and they will open it for you. It's a great deal and you can eat the coconut meat for a quick snack.
You can get surf lessons at the beach and they are probably worth the money. The wave here is thick and heavy. It is also an unpredictable shore break, so it get pretty shallow. I got caught in the kill zone my first day out during high tide and came out with some bruises and scrapes. The Caribbean owned me that day and made an example out of me. The next day was much better and I caught on a lot quicker. The break was a little smaller and I got out into the lineup and caught a lot of waves. The locals are quick to grab waves, but they are super friendly and welcoming, so make some friends.
Overall a great trip and I am ready to head back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary Perched on a magical mountain ridge overlooking the Caribbean Sea, Samasati offers guest house bungalow and casita accommodations just minutes away from the beaches of Puerto Viejo. For over 20 years we have hosted world class retreats, workshops, guest artists and travelers like you! Your stay includes delicious gourmet vegetarian buffet served in our renovated open air restaurant with breathtaking views. Also available on site are healing massage treatments, jacuzzi spa, nature trails, waterfall with natural pool, daily yoga classes and a meditation hall. Tours, excursions and beach shuttles to local attractions are arranged daily. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Samasati Nature Retreat Hotel Puerto Viejo
- Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary Costa Rica/Limon