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“Simply perfect”

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Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 6, 2012

Really the perfect place to experience the rainforest close-up, but with the luxury of comfortable rooms, delicious food and the possibility to do yoga, meditations or have a great massage treatment. I arrived at Samasati after a long flight from Europe and a direct transfer (by minibus arranged through Samasati) so for the first days I just relaxed and enjoyed arriving. I loved being there and can highly recommend it if you want to combine being in nature, supporting the preservation of a precious bit of rainforest and also exploring the wonderful south Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.
When you want action there is so much to do and the Retreat Center will organise trips for you if you want. I loved Cahuita National Park and the day I spent floating down river on a canoe followed by a walk through the jungle and a "Chocolate tour" which included making some chocolate! We had a great guide and saw many birds and monkeys and it didn't even matter that it rained!
I also enjoyed visiting The Jaguar Rescue Center, just the other side of Puerto Viejo and walking around in the town itself. Exploring the coast on bike was also great fun.
Thank you to the whole staff for making my stay one that I will never forget and for creating such a fantastic place to visit.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank LotusLouEmma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 6, 2012

There is far too much experience to be encompassed within the space limitations of this page. However, I'll do my best to distill this review down to the pure essence of why I intend to return to this pristine mountain-side paradise, and why I wish I could afford to live there.

Travel tips notwithstanding, I won't go much into our stay in San Jose, except to herald the amazing scheduling and logistical aptitude of one Ms. Liseth. She managed, without knowing much about us, to set us up at the beautiful Hotel Don Carlos, where we received absolutely wonderful treatment from the entire staff. As a proponent of corporate sustainability, It was also pleasing to see that spirit alive and evident amongst the myriad recycling bins located throughout the establishment.

Once at Samasati, the synapses in my brain quickly reconnected memories of my Central American childhood, and I felt perfectly at home from day one. Nearly everything in sight pointed toward intended harmony with the environment, down to the less-than-optimal placement of some directional trail markers, likely to avoid disrupting that natural space. Though this lead us down a wrong path, causing my partner a moment of dismay, it was ultimately a wrong turn well worth it. Especially given the beautiful hillside vistas, and sights of home-building-in-progress that we were able to see only by having gone down that way.

Samasati's food was healthy, vegetarian, filling, and delicious, something which I made sure the cook knew, daily. Our bungalow was on a hillside, delightfully ventilated by screen-only windows, yet unassuming in its scope and accoutrements. Housekeeping service was prompt and highly professional, and the hosting staff was incredibly competent and wonderfully communicative.

What I loved most about Samasati was the feeling that everyone was willing to help those people in their care. From the amazing and professorial Max, yoga-instructor extraordinaire who, besides providing excellent instruction throughout the week (resulting in what I'd consider my awakening to the benefits of yoga) also provided us a written recommendation for yoga instructors and content, to a driver who actually walked some towels to our bungalow as a favor to his co-worker in the hosting staff.

I can't wait to go back, and if you love nature more than tourist-attractions, prefer harmony with your surroundings over room service, and healthy living as an alternative to decadence and room service, Samasati will be worth the trip.

Room Tip: Most bungalows will require some stair climbing, so choose carefully, especially if your fitness lev...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank R S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SilviaZani1, Owner at Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary, responded to this reviewResponded May 23, 2013

Thank you for your detailed review!
I am glad you have had a good experience of Samasati and its magic and I look forward having you back!
Silvia

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Reviewed October 5, 2012

If I could give Samasati 10 stars out of 5, I would. My husband and I just came back from a 6 day stay in late August. I could write a book about how amazing this place is, but I will attempt to keep this review short.

Before I begin, I would be remiss if I did not tell you to please ignore the negative fake review by "A Google User". I don't think they have ever stayed at Samasati. All of the people we met who worked there have been there much longer than 3 years and were such wonderful, thoughtful, caring, considerate, kind, patient and loving people. There is no way this user was mistreated or yelled at my Samasati staff.

Liseth, who works at the office in San Jose (whom I was told only comes to the retreat once a moth) helped me arrange my trip. I bought a deal on Blissmo for 3 days/ 2 people, including all meals, and yoga classes. We doubled it for a total of 6 days. I was unable to use my vouchers before they expired because I experienced complications obtaining a passport, but Liseth was kind enough to extend the vouchers for us, so we would not lose our money. She maintained excellent, prompt and courteous email communication for many months prior to our trip, and even helped us arrange for transportation (4 hour shuttle to and from Hotel Don Carlos in San Jose to Samasati). She recommended Don Carlos and Interbus, which were both excellent.

Upon arrival in San Jose, we took a 30 minute cab ride to Hotel Don Carlos. You will need to spend the night in San Jose, because it's a 4 hour trip to Samasati, so be sure to plan for a night in San Jose the day before and the day after your stay at Samasati. I would recommend Hotel Don Carlos. It's a beautiful, friendly, eco-conscious hotel in San Jose. It’s beautifully, eclectically decorated and feels so much like home. They have free breakfast. We loved Hotel Don Carlos and are so happy Liseth recommended it.

Liseth can help you schedule your hotel stay, as well as your shuttle to and from Samasati. The 4 hour shuttle to the retreat is beautiful and a bit like Mr. Toads's Wild Ride at Disneyland. The city is smoggy and bustling, but you will soon be out of that. The mountain jungle roads are winding and narrow, with pedestrians, scooters, and crazy drivers all over the place. Interbus drivers are incredibly skillful. You will see walls of lush green jungle, waterfalls, fields of banana trees, beautiful black sands beaches, an active volcano and the simple homes of locals on your exciting drive up to Samasati. The retreat is gated. The shuttle dropped us off at the gate, where we were immediately taken by 4 wheel drive up a mile long, steep, gravely road. The ride is very bumpy, so if you are pregnant or have a condition that is aggravated by jostling, this may not be the place for you.

Upon arrival at Samasati reception, we were greeted by Molly, who is a lovely, very friendly, smily girl (Melissa and all of the girls are so sweet and polite). They speak English . We were just in time for lunch. It was a gorgeous buffet of home made vegetarian food. We sat on a terrace overlooking the jungle, with a clear view of the beach and beach village. It is the most beautiful, breath-taking view I have ever encountered. We saw parrots, butterflies, fascinating insects, and heard all manner of wildlife . There are two house cats that lounge about and provide amusement and a sense of home.

We stayed in bungalow 7, which is perched on the side of the mountain, surrounded by trees and flowers, and overlooks the same magnificent canopy of green. I felt like we were in Jurassic Park. We could see the curvature of the Earth along the horizon of the ocean below. Parrots, toucans, colorful butterflies, frogs and lizards surrounded us. We could hear monkeys and so many creatures all around us. Be advised that the stairs are steep. I was quite winded walking up them and had to take a few pauses to catch my breath. Some of the lower bungalows had less of a climb, but be advised that Samasati is perched on a mountain side. There are many slopes and stairs. If you have a physical disability or low endurance, you may find it difficult to get around. I am pretty fit, but I spend most of my time working behind a desk or a sewing machine. I enjoyed the exertion, but it may be too much for some.

Our bungalow has one big bed on a built-in pedestal. All of the windows are screened with no glass. The room is simple, with plenty of storage and a private bathroom. There is a fan above the bed, but no A/C. The room is very well ventilated, so the breezes, combined with the fan provided a perfectly comfortable environment for us. We had no problem with mosquitos or other biting insects. Bugs and lizards do come into the rooms, so if you have issues with insects, this is not the place for you. They did us no harm. We respected them and they left us alone. We kept or doors shut and the curtains drawn most of the time.

The bathroom has a shower. Water conservation is important at Samasati. They provide eco-friendly, biodegradable shower products. Towels are changed every two days unless otherwise requested. We brought an extra towel for the beach. Toilet tissue is to be be placed in the trash can rather than the toilet so as not to stress the septic system. Don’t worry. It’s not the kind of eco-retreat where you have to use an outhouse or composting toilets. They have real plumbing, flushing toilets, and toilet paper (not jungle leaves!). They water used is from natural springs and is very clean and refreshing, however they recommend that you don’t drink it. Fresh drinking water is always available at reception. The room was very comfortable. It has a big balcony with a hammock, chairs and a little table for comfortable lounging. The breeze flows right through. It’s like sleeping outside, but in the comfort of a bed, and with none of the annoyances of nature crawling all over you.

It does get humid, and it rained twice while we were there, so be sure to bring light clothing that dries easily and quickly. You may want to bring a bit of string to make yourself a little clothes line so you can dry your clothes more easily (the balcony works fine too). Laundry service is available, but we did not use it. I changed clothes about three times a day for comfort. bring extra underwear (cotton, no synthetics). I brought extra and still hand washed a few to get me through the week. I would also recommend ear plugs. I can’t sleep with noise and the jungle gets very loud, especially at night and in the morning. You may also want to bring an eye mask if sunlight bothers you when you sleep. We were greeted by beautiful ocean sunrises and enjoyed surreal sunsets. You may wish to bring an umbrella for the sun, and the warm, tropical rain. A rain poncho is also a good idea if you come during the rainy season. We never had to use our rain gear, but we just hung out on the balcony and watched the rain instead of going out in it.

Yoga was AMAZING. Max is the best yoga instructor I have ever met. I loved him so much, I cried when I left. He is highly skilled, very kind, patient and caring, and not at all pretentious. He knows his art inside and out and lives it. Our fist class was hard, because we spent two days traveling and were very stiff and weary, but I felt sooo much better after class. We took 4 classes in total and enjoyed every minute. I wish I could have put Max in my pocket and taken him home to be my personal yoga instructor. Don’t miss the yoga classes! We missed the first day because we arrived late and were so tired, and another day due to soreness and sunburned feet. They have morning and evening classes. At home, I usually wake up after 10:00am, but I loved yoga so much, I actually woke up at 5:50 to make the 6:30 class.

I can’t say enough about the food. Everything is made from scratch, using local, fresh produce. We are vegan, so were not able to enjoy everything (it’s all vegetarian, but some has butter, milk or cheese), but there was no shortage of simple, delicious, lovingly prepared food for vegans. Breakfast usually consisted of a variety of fruit, beans, rice, bread, cereals, yogurt, a selection of fresh, exotic juices, tea, eggs, and local dishes like empanadas, and fried plantains. It’s not a huge, lavish buffet like you might expect on a cruise or a trip to Vegas. The food is healthy “peasant food”. The cooks are like moms you just want to hug and please by eating everything on your plate. The food reminded me a lot of what my Salvadorian mother-in-law prepares. It’s well-seasoned, fresh, and healthy. It’s buffet style so you can eat as little or as much as you wish. They have soy milk and include soy products in many of the dishes. I don’t usually eat much soy (it gives me gas), but it all tasted so good, I couldn’t help myself.

Lunch is similar to breakfast, with more variety. Most days we did not have lunch buffet because there weren’t enough guests, so we ordered from the menu. I think we only had lunch buffet once.

Dinner was amazing. Everyone is back for dinner, so we had buffet every night. Even if you are not vegetarian, you will surely find something to love here. They do offer fish upon request if you just have to have some flesh. If you are hooked on fast food, or have little appreciation for simple, home cooked, savory meals, you may not enjoy the food. There was one couple who seemed unhappy with the food, but I suspect they do not eat very healthfully at home. They asked for fish every night. The kitchen staff was so sweet. They don’t speak English, but you can ask Molly or one of the other wonderful girls at reception to talk to them if you have a special request. My husband speaks spanish, so we were able to converse with those who did not speak english.

On days when many of the guests were away for the day, we ordered from the menu because they only have buffet on days when there are enough guests present to justify it. If you order fro the menu, I recommend the mango salad with black beans and avocado, and fried plantains. Mmmm! :) By the way, this is a small retreat, so there were only about 5 couples there on most nights. On our last day, a group of about 6 arrived, as well as two couples with kids. You won’t find a huge variety of food at the buffet because there aren’t that many people eating, but it’s all tasty. They make a special soup and a yummy dessert every night.

There are many tours available, which reception will be very happy to assist you with scheduling. Samasati does not make a profit on these excursions. We chose not to take any tours because we were so happy at the retreat. We preferred to relax and enjoy Samasati instead. We did hike around the retreat. The jungle trail we took was not well marked so we went the wrong way, which was kind of scary, but we weren’t really lost. We were still on a trail, just not the trail we thought we were on (it wasn’t on the map). We saw so many astonishing plants and wild life and nothing hurt us. Be sure to bring bug spray though, because there are bitey bugs out there. You really are in the jungle, even when on a trail. We saw monkeys in the trees, gigantic spiders, sculpted waterfalls, incredible foliage, and insects that blew my mind. Be sure to bring a camera and pick up a walking stick at reception. You will need it on the jungle trails, which can be quite a workout.

We took the free shuttle down to the beach one day. We decided just to take it easy and not visit any of the touristy attractions. The sand is the softest, most beautiful sand I have ever seen. It’s half fine, black volcanic sand, and half soft, tan sand. When the gentle waves come in, the sand looks like a tiger’s eye gem. I normally don’t get in the ocean, but the water was so clean and warm, I couldn’t help myself. We just walked up and down the beach for a while. All the people there left us alone. We weren’t harassed to buy anything, or bothered when we sat on a bench in front of a sea side restaurant. There were a few gorgeous women walking or sunning alone in bikinis and they were not harassed by men. We just went to the beach where the free shuttle dropped us off. There is a community of sort of hippy tourist places catering to vegetarians and healthy nature-loving yoga types. It’s a bit of a ramshackle village where they appear to be struggling financially, so I am happy that they are catering to eco-conscious tourists who can bring some money to their town without leaving trash all over the place. There are recycling bins al over, and most people seem to speak english. We didn’t go into any of the shops or restaurants. The tourists seem to be primarily young, healthy, hipster types.

I got a bad sunburn on my feet while n the beach. It was overcast and I didn’t think I would need it for a short stay, but I miscalculated. Be sure to bring sunscreen and put on more than you think you will need, especially on your feet. The reflection off the water will burn you and you won’t even know it until it’s too late. There is a free shuttle back to Samasati. Oh, and don’t forget to request a healthy snack before you go into town. Ours were included since wouldn’t be there for lunch (they are $5 if not included in your package). The snacks are pretty basic, fruit, water, healthy cookies and rice cakes. There are plenty of places to eat at the beach, but we just enjoyed our Samasati snacks, which weren’t very tasty, but they kept our tummies happy until dinner. We also requested a snack upon departure so we had something to eat on the 4 hour drive back to Don Carlos. They do stop half way, so you can always grab something to eat then if you didn’t bring a snack.

There are lots and homes for sale at Samasati, but this in no way lessens the experience or harms the environment. The homes blend with nature, and are few. They are built in a very eco-friendly way, and are completely non-intrusive. We saw many of the homes and lots (there really aren’t that many), which were very quiet, beautiful, eco-friendly and natural. Seeing people living there, in harmony with nature as opposed to in opposition with it was very inspiring. I considered it a plus, not a disadvantage or deterrent. We enjoyed seeing the green homes. We overheard one of the other guest couples speaking with the man who apparently runs Samasati, or at least the part associated with the lots for sale and homes, and were very, very impressed with how Samasati has worked so hard to preserve the environment. It doesn’t seem at all like they are trying to make money, or at least, this doesn’t seem to be their main motivation. It sounded like their main priority is maintaining the land and preserving nature. They appear to be very dedicated to this principle. I can understand why one might be suspicious though, since western culture has a way of exploiting natural resources and ruining them. This doesn’t seem to be the case at Samasati, at least not now.

We will most definitely return to Samasati. I would like to go there for at least month and take yoga classes every day. Some of the homes can be rented out on a temporary basis (I guess they are owned by people who use them as summer homes), so this may be a good option for us the next time we visit. The people who work there have been there a long time and seem like family, so I hope we will see the same people next time we go. Many of the couples and families who were there with us did take advantage of the available tours, and I never heard a negative comment about any of them. Everyone seemed to be very happy with all the excursions they went on, and we enjoyed hearing about their experiences. Next time we visit, we will likely take advantage of the tours, but we really never got bored without them. There is always something beautiful to explore at the retreat. They have blue butterflies as big as your hand!

Be advised that Samasati does not have air conditioning, televisions, internet or Wi-Fi. If you need internet, you have to go down do the village by the beach. It’s not far. We didn’t need any of these things, but we saw a couple who seemed miserable because the husband kept trying to get online, and the wife was pregnant and was therefor apparently unable to enjoy many of the excursions. This is not your conventional, mass-produced, one-size-fits all, consumer-driven resort with plasma tv’s, unlimited towels, chorine-filled swimming pools, and all you can eat garbage. It’s simple, natural, well-maintained, peaceful, and disconnected from the hustle and bustle of modern life. They do have electricity and it is very comfortable, but it’s not for everyone. If you love nature, good people, healthy food, and quiet introspection, Samasati is or you. Bring a book or s sketch pad and unplug. It will refresh your mind, body and spirit. I am so glad we went and we can’t wait to return. We got way more than our money’s worth. This was our first real vacation. I now consider Samasati a home away from home. I never had to compromise my eco-integrity. I feel I will always carry a little piece of the jungle with me in my heart. Check out Groupon or Blissmo for deals so you can get one with food and yoga included. You won’t be disappointed.

Room Tip: Some rooms are on hills and may be difficult for people who have trouble climbing steep stairs.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank VeganHeathenHouston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SilviaZani1, Owner at Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary, responded to this reviewResponded October 8, 2012

Thank you so very much for this detailed review as, I am sure, it will help other travelers who want to enjoy Samasati. We do look forward to have you back!!
Warm regards from the jungle

Silvia

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2012

The yoga: Max was such a wonderful, grounding teacher. I appreciated his vast knowledge and the way he introduced many aspects of the practice to the retreat. While it was definitely rigorous enough, there was never a time when I felt like my body (or spirit) couldn't handle the curriculum, and I loved that the week included the waterfall hikes and yoga on the beach, as well as meditation. I hope I get the opportunity to work with Max again some day.

The food: As a vegan, I had concerns that I wouldn't have enough to eat. That couldn't have been further from the truth. The food was fresh, plentiful, delicious, and oh, so satisfying. I look very forward to the cookbook when it comes out! I will be standing in line to purchase it! And I was thrilled to be able to purchase the cacao paste and cacao beans that you sell, packaged, at the bar. I have been enjoying making chocolates with them since I returned!

The staff: From start to finish, the staff of Samasati were the most friendly, helpful and accommodating people I have ever met in hospitality. I was nervous coming from the States alone, having never been to Costa Rica before. You and others helped so much with arranging transportation and hotels on either end, and all the recommendations came through. This part could not have been easier. So thank you. In fact, my plane was delayed when I arrived. I was supposed to get into San Jose at 8:40 pm, and we got in at almost 4 o'clock in the morning. The taxi service you had arranged to have pick me up and take me to hotel 1492 was there. Not only was he there, but he was so good natured about the whole thing. I was very grateful.

The accommodations: Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Being welcomed with the folded towels and flower petals was so special, and the bungalow was so clean and comfortable. LOVED the hammock and the upstairs portion where I slept in bungalow 8. And I really appreciate you arranging to have a resident sloth and howler monkey living right outside for my viewing pleasure! ;-)

The grounds: Such a beautifully thought out property, from start to finish. The open air dining area with the common table was such a lovely space for coming together with others staying there, whether or not they were participating in the yoga retreat. Of course the view was spectacular! And I was really moved by the markers for the departed animals of Samasati near the meditation hall; and each time I walked to yoga and was met by Buddha, I was immediately transformed. The grounds have a quiet peace about them (with everything else about staying there), which helped me hit my reset button. I came home feeling so peaceful and grounded and ready to return to my every day life.

The amenities: I was really grateful for the daily reliable shuttle service to Puerto Viejo. I only took advantage of it twice, but it made getting to the Caribbean so easy! The hot tub was what initially attracted me to Samasati when I was doing my research about a place to escape to for my yoga retreat. Ironically, I only used it once, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. And while I did not arrange for a massage, I appreciate that it was available, and the folks staying there who did get massages raved about them.

The tours: The only thing I was disappointed about during my entire stay at Samasati was with two tours I tried to take. The first was with a shaman. I was told because I was single I couldn't do it. It required two people. A little later another person said they would do it with me, and I got really excited that I would be able to do it the next day. The next morning at breakfast, I was told I couldn't do it after all because the shaman was away and, by that time, it was too late to arrange for any other tour that day. I was leaving the next day and I would have arranged to do the chocolate tour that day had I known I couldn't see the shaman. I've been making artisan chocolates for two years and was very excited to see how the cacao is grown and processed on the front end. So, the next day, I had arranged to get a private tour with the husband of one of Samasati's cooks of a different chocolate making place in the morning before I was due to go to San Jose. I was taken down the hill where I waited for 45 minutes for the tour guide (whose name currently escapes me). He was called many times and didn't answer. Finally, I got some word that he was supposedly doing a different tour. I asked to be driven back up the hill. At lunch, I was handed the phone by the cook, and it was the tour guide who said his vehicle had broken down. I was left not really knowing what had happened, and not really caring so much about why it happened, but I was very disappointed that the two things off-site that I most wanted to do I didn't get to do.

Those two disappointments aside, I have been raving about Samasati and the yoga retreat since my return. If I was asked to rate my stay, it would easily get five stars. I hope I get the opportunity to return.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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3  Thank Jill C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SilviaZani1, Owner at Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary, responded to this reviewResponded October 8, 2012

Thank you very much for this review! I am glad you enjoyed your time at Samasati and I hope we will soon have you back with us !
Kind regards
Silvia

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2012

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.

Room Tip: Get a house and share it with friends. All bungalows are on a hillside so you will be walking up dow...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Shannendoah1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SilviaZani1, Owner at Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary, responded to this reviewResponded September 14, 2012

Thank you for your review and the many good tips for other fellow travelers !
I am glad you enjoyed Samasati and the area ... yes, the pace of life is "just right" over there....
Hope to have you and your wife back soon for another visit.
Warm regards
Silvia

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Reviewed September 8, 2012

This place is perfect. Plus, the food was the best we ate in CR during our 12 day stay. We woke up with the howlers...magical.

One note. This is an early to bed. Early to rise place. It is dead quite after 8 which is perfect if you are looking for it. Which we were.

The rooms are spotless and the staff are delightful. Just perfect.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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1  Thank WonderAbouter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SilviaZani1, Owner at Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary, responded to this reviewResponded September 10, 2012

Thank you for your review!! I hope you will come back and visit us again soon!
Warm regards
Silvia

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2012

We absolutely loved our stay at Samasati last week. The food was amazing! We are vegan and the staff was wonderful about making vegan meals for us that were even more delicious than what we are accustomed to in the US. We loved the variety of soups. I was worried about bugs in our bungalow from reading the reviews but we only had some small lizards and ants, and we didn't even need our mosquito netting. We were woken up early by birds and howler monkeys each day which we loved, but I would recommend earplugs if you like to sleep in! Samasati is the perfect place for nature lovers, where you can be totally immersed in the jungle with beautiful scenery. We also enjoyed the cats and dogs though I do wish they could have some flea prevention as they did seem really itchy! For those who have been giving negative reviews, I think you just need to know in advance that this is a place for people who want to have a calm relaxing trip out in nature and be expected to really experience nature. I think the retreat really does take into consideration the suggestions people post here as I saw several things that I had read in reviews that the retreat seemed to have fixed because of the reviews, such as providing a big cooler at all times for drinking water and having an emergency radio for after-hours. Also, I highly recommend renting a 4x4 vehicle as it's the only way you can come and go from the retreat without relying on the daily shuttle at 10 am and 3 pm. We had a vehicle so we were able to take our own daily excursions to lots of different wildlife sanctuaries and beaches, but still come back to snuggle up in nature in the evenings! I love Samasati and hope I can come back again someday!!

Room Tip: Rent a 4x4 vehicle if you are interested in taking your own excursions around town!
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Laura W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SilviaZani1, Owner at Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary, responded to this reviewResponded September 7, 2012

Thank you very much for the review; I am very glad you had good time and could enjoy Samasati, its food, its people and its surroundings. Come back and be with us soon again!!
Warm regards
Silvia

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary

Address: Carbon 1, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica (Formerly Samasati Nature Retreat)
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 120 Specialty Lodging in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range: $80 - $97 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Samasati Retreat & Rainforest Sanctuary 3*
Number of rooms: 20
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

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