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Shaka Beach Retreat
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Reviews (243)
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Reviewed July 22, 2013

We just returned from staying 7 days at Shaka Beach Retreat and it was fabulous! The Cabina was spacious and clean with A/C and a nice bathroom. The staff were all very friendly and helpful with anything that was needed. It was fun to get together with all the guests for meals at the dining table in the Rancho...and the food was great. Always plenty to eat. The yoga studio was amazing - it was so cool to be relaxing with all the wild life making their noises around you. Megan was a great instructor as well, very patient with my beginner yoga struggles. The walk to the beach through the jungle was short and always filled with butterflies, iguana, monkeys and flowers. And the beach...WOW! It was as if we had our own private beach. Absolutely beautiful. It was fun renting quads so you could drive into town, or go on a quad tour through the jungle and on the beach. Megan and Cristallia can help you get any type of activity arranged from surfing, zip lining or horse back riding on the beach. I always felt completely safe while staying at Shaka and would recommend staying here to all of my friends.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank JacPo23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2013

Shaka is the perfect start for a genuine Costa Rican vacation experience. The owners are so sweet and make it a point to get to know you and accommodate your needs. I booked my stay over Christmas about a week before I decided to go. Everyone was very helpful in booking a flight and ground transport to Shaka. The rooms are clean and spacious, but the atmosphere here is more family-oriented than luxury big-resort. I was under no pressure to get to a specific place during my surf lessons...I was encouraged to enjoy my experience and after a few days of one-on-one lessons, I could just grab a board a go on my own.
The yoga place down the beach is hands-down the BEST yoga I've ever experienced! I highly encourage the surf and yoga package! My vacation consisted of surfing in the morning and yoga in the afternoon before dinner. I would indulge in an afternoon nap before a trek into town, but that was to be expected. Based on the number of guests at Shaka, I would either turn in to bed early or stay up and hang out with a group of interesting young folks who just wanted to have a good time.
Our cook (don't know what she really was called) was AWESOME!!! All of the meals prepared were wholesome and filling. There was a small store down the street for afternoon snacks but I rarely needed those since I was stuffed from breakfast. Can I recommend a bottle of the delicious salsa to take home?? It makes everything taste better!!

Overall, the property was clean and relaxed. The owners will help you book additional tours if you want them. The surfing instruction is great (relaxed, not pushy) and the owners really make you feel like part of their family. They even bring their kids to the kitchen which really makes you feel part of the family! I felt extremely safe the entire trip and would go back in a heart beat!!!! What great memories!!

Room Tip: All rooms are private and wonderfully clean and fresh!
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank akula_007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

We loved every minute of our 10 day honeymoon at Shaka. All of the staff were so friendly and helpful. It was the little things that made it such a special trip. The housekeeper would sometimes use her creative talents to decorate our room with flowers and colorful twigs. We had many positive and genuine conversations with each of the staff that made the trip feel more like family.
Our goal was to learn how to surf and although we have a long way to go before we can call ourselves 'surfers' - the coaches got us standing and riding white water on the first day. By day 4 we were out back catching the bigger waves. It was enough to make us catch the bug and look forward to surfing again as soon as we can. :-)
The yoga instructor Megan was great. I don't normally go to yoga classes because I don't buy into the vibe that I usually experience. Ilooked forward to every class with Megan because she is so genuine and unique in her practice and makes you feel great about your efforts.
The food was Really good and healthy.
If you're looking for a truly unique and incredible journey Shaka is the place to experience just that! Thank you to all Shaka staff. Hope to visit again!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank maja j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2013

My visit to Shaka exceeded my very high expectations. I loved the remote location, I felt like I could really relax and unplug, and I almost felt like I had my own private beach! Shaka is in the perfect location: in the middle of the jungle (with all of those exciting perks and animals), on the nicest beach in the area, and close enough to town if you want to shop or dine out. There are also many day trips to explore in the surrounding area. My favorite things about Shaka were the new open yoga rancho, the hammocks and the family style dining. The way Shaka is set up it's really easy and fun to socialize and the whole group ends up feeling like family right away. Jerry is a great surf instructor, and I loved Megan's yoga classes. It really was the best vacation ever!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank monitre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2013

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.

Room Tip: All four cabinas are the same, so you don't even need to worry about which to choose! There is an "overflow" house that isn't advertised - 4 rooms, kitchen too. Would be good for a large family if you can convince them to let you book it.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank punkykey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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