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Review Highlights
Awesome place to stay for surf, yoga or both

Great instructors for both surf and yoga, nice facilities, short walk from the beautiful beach... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Robert P
,
San Jose, California
Amazing place to stay!

I loved my time at Believe. As a solo female traveler, I wanted to meet people, have easy access to... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Dream586964
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Reviewed June 17, 2018

Thanks to everyone who works in Believe Surf and Yoga and the Funky Monkey! They have such an amazing energy and make you feel welcome right from the beggining.
This trip was just what I needed and more, I literally cannot wai to go back! =)

Date of experience: June 2018
Thank dani1918
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
martin_avola, Owner at Believe Surf and Yoga, responded to this reviewResponded April 21, 2020

Hola Dani,

Thanks for your review. We are happy to know you enjoyed your vacation with us.

Hopefully we will have the pleasure of hosting you once again in the near future.

Pura Vida!

The Believe Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2018 via mobile

I will never forget the experience I had with Believe Surf&Yoga in Santa Teresa! This was my first solo trip and I was very nervous about traveling alone but the Believe staff was so helpful with setting up transportation and keeping in contact with me throughout my travels. The yoga and surf instructors were so great and took their time to really go through everything. Staying at the Funky Monkey lodge was so fun! I met the most amazing people and everyone was so friendly. I already cannot wait to go back, pura vida!

Date of experience: June 2018
1  Thank gabgalluzzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
martin_avola, Owner at Believe Surf and Yoga, responded to this reviewResponded April 21, 2020

Hello Gab,

Thank you so much for your review. Our clients opinions and feedback is always very important to us.

We are happy to know you enjoyed your vacations with us.

Hopefully we will have the pleasure of hosting you once again in the near future.

Pura Vida!

The Believe Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2018 via mobile

Yeah Funky and Believe! Perfect balance of amazing people, waves, and food. I felt at home from the very beginning. It was such a wonderful vacation. :):):)

Date of experience: June 2018
Thank Sekita G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
martin_avola, Owner at Believe Surf and Yoga, responded to this reviewResponded April 21, 2020

Hey Sekita,

Thanks so much for your review. We are happy to know you felt at home with us. :)

Hopefully you will be back to join us once again in the near future.

Pura Vida!

The Believe Team

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Reviewed June 9, 2018 via mobile

Going to Santa Teresa through Believe was hands down the highlight of my Costa Rica...from the amazing people to the yoga, surf, food, sunsets, days on the beach, nights sipping on cerveza...I wanted to stay longer. Had I not booked a flight out of Costa Rica prior, I would have extended my stay.

Believe is an amazing program to go through and you can feel it the minute you meet Uky. He’s nothing but good vibes and does an amazing job helping you coordinate everything in a promptly manner. I had some issues with my airline getting to Santa Teresa and Uky came up with a back up plan so fast, it wasn’t even an issue (and gave me a ride discount even though it wasn’t even their fault)! From that point in, it was nothing but smooth surfing and hanging with an awesome group of people from around the world. Surf instructors and yoga teachers are all top notch and provide a memorable experience beyond Santa Teresa itself.

Treat yourself and make this a stop during your Costa Rica trip!!

Date of experience: January 2018
Thank Ruben M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
martin_avola, Owner at Believe Surf and Yoga, responded to this reviewResponded April 21, 2020

Hola Ruben,

Thanks sooo much for your lovely review. We are pleased to know you had a great vacation with us.

Hopefully we will have the pleasure of hosting you once again in the near future.

Pura Vida!

The Believe Team

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2018

Thank you Believe for the vacation of my dreams! I love Costa Rica SO MUCH. If you're looking for a Surf/Yoga adventure in paradise - that has the organizational conveniences of a camp AND the freedom and flexibility independent travel offers, this is it. Stress free, amazing people, adventure and relaxation - it's literally all possible through Believe. What I found makes Believe unique to other camps and retreats is that Martin and his crew work with each individual to fit the package to the person acting more like personal hosts, not the other way around, with a level of attention and personalization is rare to find these days in travel booking. So you can have the experience YOU choose - They took the time to listen to my story to help construct an a la carte package that matched everything I requested. And they went above and beyond to ensure I had the best trip possible!

I am a first time solo traveler and my 3 main trip requests were Surf, yoga, and a hammock! Martin delivered in strides! :) My ONE complaint was that my trip was too short and I wasn’t able to do it all in a week! Depending on your flight itinerary - It can take about a day and half to arrive to Santa Teresa (if you stay in San Jose) - and about 2 days to acclimate to the pace, time difference, and for some, the culture shock. By the time I eased in, I had to turn around and leave! Most of the travelers I met were there for over a month… that’s the way to go. A week is still delightful and should not dissuade you but if you can grab a couple extra days, I would suggest it.

The most complicated part is getting to Santa Teresa - but Believe was amazing and handled all of my accommodations and travel needs. From San Jose, its a 6 hour road tripping adventure on shuttles and ferries if you don’t rent a car (you’d be fine either way if it’s high/dry season) - Believe organized all of my lodging and transportation from the moment I stepped off the plane so I always felt safe and trusted all of the vendors. The hotel (Hotel 1915) was the right price and perfectly adequate for an overnight crash pad. And it had Free breakfast which was a plus.

The Ferry ride is about 2 hours. You will likely be with a travel group from SJ to Santa Teresa, so you end up making buddies - which helps especially on the ferry if I needed to get a snack or use the bathroom.. If solo, however, you should plan on being with your luggage at all times and be able to easily carry it up and down stairs.

I wanted to treat myself so I splurged a tad and opted to stay in a private Villa owned and operated by Believe - a 5 min walk from the Funky Monkey - where everyone else from the group was staying. Once I got to my villa - I was greeted by the owner, Lucho - the nicest most welcoming person ever - who showed me around my sanctuary for the week. Shortly thereafter, Uky - the Believe vacation concierge/guru came by to personally welcomed me and introduce me to the town and the overall ‘agenda’ for the week. He gave me the yoga schedules, set up my first surf session and walked me through things to do around town. Everything they recommended was spot on accurate. I was always happy to take their advice and never disappointed!
My Unit had AC, American outlets, electricity, hot water, a kitchen with a fridge, stove, coffee maker, and a blender for smoothies (more on that later)
It also had a private balcony with a Hammock overlooking the breathtaking private pool and gorgeous flora/fauna on the property.

The surfing experience is great for all levels for different reasons. Santa Teresa is a world class break that takes a lot of athleticism - consequently, the surf instructors through Believe are also world class. I encourage anyone - beginner to advanced - to book a session with them.. I’m a decently seasoned surfer but ended up cashing in on the 2 ‘coaching’ sessions included in Believe package. I found the sessions to be extremely valuable to introduce me to the break and get some local insider tips.
As the crew explained, Santa Teresa is a ‘Physical’ break. This isn’t a nice mellow point or reef (like Waikiki). It’s a beach break - meaning conditions are contingent on tide and swell and you end up paddling a LOT. But the waves are consistent and fun and the water is 80 degrees (Fahrenheit), so there’s little to complain about. The many meters of white water at the dropping tides are PERFECT for learning. All of the beginners were catching waves on their own by the end of the trip. (learn and follow the local etiquette and you’ll be fine)
I rented a board from Denga surf shop for the entire week which cost about $10/day and was easy to swap out and try different shapes and sizes.

For yoga, there are so many options available through Believe that I ended up getting overwhelmed by the week’s end!
The instructors are the best - especially Kiki!! From Vinyasa flows (Christoff is the real deal) and aerial silks (Sofi is amazing) to restorative and Kundalini - my biggest ‘first world problem’ throughout the week was deciding between surf or yoga in the AM/PM schedule because I wanted to do it all.
Most classes are at 9a and 6p with some options late morning. I managed to fit it all in and learned some new types of Yoga.
The 2 studios are Funky Monkey and Nautilus - both are outdoor and the peaceful, jungle environment create a unique ambiance that transports you into a zen state.

Some tips:
The Pura Vida lifestyle is ever present and is truly an amazing ethos - It’s laid back, easy and mellow - welcome it in with open arms and an open mind. I quite enjoyed not focusing on my appearance so much - relinquishing my makeup and primping for a week.

Leave your makeup, your jewelry and your nice clothes at home. With the dust, heat, sun, surf, hygiene is not #1 priority. Plus it’s a 3rd world country so if pampering and room service are what you’re looking for, this might not be for you.
That said, there are spas and salons for - I rinsed off every day but full showers weren’t necessary nor were they useful as you’d be covered in sweat and dirt within the hour - or maybe ocean or pool water (salt water does wonders to my hair so I didn’t mind!)

Bring a scarf or bandana - Santa Teresa is dusty and hot - the traffic (cars, trucks, ATVs and motorbikes) kick up a LOT of dust and everyone wears a scarf or facemask to shield themselves. Clothing, shoes and skin will all end up with a layer of dirt on them so don’t bring anything precious!

CASH ONLY - it really is. And it’s a pain in the butt, but it is what it is adding to the small, jungle-town charm. There is an ATM in the town center but without ubers, or bus systems, you are left to find your own way to town. You can rent an ATV for the week (in hindsight I wish i had) - or a bicycle for $5 also as I said above, Believe can help you with any and all of these things. But bring a ton of cash. You want to use Colones to get the best rates but everyone takes US dollars (avg. 550 Colones = $1). I went to the bank to replenish my cash twice in a week ($300 maximum per day).

The ATVs were my favorite part - we rented ATVs and rode to Montezuma and hiked to waterfalls. This was epic and I can’t express enough euphoria. I loved it! IT’s a must.

Sleep - interestingly enough, I found myself averaging 5 hours/night - but I was ok. It’s hard to get more than that. With Roosters, dogs, and monkeys - yes monkeys - there is a daily 5:30 am wake up call from the jungle. I tried ear plugs, white noise apps.. But I got used to an early rise and a siesta midday. I miss my monkey friends.
It’s a very bookended day in Santa Teresa. Yoga and surf are done mostly in the AM and the PM leaving the afternoon for naps, beach, chilling, bank trips, shopping - anything in the AC or pool.. It gets HOT in most seasons - and the sun is intense so you end up having packed mornings and evenings but time seems to slip away as you acclimate to the Santa Teresa lifestyle.

Nightlife exists and there are things to do every night of the week. Just ask Uky or Martin. They will take care of you and if you’re lucky, they just might join you and you’ll make instant local friends!

I’m so grateful for everyone at Believe - especially Uky, Martin, Kiki, and Lucho for all of the time and dedication they put into making sure I had a great vacation and now, I have friends in Santa Teresa who I can visit anytime (Right guys?) :) And I plan to!!

Pura Vida

Date of experience: February 2018
1  Thank HBlanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
martin_avola, Manager at Believe Surf and Yoga, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2018

Yes you do Heather !!!! thank you

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