Anamaya Resort

»Yoga and wellness in the playground of Central America«

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At the Anamaya Resort, yoga is served up with a healthy side-serve of the true yogic spirit and a sprinkling of cheeky fun. Serious yogis will be pleased with the high level of skill in the sessions, while newbies will delight in the unpompous nature of the teachers and the easy air of sociability that comes over all who stay here. All this in truly beautiful surroundings in Central America's safest and cleanest country.

  • What we love
  • The friendly, easy-going staff
  • Lounging in the infinity pool
  • Learning to surf in the Surf and Yoga package
  • What to know
  • Anamaya offers in-house retreats as well as being booked by outside retreats
  • All prices incur an additional 13% local sales tax
  • Food is a set menu with meat options
  • Why go
  • The beauty of Costa Rica
  • Teacher Training Courses
  • Extra fun activities like acrobatics

There are those who swear that Costa Rica is a charmed land. Despite being positioned precariously in the politically unstable Central America, Costa Rica has retained its safety, tranquility and friendly characteristics. It should have been pillaged for its forests and other natural resources, but it remains one of the most ecologically diverse places on Earth. Being just a short plane ride from the US, it should be overrun by hordes of sweaty tourists loudly complaining about the late buses, but this mysteriously hasn't happened either. The feeling of sacredness about Costa Rica is perhaps one of the reasons that yogis are drawn to this stunning country – and the Anamaya Resort offers the perfect place for them to gather.

Meaning 'good health' in Sanskrit, Anamaya focuses on holistic wellness. Good food, good yoga, and good fun are seen as vital elements to a well-balanced spirit, and all are served up in healthy portion-sizes. There are three options for in-house retreats here: Soul Surfers Yoga and Surf Retreat, Yoga and Adventure Retreat, and the Yoga and Rejuvenation Retreat. All are seven-day packages and include food and shared accommodation with single traveler and group prices listed on the website. Soul Surfers unsurprisingly includes surf lessons and a daily yoga class as well as a couple of extra goodies like a waterfall hike and infrared sauna treatments. The other two retreats are fairly similar but focus on outdoor activities in the Yoga Adventure Retreat while the Yoga and Rejuvenation Retreat is more concerned with massages and meditation for those who prefer their getaway to be less physically strenuous.

External programs - meaning that accommodation and meals are taken at Anamaya but the classes are run by outside teachers who have booked the space – are the Teacher Training Courses and an occasional holistic-health program that involves yoga but also draws on other healing and spiritual practices. The Teacher Training Courses are of the 200-hour variety and are fully accredited with the International Yoga Alliance. They run for a month combining asana sessions with pranayama, meditation and the usual range of education in anatomy and nutrition. The yoga style taught in these programs is - like the internal retreats - usually Hatha but may vary depending on the field of expertise of the teacher. Reviews for the external retreats, and the in-house kind, are overwhelmingly positive.

All yoga classes are taught in the Hatha style and accommodate beginners through to advanced. The only thing to note is that those who have been practicing for many years may not feel overly challenged. The teachers are always flexible though (no yoga pun intended) and may be able to share knowledge in a separate session. It's always worth asking – Anamaya is known for its community feel and attention to individual guests.

The food is organic, sourced locally and is a drawcard for the entire area, not only those who are guests of Anamaya. Vegetarians are well-catered for, while meat-eaters will be served up predominantly seafood protein sources. Chicken is also available, but red meat is pretty scarce. Accommodation choices range from small-but-comfortable bunk-bed shared rooms to spacious private cabins which are fairly open to the elements, allowing the cool evening breezes to take a little heat out of the day. Internet access at Anamaya is, like the rest of Costa Rica, fast and reliable with free Wi-Fi covering the whole resort.

Although Anamaya is well-known, it has not become a bloated resort that shuffles package-holiday guests through like unwelcome sheep. This is a place that revives the spirit and makes visitors feel like part of an extended family. Friendships have been made here and bonds forged that keep people coming back year after year. Healthy living in a charmed country – not a bad way to spend a week.

About the area: Montezuma

Montezuma, or Moctezuma with the locals, was the first destination in Costa Rica to be 'discovered' by hippies, the original backpackers. Once only accessible by irregularly scheduled bone-rattling bus, it is now a little more easy to reach although the roads are still pot-holed enough to give a sense of real adventure. Montezuma is still the inexpensive and relaxed village that it always was, with plenty of activities to spice up the lazy days that easily blend into each other. This is a drier and generally more sunny area of Costa Rica which is well-known for its tropical downpours and high humidity. Any time of year is a good time to visit as temperatures sit pretty firmly in the range of 20 – 28 degrees C (69 – 84F). There is a rainy season here though, which is at its peak in the months between July and October. Torrential rains followed by a gleaming sun is pretty typical on most days, which charm some people and put others off. This is when the jungle is at its most beautiful though, as new growth appears in all shades of brilliant green.

Image credit: Anamaya Resort

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