Drift Away Eco-Lodge Cultural Exchange Program

April 17, 2021 By News Comments Off

Drift Away Eco-Lodge invites volunteers from all over the world to visit our little part of Costa Rica and join our hotel team for a few weeks. We hope it fosters positive cultural exchanges between local residents and people from other international backgrounds. When working and living together we can share our skills and learn from each other! Plus, we hope that when our visitors leave, they spread the word about how beautiful Costa Rica is and how welcoming the people are. This is a story from our new friends from France, Thomas and Melanie:

Arriving at Drift Away Eco-Lodge in Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica


This is the first word we said when we arrived at this wonderful eco-lodge for the first time. We are Melanie and Thomas, a French couple traveling the world and we were very lucky to be volunteers at Drift Away Eco-Lodge for five weeks in February and March 2021.

This is our fourth volunteer experience since the beginning of our adventures in September 2020. We like staying and helping in places such as hostels, family homes, and farms. We love new experiences, meeting new people, immersing ourselves in a new atmosphere… and have great memories at the end.

“Drift Away Eco-Lodge has everything guests need”

We knew very early that we would be happy at the lodge: it has everything guests need while on vacation. The swimming pool and its fountain surrounded by a luxurious garden full of tropical trees and flowers is the perfect place to rest. The lodge even has a yoga room and games room, free to use by everyone. 

If that were not enough, we lived in a clean apartment, just the two of us. Even more importantly, we received a very kind and warm welcome from our hosts Paul and Lisa, as well as from all the employees. After more than a month at the lodge, we can say this hotel has a perfect team.

Our work

During our time there, we had two main missions: helping at reception for me, and social media for Thomas (help to promote the hotel on Facebook and Instagram). Thomas was in charge of sharing pictures and uploading posts on both platforms.

At the reception, some days were very calm while others were more intense. After several days of training, I helped the team with reception shifts and was assigned with all reception tasks, such as welcoming guests in Spanish, English, or French, answering phone calls or messages, or serving drinks at the bar. 

I really liked to interact with guests. We were also asked to help with small garden and maintenance tasks and organizing a community cleanup with the employees.

Our play

We had plenty of time to enjoy the area when we were not working. The lodge is perfectly located, and the closest beach Playa Lagartillo is less than a 5-minute walk. This is a small, calm, and beautiful beach perfect for swimming, or just enjoying sunsets after work. This beach is not busy at all and it’s easy to relax, and sometimes you have the beach just for yourself!

The lodge offers free surfboard hires and Thomas tried surfing for the first time in Playa Avellanas, which is another beach close to the hotel (20 min walk), with waves that are perfect for beginners.

While walking to the beach there was always a chance to observe animals in the dry forest, such as very colorful birds, iguanas, and howler monkeys who live in the neighborhood.

Since September 2020, Thomas and Melanie have been volunteering at places such as hostels, family homes, and farms.

Life in a remote area

As the place is a bit remote, we bought food from truck vendors that delivered to the lodge every week. They sold fresh bread, fruits, vegetables, and farm-fresh eggs. We could also try surrounding restaurants on several occasions. One night we visited the Playa Negra Night Market and we also visited the nearby tourist center of Tamarindo during one of our days off.

Finally, needless to say, we could enjoy all the hotel facilities like the swimming pool whenever we wanted. In fact, we quickly understood the definition of Pura Vida.

We left the place with our heads full of memories, and will certainly miss this tiny part of paradise in Costa Rica!

**Note: Drift Away Eco-Lodge accepts volunteer applications solely through the Workaway.com website. 

Best Beaches in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

March 16, 2021 By News Comments Off

One thing Guanacaste, Costa Rica is known for is its beaches! There are hundreds of miles of beaches in Guanacaste, a province stretching along the Pacific Ocean. 

For our guests at the Drift Away Eco Lodge, being close to some of the most undeveloped Costa Rica beaches is a fantastic experience. 

Guests on a beach vacation can take a five-minute walk to Playa Lagartillo, a great swimming beach and has the most beautiful sunsets! 

However, there are many more beaches in our area to explore, all within a 20-minute drive of our eco-lodge. So grab your umbrella and sunscreen. Here is our guide to the best beaches in Guanacaste!

Playa Lagartillo

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 200 mts (a 5-minute walk)

Costa Rica beach Pacific Ocean

The beach at Playa Lagartillo, Costa Rica

We may be biased, but we think Playa Lagartillo is one of the most beautiful beaches in Guanacaste. It is quiet, and most days, you will have the entire beach to yourself. There may be the odd local family enjoying a barbeque picnic. Fishers stand in the water and throw their lines into the sea looking for their dinner, competing with diving pelicans that gather around the rocks. It is a great swimming beach in Costa Rica, especially at high tide. 

Grab a wine or a Costa Rica craft beer from our juice bar, walk down to the beach after 5 p.m. and enjoy a dazzling sunset! Remember your phone for some incredible Instagram-worthy pictures.

couple on a beach in Costa Rica Pacific Ocean

You may have a beach all to yourself in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

Lagartillo is a Spanish name for a lizard. You may see some iguanas, along with howler monkeys, herons, and a brilliant display of green parrots, turquoise mot-mots, and orange orioles. There are no restaurants or facilities nearby, making it a peaceful place to relax and unwind while listening to the crashing waves and the wind through the trees.

Remember to take advantage of the free surfboards, bodyboards, beach umbrellas, and towels at Drift Away Eco-Lodge!

Playa Avellanas

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 1.5 km (1 mile)

Playa Avellanas

Lola’s beachfront restaurant is a popular choice in Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica.

Playa Avellanas is one of the more popular surfing beaches in Costa Rica. Have you never surfed before? Playa Avellanas is the best beach in Guanacaste for those who want to learn how to surf. The waves are consistent, and they aren’t too big. There are a couple of surf schools located at this Guanacaste beach, and the instructors are careful but promise to get you up on your board on the first try! But it’s not just for surfing. 

Avellanas is a great swimming beach in Guanacaste and one of the best family beaches in Costa Rica. It has miles of wide flat sand and plenty of room for all the weekenders frequenting the area on a beach holiday. Want more surfing information? Costa Rica Surf Spots: Locals Reveal the Best

You can easily walk to Playa Avellanas from Drift Away Eco-Lodge. At low tide, you can stroll down the beach. When the tide is high, there is a pretty little nature trail that connects Playa Lagartillo and Playa Avellanas. In the rainy season, you can walk the road or use one of our free bicycles to get there.

Lola's beachfront restaurant

Eating outside at Lola’s beachfront restaurant in Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica.

Playa Avellanas is home to Lola’s, one of the most popular and famous beachfront restaurants in Costa Rica. It has a great atmosphere and a delicious menu. Maybe you’ll get to see their mascots, two adorable pigs named Ave and Ana (a play on “Avellanas”). Lola’s commits to sustainability and the community that we love. Want more information on restaurants in Playa Avellanas? Restaurants in Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica – More Than Lola’s Beachfront Restaurant

Playa Negra

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 3 km (less than 2 miles)

Don’t let the name fool you. The sand at this Costa Rica beach isn’t black. Playa Negra is located near our little town of Los Pargos (a.k.a. Playa Negra). This Guanacaste beach has a more local feel, unlike the more touristy atmosphere of Playa Avellanas. Playa Negra has excellent surfing, but you need to know what you’re doing. The waves are a bit more precarious, and there are hazards such as rocks that only the locals know. 

Regardless, it is still a beautiful beach in Costa Rica to hang with the locals who enjoy a bonfire, a guitar jam, and some beer as the sun goes down.  Enjoy a sunset cocktail under a giant palm-thatched roof at Hotel Playa Negra. There is also a volleyball net where you’ll always find other players to join in a game. There are no public restroom facilities, only the restaurant. Want more information on restaurants in Playa Negra/Los Pargos? 10 Best Restaurants in Playa Negra.

Playa Blanca

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 5.5 km (3.5 miles)

When it comes to beaches in Guanacaste, Playa Blanca is a little-known gem. We’re reluctant to share it with you as we want to keep this secret beach all to ourselves! This is one of the best swimming beaches in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, and the best family beaches in Costa Rica. No surfers are hogging the water. Playa Blanca is one of the Guanacaste beaches that has small pools created by rock formations in the water. It means there are little to no waves. Go at low tide with your snorkel gear and swim around the rocks to see some colorful fish. 

Playa Blanca is accessed by a dirt road that runs between Los Pargos/Playa Negra and Playa Junquillal. There is a parking lot at the top of the hill. Please tip the guard there at least a couple of mil (2,000 CRC) as the community hires him to keep everyone’s vehicle safe. There is a series of stairs that you need to go down to access the beach. There are no restroom facilities. There is a rocky point just north of the beach where you can watch the sunset.

Playa Junquillal

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 7.5 km (4.6 miles)

Playa Junquillal is a stunning beach with miles of grey sand lined with palm trees. A famous surfing beach in Costa Rica, Playa Junquillal has plenty of room for beachgoers, surfers, dog walkers, and casual visitors. It is next to the town of Playa Junquillal, which has several restaurants and hotels close by, so you can enjoy the beach and go out for lunch or dinner.

Playa Junquillal is also home to a turtle sanctuary. Conservationists scour the beaches for sea turtle nests and dig up the eggs before poachers or predators get to them. They then ‘plant’ the eggs in a protected caged area at Playa Junquillal. If you’re lucky, you can see the eggs hatching as the baby turtles crawl out of the sand and make their way to the ocean. It’s a fantastic experience that you can see here, or more commonly at Playa Ostional. Want more information on Costa Rica sea turtles? Costa Rica Turtles Nesting in Playa Ostional: a Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

Playa Tamarindo

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 12 km (12.4 miles)

Tamarindo sunset

Enjoy a sunset cocktail at the many beach restaurants in Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

Tamarindo is a bustling, touristy town about a half-hour drive north of Drift Away Eco-Lodge. It is full of hotels, restaurants, and nightlife. It also has a beautiful beach with great surfing, with plenty of spots on the beach to enjoy a cocktail and a meal. Evenings feature live music and fire dancers on the beach. It’s also the beach from where many of the sailing excursions depart. Most of the people there speak English. 

Playa Grande

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 27.5 km (17 miles)

Playa Grande Costa Rica

The long stretch of beach at Playa Grande, Costa Rica.

A few miles north of Tamarindo is Playa Grande, one of Costa Rica’s most secluded beaches. It is world-famous for its surfing. It is protected from the south by the Tamarindo Estuary. The area has a number of restaurants featuring all types of food.

Playa Grande is also part of Las Baulas National Park. The beach is a famous nesting ground for leatherback sea turtles. They are the largest marine reptile in the world, with nesting females as long as six feet! Leatherback nesting season is from October to February.

Guanacaste beach tips

If you’re looking for a beach vacation or surf holiday, the beaches in Guanacaste Costa Rica are the place for you! 

If you plan to check out some of these beaches in Guanacaste during your stay at the Drift Away Eco Lodge, here are some beach tips to keep in mind.

  • Bring an umbrella and sunscreen. The sun beats down on the beach in the afternoons, and sometimes it is difficult to find shade. Alternatively, to avoid the harsh sun, we recommend that you go in the mornings. Drift Away Eco-Lodge offers free beach umbrellas for all our guests!
  • Bring a cooler with some snacks and drinks. Many of the beaches are secluded and undeveloped. There are no public restrooms or change rooms, restaurants, or snack shops.
  • Check the tides. Water levels can rise and fall by several meters every day! Some beaches are better at high tide because low tide exposes too many rocks. Also, you don’t want your beach picnic to be swept away by the incoming tide!
  • Have a spare tire. The roads to these secluded beaches can get a bit rough. Flat tires are pretty common. Make sure you’re prepared!
  • Charge your phone. There is nowhere to plug in and charge your phone around these areas. Make sure your phone is set to get some great pics!

Best Sustainable Costa Rica Coffee Brands

January 30, 2021 By News Comments Off

Wake up and smell the coffee! Costa Rican coffee is some of the best coffee in the world. Costa Rica has the perfect climate and volcanic topography to grow the richest, most flavorful coffee you’ll ever taste. 

Drift Away Eco-Lodge is committed to supporting small-scale, sustainable Costa Rican coffee producers. Many coffee-producing giants engage in poor agricultural practices that damage the environment and pollute the water for the sake of larger yields and bigger profits. So how do you know that the Costa Rica coffee your buying is sustainable, environmentally friendly, and ethically grown? 

red coffee beans

Coffee beans are red when harvested. (courtesy Café Corazón)

Here are a few of the best Costa Rica coffee brands that are committed to conservation, sustainability and empowering farmers and communities. Supporting these brands will help to protect one of the most bio-diverse countries on the planet. Besides, these Costa Rica coffee brands just taste better!

Read on to find out more about the best Costa Rica coffee brands, the best coffee plantation tours in Costa Rica, and where to buy sustainable Costa Rican coffee.

Café Corazón

Café Corazón is the pride and joy of our little town of Playa Negra.  It’s delicious, 100% natural and organic Costa Rica coffee. It’s the coffee we serve to our guests. The coffee beans are grown sustainably on the hillsides of Zona de Los Santos, Tarrazú, Costa Rica. This area is famous for growing some of the best coffee in the world! The beans are then shipped to be roasted at the company’s restaurant and coffee shop in Playa Negra, located 2.6 km from Drift Away Eco-Lodge (less than a 10-minute drive).

Café Corazón is committed to protecting the environment and watersheds that feed its Costa Rica coffee plantation by using:

  • shade-grown agroforestry systems,
  • organic compost, 
  • carbon ash pesticide, 
  • recycled water separation systems, 
  • the sun to naturally dry its coffee

Café Corazón’s mission is to protect the environment while empowering farmers and communities. “We reject the idea that organizations must sacrifice some principles of sustainable growth in order to earn profit in today’s marketplace,” says the Café Corazón website.

coffee with milk

Café Corazón

Visitors can learn more about how Café Corazón makes its flavorful brews through its coffee roasting course. On this unique Costa Rica coffee tour, you can roast your own coffee beans in the shop’s roasting oven while learning about how the coffee is grown sustainably and responsibly. And you will leave with a bag of your own personal coffee blend!

Where to buy this Costa Rica coffee? Look for Café Corazón ground and whole-bean Costa Rica coffee in its Playa Negra restaurant or in the Drift Away Eco-Lodge Gift Shop. You can also purchase and have the coffee delivered to your door (in the USA) through the company’s website.

Tamarindo Coffee Roasters

To the north of Drift Away Eco-Lodge in the tourist center of Tamarindo, you will find Tamarindo Coffee Roasters. The company started in 2017 and offers direct trade and single origin coffees from sustainable farms in the mountainous Tarrazú area (the same area where Café Corazón beans are produced). Its “Organic Honey” coffee is certified organic. This Costa Rican coffee brand is available at local supermarkets in our area and at its shop located on the main road into Tamarindo.

Café Haug

Café Haug is a popular coffee shop, restaurant and bakery in the Costa Rica capital of San José. Its specialty coffee is 100% produced under an all-natural method. Like the best coffees in Costa Rica, the beans are grown in the Tarrazú region.


Diria is a cooperative coffee plantation located to the southeast of Drift Away Eco-Lodge in the Blue Zone area of the Nicoya Peninsula, in the mountainous region near the town of Hojancha (80 km, 1.5-hour drive). Diria Coffee is produced by a cooperative of small independent farmers in the region. The facility uses its waste as compost and uses wastewater methods that protect the local watershed. Its coffee is certified Fair Trade.

The coffee plantation offers one of the best coffee tours in Costa Rica. Visitors are taken through the entire coffee-making process, from planting the seedlings to harvest to drying and processing the beans. The tour ends with a coffee tasting.

Café Orgánico Alianza Madre Tierra

Alianza Madre Tierra coffee is shade-grown 100% Arabica coffee. The company has been certified organic for more than 10 years and also certified Fair Trade with its producers.

Locally grown, Costa Rica coffee is a great souvenir or gift to take home, and a Costa Rica coffee tour is a memorable and eye-opening travel experience. The staff at Drift Away Eco-Lodge can help guide you through this taste treasure!

Wellness Travel in Costa Rica

October 20, 2020 By News Comments Off

In the post-pandemic world, wellness travel will become more important than ever. Research has shown that travel improves mental and physical health. Wellness tourism in Costa Rica has been alive and well for many decades, long before it was trendy.

Yoga, meditation, connecting with nature and the environment are all part of everyday life here. It may be why when it comes to health and wellness, Costa Rica is home to one of five global “Blue Zones”, where humans live extraordinarily long and healthy lives. Travelers looking for rejuvenation, relaxation, and reconnection should look no further than Guanacaste, Costa Rica for their next holiday.

Wellness Travel Is Good For You

Wellness travel in Costa Rica is not a luxury. It is a necessity! Here are just some of the health benefits of travel:

  • Lowering stress and anxiety levels
    young couple at the beach

    Travel relaxes and rejuvenates

  • Boosting self-esteem
  • Keeping your body active and moving
  • Boosting your immune system
  • Improving brain health
  • Detoxing the body
  • Sparking vitality
  • Combating burnout


A recent survey by the Wellness Tourism Association found spending time in nature and improving mental health are the biggest drivers for future travelers.

women reading in hammocks under a tree

Lose yourself in a good book under the mango trees at Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Retreat Center.

What motivates you?

According to the survey, the top motivator for people looking to plan a wellness vacation was the need to return to everyday life feeling rejuvenated. The second most popular answer was to escape the stressors and demands of modern life. Another important motivator was to connect with nature to enjoy outdoor activities.

Other factors driving the need for travel is to reconnect with other human beings and to be proactive about their physical and mental health.

Yoga retreat Costa Rica

Drift Away Eco-Lodge in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

More than 20 percent of the people who took the survey said they would be extremely likely to book a wellness travel vacation within the next two years. What about you?

Costa Rica: wellness tourism destination

Costa Rica is already a favorite destination for wellness tourism, and will only get more popular in the post-pandemic world. The Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Retreat Center in Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica is a perfect choice for those seeking relaxation, rejuvenation, and getting close to nature. We have it all!

The Drift Away Eco-Lodge is remote, located in a tiny village on the Pacific Coast. We are steps away from a pristine, undeveloped beach and far away from traffic, crowds, and the common stressors of modern life. The sounds you will hear will be the ocean waves and howler monkeys in the trees.

family at Costa Rica wellness resort

There is plenty of space for everyone to enjoy.

Our property has plenty of outdoor space for social distancing. For retreats or group bookings, there are plenty of open areas where workshops, classes, and meals can be safely enjoyed with distance, while still promoting connection with others.

The Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Retreat Center offers a variety of ways to promote wellness and relaxation. Daily yoga classes are offered by our in-house instructor in our beautiful and spacious open-air yoga shala. Here are some other wellness activities we can arrange for you during your stay:


You can book a relaxing massage to be done right here at the Drift Away Eco-Lodge – either in our shala or even in your room (depending on your room type). There is a large variety of massages to choose from; relaxation, therapeutic, deep tissue, Pranayama, reflexology, and Reiki. Sessions range from 30 to 90 minutes. Our staff can arrange everything for you.

Spa Treatment

Pamper yourself with a spa day! Close to Drift Away Eco-Lodge is the renowned Los Altos de Eros Luxury Spa. The spa includes five private open-air treatment rooms with amazing views, a lounge area, a heated hydrotherapy pool, and a waterfall. The spa offers a customized package featuring your choice of three luxury treatments (try the Indonesian Soaking Tub!) plus a gourmet lunch with a complimentary drink. Just say, “Ahhhh.”

Yoga retreat Costa RicaGuided Meditation

Improve your mental health with a guided mediation in our spacious yoga shala or at the beach as an experienced teacher leads you through a relaxing and awakened experience. A teacher can show you meditation techniques, explain how it works, and how to incorporate the practice in your everyday life.

Sound Healing

Improve your emotional and mental health with a sound healing session. The idea of using elements of music and sound to heal originated in ancient Greece, as a way to cure mental disorders. Now research shows sound healing can reduce stress levels and boost the immune system.

Sweat Lodge (groups only)

Also called a Temazcal Ceremony, a local shaman will guide you through this indigenous healing ceremony to bring balance to your mind, body, and soul. Purify your body and spiritually heal inside the sweat lodge constructed specifically for the ceremony by the shaman. 

Cacao Ceremony

Sit in a sacred circle and sip a beverage made from locally grown cacao, used for thousands of years as a magic elixir. Cacao (not cocoa) contains theobromine. It’s different from caffeine, in that it dilates the cardiovascular system, opening blood vessels, creating a sense of alertness and relaxation at the same time. The ceremony has four parts – transformation, healing, song sharing, and a closing. The process is led by a Shaman and helps to take a look inside, make changes, break patterns, and open up to new things.

Explore and Connect With Nature in Costa Rica

Getting back to nature is more important than ever as so many of us have been confined to our homes and immediate neighborhoods. Drift Away Eco-Lodge is surrounded by dry forest and jungle, with crystal clear streams, colorful birdlife, and curious monkeys dangling from trees. There is a multitude of outdoor activities that will invigorate, stimulate, and allow you to connect with nature! Read our Activities page for more information.


Know You’re Booking the Best

August 31, 2020 By News Comments Off

( Versión en Español abajo)

Drift Away Eco-Lodge & Retreat Center Has Won the Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award and the Booking.com Traveller Review Award for 2020

Drift Away Eco-Lodge Recognized Among Best in Playa Avellanas, Based on Outstanding 2019 Traveler Reviews

Guests have said it best! Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Retreat Center is excited and proud to have been recognized as a 2020 Travelers’ Choice Award winner as the #1 choice of travelers to Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica! Based on its first full year of Tripadvisor reviews, prior to any changes caused by the pandemic, award winners are known for consistently receiving great guest feedback, placing Drift Away Eco-lodge in the top 10 of hospitality businesses around the globe.

At Drift Away Eco-Lodge, we are so happy and proud that our mission of simple luxuries and sustainable practices has resonated with travelers. In the short time we have been open guests have consistently praised our hotel for our service, our cleanliness, and our commitment to the environment and the community.

Awarded for Service and Quality

“Winners of the 2020 Travelers’ Choice Awards should be proud of this distinguished recognition,” said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. “Although it’s been a challenging year for travel and hospitality, we want to celebrate our partners’ achievements. Award winners are beloved for their exceptional service and quality. Not only are these winners well-deserving, they are also a great source of inspiration for travelers as the world begins to venture out again.”



To see traveler reviews and the popular amenities of Drift Away Eco-Lodge, visit our listing on Tripadvisor.

Drift Away Eco-Lodge The Best of Booking.com

In addition to the Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award, Drift Away Eco-Lodge has also been named a winner of Booking.com’s Traveller Review Awards for 2020.


With a 2019 guest-review average of 9.4/10, Drift Away Eco-Lodge ranks among the very best of accommodation options in Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica. We have exceptional reviews from both international travelers and Costa Rica visitors.

Booking.com users rave about our beautiful pool, free breakfasts and our juice bar. We also get top marks for our super-comfortable beds!

Drift Away Eco-Lodge Gets Top Guest Reviews

But that’s not all. Drift Eco-Lodge has a near-perfect score on Expedia (4.8/5) and a “Superb” rating on Hotels.com (9/10). It’s just more evidence that Drift Away Eco-Lodge is a safe, comfortable and enjoyable accommodation option for you and your family.

We are proud that in such a short time our eco-lodge has helped hundreds of visitors enjoy their vacations in Costa Rica. We know travel will be more difficult in the coming months and years, but when and if you do decide to travel, please remember that when choosing Drift Away Eco-Lodge, you’re choosing the best!

Drift Away Eco-Lodge Reviews on Tripadvisor

Yosi Durán, Costa Rica “Beautiful place”

“My husband and I stayed at this place for two nights. The day we arrived they were kindly welcomed with an orange cocktail and gave us a little tour of the place. They explained to us about the beaches, restaurants and supermarkets near the area. What we liked the most is that the place is very clean, beautiful green areas and the pool is in perfect condition. We had a very nice room with a super comfortable bed. We leave very happily and grateful for the attention. We promise to return and recommend them.”

A Sidenburg/Canada “Unbelievable in Every Way!”

Wellness group in the yoga studio at Drift Away Eco-Lodge“This past February my gym brought a fitness group of 20 people down to Costa Rica to stay at Drift Away. From the first contact right up to the end of the trip and after I can honestly say I have never had such an enjoyable and personalized experience ever.

Lisa, Paul and the staff at Drift Away blew us all away from their welcome to the service, the food that was catered, the fresh-squeezed juice from the trees each morning, the serenity of the resort, the surrounding restaurants and beaches…I really can’t express how every little detail was truly thought of and wowed us on a daily basis.

I will 1000% be going back and running this trip again and likely will visit on my own as well. Of all my trips I have had the opportunity to go on I can honestly say that this was by far the most memorable

Thank you to everyone at Drift Away, I can’t say enough good things about them!”

Drift Away Eco-Lodge Reviews on Booking.com

Andrea, Costa Rica “Excellent Place to Stay”

“The staff was very friendly. The food is very good, the breakfast is quite good. The beds are very comfortable, the place is nice and nice, the pool is very good too. We liked the idea of bikes at no additional cost.”

Alexandra, Colombia “The place was so perfect my husband chose this as the place to PROPOSE to me!” 

“This was the best vacation we’ve ever had. It was absolutely magical. From the hosts who were incredible, the rooms that were incredibly cozy, to the 5-star meals. 

We also went surfing, hiking, zip-lining, yachting and visited the hot springs. I can’t say enough about this place. We are now going to come back every year! 

P.S. The beds were next level comfortable. They were actually more comfortable than the bed we have at home.”

Versión en Español

Drift Away Eco-Lodge gana el premio Tripadvisor Travelers ‘Choice de 2020, y el premio Traveller Review de Booking.com 2020

Drift Away Eco-Lodge reconocido entre los mejores en Playa Avellanas, según las excelentes críticas de viajeros de 2019

¡Los invitados lo han dicho mejor! Drift Away Eco-Lodge estamos emocionados y orgullosos de haber sido reconocido como el ganador del premio Travellers ‘Choice 2020 como la opción número uno de los viajeros a Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica. Según su primer año completo de comentarios en Tripadvisor, antes de cualquier cambio causado por la pandemia, los ganadores de los premios son conocidos por recibir constantemente excelentes comentarios de los huéspedes, lo que coloca a Drift Away Eco-lodge en el top 10 de las empresas hoteleras de todo el mundo.

En Drift Away Eco-Lodge, estamos muy felices y orgullosos de que nuestra misión de simples lujos y prácticas sostenibles haya resonado entre los viajeros. En el poco tiempo que hemos estado abiertos, los huéspedes han elogiado constantemente a nuestro hotel por nuestro servicio, nuestra limpieza y nuestro compromiso con el medio ambiente y la comunidad.

Premiado por servicio y calidad

“Los ganadores de los premios Travellers ‘Choice de 2020 deberían estar orgullosos de este distinguido reconocimiento”, dijo Kanika Soni, directora comercial de Tripadvisor. “Aunque ha sido un año desafiante para los viajes y la hospitalidad, queremos celebrar los logros de nuestros socios. Los ganadores de premios son apreciados por su servicio y calidad excepcionales. Estos ganadores no solo se lo merecen, también son una gran fuente de inspiración para los viajeros a medida que el mundo comienza a aventurarse nuevamente.”

To see traveler reviews and the popular amenities of Drift Away Eco-Lodge, visit our listing on Tripadvisor.

Lo mejor de Booking.com

Además del premio Travellers ‘Choice de Tripadvisor, Drift Away Eco-Lodge también ha sido nombrado ganador de los premios Traveller Review Awards de Booking.com para 2020.

Con un promedio de reseñas de huéspedes de 2019 de 9.4 / 10, Drift Away Eco-Lodge se ubica entre las mejores opciones de alojamiento en Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica. Tenemos críticas excepcionales tanto de viajeros internacionales como de visitantes de Costa Rica.

Los usuarios de Booking.com elogian nuestra hermosa piscina, los desayunos gratis y nuestro bar de jugos. ¡También obtenemos las mejores calificaciones por nuestras camas súper cómodas!

Drift Away Eco-Lodge obtiene las mejores críticas de los huéspedes

Pero eso no es todo. Drift Eco-Lodge tiene una puntuación casi perfecta en Expedia (4.8 / 5) y una calificación de “Excelente” en Hotels.com (9/10). Es una prueba más de que Drift Away Eco-Lodge es una opción de alojamiento segura, cómoda y agradable para usted y su familia.

Estamos orgullosos de que en tan poco tiempo nuestro Lodge ecológico haya ayudado a cientos de visitantes a disfrutar de sus vacaciones en Costa Rica. Sabemos que viajar será más difícil en los próximos meses y años, pero cuando y si decide viajar, recuerde que al elegir Drift Away Eco-Lodge, ¡está eligiendo el mejor!

Drift Away Eco-Lodge en Tripadvisor

Yosi Durán, Costa Rica “Hermoso lugar”

“Mi esposo y yo nos hospedamos en este lugar por dos noches. El día que llegamos nos recibieron amablemente con un cóctel de naranja y nos dieron un pequeño recorrido por el lugar. Nos explicaron sobre las playas, restaurantes y supermercados cercanos a la zona. Lo que más nos gustó es que el lugar está muy limpio, hermosas áreas verdes y la alberca está en perfectas condiciones. Teníamos una habitación muy bonita con una cama super cómoda. Salimos muy contentos y agradecidos por la atención. Prometemos volver y recomendarlos “.

Un Sidenburg / Canadá “¡Increíble en todos los sentidos!”

“En febrero pasado, mi gimnasio trajo un grupo de 20 personas a Costa Rica para quedarse en Drift Away. Desde el primer contacto hasta el final del viaje y después puedo decir honestamente que nunca había tenido una experiencia tan agradable y personalizada.

Lisa, Paul y el personal de Drift Away nos dejaron boquiabiertos por su bienvenida al servicio, la comida que se sirvió, el jugo recién exprimido de los árboles cada mañana, la serenidad del resort, los restaurantes y playas circundantes … Realmente no puedo expresar cómo se pensó y cautivó cada pequeño detalle a diario.

Volveré al 1000% y realizaré este viaje nuevamente y probablemente también lo visitaré por mi cuenta. De todos mis viajes en los que he tenido la oportunidad de continuar, puedo decir honestamente que este fue, con mucho, el más memorable.

Gracias a todos en Drift Away, ¡no puedo decir suficientes cosas buenas sobre ellos! “

Drift Away Eco-Lodge en Booking.com

Andrea, Costa Rica “Excelente lugar para quedarse”

“El personal fue muy amable. La comida es muy buena, el desayuno es bastante bueno. Las camas son muy cómodas, el lugar es agradable , la piscina también es muy buena. Nos gustó la idea de las bicicletas sin costo adicional “.

Alexandra, Colombia “¡El lugar era tan perfecto que mi esposo eligió este como el lugar para PROPONERME!”

“Estas fueron las mejores vacaciones que hemos tenido. Fue absolutamente mágico. Desde los anfitriones que fueron increíbles, las habitaciones que eran increíblemente acogedoras, hasta las comidas de 5 estrellas.

También hicimos surf, caminatas, zip lining , yates y visitamos las aguas termales. No puedo decir lo suficiente sobre este lugar. ¡Ahora vamos a volver todos los años!

PD Las camas eran cómodas del siguiente nivel. De hecho, eran más cómodas que la cama que tenemos en casa “.

Drift Away Eco-Lodge Supports and Celebrates Diversity

July 10, 2020 By News Comments Off

( Versión en Español abajo )

Diversity is a key element of our mission of sustainability and community at the Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Retreat Center. 

We support and celebrate our differences as human beings for the benefit of our guests, our employees and our community.

Drift Away Eco-Lodge welcomes everyone, and does not discriminate against due to race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity or Veteran status.

Everyone deserves dignity and respect

We believe all people are entitled to dignity and respect, and that every guest deserves nothing less than our very best service and hospitality. 

Discrimination, willful or otherwise, only serves to undermine and diminish our value as human beings and will not be tolerated. Drift Away Eco-Lodge is a safe place for all.

We feel this is especially important to reiterate now, as the Black Lives Matter movement shows us all how destructive discrimination can be. And here in Costa Rica, diversity is more important than ever, as we witnessed how divisive the debate was surrounding the move to legally recognize same-sex marriages.

Drift Away Eco-Lodge supports same-sex marriage

We fully support and celebrate legalizing same sex marriage in Costa Rica (as of May 26, 2020) and welcome all couples who wish to formally declare their love in our natural beauty and among our great people.

Costa Rica is the only country in Central America to legalize gay marriage, and is one of very few tropical vacation destinations to do so.  We hope that couples from all over the world consider this progressive little country when deciding on an exotic location for their nuptials.

For some background, read this article in Howler Magazine.

Drift Away Eco-Lodge will soon be acquiring LGBTQ+ Wedding Certification from the Equality Institute of Chicago. The Costa Rica Diverse Chamber of Commerce is holding this country’s first LGBTQ+ Wedding Certificate Program in September 2020, and a team from our eco-lodge will be attending.

Costa Rica is a safe place for all

wedding friends and family sign

Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Retreat Center is a perfect place for an intimate and private beach wedding.

We know the LGBTQ international community wants to visit travel destinations where the people are friendly and have an open mind; places where they feel safe and welcome to express their love without being judged, persecuted or ridiculed. Drift Away Eco-Lodge in Costa Rica is that place.

Costa Rica has the perfect environment for gay couples to come and get married, with privacy, luxury and nature, along with safety and respect, and quality service.

Please visit the ”Weddingssection of our website to learn more and contact us at [email protected] 


Drift Away Eco-Lodge apoya y celebra la diversidad

La diversidad es un elemento clave de nuestra misión de sostenibilidad y comunidad en Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Retreat Center.

Apoyamos y celebramos nuestras diferencias como seres humanos en beneficio de nuestros huéspedes, nuestros empleados y nuestra comunidad.

Drift Away Eco-Lodge les da la bienvenida a todos y no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, ascendencia, religión, sexo, origen nacional, orientación sexual, edad, ciudadanía, estado civil, discapacidad, identidad de género.

Todos merecen dignidad y respeto

Creemos que todas las personas tienen derecho a la dignidad y el respeto, y que cada huésped merece nada menos que nuestro mejor servicio y hospitalidad.

La discriminación, solo sirve para socavar y disminuir nuestro valor como seres humanos y no será tolerada. Drift Away Eco-Lodge es un lugar seguro para todos.

Creemos que esto es especialmente importante para reiterar ahora, ya que el movimiento Black Lives Matter nos muestra a todos cuán destructiva puede ser la discriminación. Y aquí en Costa Rica, la diversidad es más importante que nunca, ya que fuimos testigos de cuán divisivo fue el debate en torno al movimiento para reconocer legalmente los matrimonios del mismo sexo.

Drift Away Eco-Lodge apoya el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo.

Apoyamos y celebramos plenamente la legalización del matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo en Costa Rica (a partir del 26 de mayo de 2020) y damos la bienvenida a todas las parejas que deseen declarar formalmente su amor en nuestra belleza natural y entre nuestra gran gente.

Costa Rica es el único país de América Central que legaliza el matrimonio homosexual, y es uno de los pocos destinos de vacaciones tropicales que lo hace, y esperamos que las parejas de todo el mundo consideren este pequeño país progresivo al decidir un lugar exótico para su nupcias.

Drift Away Eco-Lodge pronto adquirirá la certificación de boda LGBTQ + del Instituto de Igualdad de Chicago. La Cámara de Comercio Diversa de Costa Rica llevará a cabo el primer Programa de Certificado de Bodas LGBTQ + de este país en septiembre de 2020, tenemos un equipo que asistirá a este evento.

Costa Rica es un lugar seguro para todos

Familia y Amigos

Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Retreat Center es un lugar perfecto para una boda en la playa íntima y privada.

Sabemos que la comunidad internacional LGBTQ quiere visitar destinos de viaje donde las personas son amigables y tienen una mente abierta; lugares donde se sienten seguros y bienvenidos para expresar su amor sin ser juzgados, perseguidos o ridiculizados. Drift Away Eco-Lodge en Costa Rica es ese lugar.

Costa Rica tiene el ambiente perfecto para que las parejas homosexuales vengan y se casen, con privacidad, lujo y naturaleza, junto con seguridad y respeto, y un servicio de calidad.

Visite la sección ”Weddings” de nuestro sitio web para obtener más información.

Contactenos a  [email protected] 


Costa Rica Surf Spots: Locals Reveal the Best

June 18, 2020 By News Comments Off


“This is the kind of day you dream about, just you and your friends, offshore winds, 85 degree water, quality waves, and the nearest parking meter is 800 miles away.”

The Endless Summer II, 1994

Costa Rica is known to have some of the best surfing in the world. Some of the best surfing spots in Costa Rica are located very close to Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Retreat Center. Surfers from all over the world visit Guanacaste surf beaches. The water is warm and the winds are perfect and the waves are awesome.  

Each surf location is different. Some surf beaches are better for beginners and novices. Others are mind-blowingly great, but only if you know what you’re doing. So if you’re planning a Costa Rica surfing vacation, you’ve come to the right place!

This article has some helpful information on the best surfing beaches in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. We asked local surfers and other surf experts for their recommendations of the  best places to surf in Guanacaste. We’ll get to their suggestions in a bit.  But first, some of the basics.

Surfing in Costa Rica: When To Go

child surfing playa avellanas

Surfers of all ages and abilities can enjoy the waves of Playa Avellanas. (photo courtesy Avellanas Surf School)

The North Pacific (that’s where we are) swell season is between November and April, the South Pacific swell season is between June and September. 

These are the times of year when large weather systems create consistent, surfable waves. Other times of the year the waves are created by local winds. But you know what? You can experience some great surfing in Costa Rica at any time of the year. For surf trips, Costa Rica is a great destination whenever you want to go.

Best Costa Rica Surf Beaches

Costa Rica surf beaches can be divided into four areas: 

  • North – the surf beaches of Guanacaste near the Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Retreat Center.
  • Central – the surf beaches of Puntarenas.
  • South – the surf beaches of Golfo Dulce.
  • Caribbean – the surf beaches of the southeast coast, near Limón.

The advantage of the northern surf beaches is that there are more consistent swells. Moreover, the region is much drier than the rest of the west coast during the wet season, when the best surfing happens.

Costa Rica Locals Reveal The Best Surf Spots

man surfing

Juan Roberto Arias Tyrell surfing the waves off the coast of Guanacaste. (courtesy Juan Roberto Arias Tyrell)

So what do the local surfers say? These people teach surfing, have surfed here all their lives, or have made Costa Rica a regular destination for their surf vacations. Their passion is for the waves! You can find these guys at various bars, restaurants, and shops around here. Buy them a beer and they may share more insider tips with you.

Playa Callejones

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 5 km

Recommended by Andres Gutierrez, Receptionist at Drift Away Eco-Lodge 

“The best surf beach in this area would be Playa Junquillal and Playa Callejónes. Junquillal is a very fast wave with two sides. The good thing about this beach is that not many people visit it to surf. Callejones has a big wave on the right, and on the left a slow wave, and when it gets closer to the sand it is fast… and it is a secret beach.”

man surfing

Andres Gutierrez, Receptionist at Drift Away Eco-Lodge

Playa Negra

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 3.5 km

Recommended by Jeronimo de Almenera, El Bar Kon Tiki  

“If you ask me the best spot around the area is Playa Negra, but you better have some level (experience) before paddling out there. Between the low tide and the high tide there is a considerable difference in the speed, power and danger factor. Please have a good and respectful attitude when surfing here as the locals are kind but get ticked off easily! For beginners and up, there is Playa Avellanas, a beautiful long beach break with many different peaks and an amazing beach vibe. There you can get everything from super long lefts for those that can surf, to nice soft beginner whitewaters that you can learn to stand on.”

Find Jeronimo and El Bar Kontiki on Instagram and Facebook @elbarkontiki, call 2652 9117, or email [email protected]

Playa Negra

woman boady boarding surfing

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 3.5 km

Recommended by Luciana Warde, bodyboardist

“My best place to surf in Guanacaste is Playa Negra.

This is the reason that I decided to live here!

Perfect, consistent waves, warm water, beautiful sunsets… that is the reason to be here in Los Pargos.”


Playa Avellanas

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 1.5 km

Recommended by Mauricio Ortega Chaves, Avellanas Surf School 

Avellanas Beach is one of the best places to surf in Costa Rica for beginners, and it is excellent for those intermediate and advanced surfers as well. 

A reef break called “La Purruja” is in front of Lola’s parking lot. It’s a world-class wave with the right swell direction and a challenge for most intermediate level surfers. The “Beach Break” is an ‘A’ frame wave that also breaks in front of Lola’s. Just north of Lola’s is a surf spot called “Palo Seco’. It is a smooth wave for those that are learning surfing or at a basic level. If you continue walking north, you will encounter “The Estero” which is a river mouth break and great for advanced surfers. Past “The Estero” is “Little Hawaii”. This wave is a dream come true for advanced level surfers that love to rip hard.”

Find Mauricio and Avellanas Surf School on Instagram @avellanas_surf-school  Facebook @AvellanasSurfSchool Telephone/WhatsApp 7105-2619, email: [email protected]

Playa Avellanas

Juan Roberto Arias Tyrell

Juan Roberto Arias Tyrell

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 1.5 km

Recommended by Juan Roberto Arias Tyrell, Tamarindo Tico Tours Surf Concierge

“Playa Avellanas is the best surf spot for most kinds of surfers. It is a good surf spot for all levels with different peaks along the beach. The rest are more advanced spots that are best to keep undisclosed!”

Find Juan on Instagram @tamarindoticotours or email [email protected]

Playa Marbella

Alex Delmas

Alex Delmas

Distance from Drift Away Eco-Lodge: 32 km

Recommended by Alex Delmas, Surfboardbroker 

“I would say if the waves are small, under 5-6 feet, it’s very fun up in Marbella, and if the swell is pumping for a long period of more than 6 feet, and you’re an expert level, you should go to Playa Negra.”

Find Alex on Instagram @surboardbrokercostarica

‘The Secret Spot’

One surf spot never revealed by locals is “The Secret Spot” near Avellanas, made legendary by the 1994 surf movie Endless Summer II. Named because it is a special place for locals and their friends, who guard its location carefully for fear that this pristine wave would become flooded with surfers. You’ll be lucky if you find it.

Time and again Playa Negra and Playa Avellanas are ranked as some of the top surfing best beaches in Costa Rica. Both surf beaches are very close to the Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Retreat Center. Surfers in Tamarindo should seriously consider the short drive south, to escape the touristy areas and crowded waves to find a tranquil, rural and remote setting with some of the best surfing around!

Drift Away Eco-Lodge offers customized individual, couples, and family surf packages! Weekly family packages start at $599. Includes accommodation, daily breakfast, 5 x 90-minute lessons, bi-lingual surf instructor, board hire and rash guard.

Read about more activities at Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Retreat Center.

Costa Rica: World-Class Yoga Retreat & Wellness Retreat Destination

April 24, 2020 By News Comments Off

Yoga retreats in the jungle. Yoga retreats on the beach. Yoga with the sea breeze wafting over you while listening to the dancing palms and crashing waves. Yoga as the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean. It’s warm. It’s vibrant. It’s perfect. It’s Costa Rica.

It’s the reason why time and again, in blogs, online travel journals, and international yoga publications, Costa Rica ranks as one of the top destinations globally for yoga retreats, wellness retreats, yoga vacations, and yoga teacher training. Yoga in Costa Rica is flourishing and is an important part of the economy. 

When it comes to wellness and the best yoga retreats, Costa Rica is the only destination in the tropical and subtropical Americas to make this claim. So why does this tiny country attract so much yogic energy?

Here are six reasons why wellness retreats and yoga retreats in Costa Rica are so popular, and why Costa Rica should be your choice for your next wellness vacation.

Yoga in Costa Rica: 6 reasons why yoga’s heart is here

Immersed in Nature

Costa Rica is known as being one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. You can feel the life-giving energy as soon as you step off the plane. Costa Rica’s array of life is stunning. Consisting of only .03% of the world’s land mass, Costa Rica is home to 5 percent of the world’s biodiversity. 

You are immersed in nature here, and the connection with the world around you is strong. Rivers, beaches, waterfalls, rain forests, and mountains offer a vast array of natural beauty to enhance your well-being. 

Pura Vida: 

Costa Rica is consistently ranked as one of the happiest places in the world. The people here are welcoming, respectful, optimistic, and friendly. There is a way of life here embraced by all. It’s called Pura Vida (pure life), which is a mindful philosophy of cherishing the present moment, living a good life, and being unhindered by life’s daily stresses.

It doesn’t take long for the infectious attitude to spread to visitors. Your Costa Rica retreat will have this Pura Vida feeling – a life essence that will wash over your next wellness vacation, yoga retreat, or yoga teacher training.


There is no winter in the tropics, so wellness retreats and yoga vacations in Costa Rica can be held 12-months of the year. From the cool, lush mountain jungles to the warm, breezy beaches, temperatures here are mild to warm, even at night. Yogis can practice outdoors in any number of environments. No snow to shovel, no sleet to drive through – just swaying palm trees, hypnotic ocean waves and monkeys in the flowering trees. Bring a swimsuit, flip flops and your yoga clothes. Packing is simple.

Costa Rica yoga. Image by DanaTentis from Pixabay

A Costa Rica yoga experience. Image by Dana Tentis from Pixabay


A Costa Rica yoga retreat will cost you much less than you think. Compared to prices in places such as the United States, Canada, or Europe, Costa Rica yoga retreats are relatively affordable. According to Yoga Travel Tree, Costa Rica retreat prices can range between $500 and $3,000. 

Health, Wellness & Sustainability: 

Ecotourism, and health and wellness tourism in Costa Rica were important long before it was popular anywhere else. In Costa Rica, eco retreats and wellness tourism aren’t fads. 

Well-being and health are important facets of the Costa Rica retreat and vacation experience and have been so for a long time. Plus, Costa Rica has no military, has universal health care, a strategy to ban all fossil fuels by 2050, and is one of the most progressive countries in terms of environmental protection, resource conservation, socio-political equality and democratic values. When you visit Costa Rica you know you are visiting and contributing to a special place in the world.

Other Activities: 

Another reason why wellness and  yoga retreats in Costa Rica are so popular is the wealth of activities available. From zip-lining and surfing (we have some of the best in the world!), to hiking to waterfalls and sailing, the abundance of fun activities will make your time in Costa Rica unforgettable.

Best Costa Rica Retreat Centers: Where To Go

Several areas are already famous for Costa Rica yoga retreats. Nosara, Samara, Santa Teresa, Montezuma, the Central Valley, the Caribbean south coast, and Tamarindo are home to dozens of world class wellness retreat centers in wonderful, exotic locations.

Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Retreat Center

Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Yoga Retreat Center

Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Retreat Center is the newest option in the Tamarindo area.

Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Retreat Center is the newest option in the Guanacaste area near Tamarindo. In early 2020 we completed a beautiful new, spacious yoga shala on our property. It can welcome up to 32 people for a yoga class. It is open-air so the sea breeze can cool you as you look out on our lush garden of tropical plants, trees and flowers. Retreat leaders who have already visited say it is one of the best yoga shalas they have ever used! 

We also offer equipment such as mats, blocks, straps, blankets, and bolsters. The yoga shala at Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Retreat Center is also perfect for cacao ceremonies, workshops, training, meditation, and other group activities.

Add three meals of homemade, all-natural locally grown food, a beautiful swimming pool, free access to surf boards and bicycles, a lovely little beach just meters away, and attentive, caring staff. Our commitment to sustainability and community in everything we do means you will be positively contributing to the local environment and economy. 

Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Retreat Center is a perfect place for your next wellness retreat. 

We sincerely hope that your next yoga retreat will be in Costa Rica. Staff at the Drift Away Eco-Lodge and Retreat Center are looking forward to working with you to make your yoga or wellness retreat fulfilling and life-changing for all.

Namaste, and Pura Vida.

Retreat Kula: Drift Away Eco-Lodge named one of the top venues for yoga retreats in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Turtles Nesting in Playa Ostional: a Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

March 11, 2020 By News Comments Off

Where to see turtles in Costa Rica? Sea turtle nesting on the beaches of the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge is one of the best things to do in Costa Rica and a great day trip for anyone staying at the Drift Away Eco-Lodge in Playa Avellanas. 

Here is everything you need to know about sea turtle nesting and why Playa Ostional is the best place to see turtles in Costa Rica. 

The Arribada: Sea Turtles Nesting in Playa Ostional, Costa Rica 

As the sun sets over the Pacific at Playa Ostional, Costa Rica, not dozens, not hundreds, but tens of thousands of turtles emerge from the sea and slowly crawl up the beach. They stumble over each other, so determined to reach their goal.  

Arribada on the shores of Ostional Beach in Guanacaste

It’s called the “arribada” in Spanish, or arrival in English. Costa Rica is one of only a handful of destinations in the world where this phenomena occurs. 

Nothing can prepare you for the sight. You may have seen the photos or the watched video, but when you are there, on the beach, seeing it first-hand, your jaw drops. You don’t know where to point your camera to capture the spectacle and the scale of what you are witnessing.

How to See Costa Rica Turtles Nesting

Playa Ostional, located just 44 km (27 miles) from Drift Away Eco-Lodge, is one of two beaches in Guanacaste, Costa Rica where tourists can witness this natural phenomena.

The laborious turtle nesting process takes more than an hour. The female turtles dig holes in the sand, deposit a “clutch” of 80 to 100 eggs, then cover them up with sand before dragging themselves back into the sea. Millions of ping-pong ball-sized eggs are buried in the sand – right under your feet.

It takes about 1.5 hours (often less) to drive to Playa Ostional from Drift Away Eco Lodge, depending on the season and road conditions – an easy drive for a memorable day-trip.

When Do Sea Turtles Lay Their Eggs?

The most populous of all the seven species of Costa Rica turtles are the Olive Ridleys. They are the ones that congregate on the beaches here. Leatherback turtles, Pacific green turtles and Hawksbills also nest on Playa Ostional, but in much fewer numbers (and some of these species are perilously endangered).  

Ostional Beach in November

Ostional Beach in November

July through December sees the largest arribadas – and in October and November numbers go into the hundreds of thousands in one night. The arribadas happen seven to 10 days before the new moon, on the darkest of nights. The turtles begin their beach invasion as the sun sets, and will continue until morning.

The largest arribada happened in November of 1995, when an estimated 500,000 turtles – half a million! – came ashore. Now that’s a wildlife sighting like no other.

Ostional National Wildlife Refuge

The Ostional National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1984 to protect this area from prolific poaching and to provide a safe haven for Costa Rica turtles to nest and hatch. 

Visitors access Playa Ostional to see turtles only with a wrist band and official guide. Guides stop people from handling or touching the turtles or their nests and using camera flashes or flashlights (turtles can get confused by white or bright lights – only red lights can be used).

Guides also regulate the number of people on the beach at any one time during peak tourist seasons.  The guides accompany visitors throughout the entire turtle nesting process – from the time the turtles arrive on the beach, dig the nest, deposit the eggs and up until they are ready to then cover the nest back up again.

When do Sea Turtles Hatch in Costa Rica?

Around 55 days after the nesting, the eggs hatch and tiny baby turtles make their way to the ocean. It’s a phenomenon in itself, but less predictable. The eggs usually hatch at night, but the hatchings usually start around sunset.  The temperature of the sand determines the baby’s sex. 

Tourist photographic se turtles on beach

Visitors at Playa Ostional can get some great photographs of the turtles as they emerge from the Pacific Ocean.

The chance of survival for each turtle egg is low: poachers and predators lurk around every corner. On land, there are humans, vultures, and dogs – and in the sea, sharks and other large predatory fish loom. 

Amazingly enough, females that manage to survive and grow to reproductive maturity (10-15 years) return to Playa Ostional, Costa Rica to lay their eggs despite the fact that their migratory travels may take them thousands of kilometers away.

Staff at Drift Away Eco-Lodge can help you determine the best time to go. Departing our eco-lodge at around 3 p.m. or 3:30 p.m. can give you enough time to get to Ostional National Wildlife Refuge, buy tickets at the guide office ($10) and witness the arribada as the sun sets (starting around 5 p.m.). Arriving before sunset means you can get some great photos of the turtles without using a flash. 

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to witness one of nature’s incredible shows – the sea turtles of Playa Ostional, Costa Rica. A great reason to visit Costa Rica on your next vacation!

Blue Zone Costa Rica, the Healthiest Place on Earth

You can feel it as you travel down the bumpy dirt roads, away from the touristy city of Tamarindo, into the Costa Rican countryside. A sense of relaxation and tranquility. Of calm. And Peace. 

No concrete resorts, gas stations, or banks. No bright lights. No billboards or box stores. You are in rural, Blue Zone Costa Rica. Where the term “Pura Vida” (Pure Life) is more than just a saying on a souvenir shot glass, it’s a meaningful way of life.

Here, monkeys and parrots, and iguanas live in the green coastal forests, announcing the start of each day as the first light cracks the dawn. It’s an invitation for the locals to rise and begin their chores and the day’s labors. Saddled horses are hitched to posts outside the small tiendas. Ox carts are still functional farm implements. Dusty roads are lined with ancient trees, pastures with cows and goats, and small, simple homes where families enjoy meals on the porch.

It is this tranquility and escape from the modern stresses and western lifestyles that may be why this area, the Nicoya Peninsula, is one of five places in the world where residents live extraordinarily long and healthy lives. Here, life travels at its own pace – and visitors are transported to another, simpler time.

Blue Zones in the World

These areas are called “Blue Zones”, a term coined by National Geographic’s David Buettner, who led a team of scientists to discover why people in some areas of the planet live longer and healthier lives than the rest of us. They narrowed their findings to five regions, all in totally different geographical and topographical landscapes, and all with varying factors that led to the locals’ good health. Read David Buettner’s Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From The People Who Live The Longest, 2008.

One of those regions – Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula – is a roughly 80-mile long and 30-mile wide stretch of land in the northwest corner of the country, south of the Nicaraguan border. It is where Drift Away Eco-Lodge is located, on the Pacific Coast south of Tamarindo in the rural enclave of Playa Avellanas and Playa Negra (Los Pargos).

Other Blue Zones of the world are: Sardinia, Italy (where wine and laughter contribute to the longest male lifespan on earth), Loma Linda California (where a healthy vegan diet of the Seventh Day Adventists contributes to a lifespan 10 years longer than the average lifespan in the U.S.A.), Okinawa, Japan (where dedication to family and friends fosters the longest female lifespan on Earth), and Ikaria, Greece (where one in three people live into their 90’s and is basically free of dementia).

In the Nicoya Peninsula Blue Zone of Costa Rica, men over the age of 60 are seven times more likely to reach the 100-year mark than the global average. So what makes people so healthy in Nicoya, Costa Rica?

Nicoya Blue Zone Foods

Gallo pinto, eggs, toast, breakfast

Guests at Drift Away Eco-Lodge get a free breakfast of naturally sourced, unprocessed wholesome foods such as rice, beans, and eggs

The Nicoya diet is mainly naturally sourced, unprocessed wholesome foods such as squash, rice, beans, and corn. Much of the food is still homegrown as  homemade – such as tortillas, Gallo Pinto, plantains and tropical fruits, with meat thrown in just a few times a week.

There is very little added sugar or processed snacks. Families tend to eat lighter meals early in the evenings, and eat larger meals at lunch-time. Studies have linked diets that are fewer in calories to longer lifespans.

The water of the Nicoya Peninsula is also some of the hardest water on Earth – it is high in calcium and magnesium and contributes to low osteoporosis rates and low rates of heart disease.

Nicoya Blue Zone lifestyle

Family, friends and community are the most important aspects of life. Many people walk to visit neighbors and often live with extended family. They listen, laugh and connect. It is a sense of purpose in life that they call “plan de vida” or reason to live. It is what keeps many of the elderly working, active and contributing to the community.

The people of the Nicoya Peninsula Blue Zone also value hard work. The daily routine often consists of household chores and manual labor – physical exercise that keeps seniors fit and healthy – and out of hospitals and old age homes.

Nicoya is known for its sun. The sun shines every day consistently during dry seasons (December-May)  and exposure to sun in healthy intervals is a natural source of Vitamin D, which helps with heart and bone health.

Costa Rica – like many Latin American countries – is highly religious (mainly Catholic), and belonging to a church and having a faith in a higher power can lead to less stress, a better sense of well being and sense of purpose.

This area of Costa Rica has very few smokers. Cigarette/tobacco smoking is not prevalent at all. There are no ashtrays, and no butts on the ground. That alone must add years to the average life expectancy here!

It is this low-stress, natural and healthy environment that makes the Nicoya Peninsula Blue Zone such a remarkable and relaxing place to visit. 

Visitors to the Drift Away Eco-Lodge often say they can feel the stress leave their bodies as soon as they arrive. It is what makes this place ideal for retreats centered on well-being, yoga, mindfulness and health. 

Playa Lagartillo Beach

Make this magical area your next destination and explore and discover the health secrets of the Nicoya Peninsula Blue Zone