Welcome to Your Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica!
Venue Contact Info:
Name: Punta Mona Retreat Center
Location: Manzanillo, Costa Rica
Primary Contact: Norman Brooks
Flights, Busses, Hotels & Boats:
Make sure you have booked your flights (airport code SJO), airport at the latest the day before the training. Unless you arrive into San Jose on a very early flight it is difficult to make it all the way to Punta Mona in the same day. We recommend that you arrive early and take the bus to the Caribbean town of Puerto Viejo, in our opinion the coolest town in Costa Rica If you arrive in San Jose late in the day and need to stay in the city and take an early bus we recommend these places to stay in San Jose:
Selina Hostel: www.selina.com/sanjose
Hotel Arenjuez: Hotel Aranjuezhttps://www.hotelaranjuez.com/
There are two bus stations in San Jose that have buses leaving for the Caribbean. Terminal Atlantico Norte and Terminal de Caribe? You want to go to Terminal Atlantico Norte in San Jose between Avenida 9 and Calle 12. It is also known as the MEPE Station
You want to take an express bus from San Jose to Puerto Viejo. This way you do not need to change buses in Limon. Sometimes they do a bathroom break in Limon but you stay on the same bus. Again the express bus leaves from the Terminal Atlantico Norte
FYI the Terminal de Caribe bus station is for local buses that make many stops.
Upon arrival in Puerto Viejo we recommend any of these hotels/hostels. You can take a short cab ride upon arrival i to the hotel/hostel of choice.
Kaya’s Place, http://www.kayasplace.com
La Ruka: larukahostel.com
Selina Hostel: www.selina.com/puerto-viejo
Cariblue Hotel: cariblue.com (more upscale)
We recommend that you connect with other students and share a cab to Manzanillo from Puerto Viejo. It is about a 15-20 minute ride.
We are coordinating boats from Manzanillo. Please meet in front of Maxie’s Restaurant. We will have a Punta Mona Team Member there to greet you. If you cannot make this boat time please email me direct. Boats with 5+ people on them are only $10 per person. If you miss the scheduled boats, and have to take one by yourself the cost is $50.00 paid directly to the boat captain.
Click here for more detailed information about getting from SJO to Puerto Viejo. Options include shuttle (around $50) or taking the bus (around $15), both of which take around 4-5 hours.
After arriving to Puerto Viejo, your Lead Facilitator will give you the details on where to meet, and after which we will travel to Punta Mona together with a shared shuttle leaving at 11am, followed by a boat from Manzanillo at 12 noon. If you are staying at Casa Verde, please have your luggage ready to go, and if you are staying elsewhere please bring your luggage to breakfast so we can be ready to leave on time at 11am.
There will be an early morning 6 am boat for anyone who would like to depart at that time. There is a 7 am bus that stops in Puerto Viejo ($2) or goes to San Jose ($15 and arrives around noon). Check out from Punta Mona will be by 10 am and there will be an option for a slightly later boat. If you wish to stay extra nights, you will need to contact Punta Mona directly at www.puntamona.org.
Please be sure to have waterproof gear for your backpack and to bring a yoga mat with you. (Please see packing list below.)
THE EVENING/MORNING BEFORE THE TRAINING:
We recommend staying at Casa Verde Hotel in Puerto Viejo - please communicate with fellow students on our Facebook group if you would like to arrange an informal meeting that night.
We will all be meeting at Cafe Rico (breakfast optional), across from Casa Verde Hotel, between 9-11am where we will share informal introductions and get to know our new family.
During this time, we encourage everyone to steer away from asking questions about each other's identity (e.g. "Where are you from? What do you do?) and rather explore alternative ways of getting to know each other (e.g. What was your favorite thing about the journey here? What brought you to yoga? What are your passions?) There will be more information and suggestions about this invitation nearer to the time.
Book Extra Days If Desired:
Please contact Punta Mona at email@example.com to arrange room and board payment.
If you wish to stay extra nights, you will need to contact Punta Mona directly at www.puntamona.org. The price is $85 each additional night (including 3 meals per day).
Food Etiquette & Allergies:
We provide 3 jungle gourmet organic vegetarian meals per day at Punta Mona. The food at Punta Mona is prepared from scratch, from the field to the plate and often over fire. It is the epitome of the Slow Food ethos. We try hard to accommodate your needs, though with many people on the farm, this can sometimes be tricky. So if you have a dietary need or allergy please let us know NOW! If your diet is complicated, please make sure to provide yourself with enough snacks to make it through your time on the farm. We do not allow students to cook personal food and we do not sell food on the farm. We cannot cater to fully raw diets, most of the food is vegan and gluten free, though we do serve eggs (from our own or neighbors chickens) at breakfast, cheeses are always on the side, and we offer one organic local chicken or fish meal per week for those who want to partake.
What to Bring/ Packing List:
Don’t over burden yourself. Remember we will be in the jungle; it is hot and humid, sunny and rainy. You may want to have something cute for a dress up night party at the farm or a night out in Puerto Viejo, but otherwise think comfort. The best clothes are long lightweight pants, t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, bathing suits, etc. You will want to bring a sarong or beach towel as well as a bath towel. For shoes I recommend flip flops, hiking sandals or Crocs, as well as a pair of Rubber Boots. Don’t bring hiking boots, this is not the climate for them. I also recommend bringing a rain jacket, poncho &/or an umbrella. A few pairs of knee socks are also necessary. Rubber boots can be purchased in Puerto Viejo (they are inexpensive).
Light weight, long-sleeved shirts and pants, Tall socks
Shower, hand and beach towel & sarong (you are provided one towel for shower use only by Punta Mona but will need something for the beach)
Biodegradable shampoo, soap, etc.
Band-aids and any desired medical supplies
All-natural bug repellent (All Terrain, Herbal Armor and Burts Bees are great!)
Comfortable lightweight Yoga clothes, T-shirts and shorts
Headlamp and batteries
Yoga mat (We recommend you bring your own)
Journal and extra notebook, writing materials
Lighters for candles
Passport and extra copy (one for farm and one for adventures!)
A neti pot and a tongue scraper are encouraged to be used as a part of the course curriculum. You can purchase both of these on your own at any health food store or on Amazon.
We encourage daily journaling before, during and after the training. Please bring a journal, as well as any creative tools that enable you to express yourself such as musical instruments, painting/drawing materials, etc.
Lavender and Tea Tree Oil are great essential oils to have
All-natural candles and sage
Special stones or healing items for your Mesa
Plastic bags to keep clothes and electronics dry
Rechargeable batteries, charger, speaker
Musical instruments! Drums especially welcome!
Cameras / camera chargers
Please bring with you any sacred objects you work with such as crystals, tarot cards, mala, stones etc.
We ask that you each bring one bag of quinoa to the farm. It is very hard to get it in Costa Rica and it is such a treat! Other goodies not readily available here you can donate to the kitchen for all to enjoy are organic almonds and other nuts and nutritional yeast.
We have a drum, a didgeridoo and a few guitars on the farm, if you play an instrument, feel free to bring it! Or if you have some old instruments that are in good condition, we would love the donation.
There will be yoga each morning and we have a limited number of yoga mats, which are kind of jungly, though they are functional. If you would like to bring your own, it is a good idea, as it can also be used on the beach or in class to sit on.
Also make sure to have a notebook and pens, a headlamp or flash light.
At Punta Mona, we ask that you only bring BIODEGRADABLE body care items (shampoo, conditioner, body soap, shaving cream, toothpaste - anything that goes into the soil or water system). You also need to have your own biodegradable laundry detergent, this is not provided. We recommend getting a large bottle of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. This is awesome for pretty much everything except hair. We have lots of shampoo ginger plants at Punta Mona.
Laundry is hand washed at Punta Mona. You must provide your own soap. You also have the option of sending your laundry out with our housekeeper and cook, Iveth. This service is $10 for a nice sized bag, please plan on it coming back in 2-3 days as it is line dried, as is the laundry at the farm. In summation….do not over pack, but have enough clothes for one week.
Internet and Charging:
Please be aware that internet is a luxury resource out here in the jungle. We will have it available during your lunch break. Please respect each other and try your hardest to disconnect. You will not be able to upload pictures, wait until you go out to town or when you get back to your homes. I am sure you will go through withdrawal if you are very attached to your devices like many in the default world are, but please take the time to prepare for an experience where your connection to nature is your prime concern and know that your friends are still out there and that it is ok to unplug from the toxic overload caused by the thousands of invisible wavelengths we are bombarded with in our daily modern lives.
Punta Mona is run entirely on solar and we need to prioritize where, when and how the electricity is used.
NOTES ON WATER, HEALTH MATTERS AND EMERGENCY CONTACT:
Costa Rica has a large tourist population. Everyone is so afraid of jungle diseases, but the thing that takes people down the hardest is the flus and other viruses that the travelers bring with them. Keep yourself happy and healthy. Load your system up with nourishing super foods, a nice B-Complex (also good for preventing bug bites) and make sure to pack your own travel kit with Emergen-C WellNess ,Fizz/Airborne, echinacea, tea tree oil, lavender oil, etc…
Also since most of you are new to the tropics, you will need to be prepared for bug bites. These can come in the form of sand flies from the beach, no-see-ums and mosquitos. This is not to say that we have cloud after cloud of mosquitos but it is always best to be prepared. We do have very good mosquito netting. Have some hydrocortisone or another anti-itch cream to ease any discomfort. Please bring only natural bug sprays, we want to prevent our personal exposure and that of the creatures around us from the neurotoxic chemicals found in conventional bug sprays. Remember, we are here to help you through the experience, and we have lots of experience, but, it is your responsibility to be in charge of your own health and wellbeing.
Punta Mona has two wells as well as a rain catchment system. Our water goes through a slow sand filter from its collection site. Drinking water goes through a final UV filter to kill microbes for safe drinking. This system will be discussed in greater detail upon arrival. Costa Rica does not have malaria, you will not need a malaria vaccine. There is an occasional bout of Dengue Fever, which is like a very bad flu. In the 15 years at Punta Mona we have not seen very much of it at all. We will be working with an array of tools so we recommend having your tetanus vaccine up to date. Costa Rica has an amazing medical system and there is a clinic in Puerto Viejo and a hospital about an hour away in case of emergencies. Please send Punta Mona two emergency contacts prior to arrival.
Your Costa Rica visa will be given to you at immigration. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are no required or recommended vaccinations for this part of Costa Rica.
The currency for Costa Rica is the Costa Rican Colon (CRC).
1 CAD = 441.37 CRC
1 USD = 564.97 CRC
1 AUD = 433.84 CRC
Banks, Credit Cards and Cash:
Make sure to let your bank and credit card company know that you are traveling outside of the country. There is an ATM in Puerto Viejo only, so make sure to stop there as you will need it for the boat rides, for laundry services and if you would like to purchase something from the Punta Mona herbal pharmacy. If you are bringing cash from the States do not change it at the airport, it is not the best exchange rate. Bring only low denomination bills in good condition and pay with those, you will get your change back in Colones. If you are coming from Europe or another country, make sure to change your money to US dollars to get the best rate.