Mindfully Engaging Costa Rica

Practicing the art of mindful travel in the lush green world of the Sarapiqui
Overview

overview

In March 2014, we offer a unique experience of Costa Rica for a small group of women accompanied by JOURNEYS INTERNATIONAL Director Joan Weber and mindfulness teacher Lynn Sipher.
 
Our home base is La Quinta, a lovely lodge that is part of the homestead and farm of the Gamez-Jenkins family, located in the tropical lowlands of the Sarapiqui region, two hours north of Costa Rica's capital of San Jose.  Our hosts are long-time friends of JOURNEYS. The setting is lush and intimate. Comfortable guest rooms offer choice of air conditioning or ceiling fan. Each has a private porch and hammock. Red ginger plants and banana trees bloom just outside the doorways, and gardens full of colorful frogs, butterflies, and tropical birds are footsteps away.
 
In the near-by nature reserves, we walk the rain forest trails, cross the high swinging bridges and float the waterways in the company of superb naturalist guides. Wild sights, sounds and fragrances abound. Focus wide on the expanse of the jungle canopy. Zoom in on the line of leaf-cutter ants. Distill the orchids and bromeliads from the surrounding abundance of green. Lock eyes with the monkeys.
 
In the town of Puerto Viejo, we meet with local women. We make ice-cream from tropical fruits and paper from pineapple husks. You can choose to go zip-lining, whitewater rafting or horseback riding. Or you can choose not to. There will be myriad opportunities for activity and for stillness.
 
We know that magical, time-stopping moments in travel occur when we are fully present and fully attentive. We also know that even the most experienced travelers can find the goal of staying in the present moment to be elusive. Our minds are wild companions. They have a way of getting busy with worry or planning or comparison-making so that, for brief interludes, we forget where we are. On this trip, each day we practice various techniques for staying in the present moment, including mindful movement, sitting meditation and informal practice.  In so doing we set the intention to quiet our minds and create the space for full, multi-sensory, joyful engagement. At the same time, we reinforce a practice that we can take home with us.
 
Consider signing on if you are tempted by the richness of Costa Rica and by the opportunity for mindfulness practice. Novice and experienced meditators are welcome. The model for this trip was successfully established in 2013 with the JOURNEYS trip, "Mindfully Engaging Guatemala."  The 2014 setting offers a great contrast to last year's mindfulness trip, with the same joyful intention.
 
Cost includes:  Nature activities, cross-cultural activities, hosting and guiding arranged and supported by JOURNEYS International;  Mindful Travel curriculum led by Lynn Sipher with accompanying written and audio support materials;  6 nights accommodation in twin share (singles may be available at extra cost);  All meals beginning with breakfast on Day 2 through breakfast on Day 7;  Airport transfers.   Cost does not include: international air (estimate $550-$800); adventure activities such as zip-lining or rafting; alcoholic beverages; gratuities and personal expenses.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: San Jose arrival
    You may observe seven species of hummingbird.

    You'll be greeted on arrival in Costa Rica's international airport near the capital, San Jose. Transfer to one of the city's coziest, artistically-adorned, small hotels. What a glorious place to "land" -- in every sense of the word.  Meet Lynn and Joan and the other members of our small group. Joan will offer an introduction to the region and the week's program. Lynn will introduce us to the mindfulness practice that will unfold over the coming days.

    Lodging
    Don Carlos
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  • Day 2: Via Braulio Carillo N.P. to the Caribbean lowlands
    Family and staff at La Quinta greet us with open arms.

    After breakfast, we depart on our beautiful drive, through the dark green coffee-covered slopes of Costa Rica's Meseta Central, past the forests of Braulio Carillo National Park, into the fertile Carribean lowlands. Our hosts at La Quinta will be waiting to welcome us.  "Su casa es nuestra casa." Their home is our home -- for 6 days and 5 nights.  Settle into your casita. Learn your way around the property, noting the frog walk, butterfly house, caiman pond, herb and vegetable gardens, swimming pool, open-air dining room, and cozy areas for reading, writing, and watching tropical birds. Enjoy a traditional Costa Rican dinner cooked with ingredients grown in La Quinta’s gardens.

    Our settling in will be greatly enhanced by our instruction and practice in mindfulness. On this first day at La Quinta, Lynn will lead a 90-minute session. Sometimes our mindfulness practice at La Quinta will be in a thatch-roofed outdoor pavillion; other times in a cooled indoor space or on a veranda overlooking the river.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    La Quinta
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  • Days 3-5: Mindfully engaging Sarapiqui
    The frogs, the birds, the butterflies, the flowers -- form a palette of saturated color.

    Each long, gentle, tropical day offers its own charming blend of treats. Mornings, we wake early to birdsong, we greet the day with meditation, and we enjoy a Tico (Costa Rican) breakfast.  Each day, in the morning or afternoon, we venture out to enjoy a brand new nature experience or cross-cultural encounter. Together we'll visit Tirimbina Nature Reserve and we'll meet with the women of a local arts cooperative. If you would like to try an adventure activity such as zip-lining or rafting, there will be a space of time for that. Also, every day, Lynn will hold class and lead us in an array of mindfulness practices.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    La Quinta
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  • Day 6: Half day silence in group; half day personal options
    There's a red bridge way down there in the jungle canyon.

    Today, Lynn guides us through a morning of structured silence. During the afternoon, we practice "social silence," each of us engaging in our own activities. Walk, swim, write, draw, take photos, watch birds, wander. Late in the day, we come together to reflect on our day of silence and on the week's experience. Lynn offers guidance and materials for our own ongoing practices.

    In the evening... fiesta!

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    La Quinta
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  • Day 7: San Jose / Onward
    ¡Fiesta!

    Most group members return to San Jose for afternoon flights homeward, or to connect to explorations in other parts of Costa Rica or Central America. Some group members may extend for the JOURNEYS program, "Writing Our Way into Costa Rica," March 8-14.

     

     

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    Meals
    Breakfast
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Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$2,495
The cost quoted is the Land Cost and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in JOURNEYS' Trip Notes. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates.
Single Supplement:
$570
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
7 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
3
cozy, family-owned lodge
Group Size:
8-10
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
1
cozy, family-owned lodge

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

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