Frequently asked questions

Reservations & Payments

How do I make a reservation?


To make a reservation, go to the Calendar & Rates page, scroll down to the retreat of your choice and click on "Book It". You will be directed to make a payment and fill out the registration form.




Can I bring my partner who doesn't ride?


It depends on the specific retreat. For our week-long all-inclusvie retreats at the Finca, we usually have room for 2-3 partners to come but not participate in the riding activities. The pricing for partners generally includes accommodations, breakfast and transportation to/from the airport. Please email us about availability and pricing before booking your retreat.




What is your cancellation policy?


If you need to cancel your reservation, Equisol will refund 75% of the payment made if cancellation is requested more than 60 days before the start date of the retreat. Equisol will refund 50% of the payment made if cancellation is requested 30-60 days before the start date of the retreat. Equisol will not refund any payment made if cancellation is requested less than 30 days before the start date of the retreat. Equisol reserves the right to cancel a retreat if the minimum number of guests (6) for the retreat is not reached; in this case, Equisol would notify guests of the cancellation at least 60 days in advance of the start of the retreat and provide a full refund. If you cancel your reservation but would like to rebook a different retreat in the same year, Equisol will apply any payment made to your future retreat MINUS a $75 processing/rebooking fee. Trip insurance is recommended to cover the costs associated with last minute cancellations or any unforeseen circumstances. Proof of medical insurance that covers you while in Costa Rica is required.




Can children come on a retreat?


In general we require guests to be over 16 years of age to particpate on a retreat; although, we occassionaly make excpetions depending on the circumstances of the retreat.

We try to maintain an environment of peace and tranquility to give all of our guests a chance to relax and rejuvenate. Many of our guests are parents themselves enjoying a week away without parental obligations. The presence of young kids can sometimes change this calm and carefree atmosphere.

When we plan retreats for groups that are traveling together and renting out the entire place, we leave it up to them to decide whether to have children join them on their retreat.




Can I stay at The Finca for an extra night or two?


For our week-long all-inclusive retreats guests cannot stay at The Finca beyond the retreat dates as the resort is only available in week increments. We are more than happy to recommend other accommodations so you can extend your stay in Nosara (see below). There are many options to choose from in Nosara and we recommend taking a look at reviews on TripAdvisor to help you make your choice. The following are a few of our recommendations in order of price (more or less highest to lowest): [in Playa Guiones] The Harmony Hotel, Casa Romantica, Harbor Reef, The Nomadic , Nosara Beach Hostel [in Playa Pelada] Villa Mango.

If guests need to stay in Liberia for a night we recommend the Hilton Garden Inn.




Do you get many guests traveling solo?


Yes. In fact, the majority of our guests are women traveling solo. We also get a lot of couples and friends traveling together. Most guests arrive as strangers and leave as family.




What are the group sizes like?


Our retreats have a minimum of 6 guests and usually a maximum of 12 guests. Occasionally we make exceptions. If we have groups of eight or more, we will divide guests into two groups for riding activities based on experience and comfort levels.





Traveling To/From Nosara

What should I know about booking my flights?


Most of our guests opt to fly into the Liberia airport (LIR) which is about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Nosara. From there you can book a private or shared shuttle to Nosara (we recommend CR TerraTours) or rent a car and drive. Another option is to fly into the larger San Jose airport (SJO) and either take a short one-hour commuter flight to the Nosara airport with Sansa Airlines or rent a car and take on the five hour drive. For our 5-day retreats: We suggest arriving the day before the retreat (or earlier) and leaving the day after the retreat ends (or later :-)! For our week-long all-inclusive retreats: We provide shuttle transportation to/from the Liberia airport at no extra charge. For these retreats, we recommend that guests arrive between 9am - 3:30pm on the first day of the retreat. If it is not possible to arrive before 3:30pm, we recommend arriving the day before the retreat starts and staying across the street at the Hilton Garden Inn. We would then pick you up at the hotel in the late morning on the start date of the retreat. This avoids driving and arriving in the dark (not advised!) after dinner on the first day. Check-in at the Finca begins at 1pm. We recommend that guests book departure flights between 10am - 5:00pm out of the Liberia airport on the final day of the retreat. Take into account that the shuttle ride to the Liberia airport from the Finca takes about three hours and you need to arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight for international check-in (e.g., if you have a 2pm flight, the shuttle would depart The Finca around 9:00am). If you need to book an earlier flight, we recommend booking it for the following day and spending a night at the Hilton Garden Inn in Liberia. Check-out is at 12pm. We can arrange for pickup and drop off at the Nosara airport anytime as it is a short five minute drive from the Finca. You could also opt for a shuttle from San Jose; however, this is not recommended as it is about a five hour drive from Nosara and somewhat unpredictable. We can help you arrange a shuttle from San Jose but it is usually an additional cost of $150 each way for all-inclusvie guests.




What is the weather like in Nosara?


Detailed information and a map of Nosara and its surrounding areas are available here.

Nosara is located about 9 degrees north of the Equator – so you will definitely want to bring sunscreen! The average temperature throughout the year is in the low 70’s (~21 degrees Celsius) at night and high 80’s or low 90’s (~ 33 degrees Celsuis) during the day with high humidity. Seasonal changes do not bring significant changes in temperatures.

On the Nicoya Peninsula (where Nosara in located) you can expect brilliant sunshine, day after day, from December until April. Locals refer to the dry season as summer (verano) and this is also the high season for tourism. May to October is generally referred to as the "green season" as the rains (generally starting in the afternoon) clear out the dust and bring more lush green landscapes.

Our favorite time of the year here is late November, December, January and February when it is guaranteed to be sunny skies. We also love May, June, July and August when the days are generally sunny, the waterfalls are running, the jungle is lush green and the evenings are a little cooler with the rain showers. That being said we always need to be flexible during this time of year because the weather can change quickly. March and April are also great months, but they are quite hot and dry so we plan our outside activities in the morning in evening to beat the heat!

The real rainy months are September and October when it is sometimes difficult to get around and many hotels and businesses are closed, including Equisol.




What travel documents do I need?


Citizens of the United States, Canada and the European Union may enter Costa Rica with a passport that remains valid at least six months after your travel date.

A valid passport allows most visitors to stay for a maximum of 90 days. You must show proof of your date of departure upon entering Costa Rica (i.e., a copy of your return ticket). Citizens of other countries may require a visa to enter Costa Rica. Also note that if you are flying from areas with yellow fever (e.g., Peru) you must have proof that you have received the yellow fever vaccine in order to enter Costa Rica.

Before you travel to Costa Rica, be sure to make a copy of your passport. You will need to carry the copy with you at all times.




Do you know what the baggage weight limits are?


Baggage weight limits depend on the airline carrier you fly, so please check directly with your airline to find out the exact weight limits. In general, the weight limit for international flights is 50 pounds for checked luggage. Please note that for “in-country” Nature Air flights, there is usually a 25-pound baggage limit (including carry-on’s). Baggage over 25 pounds often incurs a surcharge when flying Nature Air.




Are vaccinations required?


The general rule is that no shots are required for travel to Costa Rica. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that travelers have their routine vaccinations up-to-date and recommends most travelers have their Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations as a precaution. Nosara is not a malaria zone; however, it is recommended to bring and use bug repellent. More information can be found here.




What should I pack?


Please note that the local grocery store and pharmacy only carry the basics with brands that you probably are not used to. If there are things that you cannot live without, please bring them along. Sadly, there is no Whole Foods Market nearby. Also, we are in the jungle, so please be prepared for things to get dirty.

The following is a suggested packing list:

Protective headgear for riding (well fitted and ASTM/SEI certified helmet) - we cannot provide guests with helmets!

Appropriate footgear for riding (relatively smooth sole with at least one inch heel)

Socks

Chaps or half chaps (we recommend half chaps as they are cooler - if you are riding western you can get by with just jeans or yoga pants and boots)

Breeches, jeans or yoga pants

Sunscreen for the face and body

Aloe or Solarcaine in case you get burned

Hat

Sunglasses

Bug repellent

Comfortable clothing for hot weather (shorts, tank tops, sun dresses, thin long sleeved shirt and/or pants to cover up from the sun and/or bugs)

Sun shirts (protect from UV rays)

handkerchief

Fanny pack - great for riding!

Swimsuit

Beach towel (towels for the pool are provided but if you would like to have a beach day on your free day or if you plan on traveling after the retreat, you may want to bring a beach towel)

Yoga clothing or comfortable clothing for stretching

Sandals (flats are best)

Water shoes (for swimming with the horses)

Camera & charger

Journal & pen

Headlamp or flashlight

Alarm or phone

Any special medications/toiletries you require (dremamine if you get car sick)

Any dietary supplements you require

Rain layer or poncho (only during green season or if traveling elsewhere in the country – May to November)

Tush cushion (for saddle)

Insulated water bottle holder (we provide carabiners and water bottles)

Gel icy handkerchief




Do I need medical or travel insurance?


Yes. It is important that you have medical insurance while traveling abroad and participating in activities such as horseback riding, yoga and outside activities that you may engage in such as ziplining, surfing or riding ATVs. Your medical insurance MUST cover you should you need emergency medical attention in Costa Rica, emergency evacuation or repatriation. The nearest hospital is in Nicoya - two hours away. The nearest well-equiped hospital is in San Jose - five hours driving or a one hour flight when evacuations are necessary. Travel insurance is also highly recommended, particularly to cover yourself in the event that you need to cancel all or part of your trip and are not eligible for a refund under our cancellation policy. Please refer to the question above about our cancellation policy. Travel insurance can also be useful in the event of flight cancellations and baggage loss or damage.




How much money should I bring? What is the local currency?


Your retreat is all-inclusive so you should not need much cash during your stay, but here are a few things to consider. Many of our guests like to bring enough cash to buy souvenirs, pay for lunch and outside activities on the free day and to leave tips for our hardworking staff. Tipping is completely optional, but many guests choose to leave tips for the massage therapist, cleaning staff, shuttle driver and/or the stable hands. As a gauge, on average guests leave between $50-100 for the week for tips. We generally pool the tips at the end of the week.

In Nosara and most of Costa Rica it is possible to use the US dollar. Credit cards are accepted at some of the local businesses and restaurants.

There are ATM machines located at the two banks in Nosara (one at the gas station and one in Playa Guiones near Cafe Paris). You can use your regular ATM card to withdraw cash in USD or colones. We are happy to take you to either bank during your stay.

The rough exchange rate is 500 colones to 1 US dollar. An easy way to figure out the exchange rate is to double the first digit and drop the last three zeros. For Example 1000 colones = $2 USD; 5000c = $10; 10,000c = $20. Please check with your bank or online to see more accurate exchange rates during the time of your stay.




Are there bugs?


YES! Nosara is considered a dry forest in Costa Rica, so there are indeed creepy crawlers in the area and at times in the hotel. Geckos frequent the rooms (and keep other pesky insects away), there are mosquitos, noseeums, spiders, scorpions, bats, ants of all shapes/sizes, moths, butterflies, snakes, locusts, beetles, loud monkeys & birds and lions and tigers..oh my! Ok, just kidding about the lions, but you get the point. Come equipped with insect repellent and a sense of humor. We don't have many poisonous insects/animals (compared with the rain forest and other areas in Costa Rica), but bugs can be an annoyance, especially those who are allergic to them. We will also provide tips for keeping them out of your room (basic stuff like keep the doors closed and lights off). Remember that part of what makes this place amazing is the wildlife! There is peace in the wild things ~ Emerson.




Does Costa Rica have specific requirements related to covid-19?


Yes. Costa Rica is currently requiring guests to show proof of medical insurance that covers covid-19 related illness in Costa Rica and quarantine in a hotel. At this time Costa Rica is not requiring negative Covid-19 tests to enter the country. Many countries require negative Covid-19 tests to re-enter. Nosara has a private medical clinic that is conducting the tests and can get results in 48 hours or less for around $140.





Horseback Riding

Can I join a retreat if I am new to horses and riding?


Absolutely. Please check each retreat description for more information as some of our retreats are more appropriate for those who are new to horses. The majority of our retreats, however, are appropriate for all levels as we split up large retreat groups into smaller riding groups based on experience and comfort levels. If you have time, we suggest taking a riding lesson or two before the retreat to give you a better idea of what to expect and to get the most out of your experience. Please give us a call or send us an email if you still have concerns or would like some help finding the right retreat for you.




Should I bring my own gear (helmet, boots, chaps)?


Yes. We ask that guests bring their own personal riding gear, including a helmet, appropriate boots/shoes, breeches or jeans, chaps, gloves, etc. Please bring whatever you are comfortale wearing while riding that is safe, will protect you and will prevent chafing. We highly recommend that guests wear helmets while riding. The type of gear you bring may vary a little depending on the retreat you sign up for so please check the program description (e.g., if you are only riding bareback you will not need chaps). More information is available under the question above about what to pack. We will provide all of the tack for the horse, including your choice of english or western saddle.




Do we get to trot/canter/gallop?


This will largely depend on the specific retreat you are participating on as well as your experience level. You can find specific information about a retreat on our Calendar & Rates page. We generally offer guests opportunities to trot and canter on specific parts of the trail and in the arena. Safety is a top priority so we will assess riding abilities and environmental conditions before giving the thumbs up to faster gaits - particularly on the trails. We also ask that guests take into account and respect the comfort levels of others (horses and humans) around them when riding in groups and deciding whether to speed up the tempo.




Is there a weight limit for riders?


Yes. Height and weight restrictions do apply. Safety is our top priority. Most of our horses are Criollo horses that are smaller in size. In general, our weight limit is 190-200 lbs (this depends on height). Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about this policy.




Do you have horses that are suitable for beginners?


Yes. We have horses to suit all levels. We have mainly Criollo horses that were all bought and/or rescued here in Costa Rica. Criollo horses are smaller in stature and known for their sure-footedness, willingness and huge hearts. We have around twenty horses with a wide range of personalities and attributes.





Yoga

What type of yoga will we practice?


We will primarily practice vinyasa flow yoga with an emphasis on moving with the breath and being mindful of our alignment. Heidi is certified as a SmartFlow teacher through her mentor, Annie Carpenter. We will also practice restorative yoga and meditation on those days when we need to slow things down or let our muscles recover from a long trail ride. Generally we begin our days with an outdoor yoga practice overlooking the jungle. Mats and props (bolsters, blocks and straps) are available for guests.




Can I still participate if I am new to yoga? Can you accommodate physical limitations?


Yes. The yoga classes will be all-levels so lots of options will be given to offer challenges to those who want them and modifications for others who need them. We have many props available to help with modifications (i.e., straps, blocks, bolsters, blankets). The main focus of the yoga classes will be to develop more awareness of the body, mind and spirit or intuition, so we will encourage you to listen to your body and back off when you need to, speak up if you need assistance and push on (safely) if that is appropriate. If you have time, we do suggest taking a couple of yoga classes before your retreat so you have an idea of what to expect and to get the most out of your retreat.




What if I'm not flexible?


That's okay. Yoga is not only for flexible people. The main purpose of yoga is to calm the mind. The physical postures are just one way to help us get there as well as provide us with numerous health benefits along the way. Flexibility will come with time and in the meantime we will offer you many modifications which will make the postures more approachable and allow you to enjoy all of the benefits.




Do I have to participate in the yoga during the retreat?


No. You are not required to participate in the yoga classes, however, we highly recommend that you take advantage of this opportunity and give it a try. If you approach it with an open mind and heart, you cannot go wrong and will likely be amazed by how yoga can relax, rejuvinate and restore your physical and mental body - even after just one class. Please note that even if you opt out of the yoga classes, the retreat pricing remains the same.




Is yoga a religion?


Yoga is an ancient philosophy that has been passed down to us by sages from the Indian tradition. It is usually a spiritual practice, but it does not have to be. In today's society, most people begin a strictly physical yoga practice and only later do they begin to be interested in the more spiritual and mindfulness aspects of yoga. There are many forms of yoga. The physical postures (asanas) that you may associate with yoga are only one aspect of the tradition. The main purpose of yoga is to calm the fluctuations of the mind and unify the body, mind and spirit. The main texts of yoga (Yoga Sutras, Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita) offer many suggestions on how one might attain this goal, including observances, breathing exercises, physical postures, meditation, reading scripture, chanting, etc. Yoga is considered an individual practice, so each person is encouraged to be unique and follow a path that is appropriate for them and sustainable (e.g., if you love to sing, chanting and mantra would be a great path). There have been many books written about yoga, so this is not meant to be a comprehensive description or interpretation of the ancient texts. It is solely meant to give you an idea of some of the basics.





Accommodations & Meals

Is wifi available at The Finca?


Yes. Wifi is available in all of the rooms and common areas at The Finca. There are no telephones available to make international calls, but you can connect to Skype if you would like to call home to check in.




What type of electrical outlets are there?


Electrical outlets are the same as in the United States.




Is the water potable?


Yes. The majority of tap water in Costa Rica is potable, including the water at The Finca. We will also have filtered water available.




What type of food is served?


Our goal is to provide delicious AND healthy cuisine during your stay. The menu will consist of seasonal vegetarian and seafood dishes. Some meals will also be traditional Costa Rican meals so everyone has an opportunity to try the local fare (e.g., gallo pinto, casado). Given our location near the ocean, we have access to fresh and delicious seafood options like tuna, dorado (mahi mahi), snapper, shrimp, octopus, etc. We also are lucky to have access to fresh and organic vegetables for most of the produce we use. We can accommodate other dietary restrictions, such as vegan or gluten-free but we ask that they don't change over the course of the retreat (e.g., when the homemade foccacia shows up the gluten-free request goes out the door ;-). We send out a questionnaire once we receive your deposit asking for information on dietary restrictions, allergies, etc.





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