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.
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.
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.
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)
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
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)
Fanny pack - great for riding!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Accommodations & Meals
Is wifi available at The Finca?
Yes. Wifi is available in all of the rooms and common areas at The Finca.
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.