Join us in beautiful Nosara, Costa Rica, to improve your riding and connection with your horse, experience beautiful trail rides to waterfalls, beaches and through jungles, practice yoga, immerse yourself in the friendly Costa Rican culture, enjoy delicious and healthy meals and meet new friends as you experience life in the tropics. Whether you are an experienced rider or have always admired horses from afar, our retreats are a fun and safe way to explore horseback riding, yoga, personal wellness and the beauty and allure of Costa Rica. Spend the week enjoying the warmth of the tropics, listening to the sounds of howler monkeys and the jungle that surrounds you and creating new stories filled with laughter and adventure. Our retreats vary from all-inclusive luxury to laid-back adventure; please read each retreat description for details.
- Sold OutJoin Centered Riding© Clinician and Horse Speak® Senior Instructor Heidi Potter for an unforgettable experience in Costa Rica. Horse Speak and Centered Riding come together to create a magical, enriching retreat!
- Join Big Sky Yoga Retreats’ boss mare, Margaret Burns Vap, and Equisol's leading ladies, Carrie Anderson and Heidi Blackman, for an unforgettable yoga and horseback riding experience in Nosara, Costa Rica.
Frequently asked questions
Reservations & Payments
How do I book my trip?
To make a reservation scroll up 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?
Usually, yes! If your partner would like to join a portion of the retreat (for example just yoga and meals), we can discuss it ahead of time and let you know pricing. The pricing and availability for partners to join does vary depending on the retreat, so please inquire ahead of time.
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.
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 usually have a minimum of 5 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.
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.
Do you have recommendations for accommodations?
There is a wide array of options available in Nosara. We suggest reading reviews on TripAdvisor and checking out Air BnB to make your final selection. Here are some of our recommendations including highlights and approximate starting cost per night (please refer to each hotel for the exact cost and to book).
Playa Pelada - All within 5 minutes driving to Equisol’s yoga studio and horse stables.
Nosara Beach Hotel This hotel features unique architecture and is right on Pelada beach. Next door to one of our favorite restaurants (La Luna) and zip lining tours (Miss Sky) leave from here. $151
Villas Del Sol Condominiums Right next to the beach and private condos with full kitchens and a large shared pool. $155
Driftwood Hotel Walking distance to beach and yoga studio. Glamping tents available and apartments with AC. $173 (probably less if you contact them directly)
Lagarta Lodge Beautiful views overlooking the river and ocean. Private reserve, large restaurant and nice pool. Walking trails to both yoga studio and stable. $206
Saotori Bubbles Individual glass bubble rooms so you can view the jungle around you and stargaze at night. Walking distance to yoga studio. Individual dipping pools. $300
Playa Guiones - About a 10 minute drive to yoga studio and horse stables.
Green Sanctuary Great deal for the price. $82
The Living Hotel Cute rooms, nice amenities like a salt water pool and good restaurant (Destiny) and central to north Guiones area. $113
The Gardens Cute rooms and nice amenities like a restaurant (The Local) on site and a pool. Some rooms have kitchens. $145
The Nomadic Stylish and comfortable rooms and a nice pool and common areas. Walking distance to north Guiones beach. $197
Harmony Hotel One of the nicest and classiest hotels in Nosara. Walking distance to the main Guiones beach and very nice amenities like a spa and pool. $310
Also check out the many Air BnB listings in the area. We are highlighting two that are onsite at Carrie’s house and the stables and one that is onsite at Heidi's house and the yoga studio.
- Treetop Studio at Carrie's $66
- Treetop Jungle Two-bedroom Apartment at Carrie's $90
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. There are also rental car agencies in Nosara (National & Economy) as well as rental options for ATVs and golf carts.
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.
Please also review the question above regarding COVID-19 policies currently required.
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” Sansa flights, there is usually a 25-pound baggage limit (including carry-on’s). Baggage over 25 pounds often incurs a surcharge when flying Sansa.
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.
Costa Rica is currently requiring proof of covid vaccine to enter OR proof of medical insurance covering covid-related illness abroad - please see the question above about covid for details.
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?
In Nosara and most of Costa Rica it is possible to use the US dollar. Credit cards are accepted at most 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.
The rough exchange rate is 600 colones to 1 US dollar. An easy way to get a ballpark figure for 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. Geckos frequent hotel 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.
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. We will also have filtered water available.
What do I need to know about COVID-19 and travel to/from Costa Rica?
Currently most commercial establishments are open nationwide in Costa Rica. The beaches and national parks are open. Face coverings are required in all indoor settings except when eating, while alone, or in a private home. All commercial workers are required to wear a mask. All airlines require face masks during the check-in process and for the duration of the flight, unless eating or drinking.
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. 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. Many of the horses do daily tours in the area with novice riders and are very easy-going.
What type of yoga will we practice?
We will primarily practice smartflow yoga (alignment-cased vinyasa yoga), so the emphasis will be on moving with the breath and being mindful. 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.
Things to know before you book
Safety is our top priority. Height and weight restrictions do apply for riding. In general, 190-200 LBS. IS OUR MAXIMUM FOR HORSEBACK RIDING (depends on height). Horseback riding experience is not required; however, we have found that those who have some prior experience get the most out of the retreat. We require that all riders participate in some groundwork exercises and a riding lesson before participating in trail rides.
Yoga experience is also not required; although, we have found that those who have prior yoga experience get the most out of the retreat, even if you start a practice with the retreat in mind. We practice smartflow (alignment-based vinyasa flow) and restorative yoga.
Cancellation Policy Policy varies depending on retreat. If a deposit is required, it is non-refundable. If you need to cancel your reservation, Equisol will refund 50% of the payment made if cancellation is requested more than 30 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. NOTE: Equisol will make an exception and provide a full refund (minus any deposit collected and/or payment processing fees incurred) if cancellation is made due to a covid-related illness or changes to international travel policy that make it impossible to attend the retreat (adequate documentation will be required as proof).
Equisol reserves the right to cancel a retreat if the minimum number of guests 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.
Trip insurance that covers you in Costa Rica is highly recommended to cover the costs associated with last minute cancellations or any unforeseen circumstances. We require proof of medical insurance that covers you while in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is currently requiring proof of covid vaccination to enter the country OR medical insurance for the duration of your stay covering covid-19 illness and lodging for quarantine (more here).
Please contact us with any questions or concerns and review our Frequently Asked Questions below.