Where to stay in the Osa Peninsula – Blue Osa Yoga Retreat and Spa
When I was looking for a a yoga retreat in Costa Rica in March, the first place that turned up in Google was the Blue Osa. There was just something behind the name that got my attention straight away and I found myself checking out their website within a sec.
My intuition seems to be never wrong… and with the Blue Osa it was the case too.
When I saw all the upcoming yoga retreats they had planned with different yoga teachers from around the world, I knew this was the right place for me to relax after spending 4 crazy weeks traveling around Panama.
So here I was, on a bus from San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital, to Puerto Jimenez, a town in the Osa Peninsula just a few km from where the Blue Osa is located. The 8-hour bus trip went by faster than expected and even though I got to Blue Osa super tired, as soon as I entered the eco-resort, somehow I regained my energy.
Was it the smile of Michael, the manager, and Gayle, the Exotic Yoga Retreats teacher who greeted me? Or the lovely tico cooks in the kitchen? Was it the green scenery full of flowers around? My cute romantic bed with a mosquito net?
I was just so attracted to this place …
What was important though was the fact that already a few minutes at the Blue Osa changed me. Changed my mood, my energy, my mind … I felt like floating in the air with gratitude.
After a quick shower I strolled along the beach. The sunset was amazing and I just jumped along the beach like a happy kid who got a new toy. Although the sun was setting down not on the beach but in the jungle behind us, the skies were all pinky above the Golfo Dulce in front of us.
That was my first ”ENJOY THE MOMENT” time when I set my goal for the next week – just live in the present time as much as possible.
I spent a week at Blue Osa and on my last day my future plans for the rest of March did not seem to work out. I am sure it was someone from up there who organized this for me 🙂
And guess what? I call it a destiny!
I honestly fell in love with Blue Osa so much that on my last day of the Exotic Yoga Retreat I came up with the idea of staying here for a few more weeks volunteering and helping out with social media, blogging, cuisine and just making this paradise even better.
It was the first time I’ve ever even thought of becoming a volunteer as I kind of never found it rewarding enough. You know, my time is super precious. The only thing I have is time so I have to be careful with what how I spend it, right?
Aaron and Adam bought the property that became the Blue Osa in 2007 after they did a yoga retreat in the Osa Peninsula (do I see some similarity in here between their experience and mine?) Adam’s 30-year experience in interior design definitely helped with the eco-design of the Blue Osa despite all the difficulties with building on the beach and in the rainforest in a remote part of Costa Rica.
What I loved about Blue Osa:
- self-sustaining eco-resort: solar panels, no external power lines, chemical free cleaning, rainwater catchment system, no chlorine in the pool, re-use of gray water. As I pay attention more and more to eco-tourism and I do not use any chemicals myself, the Blue Osa was just the perfect accommodation for me. I could finally get my laundry done without having to put my clothes into a washing machine full of chemical laundry detergents (I know, I am a weirdo when it comes to these things.) And I could also swim in the pool every day without getting any skin rash (as surprising as it might seem, especially when you check all my photos, I am allergic to chlorine.)
- located right on the beach which meant a lot of beach time for me even when I had just a few free minutes. The Tamales beach seems very private and most of the time you will only find the Blue Osa guests and sometimes fishermen too. Otherwise you might even have the whole beach for yourself but just don’t get surprised if a stranger appears as all the beaches in Costa Rica are public.
- sunrise at the beach – I am NOT a morning person at all and I get cranky in the morning but the howler monkeys waking me up around 5 am every morning was not a big deal here and I actually started to enjoy that as the sunrise on the Tamales beach is so worth it. Yes, it is still something you should do even every morning when staying at the Blue Osa.
- morning silence – like I mentioned above, mornings are not the best time of the day to talk to me as I need some peace and quiet and to some people it might seem rude when I look like I don’t want to chat. So implementing the morning silence at the Blue Osa until 7.30 am (or even longer depending on the yoga teacher) is something I incredibly enjoyed. The weird smiles disappeared after the first morning and we all loved no talking until after breakfast.
- staff – I could go on and on with all the praise about the lovely staff at the Blue Osa. Here it is all about the community so everyone treats everyone else extremely well. I’ve so enjoyed all the smiles and hugs all around. They’ve been all so accommodating with my strange super healthy food requirements, such as cinnamon with every fruit or fruit dessert before dinner … they all just made me feel like in family. GRATEFUL for all of them!
- swimming pool long enough to swim – every day I tried to swim at least 25 laps and with different colourful birds flying above my head it was not hard at all. The scenery around with both the rainforest and palm trees (and watermelon and pineapple growing next to the pool!) made it a lot easier to get my swimming done. Peaceful and energetic at the same time. Natural filtration and no chlorine were very pleasant too. Just one more tip – rinse your hair and white swimsuit before and after swimming in the pool as it can get green from the natural filter.
- fresh cuisine with a lot of vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free options – there’s 4 meals served at the Blue Osa all inclusive hotel and after spending all those days there I have not tried any meal that did not taste more than finger-licking. Fresh, farm-to-table organic ingredients really make a difference. Trust me, with vegan gluten-free meals it is not always easy to find something that is not only healthy but also tastes better than any fast food and thinking of the previous all inclusive resorts I have stayed at, the Blue Osa cuisine was definitely the most delicious one I’ve found on my travels.
- spa treatments – get jealous as they have chocolate massage with 100% pure chocolate, body scrubs, facials, acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, chakra healing, aloe vera wrap (in case you got sunburnt) and other spa packages to balance, hydrate, heal, purify and nurture your body. Only natural herbs, local plants, healing flowers, pure essential oils and other ingredients that have therapeutic benefits for skin are used at the Blue Osa spa with 90% of the ingredients being organically sourced in the Peninsula. You will not want to leave, trust me!
- variety of tours – situated in the jungle not far from the Corcovado National Park, one of the most untouched rainforests and also the largest remaining primary rainforest of Costa Rica, there’s many different adventure eco tours you could take: kayaking, hiking, canopy zip line, horse-back riding, tree climbing, waterfall rappel in the rainy season. In case you want to learn more about cacao and local organic fruits, you should definitely go on the chocolate tour (hint, hint* chocolate tasting included!)
- flowers and trees around the property with the name tags – easy to learn what kind of plants you can admire every day. Smell of some flowers, such as yellow Ylang Ylang is just unbeatable.
- birds, iguanas, butterflies, frogs etc. – the best place for the wildlife lovers. Every single morning I spent a few hours observing the wildlife trying to snap the best shots. The animals are our friends and you will learn to live with them but be careful where you step and at night always walk with a flashlight.
- a little gathering before each dinner – when the cooks explain the ingredients they used
- Michael or a cook rings the bell to advise us it’s the meal time. I never thought I would like to hear a bell so often. If you hear a bell coming from the Yoga Studio, it means yoga time instead 🙂
- organic biodegradable soaps from the local Rainforest Solutions hand-made with coconut oil from the Osa Peninsula. You can sample the products at the Blue Osa gift shop and also at the Blue Osa Farmer’s Market night after dinner and then buy those that suit your needs the most. I could not express my happiness when I found out about all these local products as I am a coconut oil freak and I use it for almost everything.
- blue circles with inspirational words, such as harmony, peace etc. really fit well the name of the place and each time I saw a sign like that around it made me feel better
- our names on the cups used for cold drinks which saves a lot of water for washing them and also it is easier for us to know which cup we’ve been drinking from
- you can walk barefoot if you want to. I am a huge fan of walking barefoot as it it super healthy for your body and also kind of reflexology and at the Blue Osa no one minds that
- the water in the Blue Osa comes from 3 wells and it is potable but filtered water served in the dining area is suggested to drink. There’s also hot water for your coffee or tea available there.
- open-air Yoga Studio with the ocean views opens every day since 5 am till 10 pm and is free to use any time if there is no yoga class going on. There’s yoga blocks, straps, blankets and chairs to use too. No wonder the Blue Osa ranks #2 on the list of the top yoga retreats around the world.
- aw, and I got a flower made from a palm leaf, so sweet 🙂
Blue Osa fills me peace, inner happiness and clear mind, and gives me the most genuine hugs and laughs. The best place for me to volunteer … so get ready for most articles about this awesome place 🙂
*** It took me more than 5 hours to write this post.