22 December 2020
I would like to welcome you in joining us for the Retreats in Costa Rica.
As you know, to fly to Costa Rica you need to buy a covid insurance to cover you for the length of your stay. You purchase this insurance locally, or book it through INS https://cotiza.ins-cr.com/frmDatosIncluir.aspx?P=431 or Sagicor https://tiendasagicor.com/. The first one is priced based on age and the second one is $11.30 per day for everybody under 70 years old. I bought mine from Canada and it was 1/5 their prices. You also need to fill up a QR form within 24-48 hours of your departure. You can fill out this form at https://salud.go.cr/step1 or www.salud.go.cr
We are looking forward to sharing space and time in our piece of paradise with you. There is no need to share the details of the retreats. I’ll just tell you: prepare for simplicity.
The temperature of where we are should be between 18’C to 26’C (65’F to 80’F) during the day, and a bit chilly in the middle of the night, however there is no norm. Please check the weather for Guapiles, Costa Rica and subtract 5’C (10’F) from that, to know how to pack. We will be sleeping on a wooden deck raised above the ground, with a roof above our heads.
What you will need to bring is:
- Warm sleeping bag or blankets
- Wellies / rubber boots (without lining recommended)
- Insect repellant
- Swim suit
- Rain coat with hood or thin rain poncho
- Personal items; clothes, long pants, towel, etc.
- Flip flops / rubber sandals if you have them
Try to avoid bringing red/brightly coloured clothing.
We will provide soap, shampoo and conditioner. If you need to bring your own products, make sure they are bio-friendly. Bringing rubber boots is very important because of ant bites, mud and unexpected situations. Basically anywhere we walk, that is what we will wear, not hiking shoes.
We will have breakfast in the morning and one cooked meal a day in the afternoon. This may include: rice, pasta, beans, plantain, yucca, potato, green salad, chicken, fish and whatever else is available locally. During the day we will have available: pineapple, papaya, banana, and any
fruit available locally, bread, honey and tea. Water is collected from a spring in the land. Due to lack of refrigeration (and ants) storage is difficult. If you require anything beside what is mentioned, feel free to bring what you like, in sealed packaging.
I would recommend also bringing a discreet bag to carry your passport in. Leave anything you do not need at home, i.e. jewellery etc.
You will not need any money while you are with us except the retreat fee. The official currency in Costa Rica is Colones, and the exchange rate is about 600 Colones to the US dollar, however, the US dollar is accepted in most places. Just make sure you have small notes as breaking $100 or $50 might be difficult. For the cost of the gathering, you can bring me cash in US dollars in large bills. Please try to bring new bills. Do not bring traveller’s cheques.
When you arrive at the airport, you will need to have an address to stay. Use:
Ruta 32, puente Rio Guacimo, 9 kilometros a Sur, Finca Monasterio, Guacimo, Limon
You are a tourist visitor, planning to stay at the finca. After you pick up your luggage and you go through customs, you will be out in the street as San Jose Airport doesn’t have a waiting area. Keep an eye out for a sign indicating ‘Abdy’. If, for whatever reason, the driver is not there at the exact pick-up time, just wait. The pick-up times are tentative and based on everybody’s arrival times. If somebody’s time changes, we have to adjust the pick up time.
Those of you who will already be in Costa Rica prior to your gathering should be at the airport at least 10 mins before your pick-up time. The driver will collect all of you together and walk you to the minivan.
A tentative pick-up schedule is attached, and also posted in the bulletin under “Costa Rica Retreat 2020/2021” on the website. We might have a couple of last minute attendees, therefore the schedule might be slightly adjusted, so please make sure to check the schedule on the website prior to your departure. Please check your flight information on the pick-up schedule for accuracy, and email firstname.lastname@example.org with any corrections.
If, for any reason, you could not make the flight, or your flight is delayed by more than an hour, please try to text or call me at 506 8306 1493. We might be able to accommodate you in the next shuttle, so as not to keep everybody waiting for you. (Also, in the occasion of emergency, your family can reach you through this number). Of course, I will not always have reception due to geographical reasons. If you cannot get through, just try again or leave a detailed message.
Your journey will take 2-3 hours in the minivans if there is no road closures. After that, you will transfer your luggage to 4X4s which shall take you to Monasterio. Everything has been prearranged on a tight schedule. Please do not make the driver stop unnecessarily. No shopping on the way!
Please check the bulletin on the website just before your departure in case of last-minute messages or changes to the shuttle schedules.
Some of you might be interested to know that my son Kyon is turning 11 on the 6th. He’s been collecting his favourite pieces of music to play at his jungle party.
I will see you soon!
P.S. Monasterio is about two and a half hours drive from San Jose Airport, and is in the vicinity of the town of Guacimo, in the province of Limon. The driving directions are: from the Limon highway (Route 32) you make a right turn (south) immediately after the bridge over ‘Rio Guacimo’. Drive 7 kilometres on that dirt road until you reach a fork, where you will take a right. You will go through a small river which is about three kilometres from the fork. You will eventually arrive at a round house. That is our house. You will continue another kilometre, passing through a river, to reach our base.
These directions are not meant for you to actually use. They are just for the occasion of arriving at a different time than you have indicated and not being able to get in contact with us. A taxi from the airport to Guacimo will cost you around $100. The alternative is to take a bus from the centre of San Jose to Guacimo, which costs about $3 and runs every two to three hours. From the centre of Guacimo you can get another taxi (4x4 vehicle only!!!) for about $30.