Uniting Heaven & Earth: A Yoga Retreat
With Sally Brown Bassett Ph.D and Kristen Barfield
November 6 - 13, 2021
Our service focus is to enrich, educate, and empower girls in rural areas. The hope is for each girl to reach their full intellectual and earning potential so that they become self-sufficient leaders in their communities.
In the rainforest of Costa Rica we have our own Girls for Success center. As we travel to other destinations we are grateful to our international humanitarian partners to help achieve these same goals for girls.
All proceeds from our international trips go to the Girls for Success program, as do 100% of donations.
Arrive in San Jose, Costa Rica and transfer to the charming historic Gran Hotel. Get settled in
your new surroundings and explore the city until the Welcome Dinner at 6 p.m.
The Gran Hotel, built in 1930, is a historic monument and the best location in the city.
This charming hotel is located next to the National Theatre on one corner and the
Pre-Colombian Gold Museum across the street. The hotel contains a casino in the
lobby, a patio café noted for its marimba performances, fitness center, and piano bar.
Day 2 – Sunday, November 7
Samasati Nature Retreat – This stunning retreat is located on a 250 acre biological
reserve overlooking the Caribbean. Just over 230 miles south of San Jose, it is an easy
and naturally stunning commute from the airport. Sitting amidst the famous Costa Rican
rainforest, your bungalow offers some of the most unique views of the Caribbean Sea.
The retreat features yoga studios, Jacuzzi, sundeck, cocktail bar, open air restaurant,
and massage therapists on staff. Samasati offers an array of activities for nature lovers,
yogis, and anyone looking to relax in an exotic environment. Guests will also have access
to in-house spa treatments and complimentary coordination of eco-tours and bird
After breakfast the group will depart 8:15 a.m. for Samasati Nature Retreat near Puerto Viejo.
We will pass through the chilly heights of Braulio Carriollo National Park, the steamy lowlands
of Guapiles, the Caribbean port town of Limon, many banana plantations and then follow the
palm fringed coastal road south by the beach of Cahuita to Puerto Viejo.
We will arrive in time for lunch. The food is gourmet vegetarian and each meal is a treat. At
3:00 p.m. the girls from our Girls for Success Center will join us at Samasati for several fun
activities before heading back down the mountain.
Before dinner from 5:30-6:30, you will receive a gentle and peaceful yoga practice after a long
day. The beautiful studio, the sounds of the rainforest and the gentle cueing will ease you into
a rhythmic flow of meditative movement to transition to a blissful state of be-ing.
Day 3 – Monday, November 8
After a slow flow vinyasa yoga with an intention set for each class from 6:30-7:45 a.m., you can
enjoy a lovely breakfast on the terrace. The group will then head out for a morning excursion
to the Bribri Indian Reservation, one of Costa Rica’s indigenous populations, for a chocolate
making experience and indulge by tasting the efforts. The morning journey will continue on to
the nearby Volio Waterfall. There is a moderate hike to reach the waterfall, which is located in
the Talamancan forests. The hike has several river crossings and the opportunity to view many
different species of flora and fauna. Once you arrive to the refreshing blue/green waters, we
will swim, take pictures, relax and enjoy.
Return to Samasati to enjoy the remainder of the afternoon to explore the rainforest, swim,
relax in a hammock, or indulge in a massage. Evening yoga will be offered followed by dinner.
Day 4 – Tuesday, November 9
After yoga and breakfast, we will travel Punta Uva, claimed to be one of the best beaches in
the area. The group will return to Samasati for lunch and time to get ready for the afternoon
The afternoon will be spent at our Girls for Success Center with the children (ages 7-12) doing
a variety of activities, including teaching English, reading books, doing a craft project, and
implementing educational enrichment stations. We welcome any ideas based on your talents
and interests. The idea is to share some of your own unique experiences while perhaps helping
inspire the girls to continue with education and exploration. We encourage interaction and
co-creation over gift giving. Please give the gift of your time and passions.
A gentle yoga class will be offered prior to dinner.
Day 5 – Wednesday November 10
Following yoga and breakfast, you have a choice between two excursions. You can either head
out for a Canopy Adventure or a visit to the Jaguar Rescue Center.
The tour takes place over-looking the jungle where you will zip from tree to tree. There
are 13 stations where you will enjoy approximately two hours of zip lining and walking in
between several of the platforms. It’s an adventure that should be on everyone’s bucket
list for at least once in life.
Jaguar Animal Rescue Center:
A short drive past the town of Puerto Viejo is the home of the Jaguar Animal Rescue
Center. This unique tour will give you the opportunity to encounter sloths, monkeys,
toucans, and a wide variety of other animals up close. The center is a home for ill,
injured and orphaned animals. Unlike zoos, the Jaguar Rescue Center focuses on
rehabilitating and releasing animals back into the wild – either their native habitat or the
nearby 125-acre La Ceiba Wildlife Reserve. The center reintroduces as much as 60 to 70
percent of the animals back into the wild. A brief stop will be made in Puerto Viejo to
explore and shop.
Return to Samasati for lunch and the beautiful view of the Caribbean from the open-air
restaurant followed by free time for a swim in the pool, massage, or lounge in a hammock.
This evening you will have the opportunity to dine in the home of one of the students from the
Girls for Success Project as an alternative to having dinner at Samasati. Dinner with the
families is an opportunity to see real Costa Rican life, speak Spanish, and make lifelong friends.
Our past retreat guests say it was one of the highlights of the trip and creates lasting authentic
Day 6 – Thursday, November 11
After yoga and breakfast, we will have a morning adventure at the nearby Cahuita National
Park. It is known for white sand, palm tree lined beaches, and crystal clear blue waters. You
will have the opportunity to hike the flat seven kilometers to the point, swim, sunbath, and/or
spend time in the small town of Cahuita shopping.
Return to Samasati for lunch and relax or participate in other activities. Taxis can be arranged
in the afternoon to go to town for shopping and exploring. Or you can hike one of the many
trails, get a massage, take a swim, relax in the Jacuzzi, take a nap or read in your hammock.
Enjoy yoga and a releasing fire ceremony prior to our special farewell dinner at Samasati.
Day 7 – Friday, November 12
After yoga and a leisurely breakfast, we will transfer mid-morning to San Jose and check-in at
the Gran Hotel again.
OR sign-up for an optional white water rafting excursion on your return trip to San Jose. The
Pacuare River is world famous for its beauty. A true river gorge, it is flanked by steep, green
walls. You will see waterfalls cascade into the river from both sides. Wildlife is abundant. It is
not an overly challenging river, but it has many rapids that will make your adventure very
interesting and fun! The 18-mile-one-day-run includes 38 rapids. Few rivers in the world can
offer you so many rapids in such a short stretch of water. National Geographic has named it
one of the top ten river rafting trips in the world. ($99 per person)
Our Farewell Dinner will support a local restaurant where you will be able to enjoy your last
evening with your new-found friends.
Day 8 – Saturday, November 13
After breakfast, transportation will be arranged based on your return flight home. We hope
you return home rejuvenated and inspired by all you experienced
Note: Additional destination information will be sent to each participant no later than 75
days prior to departure. This information will include packing tips and also items or supplies
needed at our girls’ center.
As of January 2021, Costa Rica currently requires all travelers to complete a Digital
health pass for their website 48 hours prior to travel and to have travel insurance that
has medical coverage and lodging should there be required quarantine. Our Travel
Manager, Susie Morwick will assist with insurance through Travel Guard. We will also
send out updated requirements 90 days prior to departure as everything is changing,
especially with vaccines being implemented.
Documents Needed: Passport
Sally Bassett, 500-RYT, Ph.D., Founder of Peace Through Yoga Foundation and Girls for Success. Sally’s enthusiasm toward life as well as her creative and spiritual approach to yoga have been key to her success. Sally has been teaching yoga for close to two decades through her 12-year ownership of two yoga studios before selling in 2014; teaching yoga basics and philosophy as an adjunct professor at Butler University for seven…
Learn more about Sally Brown Bassett Ph.D
Kristen Barfield, RN BSN, 200-RYT, Owner of Blooming Life Yoga Studio + School, has been a student and teacher of the practice of Yoga since 2005. Kristen believes that Yoga not only provides mental and physical benefits, but also an opportunity to learn, contribute, and step out of our comfort zone, opening our eyes to what is around us. This ancient practice is the gateway to deeper understanding of who…
Learn more about Kristen Barfield