POINTE BREAK RETREATS, a company that offers idyllic fitness and wellness escapes for women across the globe, built its home base in one of the world’s best kept secret surf destinations: Nosara, Costa Rica. Well…it may not be so secret any longer, considering the NY Times recently penned a feature highlighting it as the place to be for wealthy New Yorkers and Californians. Regardless of its ‘it-place’ status, Nosara will never be pushed into an over-populated, beach crammed tourist mecca. It’s just too cool for that. And too eco-conscious. Tourists seeking water front views from their hotel room are out of luck (development is prohibited below 200 yards from the high-tide line). The instant gratification types who insist on a half hour jaunt from airport to doorstep just aren’t coming here. And those who aren’t up for decorating their skin in jungle dust as they bounce from beach to restaurant won’t be taking up all the reservations at the best eateries in town. Oh wait- these places don’t take reservations. After all, surfers don’t plan their day based on seating schedules. They plan them around the tides.
2015 marked the inaugural year of Pointe Break Retreats, with an intimate group of adventurous souls for its trial run of surf and dance. 3 years later, our love affair with Nosara has only deepened. I think it’s safe to say this pairing is now a marriage. Stretching our wings to Sayulita, Mexico and Columbeira, Portugal, has introduced us to other vibrant cultures, cuisine, beach breaks and picturesque settings for dance classes. But, as the saying goes, it’s always nice to come home.
What makes Nosara so special?
THE PERFECT BEACH BREAK
One of the things that makes Nosara such a draw for surfers of all levels, is the incredibly consistent break. With zero pesky (and razor sharp) rocks or coral to contend with and swell every day, Nosara’s beaches are heaven for dancing on water. Playa Guiones, our Pointe Break beach of choice, is a four mile long white sand stretch that catches swells year round that never get too big. Also, as a beginner surfer, provided you respect the general code of board conduct, the locals and surf pros here are not the type to bite your head off for daring to enter their territory. No pit bulls here! In fact, they are even known to watch out for beginners, give them a tip or two and encourage them to be bold if they are ready to take a bigger wave. That’s the thing about Nosara: it’s warm water and warm energy. Just as everyone respects the land, they respect each other. No one is out just for themselves.
THE BEACH DOGGIES
If you happen to be a dog lover, this is your mecca! Nosara is teeming with GENTLE, curious and playful beach dogs that spend the day on the sand, exploring, sniffing, and watching the surfers. Some of them even hop on the board with their owner! Not a fan of the canine? No worries, the beach doggies are gentle and non-confrontational. They’ve got so much sand to cover, they’ve got no need to be territorial! If you ARE a dog-lover, however, you may have a hard time not sneaking a pup into your beach bag…
**note: looking for a perfect margherita or fish taco after a long day in the sun? The ‘Beach Dog Café’ is just a stone’s throw from Playa Guiones…just saying**
THE EMPHASIS ON WELLBEING: BODY, MIND, SOUL
Once you spend a few days in Nosara, you will start to be able to spot the locals: bronzed skin, lean physiques, kind eyes and HUGE smiles. It’s difficult not to be the picture of wellness when every cafe and restaurant serves healthy, organic and delicious fresh food, the number of yoga centres equals the number of homes, and the temperature rarely drops below 25 degrees celsius. This is a place that nurtures community and respect for the planet. At the start of our last retreat in February, we were fortunate to begin the retreat by experiencing a ‘full moon dance party’ on the beach. Dozens of people- couples, families, toddlers and naked babies gathered on the beach to dance in the moonlight to the eclectic, world music of some kick-*ss DJ’s. A conga line around the bonfire that grew in size to include everyone by the end was wildly fun and perfects sums up the essence of Nosara.
In many places around the world, there is a daily tradition of worship. In Nosara, it is definitely the sunset. Whether or not you are already on the beachas the sun’s rays begin to dip below the horizon, you will find yourself drawn there each afternoon to witness this exquisite display. The beach gradually fills as in silent acknowledgement the locals, the yogis, the surfers, and the tourists all gather for the same purpose. There is no better way to remind ourselves of how glorious our planet is. And this little corner of the earth certainly puts on one of the best shows there is. Costa Rican sunsets defy description.
Besides the aforementioned beach dogs, there is a vast array of magical wildlife to enchant you from the treetops overhead to the sand at your feet. There is nothing quite like performing pliés to the sound of howler monkeys in the jungle surrounding the open studio, or rounding the corner of a dirt road to find a herd of cattle blocking your way. From the iguanas and geckos scuttling across your path en route to the beach, to the roosters joining the monkeys in heralding the dawn, Nosara is a constant reminder that all life shares our planet. Here, in close proximity, it is lovely to witness. Just a short ATV ride down the coast to Ostional may offer you a glimpse, depending on the month and how willing you are to stay awake til the wee hours of the night, of the olive ridley turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs. Standup paddle boarding once even granted us a glimpse of a crocodile sunning on the river banks (at a safe distance!) of the mangroves. Nosara is rich in the wildlife it cherishes, a splendour that is not just experienced visually, but in the symphony of cicada song and conversation floating through the treetops from dusk til dawn.
UPCOMING RETREATS IN NOSARA:
This year, we’ll be ‘home’ in Nosara for two weeks, both planned to fall during that time when your bones are aching, your toes frozen, and you cannot stand any more WINTER!
First, we’ll be waxing our surf boards and dusting off our barres from November 2-9, 2018. Then, during what is universally known as the most depressing month of the year, February 9-16, 2019.
Spots are already filling fast, don’t miss your chance to join us!
**THESE DATES DON’T WORK FOR YOU? ASK US ABOUT OUR ‘DESIGN YOUR OWN’ RETREATS, WHERE YOU MAY SELECT A WEEK THAT FITS YOUR SCHEDULE AND BRING A GROUP OF YOUR CLOSEST FRIENDS FOR A TAILOR-MADE, PRIVATE WEEK! (ideal for bachelorettes, milestone birthdays, graduations, mother-daughter trips)**
The Fine Print: Under the Surface. Above the Noise.