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Tropical Leaves

Frequently Asked Questions

Scroll down to view the most frequently asked questions about the THRIVE Retreat in Costa Rica this February!

  • What is your cancelation policy?
    Terms & Conditions ​ Please note the following terms and conditions for all payments towards your retreat experience: ​​1. If you cancel due to COVID restrictions (meaning that your country’s borders are legally closed and you can not travel to Costa Rica for the retreat), your full payment will be transferred to a future retreat within 1 year of the scheduled retreat start date. ​ 2. If the retreat is canceled by Aliza Rivka due to COVID or for any other reason your full payment amount will be transferred to a future retreat within 1 year of the scheduled retreat start date.​ ​ 3. If you cancel due to any personal reason up to 30 days prior to the date of the retreat (January 27), you will be eligible for a 50% refund. ​​​ 4. Should you cancel for any personal reason within 30 days of the retreat you will forfeit the full amount. ​ 5. If you test positive for COVID prior to your arrival and have to cancel due to this matter, you will forfeit a deposit amount of 50% of your booking, the rest of which will be transferred to a future retreat within 1 year of the scheduled retreat start date. ​ 6. All payments are final and all payment plans are a legal commitment to pay in full.
  • What airport do I fly into?
    The closest international airport to our retreat center is the Juan Santamaría International Airport in San José (SJO), Costa Rica. Please make sure that you book your flight to San José, Costa Rica and not San José, California. Additionally, in order to enter Costa Rica, you will need to show proof of your return ticket home. If you want to keep your trip open-ended, you can purchase a flight just before you leave home and cancel within 24 hours after you go through customs. We recommend arriving at the airport a few hours before your retreat start time to allow for any delays or unexpected travel issues. From the airport, we can arrange for transportation to the retreat center for an additional fee.
  • How do I get to & from the airport? Is my shuttle included?
    No, travel to and from the airport is not included in the retreat package. We recommend the following options for traveling from SJO airport to the retreat center in Ojochal: (1) Private taxi/shuttle: The first option is to book a private taxi or shuttle ($150-200). It's a 3.5-4 hour drive from SJO airport to the retreat center. (2) Group taxi/shuttle: As the retreat approaches & we have everyone's flight info, we can also coordinate group shuttles to lower costs per person. (3) Domestic Flight: The third option is to take a 20min domestic flight to Quepos airport (XQP) via Sansa or Green Airways (cost: $90-120). From Quepos airport to the retreat center, it's a 60min taxi ride (cost: $60-100). Please let us know your flight details at least two weeks before the retreat date. Alternatively, you can arrange your own transportation to the retreat location.
  • Do I need travel insurance?
    It is not required to purchase traveler's insurance in order to enter Costa Rica at this time. You may choose to purchase a policy so that you have guaranteed coverage in the case of a positive covid test. If you test positive for covid during the retreat, you will be asked to quarantine in your hotel room. Additional nights beyond the retreat dates are not covered. I recommend purchasing insurance through Sagicor. The coverage is great and will give you peace of mind for all potential eventualities. The plan includes details like your quarantine hotel stay and medical costs.
  • When should I arrive/depart to SJO Airport, and to the retreat?
    We highly recommend arriving a day earlier on Sunday, February 25th to allow yourself a day of transition, arriving & rest before the retreat begins. If you must arrive to Costa Rica on Monday, February 26th, please secure a flight that arrives to SJO Airport NO LATER THAN 10:00am to ensure you have enough time to arrive to the retreat center by 2:00pm, settle in and participate in the opening circle. If you are unable to arrive by this time, please let us know as soon as possible so we can make arrangements for your late arrival.
  • Can I extend my stay 1-2 nights before/after the retreat? If so, where can I stay?
    Absolutely! If you'd like to arrive a day before the retreat starts or extend your stay after the retreat, we recommend the below options. Though Yacumama (our retreat location) is booked before & after our retreat, there are plenty of other places to stay in the area. Depending on when your flight arrives/departs, you may choose to stay in San José near the airport. Near SJO airport we recommend hotels such as Hotel Mango (most affordable), Hampton Inn, or Courtyard Marriott. If your travel schedule allows, you may choose to stay near the retreat center in Ojochal or Uvita to enjoy the beautiful nature. For those looking to stay near the retreat in Uvita/Ojochal, we recommend: (1) Tribe Boutique Hotel in Dominical ( (2) Yuli Hotel in Uvita ( (3) El Castillo in Ojochal ( If none of those options resonate, take a look at this list from TripAdvisor for more selections.
  • What should I bring?
    See packing list here!
  • What are Costa Rica's Covid Protocols?
    This site is the go-to for all Costa Rica / Covid travel updates and changes. *Currently no vaccination is required to enter Costa Rica. Details do change every now and then so it's good to check closer to your travel dates.
  • What is Costa Rica's currency? Can I use dollars?
    The Costa Rican currency is the colón (colónes in plural. It’s generally about 600 colones to 1 US Dollar. You can spend American Dollars in Costa Rica. No need to change dollars into Colones. Bring as much cash as you feel comfortable carrying on you. The tax fees on credit card transactions are high in Costa Rica (13%). ATM fees are often high, too. Taxis DO NOT take credit card, so do have enough cash (US Dollars is fine) for your taxi ride from the airport. It’s also a good idea to let your bank know that you will be traveling internationally to save yourself any potential hassle.
  • WiFi + International Phone Usage
    You may want to contact your provider to set your phone service to the best settings for this trip. There is WiFi at the retreat center and in most places in town.
  • Do I need to speak Spanish?
    For better or for worse, almost all of the locals speak English in Costa Rica. You do not need to speak Spanish to function here, but it’s respectful to speak in the local language if you know some!
  • What is the weather like?
    February is peak season in Costa Rica, which means very little rain and consistently clear, sunny days. While it's a beautiful time to visit, the sun can be very strong (so can the heat) so be sure to bring the sun protection items you need (hat, sunscreen, cover ups for the beach, etc.). Water comes from a fresh spring at the retreat center, and cups are provided, but you may want to bring a water bottle for our excursions + adventures.
  • Traditional Greetings & Helpful Phrases
    The mantra Costa Rica is “Pura Vida” - which means Pure Life in Spanish. This is the most common response to the question: “how are you? / como estas?” Pura vida really sums up the spirit of this place. I recommend practicing a little Spanish before you come, just for fun! And to connect with the locals :) In Costa Rica, instead of saying "de nada" (it's nothing / you're welcome) it's common to say "mucho gusto" or "con mucho gusto" (with great pleasure).
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