DAY 1 – ARRIVE IN COSTA RICA
Arrive at the San Jose International Airport (SJO) anytime on the first scheduled day. Our guides will pick each participant up from the airport and take us to Rosa del Paseo, a comfortable hotel in downtown San Jose.
Depending on flight arrival times, Jennifer will meet with one participant on this first day for a dedicated coaching session.
After dinner, we will get our tribe together for introductions, and to set and share our individual intentions for this trip. Jennifer will distribute journals to each of you along with question prompts to contemplate and write about during this week’s experience. (Dinner the first night is not included.)
Get a good night’s sleep because your adventure starts early the next day.
DAY 2 – LEATHERBACK RESEARCH & COACHING
Today, we will head out to the Caribbean coast to stay at a remote research station in the rainforest.
First, wake up with a delicious Costa Rica breakfast buffet of eggs, gallo pinto (their famous breakfast rice and beans), fresh tropical fruit, delicious coffee, and more.
After breakfast, we will board the private bus for a 4-hour ride to the Caribbean coast. We’ll pass through the country’s largest national park and then descend to the Caribbean lowlands.
The bus will drop our group at a small dock along the Tortuguero canals, where a boat will meet us to take us to the research station. The short boat ride will be conducted as “forest bathing.” We will pass through rainforest and observe the wildlife, such as monkeys, sloths, toucans, and more along the way.
Once we arrive, we will settle into our cabins and later, the researchers will give a presentation on sea turtles and the more than a decade of work that has gone into protecting this nesting beach.
Between the research presentation and dinner, two participants will each have their dedicated coaching session with Jennifer.
After dinner, we will head out for your first night of patrolling, accompanied by researchers who will guide us along the beach, spot the turtles, and help with the data collection. Each person will take one of two shifts: 8PM to midnight and midnight to 4AM.
Please note: The station is fairly remote and isolated. The rooms are very basic and you will be expected to participate in cleaning up dishes after meals. The station has limited electricity, no hot water, and no internet. Bathrooms are basic and semi-private (shared between two rooms). Meals are simple and often include a meat (such as chicken or beef) along with rice and beans, cabbage salad, and plantains. The station is in the rainforest, which is exposed to insects that may venture into the rooms (mosquito nets are provided).
DAYS 3 – 5: TURTLE RESEARCH & COACHING
For the next three nights, you will spend four hours each night walking the nesting beach in search of the giant leatherbacks. Each person will take one of two shifts: 8PM to midnight and midnight to 4AM.
Years of hard work protecting these turtles have resulted in increases in nests in the Caribbean and the leatherback was downlisted from critically endangered to vulnerable in 2013. But despite this success, their numbers are still declining and protecting their nesting beaches is vital to their long-term survival.
The first thing you notice when a leatherback is nesting is their giant tracks, which look like a monster truck has driven up the beach. Tasks involved in the research include measuring the turtles’ length and width (no small task with a giant turtle!), moving the eggs to a hatchery (where they are protected until hatching), and observing the condition of the turtles, looking for scars or injuries.
You will have a chance to work with hatchlings, helping to do some basic research (measuring and weighing) and releasing hatchlings to the water. Green turtles also occasionally nest late in the season.
Each participant will fill out a Pre-Retreat Worksheet, which will inform how Jennifer designs coaching activities for your greatest benefit. Much of it will incorporate the beautiful environment to enhance your experience.
Mornings will include an optional, guided, group meditation for those who are awake and choose to participate. Morning and midday, you will have time to nap, read and/or journal before coaching activities. Our afternoons will be focused on group coaching, of which, the tools will be designed with everyone’s needs and intentions in mind.
Each person will have a dedicated 1:1 coaching session with Jennifer at least once during the trip.
Additional planned daytime activities include a boat ride on the rainforest canals to look for wildlife including birds, sloths, monkeys, and caiman, as well as a beach cleanup activity. (Even remote beaches have trash that washes ashore).
DAY 6 – CENTRAL VALLEY
After breakfast, we will catch the boat back to meet our bus. Along the way back to San Jose, we will visit Jardin Pierella, a unique butterfly farm, to learn about these fascinating insects and other wildlife. We will see hundreds of butterflies, poison dart frogs, giant walking sticks, and likely sloths and other wildlife.
The wonderful family who runs this farm will prepare a delicious traditional lunch.
Once we are back at our hotel Rosa del Paseo, Jennifer will do a dedicated coaching session with the final participant.
We will enjoy a final group dinner on the town, where we will share our learnings, insights and gratitude with each other.
You’ll want to head to bed early to be ready to go to the airport for your flight the next day.
DAY 7 – DEPARTURE S
Return home with a new perspective on life as well as an appreciation for nature, the importance of its conservation and to share your experiences.
You will be taken to the airport in plenty of time to catch your flight.
Do you have questions about the retreat? I’m happy to hop on a call with you to answer them and learn more about what you’re looking for. Submit your info below and I’ll reach out to schedule some time to chat!