Essence Arenal is an incredible volcano and lake view retreat in the hart of Arenal National Park with all the healing elements available for your well-being.

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Videos (1)

Instructors (4)

Nico Botefur

Alejandro Camacho

Sarita Anders

Agatha Castillo

Reviews (91)

Tereza Stloukalová

from Costa Rica, April 2022

"Amazing place"

One of the best places I've visited. Wonderful locations. In Essence you have the best view of the Volcan Arenal every minute. Accommodation is in nature. There is a very nice nature and lots of local animals around you.

The yoga retreat was amazing. Every teacher is very kind and professional! You will find many other activities here - massages, a natural pool, a whirlpool, Tamazcal and other natural therapies for your soul!

The staff there is very nice. I felt I was a part of them. Everything very good and reliable. The food is very tasty. So if you are thinking about this place, I must say: I wholeheartedly recommend.

Some photos: IG: #tealife2022

Farial Ali

from Canada, March 2022

"Loved my experience"

I was at the Arenal Essence yoga retreat towards the end of Feb 2022 and I've since recommended it to many friends and family. That instructors and the staff are incredibly kind and supportive. The location is a good distance away from the city and we were surrounded by nature and wildlife. Lots of activities to partake in if you wish. A rejuvenating place where strangers come together and create meaningful friendships and leave their troubles at home.

Anya Waite

from Canada, April 2022

"Lush retreat with excellent instructors"

We loved the beautiful property with its mix of rainforest and permaculture farm. There was a toucan nest outside our cabin, and huge amounts of bird life visible all the time. The on-site tours were excellent including the cacao tour, the birdwatching tour and the night rainforest walk (all with Aurelio, who was outstanding). The morning yoga was very well taught (we had Floor and Adjuna, both excellent). The food was beautifully prepared, fresh and wholesome. Each meal was a highlight! The spa was lovely also. We enjoyed the other travellers who were all on interesting journeys. We stayed for five nights but agreed we should have booked for several days longer, since there was a lot to do not just on site but in the surrounding national parks. We did a waterfall trip and saw sloths offsite, both great - but the experiences on the site were even more profound. The staff at the retreat are exceptional.

Emily Macneil

from United States, April 2022

"What an incredible place!!!"

Everything was phenomenal. Marvin prepared top quality, thoughtful and delicious food. Every staff member was incredibly kind and eager to help with anything I could possibly need. Even before I arrived I was so impressed with the communication I received. Yoga was an unbelievable experience, just challenging enough to make you want to push yourself further each day, but not intimidating in any way. All of the treatments I received were so good! Swedish massage, ionic foot detox, Turkish bath, mud wrap. All beautiful. Shout out to Aurelio, who hosted the cacao tour and jungle night tour. He's so passionate and enthusiastic about everything he does and I learned a lot! Even the drivers were some of the kindest people I've ever met. I will be back for sure. I love you all so much!

Jennifer Merritt

from United Kingdom, April 2022

"Life changing experiences at Essence"

The retreat truly was a life changing experience from the moment I stepped into the reception the greeting was was warm and friendly felt like home my room was light clean with a fantastic view of the volcano the yoga 🧘🏽‍♀️ was amazing as was the treatments and the spectacular walks hikes and hot water springs the food created by Marvin and his team was outstanding as with the fun 🤩 service definitely will be coming back

Bhumika Sachdev

from United States, April 2022

"Excellent retreat experience "

All yoga teachers are excellent - Floor, Adelina and Colatine. They make you feel like home. The staff was exceptional, they follow up and make sure all your questions are answered. Cacao tour was a great experience. Highly recommend

Vanna Bouttarath

from Isle of Man, April 2022

"A wonderful place to detox and recharge "

The staff were very warm and hospitable.

Marianne Verheul

from Netherlands, April 2022

I really liked the beautifull environment and the peace


from United States, April 2022

"Not quite what I expected for the cost. "

The vegetarian food was exceptional. Staff very accommodating. I paid extra for the massage session. That was quite nice! Parking was easy. Exploring around the property was fun, good hiking trails.

Karim Tawil

from United States, March 2022

"Relaxing, Insightful"

I had a great time at Essence Arenal. I love the remote and peaceful location, surrounded by nature with a beautiful view of the volcano. There are many hikes to do in the vicinity and be outside with nature. I felt very safe, and at peace during my time there.

The Yoga sessions were great even for a novice like myself. The food was amazing and always prepared fresh by cooks.

Lastly, the staff was pretty amazing. They are all friendly, courteous, and very passionate about their field. I learned so much about nature, wildlife, and also permaculture, a fascinating topic and practice.


from Germany, March 2022

"A beautiful place"

I loved everything! The area, the nature, the super friendly people and teacher, the treatments and yoga classes, the excellent food, the organization and the people I met.

Best time :D

Sejal Parikh-shah

from Canada, March 2022

Essence is a beautiful place. Our place had a gorgeous view of Arenal volcano. The food is delicious. We met wonderful people. We enjoyed hiking to our cabin through the Jungle Trail. The kitchen staff were always ready to serve and accommodate various diets.

Nico has done a wonderful job changing what once was grazing land for cattle to a permaculture farm and wild forest.

There are various trails for hiking. There are also guided meditation hikes, night hikes and cocoa tour. These should be experienced.

The yoga is for beginner to intermediate levels. Every day begins at 7 a.m. with 75 minutes of yoga.

Essence is close to the National Forest, hot springs and zip lining.

Jade Canavan

from United Kingdom, March 2022

"Life changing "

The location was breath taking

The staff were soul food

The customers/ fellow travellers visiting were amazing

The treatments - changed my life

Anna Mukhina

from United States, March 2022


Omg I’m so blessed I found this amazing place. Its so peaceful and beautiful. The nature, the air, the jungles , fresh water, but mostly the people - thank you all so much , I miss it all already and cant wait to go back ❤️❤️❤️

Tammy Pressley-stenzel

from United States, February 2022

"Simple and Beautiful"

We loved the freshness and quality of the food, the gracious and friendly interactions with staff- so accomodating! The beauty of the location was stunning- the hiking on the property perfect and simple and beautiful. Also loved the common living space outside our room.

Pieter Van Berckel

from Costa Rica, January 2022

"Wonderful stay, I have been enlightened"

Food was very high quality and delicious.

Gabrielle and Marvin listened very well to the (Detox) dietary needs of me and my friend. Jamie is an excellent yoga teacher and person. The activities such as the foot detox, and cacao tour were amazing. The overall crew is very nice and helpful (Jairo, Victor, Tom, Nico, Collentine). The property is very well located with a wonderful view on the Arenal Volcano. I strongly recommend this place and the value for your money is very high.

Ana Chapalay

from United States, January 2022

Beautiful place with beautiful people who are doing everything to welcome you warmly and make you feel special, appreciated and loved.

Cosy, authentic and nice accomodation, your have more than you need!

Lots of good fresh food to nourish your body, cooked by talented chefs that take great care of each person individually, listening to their preferences and adapting the menu.

Places around are intact nature, sounds of birds and stream in the morning, clean air and light breeze. Walking around barefoot connecting with the earth (be careful of 'bichitos', insects!), taking yoga class to wake up your body and calm your mind with the most wonderful teachers.

Others activities as massages, therapeutic sessions, different kind of tours to explore the area and stay active, learn new things.

You'll just fall in love and want to come back.

Thank you for all the 'Hola', 'Pura vida', hugs, smiles, connection, energy and love.

With love and inmense gratitude,

Ana C.

Alban Jacquin

from United States, December 2021

"A true family spirit that you stay and leave with"


- the private rooms are cosy and with good shower and internet (which is not a goven in CR)

- the food is fantastic and Marvin is super accommodating to cater to your food preferences/ restrictions

- the facility is so nice with a stunning view on the volcano which is very powerful for yoga and meditation

- the farm tour done by Jairo is amazing. He shares his passion and you get to make your own chocolate which is pretty amazing

- the temazcal is a very profound experience too, even more couples with the mus wrap

- the massage I got from Jamie was out of this world (like Jamie herself;))

Overall the staff and community of people I found at Essence was incredible.

A new family!!

Stine Harmsen Jensen

from Denmark, November 2021


I had 6 nights and 7 days at Essence and it was absolutely amazing. First time doing a yoga retreat and I really recommend this place. Amazing food, amazing people and good yoga classes and treatments as well. I will definitely come back 💖

Matilda Ekheim

from Sweden, November 2021

"Amazing retreat"

The property is amazing with a big, beautiful rain forest and really nice buildings. The yoga instructors Jamie and Rachel were outstanding in creating a sacred and safe space for all of us, the rest of the staff was also truly amazing.

I enjoyed my stay for three weeks, will definitely come back in the future!

Lawrence Friedman

from United States, October 2021

"Exceeded all expectations!"

This was an extraordinary experience. Jamie is amazing. She is far more than a gifted yoga instructor. Rachel was an excellent instructor as well. Marvin and his staff do an exceptional job in the restaurant The food is healthy and delicious!!! The entire staff is excellent They and the other guests made this an experience that will stay with me always.

Ariel Ruiz

from United States, October 2021

"Not just a retreat, they become family!"

I loved every minute, I even extended my trip! I came with the intention to have fun, improve my health, do some yoga, and relax. That's exactly what I did but got alot more than I asked. This place is not only a retreat or a place to stay, they make you feel safe like your part of their family. The connections I made were amazing, and I'm definitely coming back!

If your looking for great food, amazing people, improve your health, and make lasting connections this is the place to go.

Yoga instructors- 100%

Food- 100%

Detox(s)- 100%

Communication- 100%

Thank you for helping me cross the bridge to a new start at a better life!

Kajsa Lundqvist

from Spain, September 2021

"Amazing experience in paradise"

I went here with my partner and we had such a great time. It was the best place of our entire trip. The people are so lovely. The food could have been the best food I've had in my life. Made with love. The nature, the plants, the view, the yoga, the massage - we loved it all. Thank you! // Javier and Kajsa


from United States, September 2021

"Revitalizing, relaxing and rewarding"

Essence Arenal Wellness Center exceeded every expectation imaginable. From the moment you arrive at the center, you immediately feel like you can disarm, unwind and soak in all the "pura vida" energy. Within a short period of time, I instantly felt at home and the wellness center team became family. Every staff member is always looking out for you to ensure you are having the optimal aesthetic, gastronomic, physical, and holistic experience. Overall, I cannot recommend Essence Arenal enough. The question is not whether but when are you going to plan your visit here.

Coletane Billings

from South Africa, September 2021

"Soul Recharge In Paradise"

From the first contact with Nicola and Jairo to the transport to the Essence Arenal, I was, still am in awe. Every single stakeholder in this retreat, truly lives and loves the absolute healing offered. The yoga teacher Jaime is outstanding in her teaching and guidance in the path of healing and spiritual rediscovery. The dis ease I arrived with is healed. The positive energy and love from everyone is just unlike anything I have ever experienced. I recommend this retreat to anyone looking to reboot their systems and to recoup their Joi de Vivre. Of course Chef Marvin is an experience not to be missed with each meal lovingly prepared with truly organic ingredients from the property. It is a wonder to see that the property wasconverted from a cattle farm to the most impressive permaculture farm, with not an iota of chemical/toxins in building this paradise. Nico planted the lush vegetation present now over a period of 15 years and the diverse offerings of vegetation is truly mind blowing, an admirable job from a humble soul.

Thank you Nico (blessed founder) and family may peace be with us, always. ❤ love and light, Coletane Billings❤ 😍 💖 ❣ 💕

Diane Lacombe

from France, July 2021

"stay at essence arenal"

Everything was perfect. First, the staff is amazing and very nice they will do their best to make your stay meeting your expectations. Then, the spot was very peaceful and the view of the volcano was stunning: perfect spot for a yoga retreat. In addition, the food was heaven: everything was vegetarian and super healthy with amazing flavours. Steven and cat: both doing yoga classes, massage, temazcal and reiki were amazing, listening and caring people. In short, I had a wonderful stay and will come back for sure, maybe as a volunteer who knows!!!

Adam Haines

from United States, July 2021

"Experience of a lifetime. "

From the moment I arrived, I began to relax. The spiritual energy and sense of peace brought on by such an incredible natural surrounding was refreshing and invigorating and inspiring. I attended daily yoga sessions with views of the Arenal Volcano, had massages, reiki, and the termezcal. I also did NLP and Timeline therapy sessions with Nicco, which were very insightful and meaningful. All of the staff goes out of their way to be kind, and make you feel at home. The food is excellent. I will most definitely return to this magical space.

Drew Schwartz

from United States, July 2021

"Rainforest Yoga"

This Arenal Essence retreat allows you to effectively live comfortably amid the beautiful rainforest, eat healthy and tasty vegetarian food, participate in a number of healing activities and practice yoga once a day with caring people from Costa Rica and all over the globe. It was excellent and I highly recommend the opportunity. Thank you!

Anda Ardeoan

from Germany, July 2021

"Great people, location, amazing food"

There is no exaggeration in saying ‘Essence’ is the place to be in Costa Rica. I have been traveling through CR for several weeks and it is an amazing country but Essence is a special place. The astonishing views in that great location, the crazy delicious food at by Marvin and Christian and above all the staff and the people make it an unforgettable experience.

Too much world to little time to see it all, but Esence really is the place you want to return to and it’s worth it. Many thanks to everyone there, you rock!

Silvina Campos

from Puerto Rico, July 2021

"Amazing place and people"

The food, the views, the people and service.

Delayne Dilllard

from United States, July 2021

"Little Piece of Paradise"

Overall the experience was very good for me. I came to Essence Arenal to detox for almost 3 weeks and that is exactly what I got. Everyone there was respectful and courteous throughout my entire stay. I made use of the chocolate tour, yoga, the swimming pool, hot tub, and of course the great three meals a day. This is a large property so there is plenty of hiking and trails with lots of fauna and flora to photograph.There were plenty of other activities in the La Fortuna area that easily kept me occupied for 3 weeks. I'll rattle off a few names now but my spelling probably does not do them justice. Heidel, Marvin, Lilo, Christian, Kara, Steven, Ariana, Donald. A large number of these folks are volunteers as well as service providers that are only there for a short time before moving to the next location. Hopefully, you will run into one of them. Safe travels to all.

Aja Gampe

from United States, June 2021

"Pura Vida"

My entire experience here was wonderful! Special thanks to Jairo who went above and beyond to welcome me on my first day. His calm and caring energy made me feel comfortable right away. Another special thanks to Steven, the yoga instructor. I learned so much from him in such a short period of time and thoroughly enjoyed every yoga class. He also gives incredible massages! As far as food, everything was amazing! I miss being fed that well. In addition to the beautiful people here, the entire property and views are breathtaking. It really helped me reconnect with myself. This experience was everything I needed and I am so grateful that my journey led me here. <3 Many thanks to everyone at Essence!

Julie Jones

from Costa Rica, May 2021

Agatha and Marvin and staff made this trip memorable! Also loved the remoteness and the views - spectacular

Jaclyn Peresetsky

from United States, May 2021

"Recharge in Arenal "

The quality, kindness and sincerity of the people were definitely 5 stars. We enjoyed the packaged activities as that kept us looking forward to different things each day. The chocolate tour was our favorite.

Melissa Harris

from United States, April 2021

"A week of pure bliss"

What was not to like!? I stayed for a week long yoga & NLP retreat and fell in love with the place and the people. Yoga every morning with sweet Adelina was strong, relaxing, and restorative. The welcoming hungs from Nico were a definite highlight. You can feel the positive energy radiating from this guy :) The fresh food from the farm and local organic farmers market was always amazing, very creative (thank you Marvin & Christian). The views of the volcano, jungle and surrounding permaculture farm were absolutely beautiful. I even grew to enjoy the intense/ stimulating walk to yoga and the spa every day. Much love to the Essence Arenal family. Namaste:)

Edna Martinez

from United States, March 2021

"Peaceful place"

I stayed at Essence Arenal for 5 days. The staff was very nice and caring. Jairo was very diligent helping me to find a place to get the covid test and he went far and beyond to get transportation and information about things I needed to have done. I really appreciate it because that wasn't even his job. Food was really healthy and delicious. I'm a vegan and they always have great options. The place is clean, the view is beautiful, a lot of nature around with the beautiful volcano right in front of my room. You can walk down the road by yourself because it's safe, you might be able to see some wild animals, also there are some restaurants and convenient stores down the road fifteen minutes walk. I had an amazing trip. I did a Reiki massage, a visit to the permaculture to see and try fruits and make chocolate. One thing that was very sweet is that we planned on going to waterfalls and hot springs and they provided us a to go lunch with delicious wraps, and fruits. I was traveling by myself for the first time and made friends in this retreat. It was a life changing experience. Thank you for accommodating me! Thank you for everything :)

Catherine Sarenac

from United States, March 2021

"Mountain retreat oasis"

Came here from the hot tourist crowds of Tamarindo and couldn’t ask for a better experience, in fact we extended our stay because we weren’t ready to leave. In addition to our morning yoga sessions we did a mini meditation retreat with Agatha and it was awesome! Such a great way to start or restart a practice. Perfect location, delicious food mostly from their own farm and such peace! Thank you!!

Shari Harding

from United States, March 2021

"Relaxing "

I was there to start an overall change in my life especially my health. This was a wonderful start to take back to Chicago.


from United States, February 2021

"Beautiful and peaceful location with amazing staff!"

The location was the best part if you are looking for beauty, quietness and peacefulness. It’s away from the craziness of La Fortuna. The staff (Jaido-especially) are amazing! They are kind, honest and extremely helpful.

Darlene Honas

from United States, February 2021

"14 days of heaven"

First let me start by saying something about the location! It was on a mountain overlooking a beautiful lake and volcano! The property was incredible, with so much flora and fauna!

Even more spectacular was the staff at Essence. Nico, Alejandro, Jairo and Lena.

They went above and beyond to make my stay perfect.

The food was so yummy and I can’t say enough good things about Marvin and Christian’s culinary magic! Carolin was also a huge part of the kitchen staff and she took care of my every need! Everyone that works there made me feel like family and I can’t thank them enough!

Highlights would definitely be the Chocolate tour, (thanks so much Jairo)

the delicious food, the massages from Alejandro and seeing the wildlife. From Howler monkeys, Macaws and leaf cutter ants! Truly magnificent!

It was sad leaving, but I’ll be back!


from United States, January 2021

"Very nice getaway in Arenal!"

The staff was very accommodating / helped us coordinate transfers and shuttles which was very much appreciated. The food was fantastic and the rooms were spacious and clean! The property itself is quite large with great views and is tucked away in a pretty remote location outside of La Fortuna. The farm tour of the property was very enjoyable and I would highly recommend it as you get to make chocolate from a cacao tree following the tour!

Aria Zuniga

from United States, December 2020

"Amazing yoga retreat to connect with nature and yourself"

Essence is a truly incredible place. It has an amazing view of the volcano all over the property and the energy is very peaceful and pure. If you want to disconnect, find yourself and appreciate the beauty of nature, this is the place to go! The staff was so warm and welcoming and make you feel part of their community. Highly recommend doing the cacao tour with Nico so you can learn more about permaculture and the amazing place he built. The yoga classes were invigorating and the food was absolutely delicious. I hope to come back soon!!

Soummo Mukherjee

from United States, November 2020

"Excellent retreat surrounded by nature "

The yoga, the food, the property and surroundings as well as the host and his staff. Anyone looking for a great yoga place immersed in nature with amazing vegetarian food prepared by a genius creative chef (Marvin). Jairo and Nico also make the stay an unforgettable experience with their hospitality and genuine friendliness.

L.a. Budaeva

from United States, November 2020

"Exactly what I needed "

I live in NYC, so I needed nature really bad. This place is all I wanted. It’s located in a very very beautiful place, surrounded by nothing but nature. I couldn’t get enough of it. It’s not a 5 star all-inclusive hotel, but it had everything I needed. I enjoyed yoga and massages with Alejandro, he made us feel so relaxed and back to life again, those who live in big cities understand me. He made yoga so joyful that even my friend who is not into yoga, enjoyed it so much. I loved the food that was prepared for us. I have sensitive stomach but their food made me feel energized and healthy. I slept so well there! Some nights I slept from 7pm till 5am and for me it’s unheard of. We had so much fun. We went horse riding to waterfall nearby, zip lining, hot springs - everything was just amazing. Nico, the owner, was extremely cool. He took us to hot springs twice. He played volleyball with us, cooked chocolate! This was by far one of the best vacations I’ve had in my life. I will definitely be coming back. I came back rejuvenated and happy from sleep deprived, cranky night shifter city person. Also, I left my IPhone there and Nico sent it to me to New York! How sweet is that!?!?! There is not enough space here to write how much more I enjoyed it. Definitely be coming back!

Natasha Field

from United Kingdom, March 2020

"I didn’t do the yoga as everything dirty & old "

The view of Arenal volcano & the food was good.

Jessica Hossfeld

from United States, March 2020

"Great Relaxing Place to Stay"

The experience on the farm was wonderful. The food was delicious and the instruction was very easy to follow but a challenging class nonetheless.

Avelina Crowley

from Ireland, February 2020

"Yoga Retreat"

I booked the yoga retreat with a friend and it was so much better than I expected.

The instructor, Alejandro, was brilliant and catered for people of all levels and ability. He was very approachable and friendly and the setting for the yoga classes was beautiful. In addition to the yoga, we were scheduled in for a massage or a reiki session, a mud wrap and an ionic foot detox, all provided by Alejandro. He, like the rest of the staff, went the extra mile to make sure we had a really enjoyable stay.

The staff here were extremely friendly and very welcoming. They were also really helpful and arranged shuttles for us whenever we wanted to take a day trip. They also arranged, as part of the retreat, a trip to the hot springs which was a lovely surprise!

The food here was amazing; fresh, vegetarian meals with the produce being grown on a farm within the grounds. They have plenty of options for breakfast and lunch and they have a different cuisine then for dinner each night so there is always something to suit everyone's taste.

Would highly recommend!

Sinead Corcoran

from United Kingdom, February 2020

"Highly recommended!"

Excellent yoga and wellness retreat in a beautiful location with a spectacular view. Alejandro went out of his way to make us feel comfortable and relaxed. The food and location were also excellent! We felt so rejuvenated after our retreat. Thank you Alejandro and the Arenal team!!

Kelly Bietola

from Canada, February 2020

"Amazing retreat was everything I needed "

I loved everything about this place. When I arrived I was feeling very low- being at this retreat on the farm with the amazing warm staff was great. When I arrived the staff all knew who I was, introduced themselves and gave me my itinerary for the week, they all made me feel like home and it was a small community. The farm property was stunning, healing and magical. The vegetarian meals were soooo good, I left the retreat 3 weeks ago and I still think of those meals.

The yoga was instructed by a girl who was filling in, Adalina ( I don’t know if that is correct spelling) she was a wonderful soul, and I loved every yoga class by her and the massage and mudwrap.

The other people I met who were part of the retreat were such great people and we all became friends.

I fell Inlove with the local dog who joined us for yoga everyday. It made my day. All around my experience here was amazing and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for peace, relaxation, great food, wonderful people and just for a nice experience.

Oh, also the Cocoa tour was unreal! One of the coolest things I have ever done, we got to make our own chocolate from an actual tree and it was actually the best chocolate I have ever had!

Thank you to everyone here, it was wonderful

Simon Christensen

from Denmark, February 2020

"Healing Retreat"

Physically it’s beautiful.

What it does for our mind body and soul is a whole other thing. Im so grateful to have been there.

Thank you all of you!

Tori Christgen

from United States, February 2020

"Wonderful classes for beginner to advance"

Everything exceeded my expectations, I could not have been more pleased. Everyone was friendly, homemade food was delicious and filling, grounds are unbelievably gorgeous, and my private room was perfect.


from Costa Rica, February 2020

"Perfect week of relaxation"

Spending one week in that Yoga Retreat was the best thing I've ever done. Everybody was so kind and sweet. The food was delicious, the landscape stunning and the Yoga instructurs - espacially Adelina - absolutely perfect. I have never felt so relaxed and peaceful with myself before. I totally can recommend this Yoga Retreat and will definatly come back.

Arielle Levy

from United States, February 2020

"Magical little getaway "

Really amazing location/surrounding environment, super friendly and accommodating staff, wonderful food, met great group of girls. Loved all my spa treatments.


from Germany, January 2020

"Breathtaking nature, great getaway and mix of activities "

The whole experience is amazing and unique. The nature and location is breathtaking and pictures don’t do justice.

The whole concept of Essence with the organic food (mostly self grown on their farm), sustainability, mix of spa treatments and activities is great.

Nico and everybody working there is incredible kind, helpful and welcoming. Jairo was very helpful, patient and fast with questions even before I booked it. And during the retreat he organized perfectly any other activities I wanted to do (horseback riding, zip lining).

I really liked their flexibility regarding the different spa treatments. The food was amazing and they had options for vegan too.

Time passes fast if you enjoy it, so 4 days are not enough. I would definitely recommend staying longer and would definitely come back again!

Thanks again for everything to Nico and the whole team.

Best regards,


Bahar Hashemi

from Canada, January 2020

"Its a paradise "

It was a magical experience feeling at peace and present on a beautiful farm in the middle of a rainforest on top of the mountains. Starting my days with yoga in a real paradise, facing the view of a lake and a volcano and hearing the birds sing was just extraordinary. I went for hikes in the lush green forest with breathtaking views. And I loved the close by natural hot spring which is one of the most beautiful places I have seen. The staff at Essence Arenal is very warm and friendly and the food is great.

And I can’t say enough good things about Alejandro. He is a compassionate healer with beautiful energy and extraordinary skills. He really does magic with his hands. He knew exactly what my body needed and provided me with an extraordinary massage in a very comfortable and peaceful atmosphere. I loved every minute of my stay at Essence Arenal and I can’t wait to go back.

Pernilla Vighagen

from Sweden, January 2020

"A very pleasant stay"

The customer service was very personal and generous. I was low in energy when I arrived so needed to change my room, and they helped wonderfully with this. Really nice food, and staff! Did the cacao tour which was wonderful! Yoga and massages by Alejandro we’re wonderful! And when the volcano showed itself through the clouds, it was amazing!

Lucas Thomas

from United States, October 2019


Too BUST to Leave a Review!

Loved it!

Nicole Griesmeyer

from United States, September 2019

"A lovely retreat in the jungle"

I really liked the yoga teacher, Alejandro. He has kind, helpful, and, when I was inevitably unable to make certain yoga classes, he arranged for me to trade a certain number of classes for spa treatments, which felt like really top notch care. Diego, the cook, among making delicious meals that I enjoyed and helped me feel good, took some of his free time to show me and a friend around the farm. Nico, the owner, takes genuine interest in the people that come and try to help them feel better from whatever they’re struggling with, and was able to recommend a specific additional treatment for me that really helped. Liliana would ask how I was doing every day and spend time chatting with me. Everyone I talked to was kind, caring and helpful. It attracted very interesting and caring people. It was just an excellent environment. The many spa treatments and self-care I was given were terrific and helped me truly reset before I returned to work. My favorite was the Sweat Lodge ceremony. I look forward to staying here again.

Allegra Givens

from United States, September 2019

"Wonderful yoga retreat in the most beautiful location!"

Essence Arenal was an incredible experience. Nico and the staff were helpful when I was booking the trip, recommending things to do, how to get there, etc. Upon arrival I was greeted and shown around the property. The rooms are clean and mine had a private bathroom which was very nice. The food is all vegetarian and most of it is either bought locally or grown on their organic farm and you can taste the quality. I did two yoga classes per day: a vinyasa in the morning and yin in the afternoon. The teacher was nice to cater the class to my level (I practice yoga nearly every day) and helped me learn new poses that once were difficult. It rained almost every day usually in the afternoon, so bring rain gear and the sun sets earlier than anticipated. Also, I should note that I traveled solo and felt surrounded by amazing company the whole time, from the staff to the farm volunteers, to the other guests, everyone was interested in having a conversation. The biggest thing I’d recommend is doing the horseback riding tour with Li, it was the highlight of the trip outside of the beauty of the environment.

Jamie Kacor

from Canada, September 2019

"Healing Experience"

I did the 7 day yoga retreat package. Everything was very well organized. Upon my arrival, they had an itinerary for me so I knew when my massage was, yoga class, etc..

The staff were so friendly & accommodating. If I had any question about my trip, they helped me. The place never felt super packed or busy so the staff were available.

I traveled alone as a female and always felt safe.

The nature there is unbelievable. There's the view of the Volcanoes and the lake, the rolling hills, the unbelievably diverse amount of birds, butterflies, plant-life etc... Essence Arenal has incredible jungle trails you can explore.

About a 5 minute walk away there's a Butterfly Conservation that cost about 17$ US to visit. There's also a reptile zoo an 8 minute walk away.

I loved the Permaculture and Cacoa tour (They have their own cacoa plants!). The yoga was great and personalized for my level.

The vegetarian food was AMAZING and always fresh. Much of the food comes straight from the permaculture farm.

Essence Arenal gave me a chance to truly feel peaceful. Starting your day with yoga, breathing in fresh air, drinking the water, eating fresh vegetarian food, & talking with compassionate people is such medicine for the soul.

Thank you Nico and the amazing Team!

Lola Hache

from Canada, August 2019

"Welcoming ,with amazing view"

Location, staff and cuisine

Ronen Perets

from Israel, April 2019

"Welcome to the Essence arenal Family"


The Farm is just beautiful. Anything you can ask for from a place for a yoga retreat.

The Yoga Class is taking place on a hill with the view of the Arenal volcano.

Almost all the food is grown in the Farm.

You are in the middle of a jungle, beautiful, you can hear the birds and monkeys. Paradise!

Most important is the Staff - you feel it is like a family. All are nice and caring and guided by the great owner Nico.

Laura Luna

from United States, April 2019

"Amazing, magical place"

The people at Essence are beautiful souls. They are accommodating, kind, helpful, friendly, thoughtful. Although the tents were very rustic and worn, the location could not be beat!!! It was gorgeous and well loved everywhere. The owner, Nico, is mindful of his guests and their needs and available. I loved going to the hot springs and going on horseback to a waterfall. Although I was scared to death of the ziplining, it was well organized and safe. Visiting the farm and garden was a definite highlight! The food was delicious everyday. I can’t say enough about how kind and helpful every staff member was!

Arunrat Tanampai

from United States, February 2019

"Great experience. I loved every moment of it"

I have to say that I loved every minute I had spent there. Arenal Essence was exactly something I was looking for. I was looking for a quiet place surrounding by real nature. Yet, not boring as there are many outdoor activities to do around like hiking, horse riding, kayaking, hot springs, etc. The energy of the place was also indescribable. I was there on the 1st of January, so it was a major energy cleansing time and recharge for me, and I left the place with positive, fresh energy. It was how I wanted a new year with.

The food was amazing, on point. As I have a lactose intolerance, staff and chefs there manage to serve me food without lactose as I requested.

The yoga sessions were also good, the instructor was so friendly and easy going.

I wish I had more time to spend at Arenal Essence, apparently, 4 days is not enough!

Definitely will recommend to people and I would definitely go back again.

Kathy Toutant

from Canada, May 2022


Emplacement enchanteur. Nourriture exquise. Rencontres inoubliables.

Julia Wiprächtiger

from Costa Rica, November 2021

Unterkunft und Umgebung waren traumhaft, super nettes und zuvorkommendes Personal, die Atmosphäre war genial, sehr feines Essen, Yoga eher für Anfänger aber doch entspannend und ein tollen Start in den Tag

Maria Antònia Mayol Cursach

from Spain, July 2021

"Excelente retiro"

Todo: el entorno, la calidez de la gente, la comida, el temazcal, las clases de ioga...

Ruben Cogolludo Herrero

from Costa Rica, May 2021

"la finca es grande y muy bien cuidada, plantada y gestionada"

la energia del sitio

el staff es joven, correcto y cercano

el cacao tour, es una manera maravillosa de entender en que consiste este proyecto, y claro con final felz... chocolate 😋

Olga Lucia Lewis

from Colombia, May 2021

"Lugar mágico "

Aparte del lugar , la calidez y amabilidad de todo el personal que llevan el lugar

Marina Maesso

from Spain, January 2021

"Un paraíso en el interior"

La ubicación es perfecta para visitar el volcán Arenal y las termas locales. El propio recinto del retiro es precioso, un paraíso de vegetación con cascada, piscina, jacuzzi...

Marvin pone toda su atención en la cocina y el resto del equipo (Caroline, Jairo, Lena, Nico, Alejandro y Christian) son amables y mantienen una comuncación constante y perfecta. Es como sentirse en casa.

Realmente no es un retiro inmersivo de yoga, en la web hay un ejemplo de itinerario con meditaciones pero en realidad solo hay una práctica por la mañana (Alejandro es muy amable y me cambió la hora de la práctica un día), y el resto del tiempo es libre.

Gianna Reccavallo

from Switzerland, January 2021

"Ein Stück Paradies auf Erden"

Liebe und sehr aufmerksame Gastgeber, ein empathischer und authentischer Yogalehrer, fantastisches veganes und vegetarisches Essen, wunderschöne Lage und Aussicht, die beste Massage, die ich bis jetzt genossen habe - alles in allem - der perfekte Ort zum sich erholen, sich heilen, sich transformieren.

Ich vermisse euch alle und danke euch für diese unvergessliche Zeit.

Danke an Carolin, Marvin, Alejandro, Lena, Jairo, Kay, Bruno und allen, die dieses Erlebnis mitgestaltet haben.

Catherine Bousquet

from France, December 2020

le lieu, magnifique

les repas

le staff, aux petits soins et toujours disponible, souriant, so warmfull

Nikolina Knezevic

from Germany, February 2020

"Ein toller Aufenthalt mit herzlichen Menschen "

Es war ein so toller Aufenthalt! Die Farm ist einfach wunderschön und es gibt so viel zu entdecken. Ich würde die Kakaotour bei Jairo unbedingt empfehlen! Die Menschen waren mehr als nur herzlich und man fühlte sich wie eine große Familie. Man wird mit dem Namen angesprochen. Das Essen wird mit so viel Liebe zubereitet. Die Yogaklasse haben sehr viel Spaß gemacht und die Ganzkörpermassage war ein Traum. Die privaten Zimmer sind sehr geräumig, man hat ein großes Bad, Safe und Staumöglichkeiten. Wir haben sogar eine zusätzliche Nacht gebucht, weil wir nicht weg wollten. Tolle Aussicht auf den Vulkan und See. Am besten gleich eine Woche buchen. Wir hatten leider nur 4 Tage. Mein Highlight in Costa Rica!

Marina Mathieu

from Canada, January 2020

"Paradis sur terre / Paradise on earth ! "

Essence Arenal est l’endroit le plus merveilleux que j’aie visité de ma vie. De l’environnement en passant par le personnel, le yoga et les repas, tout était excellent. Nico et son équipe Adelina, Lena, Jairo, Maria, etc. ont réussi à me faire me sentir zen et sereine pendant toute la visite. C’est un endroit reposant mais surtout ressourçant et je me sentais réellement chez moi, au point où je ne voulais plus partir.

I am very grateful I had the chance to encounter so much genuine and positive energies. I truly believe you get way more than what you ask for by visiting this place. Everyone was kind and attentive to my needs. The site is spectacular and the view of the volcano is just magnificent. The yoga classes are organized to challenge you in the morning and relax you in the afternoon. I would also add a special note for the food as I am a new vegetarian and I felt like I was inspired by everything I was eating. It was simply perfect all together.

Merci et à bientôt,

Thank you and see you soon 🙏🏾 ❣️

Pierre-olivier Delisle

from Canada, January 2020

"Belle place à découvrir "

Le site est merveilleux ..le personnel vraiment sympathique et toujours prêt vous aider si il y a le moindre problème nourriture a Lily est vraiment excellente à tous les niveaux ..Aleandro offre du yoga pour tous les niveau ..on sent bien ça passion et son soucis du détail .cest aussi lui qui donne les massages et je vous le conseil fortement !! J’ai passé 8 jours sur le site et ne me suis jamais ennuyer ..y’a tellement à faire dans le coin et le paysage est époustouflant !! Je recommande cet endroit à tous et j’y reviendrai certainement !! Merci à Nico et toute l’équipe !!

Eva Marciniac

from Costa Rica, July 2019


Ce séjour fût ma plus belle expérience au Costa Rica, le lieu dégage une énergie incroyable et les gens qui y travaillent encore plus (chef cuisinier, professeur de yoga, personnel d'accueil, les gens qui s'occupent de la ferme et du lieu en général) 🙃

Ces 5 jours m'ont parus beaucoup trop cours mais m'on permis de me recentrer sur moi elle et d'en apprendre d'avantage sur les autres!

Merci Nico pour ce lieu incroyable, merci Alejandro pour tes cours fabuleux, et merci a tous pour la folie et la passion je vous avez sur me transmettre d'une manière ou d'une autre 🙂

Nora Ellinger

from United States, December 2018

"Practicing Yoga almost in the jungle"

I enjoyed the whole concept of Essence Arenal Boutique Hostel, as well as the warm and welcoming atmosphere. Everyone has been really helpful and open.

Mahela varied the concept of her classes which made every class unique. She is a very lovely and kind teacher and understands to address the needs of her students.I can highly recommend a Yoga reatreat at the Essence Arenal Boutique Hostel.