Find Your Flow, Costa Rica Retreat (2.0!)

The first Find Your Flow retreat in Costa Rica was such a hit that we're heading back to the land of fresh mangoes, wetsuit-free waves, and Pura Vida paced lifestyle...

When: March 4th – 11th, 2018
Where: Playa Grande, Costa Rica

If you're a freedom-loving, soulful-but-playful kind of woman who's been feeling a little disconnected and like life has been feeling like a lot of swimming upstream lately (despite all your awesome self-awareness and self-care efforts), this transformational experience was literally made for you.

Refresh, renew, and reconnect during 7 days of yoga, surfing, and soul-supportive exploration on the beaches of Costa Rica with a fun-loving, big-hearted, inspiring group of women.
Some words last year's tribe members used to describe their experience:

  • "The most unforgettable week of my life"
  • "The best thing I've ever done for myself"
  • "A safe and loving place to be vulnerable and brave and to take a look at how connected we all truly are"
  • "It amazes me how you can bring seven uniquely different people together for yoga, meditation, surfing, eating, and drinking, and everyone feels as though they had one of the best vacations of their lives with their best friends."

This isn't just a vacation (although it will be a juicy one) or just a yoga or surf retreat. This is your chance to clear the channels and make room for what really wants to enter your life in this next chapter.

This soul-supportive adventure will nudge you out of your old familiar comfort zone (where things have been feeling a little stagnant, if we're being honest) and cheer you on as you plunge with greater confidence into not only what you want to do, but who you want to be on this next leg of your journey.

No more peering over the edge at the life you want to be living. It's time to dive in.

Your home for the week:

Playa Grande is a gorgeous, peaceful beach and warm, friendly community in the Guanacaste Region of Costa Rica (on the Pacific Coast, just north of Tamarindo). Picture an entire community heading to the beach, favorite beverage in hand, to watch the sunset together every night. The pace of life is sweetly slowed down, inviting you to let go of all your worries from home and just sink into one simple, salt-air-soaked, sun-drenched moment at a time.

We'll be staying at our favorite spot — the cozy, down-to-earth RipJack Inn, just yards down a jungle path from the beach. The RipJack is a welcoming, family-run haven nestled amidst the palm trees, with hammocks everywhere you turn, our own private Yoga Shala, two pools, and the occasional howler monkey sprinkled around the grounds.

Amenities include:

  • 21 comfortable rooms just yards from the beach
  • 2 pools
  • Treetop restaurant
  • Yoga Shala
  • Complimentary WiFi and US phone calls in common areas
  • Complimentary transportation to and from LIR airport

– Activities & Daily Flow –

Surf stoked


We’ll have the lovely teak wood Yoga Shala all to ourselves for a personalized morning yoga flow, or we might take our flow to the beach a few mornings, depending on what the group is feeling.

A mindful, playful Vinyasa flow led by Melissa Maher, 12-year Registered Yoga Teacher, 17+ year yoga practitioner, and 11-year Vipassana meditation student & practitioner. All levels of yogis welcome.


Surfing is optional, but definitely strongly encouraged...because everyone is always blown away by how much they love it :) This is a perfect way to break out of stale comfort zones!

  • 5 group lessons are included in your retreat experience, taught by the knowledgeable and delightful surf experts from local Frijoles Locos
  • 2-3 instructors per 6-8 surfers
  • Lessons will be held at beginner-friendly surf breaks, which we usually have all to ourselves, just a few minutes from the RipJack Inn. *Trips to other local beaches possible for additional cost.
  • Board rentals and rash guards included, and you won’t need a wetsuit ~ the water’s about 80° F.

Daily Flow

This retreat is all about creating space to help you step into more ease and flow in your life, so we'll keep our daily structure nice and fluid (because I get that you've got enough "have to's" on your standardly packed daily to-do list).

We’ll let our days be guided by the group’s vibe and the tides, but our general daily flow will include:

  • Morning yoga
  • Surf session
  • Group coaching style Soul Refresh session: A blend of juicy "deep dive" conversation and exploration, guided (and beginner-friendly) meditation, and some sweet restorative yoga to integrate it all
  • 3 delicious fresh meals, hammock, pool and Siesta time, sunset cocktails ...
  • At least one free day to take a sunset sail, explore neighboring towns, take a Canopy Tour, do a little beach horseback riding, take a hike to the waterfalls, or just relax on the beach

Most importantly, we'll make sure you've got plenty of time and space to connect to yourself, intuitively follow your energy wherever it leads you, and enjoy just being.

What's Included:

  • 7 nights accommodations at the RipJack Inn
  • 3 meals a day at the delicious treetop-nestled RipJack Inn open-air restaurant Sample Breakfast Menu; Sample Lunch MenuSample Dinner Menu 
  • Transportation to and from Liberia Airport
  • Daily guided group yoga
  • Daily Soul Refresh Sessions: Facilitated group coaching style conversation & exploration, meditation, restorative yoga
  • 5 group surf lessons
  • A few fun surprises :)

What's Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Trip insurance
  • Alcohol & snacks
  • Activities other than 5 included surf lessons at Playa Grande
  • Meals outside of the RipJack Inn
  • Tips
  • Personal incidentals
  • Explore additional local activities here or here

– The Details –

Accommodations & Pricing

*All prices below include everything listed in the What's Included section above

  • Standard Single Room: $2,359 by 12/1/17 ($2,659 from 12/2-2/4/18)
  • Standard Double Room: $2,039 per person by 12/1/17 ($2,339 per person from 12/2-2/4/18)
  • Deluxe Single Room: $2,619 by 12/1/17 ($2,919 from 12/2-2/4/18)
  • Deluxe Double Room: $2,094 per person by 12/1/17 ($2,394 per person from 12/2-2/4/18)

All rooms in close proximity to Yoga Shala, restaurant, and pools.

* Please note: We will do our best to pair you with a roommate if you request a double room; roommates will be placed on first come first served basis and as even numbers allow. If numbers are odd at close of registration, payment for a standard single room (or deluxe single room if requested) will be required.

Click here for room option details.

Registration Process

  • Early Bird rates end December 1st, 2017. Prices go up by $300 on 12/2/17.
  • $500 deposit due upon registration to reserve your spot, as space will be very limited. *Nonrefundable except in case that trip minimum is not met, in which case deposit will be refunded in full.
  • 50% of balance due by December 1st, 2017
  • Payment in full due by February 4th, 2018
  • If paying by PayPal, 3% will be added to your retreat package price. Paper checks require no additional fee.
  • Welcome Packet emailed following placement of $500 deposit will include: Retreat Agreement, Welcome Questionnaire with room preference & payment options; What to Bring list closer to departure date

*Please note: Retreat Agreement must be signed and returned in order to confirm registration.

Cancellation Policy

While we understand that things can come up unexpectedly, due to confirmation needed for accommodations, any cancellation will result in the loss of your $500 deposit.

Trip cancellation insurance is recommended at the outset of your travel planning to cover the possibility of unexpected need to cancel your trip.

*Please note: Any cancellation will result in a total loss of the $500 USD deposit. Any cancellation received in writing between registration and December 1, 2017 will result in a loss of 50% of the trip price, in addition to the $500 deposit loss. Any cancellation made between December 2nd, 2017 and the trip departure will result in a total loss of funds. We reserve the right to cancel the trip if it is not meeting the trip minimum, in which case your deposit would be refunded in full.

To Reserve Your Spot:

1. Mail $500 Check to:

Melissa Maher Coaching
1225 Cole Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
*Please write your name and email address on check


2. Submit your deposit via PayPal (3% fee included):

Once your deposit has been received, you'll be emailed a Welcome Packet to select room choice and balance payment options of one or two installments.

What They Say

"We spent seven amazing days in Playa Grande full of self-discovery, self-love and reflection. The beach was beautiful, and food and company were beyond my expectations. Our days were slow-paced and relaxing but filled with excitement and fun at the same time. We learned how to surf in 5 days(!), deepened our yoga and meditation practices, and let go of unwanted feelings and fears. Melissa was great and encouraged bonding and connections. Thank you Melissa for making my first retreat experience so unforgettable."
- Marta Bukowska, Fitness Professional & Wellness Coach
"This sacred adventure was steeped in love, connection, sisterhood, new friends, invitations to connect, share, support, heal, release, and laugh, laugh, laugh... EVERYTHING felt like a safe and loving place to be vulnerable and brave. I am in awe of Melissa's tremendous ability to create and deliver a complex, compassionate and deeply beneficial retreat with such ease, keen attention, support and graceful deliverance. Anyone seeking self-nurturance, soul-food, sister-connection, or a path to your own version of Joy/Flow, this is the retreat to find what you seek."
- Christine Leon-Leland
"I would like to thank Melissa Maher for organizing and directing an awesome week for the Pura Vida Posse! It amazes me how you can bring seven uniquely different people together for yoga, meditation, surfing, eating, and drinking, and everyone feels as though they had one of the best vacations of their lives with their best friends. I know my Biloxi friends are going to get tired of me telling them how much fun I had!"
- Carla Slattery Moore
"So long beautiful Playa Grande, Costa Rica...for now. I believe the best thing I've ever done for myself is make the choice to go on this retreat. I met truly soulful women, took time to give and receive, let go of things no longer serving me, laughed until my gut ached, loved unconditionally, learned how to surf, became much better at my meditation and yoga practice, and made friends and connections for life...and that's truly the tip of the iceberg! What a wonderful, joyous, spiritual journey. I heart you all in so many ways. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you."
- Cindy Willson
“I just spent the most unforgettable week of my life at a yoga retreat in Costa Rica with this amazing group of women. I wasn’t sure what to expect besides yoga, a beautiful country, and some surfing lessons. I had no idea that I’d be making the connections that I did. We ranged in age from 30’s to 60’s, but that didn’t matter at all. In fact, it made the experience that much better. Each woman inspired me and warmed my heart in many ways. We came as strangers and are leaving as friends. I’m so grateful for this trip and for now knowing all of you. Pura Vida ladies. I’ll be missing you!”
- Shana Vono

– FAQ –

How do I reserve my spot? Submit a $500 deposit via check or PayPal (details above), and you'll receive a Welcome Packet via email. *First come first served as space will be very limited. If registering after Dec 1st, half of full payment (rather than $500 deposit) due at time of registration.

What part of Costa Rica is the retreat in? On the Pacific Coast of the Guanacaste region, in a peaceful beach town just north of Tamarindo.

Which airport should I fly into? The Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia (LIR) is just an hour’s drive from Playa Grande and is the recommended airport. United and Delta generally have a good amount of flights in and out.

How far in advance should I book my flight? The sooner the better for best deals in general.

What time should my flight arrive on Sunday, March 4th, 2018? Arriving by late afternoon Sun 3/4/18 to join the group for dinner is ideal, but arrival options will vary depending on where you're flying from. A free shuttle will take you to the RipJack whenever you arrive, where Melissa will meet and greet you, or, if you're a late-night arrival, a hotel host will escort you to your room and we'll welcome you first thing in the morning.

What time should I book my Sunday, 3/11/18 departure flight for? Whenever you like. We'll check out on Sunday morning, but you can catch your complimentary airport shuttle from the RipJack whenever you need it that day.

What do I need to travel to Costa Rica? A valid passport and a laid-back attitude. A $29 departure tax will be collected at the airport upon departure, and can be paid in USD.

Should I get Travel Insurance? It is encouraged, just in case. A few recommended options: Travelguard, Travelex, World Nomads

What will the weather be like? March is the heart of dry season, which means perfect surfing conditions and generally sunny, rain-free, low-humidity days. Temps average 80-88°F, with highs in the 90s and lows in the 70s.

Do I have to be a super experienced yogi? Nope. We’ll adapt our flow to meet everyone where they are, and since this will be an intimate group, you’ll be sure to get lots of 1-on-1 attention.

I’ve never surfed before. Great! Most if not all on this trip will be surfing newbies. Playa Grande is a nice gentle spot to learn, and our local surf instructors are wonderfully knowledgeable and patient. And if you're more experienced, you're welcome to skip the lessons and do your own thing.

Do I need to bring my own surfboard and yoga mat? No. Surfboard rentals are included, and yoga mats and props will be available at the Yoga Shala. Feel free to bring your own equipment if you’d prefer though.

How warm is the water? Around 80° F this time of year.

What if I get injured? The clean and professional Playa Grande Health Clinic is located just 5 minutes from the Ripjack Inn, and there is a full hospital about 45 minutes away.

Are vegetarian and gluten-free meal options available? Yes. The RipJack restaurant offers plenty of wonderful veggie/vegan options, but please note any dietary restrictions in the Welcome Questionnaire you'll receive after registering.

I don't speak Spanish. No problema. Costa Rica and the RipJack Inn are full of friendly people with plenty of English spoken.

Can I use American $? Yes. Everywhere in the area accepts US$. It is in fact recommended that you do not exchange $ at the airport due to the poor exchange rate.

How much spending cash should I bring? As much as you estimate you'll spend on tips (for surf instructors, restaurant staff, room cleaning staff, shuttles & taxis) and incidentals. Alcoholic and other additional drinks can be charged to your room. The nearest ATM is a 10 minute taxi ride away. Smaller denominations - $20 and below - are best.

Is there a time difference? Playa Grande is in the Mountain Time Zone: 1 hour later than Pacific, 1 hour behind Central, and 2 hours behind Eastern.

Phone: Complimentary local, US & Canada telephone calls are available from the RipJack.

Internet: While you’re encouraged to unplug and enjoy just being here as fully as possible, there is free internet access available in RipJack’s common outdoor areas.

Laundry: Laundry services are available to request onsite.

When do I need to register by? The sooner the better to be sure you snag a spot, as space will be limited. Early bird pricing ends Dec 1st, 2017. Final last minute registration (pending availability) is due by Feb 4th, 2018.

Can I room with a friend? Absolutely. Just let me know her name and your Standard or Deluxe room preference on your Welcome Questionnaire.

How will rooming be arranged if I'm coming solo but want a double room? You'll be thoughtfully paired with a new friend who seems like a great fit for you on a first come first served basis and as even numbers allow. If numbers are odd at close of registration, however, payment for a standard single room (or deluxe single if requested) will be required.

What should I bring? You’ll receive a full What To Bring list as our departure date approaches.

Your Facilitator of Flow

Melissa Maher

In 2005 I took a week off from my soul-sapping desk job in Washington, D.C. to learn to surf with a friend in Costa Rica. This was the first time I’d ever taken a vacation just for myself, which was completely out of my shoulds-driven comfort zone at the time.

I boarded the plane home in tears, because the heaviness of just how deeply I was yearning to experience the kind of freedom, play, and joy I'd just gotten a taste of in my daily life, and how far my "real life" at the time felt from that, finally hit me.

But it was this exact spot – Playa Grande and the RipJack Inn – that lit the spark for my journey down the synchronicity-filled, intuition-driven path of teaching yoga, coaching, and generally joy-centric living I've been on ever since.

And while I was having this mind-blowingly transformative experience at Playa Grande, I had a sense in the back of my mind that I would come back to this place and lead my own retreat someday, even though I had zero sense of how that could be possible at the time.

But here we are, 12 years later, and not only is it possible, it’s happening (again!).

I don't throw the word "magical" around lightly, but this is seriously a magical place. (Just ask the women whose testimonials you see above from last year — and you'll feel that for yourself the moment you spread your pedicured toes through that warm Costa Rican sand.)

My trip to Playa Grande inspired me to quit my office job; get certified as a Registered Yoga Teacher through the Nosara Yoga Institute, also in Costa Rica, in 2006; move to San Diego (caught the surfing bug) for massage school, where I completed 500 hours toward a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner’s license; get certified as a Clinical Nutritionist; and become a Certified Professional Coach through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching in 2011.

Costa Rica is one of my favorite places on the planet, and retreats have opened up some of the most transformative experiences of my life. So now, as a life and mindfulness coach with a passion for helping women reconnect to themselves and manifest what they want in their lives from the inside out, I couldn’t be more excited to be returning to Costa Rica to hold the space for another incredible group of women to connect and be inspired by one another as they step into the freedom of flow on a whole new level, in the absolute perfect place to do it.

And for those of you who've been itching to do some in-person work together, this is your chance. This is the only format I’m doing in-person coaching at the moment.

So let’s get this adventure started, shall we?!

Questions? Email:

Full Bio available here