frequently asked questions

NUSHU Surf Retreat

01. Travel

No, the cost of transportation to/from the retreat property is not included in the retreat price.

You should book your flights arriving to San Jose International Airport (SJO) on Saturday, February 4, 2023, and departing on Friday, February 10, 2023.

From SJO, you’ll take a connecting domestic flight to Tambor (30 minutes) and then a taxi or shuttle (40 minutes) to Mal Pais where the retreat property is located. More detail on this is available in the next FAQ.

The retreat property is located in Mal Pais, on the southwestern coast of the Nicoya Peninsula, about 10 minutes south of Santa Teresa. The location is relatively remote, which is what makes the area so stunning! While this means uncrowded beaches, please take into account there will be extra travel time!

Our team is here to help you with the travel booking process and can answer any questions you have along the way.
Upon arrival at San Jose International Airport (SJO), you have two options to get to the retreat property:
OPTION 1: Connecting Domestic Flight *recommended*
Costa Rica Green Airways offers connecting domestic flights from San José to Tambor. The flight is approximately 30 minutes and costs between $200-$260 round trip.
Costa Rica Green Airways operates out of the domestic terminal and is about a five-minute walk. Before your connecting flight, you’ll clear immigration and collect your luggage. Upon leaving arrivals, walk straight ahead to the main boulevard, turn left, and you will see the Domestic Terminal. If in doubt, an airport official will be able to point you in the right direction. Book here: CR Green Air
Once your connecting domestic flight arrives in Tambor, you’ll take a taxi or shuttle to Mal País, which is approximately 40 minutes and $60. If there are multiple retreat guests arriving at Tambor around the same time, our team will help coordinate a group shuttle.
*Please note: The above domestic flight options won’t work for those who are traveling with surfboards bigger than 7 feet.
OPTION 2: Private Shuttle From SJO
There are a number of companies that provide a private shuttle service to the retreat property. We recommend the services of Tropical Tours, and can help you book a reservation if this is your preferred method.

You’ll be collected from SJO and will be driven to the Puntarenas ferry (approximately 1.5-2 hours). At Puntarenas, you'll leave the shuttle and board the ferry, taking your bags with you. The ferry crossing is approximately 1.5 hours and upon arrival, you'll be met by another shuttle, which will drive you to the retreat property (approximately 1.5 hours).
This is a 5.5 hour journey in total and the quoted total cost is $60 (including both shuttles and the ferry).

*Please note: Should you choose the shuttle option, you will need to arrive at SJO in the morning as the shuttle departs at 7:30 a.m. local time.

If you have any questions while booking your transportation to/from the retreat property, a member from our team will be happy to help you. Please reach out to

Check-in is at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 4, 2023, and check-out is at 10 a.m. on Friday, February 10, 2023. We will be able to store your bags for you should you arrive prior to check-in and/or depart later than check-out.

02. Packing

February is a great time to visit the beaches of Costa Rica as it’s the driest month of the year and the chance of rain is low! The average daytime temperatures are around 80.6°F.

​​Costa Rica is warm all year round, as is the ocean water temperature, which means you can pack light and easily bring everything you need in a carry-on. We suggest packing the following items:
  • Surf bikinis/surf suits
  • A couple of rash guards and surf leggings (for extra sun and chafing protection)
  • Beach cover-ups and sarongs
  • Dresses
  • Loose-fitting pants and shirts 
  • Activewear (for yoga)
  • A light sweater or jacket for the evenings 
  • Flip flops
  • Sneakers
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Beach towel
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito repellent 
  • Journal + pen
  • Your current favorite book

What will be provided?
  • Surf gear, including surfboards and wax (please note that you will need to bring your own rash guards)
  • Hair dryers 
  • Bath towels 
  • Pool towels

Laundry service is available on property at an additional cost.

You will not need to bring a converter or adapter if traveling from North America. 

Yes, we recommend bringing cash. Most shops and restaurants in town take US dollars. There is also an ATM a short walk from the retreat property if you prefer to get cash when you arrive.

Yes, you will have access to both.

03. Activities and Surfing

Every day will look a little different, but a sample itinerary will include:
  • Coffee/tea and snacks in the morning
  • Coached surf session
  • Lunch 
  • Yoga session or NUSHU programming
  • Optional afternoon surf
  • Beach sunset
  • Gourmet dinner

Your retreat week also includes:
  • A massage
  • A group excursion to the scenic tide pools
  • Option to book horseback riding on the beach or another excursion (additional cost)

No! This is YOUR week and you’re welcome to partake in as much or as little activity as you’d like.

You don’t need to have any surf experience to join this retreat! Our instructors will cater to all levels of surfing. Closer to the retreat, we’ll send a questionnaire to get a clear picture of your surf experience and goals for the week.

There will be 5 daily coached surf sessions over the course of the week.

The ocean temperature in Costa Rica is 80°F year-round so you won’t need to wear a wetsuit (but are of course welcome to if preferred). We highly recommend wearing a rash guard while surfing to protect yourself from the sun's UV rays and chafing while on the board. Leggings are also an option for extra protection against the sun.

Yes! You’re welcome to bring your own board. However, please note that domestic flights in Costa Rica (in this case from SJO to Tambor) will not allow you to travel with a board bag bigger than 7 feet.

04. Additional Questions

An in-house private chef will prepare delicious, organic meals during your stay. All meals will be made using the highest quality seasonal produce grown locally and organically in the area. We will provide the following meals:
  • Welcome beverages and snacks on arrival
  • 6 early bird breakfast snacks and coffee/tea/juice
  • 6 brunches or lunches (depending on the surf schedule) 
  • 4 gourmet dinners
  • Fresh snacks and beverages available daily

*Please note we’ll be visiting two local restaurants over the course of the week. You’ll need to bring cash for our two dinners in town.

Yes! We'll collect your dietary restrictions, preferences, and/or food allergies at the time of booking.

A deposit of $1,500 is required at the time of booking to reserve your spot. You can then pay the remaining trip balance in full or in the following installments:
  • Deposit Due - Date of Booking
  • First Installment - November 1, 2022
  • Second Installment - December 1, 2022
  • Third Installment (Balance Paid Off) - January 1, 2023

Cancellation policy for Surf Retreat website: Should you need to cancel prior to the January 1, 2023, payment deadline, you will not be responsible for the remainder of your balance. However, please note the deposit and any past payments will not be refundable. Should you need to cancel on or after January 1, 2023, your payments will not be refundable.

There are no exceptions to our cancellation policy, including but not limited to COVID-19, weather, personal emergencies, flight cancellations, or delays. Naturally, no one books with the intention of canceling or postponing their retreat, but unexpected things do happen, so please consider purchasing travel cancellation insurance. Depending on the policy and conditions, travel cancellation insurance will pay for some or all cancellation fees.

Yes, we require all retreat guests to show proof of medical insurance. Your medical insurance must cover you while you are surfing. It must also cover you in the event that you require emergency evacuation or repatriation.
As mentioned above, we strongly advise that you purchase travel insurance as well as it covers costs in the event that you have to miss some, or all of your trip but are not eligible for a refund from us under our cancellation policy. Some travel insurance policies also include additional coverage for medical evacuation.