Surfers’ have fallen in love with yoga. Their love affair began with the physical benefits yoga brings to surfing. Strength, balance and breathing capacity are only some of the complimentary side effects of yoga. Both yogis and surfers enjoy healthy lifestyles that allow their bodies to be in optimum shape to master their discipline.
However, what makes any lasting ‘relationship’ work must go beyond the physical realm and find a deeper connection. There is a like-minded aspect between yogis and surfers, both deeply care for the Planet and enjoy their time outdoors. This connection they share with nature has led them to seek Eco resorts where yoga and surfing marry in perfect harmony.
Eco lodges & hotels meet standards of sustainability that are meant to minimize their environmental impact. Costa Rica and Mexico lead the pack in Eco resorts catering to surfer/yogis. My research turned these 6 Top Eco Surf & Yoga Resorts over and over again with amazing reviews:
- Montezuma – Anamaya: Anamaya is a body, mind and spirit Resort that caters to those seeking a balance of exotic adventures and relaxation in a health conscious environment. Anamaya is located in Montezuma, a town in the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica that has been designated one of the world’s Blue Zones by author Dan Buettner. A Blue Zone is one of five areas in the world where people are known to live the longest and healthiest. Their Soul Surfer Yoga & Surf Camp is perfect for beginner, intermediate and seasoned surfers. It has an impressive 5-star from TripAdvisor.com with over 130 reviews.
- Nosara – Blue Spirit Costa Rica: Blue Spirit is a sustainable yoga and meditation retreat center sitting atop a hill overlooking Guiones Beach, in the surf town of Nosara. Also part of Costa Rica’s Blue Zone, Guiones Beach is home to a turtle refuge and is one of three beaches in town, the other two being Playa Nosara and Playa Pelada. Because the town of Nosara is alongside the Nosara River, Blue Spirit a great spot for not only for surfing, but also for stand-up paddle boarding, river kayaking and boat birdwatching. It is ranked #6 of 19 specialty lodging in Nosara and rated 4.5 with 62 reviews by TripAdvisor.com.
- Santa Teresa – Shaka Beach Retreat: Nestled in the jungle, 2 km north of Santa Teresa & Mal Pais, Shaka Beach Retreat offers daily yoga and surf at the Shaka Surf School. What sets Shaka apart is their Ocean Healing Group Adaptive Surfing. This is a program created by surf instructor Christiaan “Otter” Bailey, Adaptive & Special Needs Director, where children and adults with disabilities such as paraplegia, quadriplegia, autism, amputee, spina bifida, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy are taught how to surf. Also shares the coveted 5-Star rating from TripAdvisor.com, with over 125 reviews.
- Todos Santos, Cabo San Lucas – Prana del Mar: Prana del Mar is totally dedicated to being ‘green’. From solar panels that provide electricity for the entire hotel, to an entirely organic garden fertilized with their own compost and irrigated with their own waste water, after being treated on site (of course!). Organic sheets, towels and mats that are only washed per guest’s request, as well as cloth napkins are other ways this yoga retreat center gets its 5-star Eco rating. Ranked #3 of 79 specialty lodging in Mexico by TripAdvisor.com
- Quimixto, Puerto Vallarta – Xinalani: Whether you’re looking for a steam bath session, a meditation class or a temazcal ritual (a type of sweat lodge), you can find it a Xinalani. This Eco Yoga Retreat Center also host an array of activities for the ocean aficionado. With a surf point just two minutes walking distance from Xinali you can expect surf lessons, SUP, kayak, snorkle and scuba diving. It is ranked #5 of 70 specialty lodging in Puerto Vallarta by TripAdvisor.com, with 4.5-Stars.
- Sayulita, Puerto Vallarta – Haramara: Meaning ‘Mother Sea’ in the native Huichol Indian language, Haramara is located in a region known as Riviera Nayarit. It was hand-built, without any mechanical equipment to avoid affecting the surrounding jungle. With two yoga shalas overlooking the Pacific Ocean, along with on & off-site activities such as surfing and SUP classes in Sayulita and Punta de Mita Beach, Haramara has plenty to offer to surfers and yogis alike. This 5-Star retreat is ranked #2 of 6 hotels in Sayulita by TripAdvisor.com
But of course, Costa Rica & Mexico are not the only places to get your Eco fix. The following is a list of the top 8 Eco Surf & Yoga Retreats… that are NOT in Costa or Mexico…
- Sukawati, Bali, Indonesia – Bali Floating Leaf: It is no surprise that this 5-Star Eco retreat is ranked #1 of 10 B&Bs and inns in Sukawait by TripAdvisor.com. Floating Leaf bases their environmental friendliness to the Balinese Hindu doctrine known as Tri Hita Karana, a Sanskrit term that translates to “three paths to peacefulness and prosperity”. These three sustainable principles are: environmental stewardship, community outreach and minimum impact strategies and techniques. Besides yoga and wellness retreats, Floating Leaf offers surfing packages ranging from one, three, seven or ten days to enjoy the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
- Tipi Valley, Algarve, Portugal – Tipi Valley Surf & Yoga Eco Retreat: Tipi Valley is a tented, organic and Eco friendly camp. This is NOT for the luxury traveler. Although very comfortable, Tipi Valley prides itself in offering a more ‘simple’ approach to life, so be ready to remain ‘unplugged’. At Tipi Valley, surf comes first! Surf safaris to Odeceixe, Amoreira or Monte Clerigo Beach are available, as well Surf & Yoga Holiday Retreat. Ranked #3 of 18 Specialty lodging in Aljezur, it also has a 5-Star review from TripAdvisor.com.
- Chinandega, Nicaragua – El Coco Loco Resort: Coco Loco is the 2014 Certificate of Excellence winner from TripAdvisor.com. This community focused eco-resort in northern Nicaragua isn’t just a haven for surfers and yogis, but for organizations who truly enjoy volunteer work. They are the home of Waves of Hope, an non-profit organization focused on improving educational opportunities and investing in infrastructure to promote a sustainable community. Coco loco hosts a one week Surf & Yoga Retreat, so keep in mind that April through October are the best times to surf Nor-Nica. Also inquire about volcano boarding (yes, you read that right!) and Flor de Cana rum tours.
- Kadavu, Fiji – Matava: Over 160 reviews on TrpAdvisor.com give Matava 4.5-Stars. They also share the 2014 Certificate of Excellence Award. Matava is not really for surfers, but for serious diving fanatics. It is host to the Mad Fish Dive Center, a 5-Star PADI dive center that will take you to explore the breathtaking Great Astrolabe Barrier Reef. Stay in one their Fijian Bure, a traditional wood and straw hut powered by solar light, with solar hot water and no carbon footprint. Their Bamboo Spa offers a full time yoga and nutritionist on site.
- Playa Las Flores, El Cuco, El Salvador – Las Flores Resort: Las Flores is an environmentally conscious hotel designed by Salvadorian architect Rodrigo Barraza Dominguez following modern sustainable development guidelines. With its best surfing happening between March and November, what keeps surfers coming back to Las Flores is the 5 righthand pointbreaks located along a 10 mile coastline, with the most famous break being Las Flores and Punta Mango. Las Flores Surf Club and School facilitates surf lessons so you can enjoy this amazing breaks. Las Flores also offers a 3 and 4 day yoga package, but pre-booking is required. TripAdvisor ranks Las Flores #1 of El Cuco B&B and Inns with 4.5-Star review.
- Point Mulatre Bay, Dominica – Jungle Bay: Ranked #1 and winner of the TripAdvisor’s 2014 Travelers’ Choice award, is Jungle Bay. This 5-Star retreat, with 465 reviews (W-O-W!!) has its own signature yoga studio overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Like Matava in Fiji, Jungle Bay is a diver’s paradise due to Dominica’s recognition as a top diver’s destination. Their Dive & Hike Package allows you to go diving in the exclusive Soufriere Scotts Head Marine Reserve. It also hosts yoga, wellness and holistic retreats. Most important, Jungle Bay is dedicated to giving back to the community by establishing the Jungle Bay Community Fund with the donations of guests, staff and lodge owners. Of their many community programs, the House of Hope stands out. This safe haven for indigent children and young adults with disabilities was developed by Jungle Bay and is operated by members of the community.
- Olhuveli Island, Lamaau Atoll, Maldives – Six Senses Lamaau: Six Senses is committed to developing a sustainable business by following the parameters set out by Green Globe Benchmarking. It also offers an array of ocean sports for all enthusiasts: surfing, wake boarding, water skiing, windsurfing, catamaran sailing and diving are some of the activities available. There are over 10 different types of massages available at the spa, as well as a resident yoga, pilates and fitness trainer. Their villas will take your breath away… promised! Ranked #1 in Lamaau Atoll, with a 4.5-Star rating out of over 400 reviews by TripAdvisor.com.
- Piha, Auckland, New Zealand – Piha Eco Sanctuary: Located on Auckland’s West coast, Piha beach offers consistent quality, hollow beach breaks with 5 different surf schools in the local area. This Eco boutique sanctuary has one main lodge and three units (River Retreat, Garden Studio and Tree Top Studio). Besides yoga and massage, Piha also offers a Weekend Recharge Retreat and a 5 day Cleanse & Renew Package. There are Health and Wellbeing assessments available with a qualified team of naturopath, herbalist and iridologist.