Costa Rica yoga vacation Toucan

Pura Vida spa Costa Rica
Pura Vida Spa

Tucked away on the edge of a mountainside coffee field, Pura Vida, Spanish for "pure life", is an exquisite, private 12-acre yoga and retreat center in Costa Rica.

An easy 25-minute drive from the international airport, the lush tropical gardens, cozy sitting nooks and spectacular views create a sanctuary for the soul.
View slide show here.

Winter in New York

February in New York

Pura vida spa costa rica A frame
A-Frame deluxe accommodation.

Heart Chakra meditation Bhavani Benninghoven
Heart chakra meditation.

Pura Vida yoga retreat jungle boat
Eco-adventure to the jungle.

Kripalu yoga smile
Put a smile on your face.

Pura Vida yoga retreat trikonasana
Trikonasana during twists workshop.

Pura Vida zipline buddies
Eco-adventure zip-line buddies.

Rubanick kripalu yogi
Jean on Jaco beach Costa Rica.

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Global Yoga Journeys

Costa Rica January 27 - Feb 3, 2018

Awakening: A Kripalu Yoga Tropical Retreat in Costa Rica
Prices from $1471 - see options below
. Print PDF registration forms here.

This retreat is lead by Ken McRae.

Recover from the holidays and beat the winter blues by taking some time just for yourself. During this, the 18th annual Kripalu Yoga retreat, you will have an opportunity to slow down, take a deep breath and allow yourself to "just be"…

fully alive in each and every moment
grounded in the present yet open to a world of new possibilities
confident, relaxed, feeling whole

Kripalu Yoga is much more than a physical discipline. Kripalu Yoga is a practice of transformation - a way to open the heart and develop compassion, find clarity and experience stillness within. We emphasize listening to the body's needs and respecting its limits. This approach allows each of us, beginner or experienced practitioner, to receive the benefits of the practice just where we are.

As a group we will welcome each new day Costa Rica Pura Vida poolduring your yoga vacation with a specially designed morning Kripalu yoga class. We'll learn more about yoga and meditation during the daily experiential workshops, practice yogic breathing to move energy in the body, sit together in meditation to develop inner peace and practice guided iRest yoga nidra.

In the sacred space we create together during this yoga retreat you can allow your spirit to slowly awaken and reconnect with the simple joy of being fully alive.

There will be plenty of time to receive treatments at the wellness center, lounge by the pool, soak in the hot tub under the stars, take in the spectacular views, meet new friends in the dining room, and enjoy the many optional eco-adventure tours which are available at Pura Vida Spa. And you will return home feeling truly refreshed and re-charged.

Sample Daily Schedule

6:30-8:00 am Kripalu Yoga
8:00-9:30 am Breakfast
10:00 am-noon Program Workshop or Eco-tour
12:30-2:00 pm Lunch
2:00-5:00 pm Pool, Siesta, Walk, Massage...
5:00-6:15 pm Kripalu Yoga/Workshop
6:30-8:00 pm Dinner
9:00 Hot tub

Kripalu Yoga guests

2018 Accommodation Prices Per Person

Accommodation Type
Triple Quad
Tentalow SOLD OUT
Deluxe A Frame SOLD OUT
Deluxe Vista SOLD OUT
Super Deluxe Upper Kiva SOLD OUT
Super Deluxe Lower Kiva SOLD OUT
Super Deluxe Tri-Level - Villa
Zendo not available
Lila / Prana Suites not available $2765 $1976    
Pagoda not available

NOTE: Pura Vida requires that you pay for Single accommodation unless you bring a friend or I am able to match you up with a same-gender room mate.
View room photos and descriptions here.

A sampling of comments from previous program participants:
View the slide show here.

Pura Vida 2017

Kripalu Group 2017

click here for larger photo

What did you like most about the program?

Rubanick kripalu yogi "My favourite part of the program was the posture clinic. I really liked learning the proper alignment. I also thoroughly enjoyed the black-sand beach and the Pacific Ocean! The yoga is very accessible - physically, mentally, and spiritually"
Jean, Harker Heights, TX




"What I liked most was the 6:30-8:00 am yoga session - chock full of great asanas, challenging, the sun rising over the mountains, we have the energy. Also, I like all the prayers, readings, Ken's stories which explain yoga, ken's narrations about yoga - all educational and gives us background on yoga."
Diane, Raleigh, NC

Judith Jeffries Kripalu yogi "The variety, the attention to each individual, an environment that is nurturing and safe - also, great side trips, good food, interesting people who also want to be their best they can without competition. Great bodywork too."
Judy, Raleigh NC




Pura Vida 2013

Pura Vida Yoga

Larger photo here.

What did you like most about the program?
Joyce Funston I really reached long sought after clarity – long held concerns melted away – in the CR sun and under the warm embrace of old and newly made friends – and the hot hands of all the body workers… the best in the world.  Joy, Charlottesville, VA

This week is an incredible opportunity to reconnect with yourself and to open to new possibilities in your life and your body. Don’t miss it. Alice, Golden, CO

The whole program is more than excellent it is exceptional. I will follow Ken to the next world because he has the gift of gently teaching more than yoga but love and kindness. Thank you. It is all about reconnecting to the person inside and shedding negative, useless, mindless thoughts and actions. I want every person I know and don’t know to be able to have this experience whether it’s here or someplace else. It is truly awesome and as some commented magical. I did become a horse with wings. LaNita, Texarkana, TX

Cathy WarehamSubtle, well-planned deepening happened day by day. Ken and Lynn inspire trust, and therefore create a beautiful and powerful sanctuary for all to honour their own process while building a sense of community at the same time. Thank you!
Cathy, Summerland, BC

The “Kripalu Expereince” recreated in an awesome environment… Costa Rica. Ken is an amazing teacher. Thank you! Spa treatments (tours) Pura Vida… Exquisite! Donna, Texarkana, TX

The way it was presented. It was all very enjoyable experiences, a life-changing experience for me. Judy, Atlanta, TX

The space to reflect, recharge, renew surrounded by nurturing, loving friends and the beautiful setting of CR. Laurie, Miami, FL

The people that I met during this week were so loving and supportive. The experiences this week were more than I expected. Thank you for the enlightenment and joy. Marianne, Texarkana, TX

This experience whether it be your first or 13th time is going to be LeeAnntransformational in a way that may surprise you. No matter what happens you will leave a different person. Stress-free vibration raised and love in your heart. LeeAnn, Texarkana, AR

It is a wonderful, rare thing to come to a place and experience so many like-minded and similar-spirited people. The warm, loving, nurturing spirit of this place and the people you meet will refresh your soul. Susan, Texarkana, TX

Ken organizes and plans the perfect week of expression for any level. It is always an experience I would not want to miss.
Kate, Boca Raton, FL

I have been to many other yoga retreats but what made this different and special was that it was not about the yoga. While the yoga experience was awesome there was so much more that made this a holistic and healing experience. Pura Vida is also a remarkable place. Patty, Chicago, IL

This week at Pura Vida has been extraordinary! It is like heaven on earth from the Kripalu Yoga practices to the workshops, silent meditation, bodywork with the holistic healers… it was all magical. Thank  you Ken, for providing a safe place to heal and grow. Namaste. Lydia, Texarkana, TX

The integration of the philosophy of yoga with the physical practice was excellent. Combine that with a natural paradise, healthy food, and skilled healers and you have a workshop to heal your spirit and build your practice. Bart, Shreveport, LA

Lynnel Ken choreographs a beautiful heart-opening dance with great attention to detail. The safe sacred space that is created allows for a clear path to the light of consciousness. Lynnel, Texarkana, TX

I am strong. I am wise. I am tender. I am. Right now, I am, take my hand. Linda, South Bend, IL

Excellence of instruction by Ken – also organized thoughtfully and seamlessly. Beautiful location, food, people, exciting adventures – everything you could possibly want. Shelley, Columbia, MO

By the end of the week you will know the meaning of living in the present moment. You will discover things about yourself you never knew. Your light will be revived. Caitlin, Columbia, MO

This is a life altering experience. Look forward to next year. Elly, Bradenton, FL

Pura Vida 2012

Kripalu Yoga Group Pura Vida Spa 2012This week I found a part of myself that was lost in the craziness of life. I am still "underconstruction" and learning but will bring the tools I learned this week with me! Thank you for reminding me that "I am enough". Namaste.
Rose, Manhattan Beach, CA

Everything! The mindfulness component of the poses - Ken's teaching integrates the mind/body experience. Silence was a first for me - powerful. Carol, Philadelphia

Click here for larger view of photo.

The entire week was amazing! I'm seriously thinking about coming next year! This trip was a life changing journey for me! Jami, Michigan

Kripalu guest at Pura Vida spa lee Ann GolmanHard to pin-point what I liked the most because the whole week was such a journey into awareness on so many levels.

I came looking for answers and left with such a profound connection with God and nature that nothing else matters. Now I have to take that connection and stay grounded in the everyday activities. Live moment to moment and time stands still.

Thank you Ken, Lynn and Bhavani for your love and support.
Lee Ann, Texarkana, AR

Kripalu guest at Pura Vida Spa Martina Compton The week with Ken is always very nurturing and rejuvinating. I've come for this week five times now and every time is a totally new experience full of adventure and self discovery.
Martina, Virginia

Kripalu Yoga guest Donna BlairWhere do I begin? Your teaching skills, wisdom, integrity, ability to hold a safe sacred space for yoga goes beyond all expectations.

Thank you for extending this opportunity to travel to this beautiful setting of Pura Vida in Costa Rica.

An awesome experience. Can't wait to come back.
Donna, Texarkana, TX

Kripalu Yoga guest LaNita I don't think I have ever been in a safer place to experience such a beautiful healing yoga practice with a deeper meaning.

This experience has been the second most beautiful thing in my life. I will carry this week in my heart for the rest of my physical life and will hoild it dear to my heart as I do with my son.
LaNita, Texarkana, TX

Ken's morning yoga class is the most well presented and though out class I have ever attended. It is always just perfect for whatever you may need that day!!! Joy, joy, joy. Kathy, Boca Raton, FL

Kripalu Yoga guest TracyThis year I connected most with the meditation practices. I finally got it!

Also, this group helped me connect with my spiritual self when I was feeling lost. Thank you so much! I love this retreat and the feeling of acceptance and love that is pervasive and infectious.
Tracy, Baltimore MD

Kripalu Yoga guest LizWonderful yoga, great food, exceptional bodywork. Definitely worth a return trip!
Liz, Rhode Island

Kripalu Yoga guest Lynnel It is impossible to describe this expereince! It's like trying to describe the sound of a single violin. The week was a symphony of nature, friends, the body, the mind, the spirit - all playing together.
Thank you!
Lynnel, Texarkana

Kripalu Yoga guest SandyI like challenges in my life - mental or physical. Each trip that I have taken with Ken has expanded me. I love meeting people with the same likes as me and being on the same journey.

Each trip is unique. I have loved them all!
Sandy, Texarkana

Kripalu Yoga guest Deb Till It was such a terrific expereince to be with a group of diverse yet like-minded people. The space, the people, the body/spirit/energy workers created an incredibly safe nurturing environment for healing.
Thank you Ken for providing this opportunity. My life is forever changed. Jai bhagwan.
Deb, Rocheport, MO

Kripalu Yoga guest Josee I am in charge at work, at home, at yoga sessions. Being guided throughout the meditations and all the practice helped me in letting go. Group is awesome expereince.
Josee, Val D'Or, PQ


Kripalu Yoga guest Mike

This program provided the groundwork for self-improvement in a very subtle way. Don't change a thing!
Mike, Goodyear, AZ

The place, the treatment specialists all support and complement the expereince led so lovingly and expertly by Ken. Ken brings you into a safe space where you have the freedom and the "technology" of yoga to go as deep and as wide as you wish. Jonna, NH

The group was wonderful. Each person had a gift to contribute and I am very grateful. It was a profoundly moving expereince. Toni, Rochester, NY

Kripalu Yoga guests PyeIts the toal package - everything you need to feel safe as you grow. Great beauty, great food - great body work - world class yoga - nothing missing! Joyce, Charlottesville, VA

Excellence of Ken's leadership. Heart Chakra Meditation - Loving Kindness meditation. Nancy, Annapolis, MD

I liked most the bringing together of various people from all over and the wonderful experiences I will take home with me. Madelyn, Michigan

A beautiful center in a beautiful country - the week was filled with beautiful people. An experience not to be taken lightly and always remembered.
Linda, Denver CO

I liked the continuity of Kripalu teaching reinforcing principles of yoga not just for postures but how to integrate all into one - music selection very good - Lynn is a good addition - Bhavani did a great job. Excellent teaching presence.
Thank you Ken. Marty, Michigan

Kripalu Yoga guest Carroll

Just being! Carroll, NH

Pura Vida 2011
kripalu yoga group 2011This being my 8th trip with you (, speaks volumes.  I go for "quality" and I am confident that any place you choose for a location for a yoga vacation will be top-notch.   And, I am here to say that your dedication and your presence is so very valubale in creating a "space" to allow one to make their own discoveries and let the mystery unfold.  Thank you!
Donna, Texarkana

A retreat with a vision: beautifully organized - excursions, spa treatments, organic food - all contibuting to the very essence of yoga. Living in the moment. Breathing. Releasing. Patricia, Benton LA

more reviews to come later...

Pura Vida 2010
Pura Vida yoga group 2010
I fell in love with yoga for the first time! Connecting with others in the group on a deep and spiritual level has been one of the most profound experiences of my life. Tracy, Baltimore, MD

Costa Rica and Ken is the ideal combination to rejuvinate and have the opportunity to rediscover your true self. I guess that's why I have been back (4 or 5) times! I'm going home to and figure it out!)
Laurie, Miami, FL

Unbeatable warmth and friendliness. Ken's yoga is inspirational, holding space for Estelleindividual practice and expereince. The resort was lovely and the food was almost too pretty to eat.

Estelle, Webster, NY

The best thing I ever did for myself. I toured a beautiful country, but I explored and discovered myself. Margaret, Columbia MO

Nurturing healing experience in a gorgeous Costa Rican spa with an inspiring yoga teacher with great heart and years of expereince. The assembled group were extremely warm, friendly, and ready to take the next step in their spiritual journey. Victoria, Mill Valley, CA

Kim SchollThe only difficult thing about Ken's program in Costa Rica is describing it in two sentences or less. It is totally transforming. The yoga is concisely led, the food prepared with love, the bodywork world class. Reward yourself mid-winter with this wonder-filled escape. Joyce, Charlottesville, VA

A chance to find yourself again...
Kim, Columbia, MO

The schedule looks not that full but the truth is - every day is so full - every moment full of sounds, nature, beautiful people, inner peace and relaxation can happen. Danke Ken. Bhavani, Peissenberg, Germany

Wonderful place to find new thoughts, points of view, ideas and friends. Very soothing, nurturing for mind and body. Dawn, Columbia, MO

Pura Vida 2009Costa Rica yoga retreat 2009

I feel so fortunate to have been part of the group - an amazing array of eclectic and diverse people whose energies meshed into a beautiful oneness. I'm trying to nurture the spirit, beauty and grace of the experience. (and I've realized that watching CNN doesn't nurture anything divine in me!).
I'm reading Rumi, trying to feel more than think, and stay in the moment. Magical outcomes...a beautiful thought.
Sheila, Denver CO

The time spent at Pura Vida was literally perfect -- I can think of no shortcomings. The grounds are pure paradise, the staff so kind and generous and the food delicious and energizing. The daily yoga, however, was the highlight, and helped lead to profound changes and awakening from the inside out. The effects will stick with me, I hope, far beyond Costa Rica and the retreat. A true breath of fresh air for the soul and spirit. Thank you. Sarah, New York,

Every once in a while Magic happens, but this could be fleeting, if we do not pay attention. At least that is the way I saw events unfold at the Yoga retreat in the company of all of you.

This is my take on it- collectively when all of us stepped out of our Phantom Self (mind made), a new sense of aliveness started to emerge.Ordinary things started to appear extraordinary/beautiful.The events by themselves did not account for this, but our perspective made the difference.
Costa Rica yoga retreat guests
I believe that our collective change in perspective came from BEING more consciously present through Yoga and this in turn allowed our BEING to weave the magic of Oneness in all the activities we took part in (eating/zip lining/white water rafting/gazing at cows).

Now if we can hang on to this, we could become the instruments for magical outcomes rather than seeking them in the future.
Group Sentiment

Costa Rica yoga retreat eco-adventure tour

What I really wanted to do is touch base and let all of you know that is was my extreme pleasure to spend time in your company. It was definatly magic for me. I feel better then I have in almost 2 years. It is because of your loving, kind and fun spirits. I have a new appreciation for this moment above all others. My yoga practice is strong. I have enjoyed a beautiful sadana every day and plan to continue. It helps hold me in the moment. Jai to all of you beautiful souls.

Joy, Ohio

I felt like my whole system.....body/mind/spirit......was Costa Rica yoga retreat Pura Vida Donnaenhanced by the environment thereplus the wonderful group of people and your wonderful Bhavani.. The yoga was just what I needed to get me jump-started once again. The discipline of maintaining that in my daily routine was what was missing for me before I went. It truly is a magical healing place to be!!!!!!!!! Now I have to practice "patience" to wait a whole year before going back. Donna, Texarkana, TX

Costa Rica yoga retreat ShellyThanks again for the wonderful retreat. I have never committed to anything like this-just for me. I didn't know what to expect so I was open to whatever came along. The yoga and meditation classes were great. I enjoyed the yoga classes much more than I thought I would and could definately tell a difference from when I arrived and when i left! I really loved Bhavani's meditation session also. Meditation is something I've never thought about doing, but think it will be valuable. Anyways, thanks again for a great time. Shelley, Columbia, MO

I send thanks for a beautiful experience. I was realxed and rejuvenated by the week of yoga practice and study in a tranquil, tropical setting, along with fresh, healthy food and opportunities for spa treatments, hot tub soaks, interesting guided tours, and the company of like-minded people from all over the U.S. and Canada. I would highly recommend this journey to anyone. Pura Vida is a little slice of heaven!
Susan, Columbia, MO

Pura Vida 2006Costa Rica yoga retreat group photo 2006

Spirit and energy coming together... awesome people!
Eleni, Boston, MA

Thank you so much for a great week. I could not conceive how the week would unfold and found the schedule most accommodating. Mike,

Costa Rica vacation guests

Thank you for another experience that made me feel whole again. Kathy, Boca Raton, FL

I loved the early morning yoga. The whole week flowed with such ease. Thank you Ken for making me feel like I was in Paradise. Irum, Toronto

The practice of yoga with a group in an exotic place like Costa Rica is literally experience I wish all beings could experience.
Alice, Montauk, NY

Pura Vida 2004Costa Rica Pura Vida yoga group 2004

Heart-opening -- joyful -- the perfect combination of Costa Rica's unique beauty and yoga's profoundeffects. The week was a wonderful balance of relaxation and adventure. Well worth a repeat visit. Joyce, Charlottesville, VA.

Coasta Rica yoga vacation guest Overall, it was nothing short of wonderful. A very restorative week.
Elie, NYC

For an absolute newcomer to yoga this was an excellent introduction. Steve, Columbia, MO

This program was delicately & deeply thought out. I have been fortunate to have lots of good yoga teachers (and a few poorer ones) From taking yoga classes and now a dedicated workshop, and personal conversations with Ken he is the closest to the 'real thing' I've met yet. Liz, Amherst, MA

The program was excellent overall. Great location. Excellent outings. Good food. Workshops covered areas of yoga I had never heard of before. Times were adequate for material covered. Explanations were very direct and precise which helped me get into and maintain postures.

Costa Rica yoga vacation guestWonderful ambiance, terrific instruction. -- thanks for being so attentive, kind, compassionate, funny, serious and inspirational. Nira, NYC

I had the best time! Everybody was so welcoming and the food was great. Kelly, Montreal

I appreciated the depth and breadth of the practice of yoga that you were able to help us experience in this relatively short period of time. This was a very renewing week. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Excellent. A warm, safe place to explore one's self. Sandi, Detroit, MI

The content was wonderful!! A lovely program, very informative. Your careful planning was evident. The acceptance that you show of all the different people is wonderful and goes a long, long way in making all the things you are teaching work so well. Thank you.
Marilyn, Columbia, MO

I loved the philosophy parts -- and the silence meditation was profound. Elaine, NYC

The program was structured so beautifully, so that you could learn and integrate new practices throughout the week. Thank you! Anne, NYC

Pura Vida 2003

The retreat was the BEST EVER. I felt the love and supportiveness of the structure and the group unity. I also felt plenty of free time and flexibility. Also I was extremely grateful for the loving, non-judgemental accepting atmosphere. Bonnie, Salt Lake City

Excellent restorative yoga retreat. Terrific integration of the multiple disciplines involved in a deeper yoga practice. Extend it to 10 days!! Maryjane, Nashua, NH

Superb instructions, extremely sensitive to attendee's spiritual and emotional concerns. [Your] attention to detail in yoga, meditation and pranayama instruction was amazing.
Dennis, Chicago

I truly have only excellent things to say. I loved your teaching style. I learned a lot about the full power of yoga in my life. I'm leaving with a new resolve to make yoga a part of my life.
Terri, Washington, DC

Very comprehensive. I loved the variety of sessions and the overall approach to yoga. Gentle and inspiring. I am motivated to continue my study and practice of yoga. Sandra, NYC

Costa Rica Pura Vida yoga vacation guestA wonderful yoga retreat. Very well balanced in the eight-limbed path. Your experience and willingness to share yourself was very heartfelt. I love Kripalu Yoga and you embody Kripalu Yoga - compassion, lovingkindness, sense of humor and willingness to be on the edge with us. Virginia, Salt Lake City

I had a great experience. Everything was very well planned without feeling restrictive. Even though I had never done any yoga before this week, you made me feel competent. I didn't feel awkward or self-conscious at any time. This kind of retreat is something I would enjoy doing once a year, at least. THANK YOU! Gunilla, Columbia, MO

The program was incredible. You were great with your time and knowledge. The program went to a level I could never have expected. Eric, San Ramon, CA

Your format flowed from minute to minute resembling our inhales and exhales. You thoughtfully, creatively & efficiently organized and presented every aspect in a yoga experience.Your packing list was one which anticipated every need. Ren, Denver. Costa Rica Pura vida yoga vacation group

Pura Vida, 2001

Amazing week! I feel relaxed and energized. Best vacation of my life. Thank you.

... a fun, nurturing and memorable week. I learned a lot, laughed a lot, and felt a lot of love. The only way to improve it? How 'bout one more week!

The program was great especially in the group dynamics and closeness that has developed among the individuals

I had such a wonderful time. I enjoyed it all - the staff, the guests, instructors - all. What a beautiful place. I definitely leave with experiences I will never forget.

The whole program gave me a wonderful blend of body and mind connections.

Pura Vida 2000

To say it was life-changing seems minimal... Your whole program was beautifully orchestrated and so very subtle at times...The yoga was wonderful , as was the meditation. The workshops were astoundingly beneficial!!!!! I must say the satsang each evening was so very powerful that I hope to remember always the powerful message derived from it all...staying PRESENT... I am so grateful to you both for expending such a tremendous amount of energy and thought into making this retreat such a wonderful experience. WOW!!!

What an incredible experience you created for me! I'm so grateful I was part of it. I'm really, really grateful. "Thank you" seems so insufficient. But I do thank you.

I thought it was a wonderful way for a relatively new person to go from practicing postures and simple breathing on to incorporating meditation and more advanced knowledge and practice.

Yoga in Paradise! Do it again!

This yoga retreat was transformational, inspiring, re-energizing and fun!

Not enough hours in the day to do all of the wonderful things - the days were too short - the week was too short.

I felt busy but quiet, challenged but prepared for the asanas; in good company but also in solitude.

Wow! This has been an incredible week! I only expected postures and got so much more - I wouldn't change a thing.