Upon registration, you will receive an email with a link to complete a more detailed medical intake questionnaire. Your deposit will reserve your space, but your booking will not be confirmed until we have received and reviewed a medical intake questionnaire for you. If for any reason it is deemed medically unsafe for you to attend the retreat with us, you would be entitled to a full refund of any deposit made (see our full policies here). Once you have submitted your medical intake questionnaire, a member of our preparation support team will contact you within 24 – 48 hours to confirm your registration or follow up for more information.
Additionally, please discuss with your doctor any and all medications you are taking and their interactions with MAO inhibitors. Unlike food interactions, whose consequences are usually unlikely to be serious, interaction with pharmaceutical drugs and meds (including some over-the-counter drugs and certain herbs) can be potentially life-threatening.
COVID-19 Update: Travel Insurance & Costa Rica Entry Requirements
At this time, Costa Rica is allowing flights from a list of approved countries to enter (see here for updated list of countries), with the following requirements:
To enter, they must have remained at least 14 consecutive days in one of the approved countries.
- Travel insurance from an authorized agency by the Costa Rican Insurance Authority (Superintendencia General de Seguros de Costa Rica) or international insurance approved by the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) that covers all possible medical expenses and accommodation in case of a COVID-19 infection.
- Approved travel insurance can be purchased through the National Insurance Institute (INS – Instituto Nacional de Seguros), or Sagicor.
- For further information on international insurances please see this link. Outside travel insurance must cover $50,000 in medical expenses and $2000 for an extended stay due to quarantine.
- Here is another reputable website to compare travel insurance.
- COVID-19 negative test taken from their home location within 72 hours of travel. Form to submit proof is detailed in the next step. The only test that is accepted is the real-time polymerase chain reaction test, also called PCR-RT for COVID-19. Rapid test results, serological tests, or immunity tests will not be accepted.
- Submission of the online form called “Pase de Salud” (Health Pass). This form is available online at https://salud.go.cr/.
- Passengers coming from the U.S.A. must show through their driver’s license or state identification (State ID) that they live in one of the authorized states as listed in the link above. This requirement excludes children traveling with their family.
* Upon entry they are exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement.
Booking Your Flights
Please do not book your flights until your medical intake questionnaire has been reviewed and confirmed! Soltara is not responsible for any flight costs incurred prior to approving your registration. If there are any medical issues that would prevent you from safely attending a retreat with us, we will follow up with you and you would be entitled to a full refund of any deposit made. If you have any questions during the registration process or are concerned any health conditions (including bipolar, schizophrenia, or psychosis) may prevent you from attending a retreat, please contact us first.
SJO – Juan Santamaría International Airport
(SJO) near San José
- Pickup on Day 1 of your retreat at 11:30 am from nearby hotel
- *Update* For retreats between November 1, 2020 – May 7, 2021, plan to arrive by 12 PM the Friday (2 days) before your retreat starts in order to receive a swab test for COVID-19 after arriving. Soltara will arrange for group testing that afternoon at the meet up hotel. See our updated policies for complete travel requirements for retreats within these dates.
- *Update* For New Year’s Eve 2020/2021 Retreat and all retreats after May 7, 2021, plan to arrive the night before your retreat begins, or by 9 am on Day 1. Due to the holidays, our NYE retreat has different requirements for COVID-19 testing. More information is available on our policies page.
- Dropoff on last day of retreat at 12:00 pm to hotel (located about 15 min from airport)
- Plan to depart after 3:00 pm on last day
- New Year’s Eve Retreat Only: Dropoff is on January 1, 2021 at 4:00 pm at the same hotel – Plan to depart after 7:00 pm on the last day
Arriving to SJO
We offer pickup on Day 1 of your retreat at 11:30 AM from the Wyndham San Jose Herradura Hotel, located about 15 minutes from the airport.
We recommend arriving 1-2 days before, and booking your stay at the Wyndham, in order to give you time to relax and settle in before beginning your journey to Soltara. Note that if you would like to take advantage of a pre-arranged COVID-19 test for applicable retreats, please come to the Wyndham Hotel lobby by 12 pm on the Friday (2 days) before your retreat start date.
Confirmation of a negative COVID-19 test performed in Costa Rica no more than 5 days prior to your retreat start date is required to board the Soltara bus. Please see our updated policies for more information.
If you plan to arrive on Day 1, we recommend booking your flight to arrive by 9 AM that day, to allow time to get through customs (which can sometimes take up to 2 hours) and get to the Wyndham in time for the 11:30 AM meetup. You will arrive at Soltara around 4 pm that day, after an approximately 2 – 2.5 hour ride through the beautiful rolling hills of Costa Rica, and catching a 2:30 pm ferry ride across to Gulf of Nicoya. We are located about 10 minutes from the ferry port.
The information for the hotel is:
Autopista General Cañas, Heredia, San José, 71880, Costa Rica
+506 2209 9800
Returning to SJO
If you are returning to SJO, please book your departing flights after 3:00 PM on the last day (after 7:00 pm for our NYE Retreat). You will be returned to San Jose by 12:00 PM (4:00 PM for our NYE Retreat).
If possible, we recommend staying at least one extra night, in order to give yourself some space between your retreat and international travel.
On the day of departure, our transportation service provider will return you to the hotel (located about 15 min from airport with free airport shuttle if you have booked a room there. They can also help arrange a private taxi.). If you are not flying out that day, there are several taxi options which can take you to your next destination.
Recommended Packing List
The weather in Costa Rica is tropical. Although we are located on the Gulf, temperatures can reach up to 25 – 30 degrees Celsius (80 – 90 F) with high humidity. While things can cool down after it rains, the sun is very strong and heats up the air quickly. You’ll want to wear light and breathable clothing that can get wet and dirty if need be. We also recommend you bring some light and loose, long-sleeved shirts and long pants for the jungle to help protect against mosquitos. The following list covers everything we could think of to ensure your journey is as pleasurable as possible.
- Flashlight(s) (one bright for jungle, one dim LED RED LIGHT for ceremonies)
- Sun hat/scarf/bandana to cover head (important for after last ceremony/arcana)
- Water bottle
- Lighter(s) (for mapacho, sacred jungle tobacco sometimes smoked during ceremony)
- Sneakers/walking shoes
- Sandals or flip-flops
- 2-3 pairs swimming gear
- 1-3 Loose fitting, breathable long sleeved shirts for jungle
- 1-2 pairs rugged pants (lighter is better)
- Casual/active hot weather attire (enough for 7 days, 25-30 degree weather)
- 1 Warm sweatshirt (just in case)
- 1 Rain jacket or poncho (May – December)
- Insect repellent (natural repellent, no DEET)
- Sunscreen (30+ SPF Recommended)
- Small first-aid kit for scrapes, cuts and bug bites
- Power adaptor if necessary (our plugs are the same as USA/Canada – Type A/B)
- Necessary medications (that have been approved during intake process – please consult with a facilitator before taking any while on your retreat)
- Notebook / Journal
- Passport (valid for at least six months)
- Money belt/passport wallet
- 2 Photocopies of passport
- Bank card with “Plus” or “Visa/MC/AMEX” logo
- Credit card with cash withdrawal option
- Travel/medical insurance information
- USD 300-500 in $20-100 notes (for souvenirs, meals when not at Soltara, etc.)
- Remaining balance due for retreat (if applicable) in crisp, like-new USD (no tears please, thank you for your understanding!)
- Notify financial institution of travel plans