I am the drum,
you are the drum,
and we are the drum.
The whole world revolves in rhythm.
At the Rhythm of Nature - Nature of Rhythm Retreat in Costa Rica we will revitalize our natural connection with the earth, playing rhythms with the monkeys, the trees, the river, the butterflies.
Since the beginning of time, drums and rhythm have been used to celebrate, communicate, and express all that it means to be human and open a channel to the divine connection with the rhythms of life on our planet. Drumming resonates through the body and reconnects us with our deep ancestral roots.
As we drum in Nature, we will bring heightened awareness and keen listening that opens the door to developing a new relationship with ourselves and with the Nature that surrounds us.
Participants will learn to embody rhythms from around the world and discover the energy, nuances, and power available as we bring those rhythms to life. No previous knowledge of drumming is needed. Listening to nature, we will explore sound as if we are the first people on the earth to discover rhythm. Together we will create a sacred place of harmony and deep connection within ourselves, with each other, and with the beauty and wonders of the Earth..
Visit Three Magical Locations in Costa Rica!
We love to sink into the rhythms of the places we visit, relaxing and being with the sounds of the earth breathing. And we also love to travel and explore different places to learn about and experience. When we sought out our ideal locations to explore the Rhythm of Nature in Costa Rica we encountered a difficult problem - The country has so many beautiful places to experience and such a variety of biodiversity to be with we didn't want to limit the experience to just one location! So, we found three amazing and different places to explore the rhythm of nature and dwell in the nature of rhythm.
We will spend the first 5 days in The Living Forest, an intimate secluded retreat center in the bend of a jungle river, where the lush sounds of life surround us with nature's song. Here we will experience creating music on the spacious yoga deck, relaxing in graceful hammocks, dipping into a gentle river under the canopy of the jungle, and feasting on food lovingly prepared for us daily. This will be a time to settle in, leave the stresses and worries behind as we tune ourselves to the ancient vibrations of the earth. We will have morning and evening drumming workshops, visit the local schoolchildren we made friends with last year, visit the 500 year old Ceiba tree that inspired the movie Avatar, and take a day trip to visit Costa Rican experts in sustainable permaculture. The Living Forest provides a perfect place to learn about Costa Rica, settle in, slow down, and sync our heartbeats to the pulse of nature.
After tuning our rhythms to the sounds of the jungle river we will head to the clouds. We will travel by boat over Lake Arenal, then be driven up the mountain into the Monteverde Cloud Forest where we will stay another 5 days at the beautiful Casa Guarumo inside the Cloud Forest reserve. With balconies overlooking the forest, gardens, pathways and an amazing unique amphitheater for our own use this will be an art filled experience unlike any other. We will be within walking distance of cafes, small shops and a local women's art collective. There will be daily rhythm of nature drumming and there will be also be easy opportunities to explore and visit attractions such as skywalk tours as well as orchid, butterfly, bat and hummingbird gardens all nearby.
Next we are off to the pristine beach at Playa Grande for 5 more restful nature filled days. The beach of Playa Grande is within the Las Baulas National Marine Park and is the nesting ground of the giant Leatherback Sea Turtle. We will be staying in one of the few beach front homes on the north end of Playa Grande where the swimming is good and a short walk to Playa Ventanas which has lovely tide pools and snorkeling. Restaurants are nearby and the lively town of Tamarindo is not too far away.
We will visit and explore three distinct locations in Costa Rica, from jungle rivers, to cloud forests, to protected beaches.
The Secluded Living Forest Retreat Center Nestled On A Jungle River Near Lake Arenal
Casa Guaruma - Intimate Performance Art Space High Up In The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Come explore the treasured diversity of Costa Rica with us and engage in the rhythms of nature while exploring the culture and adventures that Costa Rica has to offer.
This Retreat includes:
Lodging and all food at The Living Forest Retreat Center for 5 nights
Lodging in Monteverde at the Casa Guaruma for 5 nights
Lodging in Playa Grande at Casa Mirage or Casa Linda Vista for 5 nights
Private shuttle transportation to and from Airport and all locations, including a boat trip across Lake Arenal
Drums and Musical Instruments are provided.
Exclusive use of all of our locations.
A day trip to explore of all aspects behind the sustainable, self-sufficient permaculture practices of Rancho Margot, the first carbon-positive company in Costa Rica.
A trip to the Arenal Ceiba Tree - the inspiration for Avatar’s “Tree of Life."
Visit to local school
Daily Rhythm of Nature, Nature of Rhythm Immersive Drumming Workshops led by Patricia Hatfield and Cheryl Ulrich
Food at the Living Forest will be provided ~Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner daily from Locally-sourced food with gluten free options available. Food in Monteverde and Playa Grande is not included. There are full kitchens in each location and markets and restaurants nearby.
Other additional activities like kayaking on Lake Arenal, sky walk visits, gardens and more can be arranged. (cost for additional activities not included in package price)
The Living Forest
Five Days In A Jungle Paradise
The Living Forest is a newly built Lodge & Retreat center near Lake Arenal and the Arenal Volcano in Guanacaste Costa Rica - where you wake up to the sound of a river in a jungle with tropical birds and monkeys often in sight.
The retreat center hosts yoga, transformational and healing retreats, dance and movement, art & creativity, meditation and other spiritual retreats immersed in nature. Johanna, the retreat owner, will be leading gentle yoga sessions some mornings for the Rhythm of Nature Retreat.
Living Forest is happy to host this unforgettable experience and share some of the beautiful country, abundant wild life and its warm and friendly people.
All meals are provided while we are at the Living Forest and you can trust that we will nourished with tender care as we gently settle in to the rhythms of the jungle and luxuriate in the beauty of nature here in this idylic location.
Watch a Video About The Living Forest
The Monteverde Cloud Forest area hosts more than 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds and 2,500 varieties of plants, including more than 400 different types of orchids. It is known globally for its stunning natural views and renowned for its bird watching.
We will be staying at Casa Guarumo, in the heart of Monteverde, surrounded by beautiful gardens, ancient trees, walking paths and majestic views. The house is walking distance to a bakery, market, art collective and restaurants, yet private and surrounded on all sides by the sounds and songs of nature.
Here we also find a unique amphitheater for our exclusive use, perhaps to be entertained by magical music making and entertaining performances.
Five Days in the Magical Cloud Forest
Five Days on the Beach in Playa Grande
For the final majestic days in Costa Rica we will travel to the beach of Playa Grande for five days of leisure in the sun and surf under crystal blue sky.
Located along the north Pacific Coast in Guanacaste province, Playa Grande is a vital part of the Marino Las Baulas National Park. After being incorporated into the park in 1990, the beach has been open to the public, but remains a highly protected region because it is a nesting site of the leatherback turtles. The pristine shoreline and crystal blue waters of Playa Grande make this one of the most beautiful beaches in Guanacaste. Playa Ventanas just a short walk to the north, is reputed to have good snorkeling.
The small town of Playa Grande has several fun places to eat, or we can cook delicious meals in the nice upscale kitchen.
Casa Mirage is a high end beachfront home with new kitchen, air conditioned rooms, hammocks, beach chairs and beach cruiser bikes.
Our other home nearby is Casa Linda Vista, a secluded oasis in the forest overlooking the Pacific Ocean on a 3 acre estate with monkeys, iguanas, birds, and cool breezes.
River View Casita is a separate building next to the retreat center with two private rooms, each with a king size or two twin beds depending on your needs. Each room has a fan and a screened windows and a private bathroom. The casita has its own veranda with the jungle and river right in front to experience and observe the wildlife right from your chair.
The house in Monteverde is spacious and spread out with a variety of different sleeping arrangements. You will have a queen size or full bed (as shown in these pictures) to yourself in a shared room with a shared bathroom. There will be choice of options once we arrive.
The houses in Playa Grande have a variety of different sleeping arrangements. You will have one of the rooms with ocean or garden view, a queen/full bed to yourself in either a private or shared room, private or shared bathroom. There will be choice of options once we arrive.
The Living Forest Lodge has three separate bedrooms in the main center. Each room can accommodate two or three people (and no one needs to climb into that top bunk). There is a fan in each room, a screened door and windows, and shared bathrooms.
These rooms are in the main lodge, off the yoga deck and patio lounge.
The house in Monteverde is spacious and spread out with a variety of different sleeping arrangements. You will have a twin bed to yourself in a shared room, shared bathroom. There will be some choice of options once we arrive. These images are examples.
The houses in Playa Grande have a variety of different sleeping arrangements. You will have a twin bed to yourself in a shared room, and shared bathroom. We will choose options once we arrive including staying in the house up the hill, Casa Linda Vista.
Day Trip to Rancho Margot
Dive into an experiential exploration of all aspects behind the sustainable and self-sufficient practices of Rancho Margot, from organic agriculture and food processing to energy production and carbon neutrality.
We will be treated to a chef cooked lunch created from Rancho Margot's organic farm and ranch and have the day to explore the ranch, with optional kayaking, horseback riding or hiking available.
Their hiking trails traverse along a transition zone (rainforest to cloudforest) where you can take in the majesty of secondary and mature forest ecosystems at work. On the footpaths, you can observe tropical birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and diverse insect and plant species.
HORSEBACK TOUR Option
Depart on horseback from the stables and behold unforgettable views of over 60,000 hectares of rainforest, Lake Arenal, Arenal Volcano, Cerro Chato, Volcan Tenorio, Miravalles and Rincon de La Vieja. This is a great way to take in the Ranch and the neighborhood!
KAYAK TOUR Option
Head out to the shores of Lake Arenal where adventure and relaxation await. Kayak towards the Arenal Volcano, explore the abundance of life within the many inlets you pass along the way, and feel refreshed as you jump into the lake for a swim.
Transportation, tour, lunch and day pass is included in the retreat price. Optional Kayaking or horseback riding is $55 for 2 hours.
Ancient Ceiba Tree of Life
Together we will visit the ancient Ceiba tree just a short distance from the Living Forest that inspired the movie Avatar. This 500+ year old tree is positioned dramatically on the continental divide overlooking Lake Arenal and has been an inspiration to generations of shamans and caretakers of the earth. Being with this powerful and extraordinary tree is truly an inspirational experience.
We are strong believers of giving back to the local communities we visit. During this retreat, we will going back to the local elementary school we visited last time!
Experience the warmth of Costa Rica’s children as we visit the Sabalito Public School, which has 16 students in grades 1-6 from the local rural community.
Anyone who wishes to bring any additional supplies or support the school may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the schools current needs and wish list. (Which is mostly books and art supplies)
Transportation And Logistics
We have partnered with Tui at Blue Butterfly Events to manage support and logistics. She brings wisdom and local knowledge to provide peace of mind and local perspective to retreat participants. Tui has also gone out of her way for us, gathering drums and doing amazing things behind the scenes to make this a wonderful event.
March 20: ARRIVAL DAY!
Guests Arrive into one of 2 International Airports:
LIR – Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (Drive time is 1 ½ hours to Living Forest)
SJO - Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose (Drive time is 3 ½ hours to Living Forest.)
VIP Airport Drivers will greet guests at the airport on arrival and assist with luggage and escort them to waiting shuttles. Drivers will be waiting right outside of customs and have signs with your name, making them easy and safe to find. Shuttles will be private for retreat guests only and scheduled twice daily on arrival and departure dates, depending on flight times. Transportation is provided by bilingual, friendly, uniformed drivers in new, air-conditioned, insured and licensed Toyota vans and guaranteed on time. Service includes cold drinks, snacks and free wifi. Guests will be taken directly to Living Forest Retreat Center.
Guests may request that their driver stop anywhere along the way for bathroom breaks, photos ops and food.
Upon Arrival at Living Forest guests will be greeted by retreat leaders and Living Forest staff with welcome drinks, shown their accommodations and given a chance to settle into their new surroundings and meet one another.
That evening guests will enjoy a vibrant Costa Rican style welcome dinner, with a typical home-cooked meal, cold drinks, fresh flowers and music.
Then we will gather and begin to deepen into our natural shared rhythms.
Transportation between Living Forest and Monteverde and Monteverde to Playa Grande is provided.
April 4: DEPARTURE
VIP Airport Drivers will assist with luggage and drive you to your corresponding airport in private shuttles for retreat guests only and scheduled on departure dates, depending on flight times. Please note you should arrive 3 hours before your scheduled departure. Shuttles will be arranged according to group flight times. Flight departing outside of the group departure times can be arranged at an extra cost.
Anyone wishing to spend additional time exploring Costa Rica, please contact Tui at email@example.com for travel assistance at no additional cost.
About The Retreat Leaders
Patricia Hatfield resides and works in the Bay Area (in California), living her passion to bring people together in harmony and full self-expression through music. She leads drumming and music workshops and teaches classes in percussion and rhythm and improvisational music. She is trained in the use of cross-cultural music and sacred sound for health. She has been drumming for 25 years since studying music performance and composition at U.C. Berkeley. She has also studied with African and Afro-Cuban teachers, and has studied Indian Tabla with Swapan Chaudhuri at the Ali Akbar College. Find out more about Patricia at http://harmonydrumcircles.com.
Cheryl Ulrich is an expressive arts coach, musician, and improvisational performer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She leads workshops in The Art of Being, experiential adventures in sound, movement, music and improvisation designed to open people up to their own creativity and wellspring of expression. She has studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and been trained by improvisational leaders Marcia Kimmell of The Next Stage and Mary Knysh of Rhythmic Connections. You can find out more about her work at BodyPoetic.com
Patricia and Cheryl along with Judith Lerner make up an improvisationally based musical trio called Magic of Music, leading workshops based on their studies with Mary Knysh of Music for People. We create a safe place for play and exploration to arise and believe that everyone can play music and that there are indeed No Wrong Notes!
While our Rhythm of Nature Retreat will focus on drumming, this video shows the playful, safe and supportive approach we use to provide breakthroughs for participants in making music together.
About Costa Rica
Costa Rica is more than a vacation destination; it is an interactive sensory experience. The country is bestowed with an intense array of biodiversity and environmental attractions including majestic volcanoes, emerald jungles, misty cloud forests, stunning river valleys and hundreds of pristine and exotic beaches. Costa Rica or "rich coast" in English, lives up to its name in many ways.
In size, Costa Rica is a fairly small country, a grand total of 19,530 square miles which hosts around 3 million inhabitants, most of whom live in the Central Valley. For its size, the country has an amazing amount of diversity. From mountainous ranges, to tropical, dry, and cloud forests. Costa Rica is a naturist’s wonderland. There are over 10,000 identified species of plants, 850 species of birds, 800 species of butterflies, and 500 species of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, combined. Costa Rica carries a fascinating ecological story, woven into the history of a friendly, peaceful and family-oriented culture.
Costa Rica is on the Central American isthmus that connects North America and South America. Geographically speaking, it is part of North America while its cultural heritage is Latin American. Bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south and east. The Pacific Ocean borders the western and southern parts of Costa Rica, and the Caribbean Sea borders Costa Rica on the east. It is located between 9 and 10 degrees north of the equator within the latitudinal belt known as the Tropics. Easy to access from the Americas, it is a perfect place to explore paradise!
Named the happiest country in the world; a paradise for peace and biodiversity; a green beacon for environmental stewardship - Costa Rica is a country of many accolades. But Costa Rica’s history and culture extend far beyond the reach of international recognition. The small Central American nation is home to incredible biodiversity and rich cultures, a passion for freedom, and a history of democracy, equality, and education for all.