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Recovery Elevator in Costa Rica sober Travel

Hola alcohol-free traveler!


This alcohol-free sober travel trip to Costa Rica is the ultimate combination of beach vacation and retreat. It’s the perfect combination of movement and relaxation in one of five blue zones on the planet: Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Our home base is in the small sleepy beach town of Venado, Costa Rica, and we’ll take day trips to nearby beaches, rivers, parks, nature reserves, and more.

At Recovery Elevator we believe the opposite of addiction is connection: we will be connecting with nature, the stars, the ocean, the land, food, others who have ditched the booze, and most importantly ourselves. Guests fly into Liberia International Airport on Saturday, March 2nd, then travel 1.5 hours south to our home base at Venado Ranch for the week. These trips are special because we all have one common goal: living an authentic alcohol-free life. Recovery workshops such as breathwork, guided meditations, nature walks, and sound healing are also included. We’re doing a river cleanup service project in the town of La Florida, a group surf lesson, a day trip to Nosara, meditate on nature platforms in the jungle, tour a sea turtle sanctuary, visit a local goat cheese farm, and more. We have space for 20 AF travelers and we require 15 days from your last drink to attend this retreat.

ITINERARY (subject to change)

Day 1Saturday, March 2nd – Arrival: Travel day to Costa Rica. Fly into Liberia (Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport: LIR), then take the included transfer shuttle (85 min) to the Playa Lagarto Eco Development, where you will stay for the duration of the retreat.

Day 2Sunday, March 3rd – Have breakfast followed by retreat orientation at the Eco Development Lodging. Head to the small community of La Florida to begin the service project. In the morning help clean up a section of the river and in the afternoon, head to Venado to clean up the beach.  Dinner and sunset Venado Beach.

Day 3Monday, March 4th –  Spend the morning at La Tica Lodge for breakfast, pool, and a group trapeze lesson.  Lunch at the Peace Retreat.  After lunch, head to Playa Negra for our first Yoga Class.  Spend the afternoon at the pool at the Eco Development, and then dinner and sunset at the Tiki Hut in Marbella.

Day 4Tuesday, March 5th – Head to Playa Negra in the morning for a group surf lesson. In the afternoon, visit the Verdiazul Playa Junquillal Turtle Sanctuary. Dinner and sunset at La Loma Venado.

Day 5Wednesday, March 6th – After breakfast, head to the beach town of Nosara for the day. Check out the local shops, spend the day at Guillones Beach, and attend an optional A.A meeting. Return to Eco Development after dinner in Nosara.

Day 6Thursday, March 7th – Share groups and workshop at Eco Development. Head to Playa Callejones for a yoga class and then La Esquina de Avellanas for lunch. After lunch head to Avellanas beach for a free afternoon. Sunset and dinner at Lola’s at Avellanas Beach.

Day 7Friday, March 8th – Head to Venado Ranch for a day of nature and community building. Learn about the wildlife that lives in the area, meditate on nature platforms, and walk the nature trails. Closeout beach barbeque and sunset at Playa Venado.

Day 8Saturday, March 9th – Departure: Take the airport transfer to Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia.



Sober Travel Recovery Elevator

What’s Included

  • Single room accommodations for 7 nights
  • Airport transfer to and from Daniel Oduber Quirós International airport (Liberia airport) LIR (see FAQ for details)
  • All transportation during the trip
  • 2 Yoga Classes
  • Workshops
  • Breathwork
  • All meals except one lunch and one dinner
  • 1 alcohol-free beverage (coffee, tea, soda, or juice) at each meal
  • Group Surf lesson
  • All gratuity and tips


What’s not Included

  • Required Travel Insurance – This is Required. See FAQ for more information and where to purchase a policy. Please budget anywhere from $75-$250, depending on your comfort level. **Check to see if your personal or business credit card includes this as many of them do at no extra charge***
  • Airfare
  • 1 lunches and 1 dinner – Please budget an additional $50 – $80 for extra meals and snacks
  • Additional adventures in Costa Rica – There is free time in the itinerary. You can choose your own excursion for our beach day in Nosara.

Cancellation Policy

  • All but $350 refunded for cancellations up until 5 pm EST Friday, January 26th, 2024
  • 50% of total refunded for cancellations up until 5 pm EST Friday, February 9th, 2024
  • Cancellations after February 9th, 2024 = 100% loss.

Additional Information

  • This is a physically active retreat and those with physical limitations will not receive the full benefits of the trip
  • Your passport must be valid for up to six months AFTER your return flight date
  • This retreat is not a substitute for treatment and we require a minimum of 15 days since your last drink

We have partnered with Athletic Greens and Soberlink for this event

Recovery Elevator Sober Travel
Recovery Elevator Costa Rica at Venado Ranch
What will the workshops be like?

We are still finalizing the workshop schedule, but you can expect to see some of the following.

– Guided walking excursions on the nature trails at Venado Ranch

– Meditation, journaling, and bird watching on raised platforms at Venado Ranch. You’ll sit with the most incredible nature sound track for blocks of 15 min, 30 min, 45 min, and 60 minutes

– Group breath-work in nature

– Sound healing – Harmonize and sync your energy centers with music and vibration

– The Divine Connection – With your feet grounded in the sand, use the breath to connect with the stars, planets, and galaxies.

Connect, Connect, Connect: We feel the workshops are solid, but the most impactful part of the retreat are the connections that you’ll make. You’ll find yourself in structured small groups where you’ll build friendships that last a lifetime.

Like all Recovery Elevator retreats, laughter and fun are built into every aspect of the trip.

There is plenty of free time built into this trip, so you have time to relax, read, and hang out at the beach!

What do my flights need to look like?

Book flights arriving and departing from Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia Costa, Rica. There are several daily direct flights from major cities in the USA. Southwest also flies to Liberia.


Please book flights that arrive no later than 7 PM on Saturday, March 2nd. The last shuttle will leave the airport at 8 pm. If you cannot find a flight that arrives before 7 PM, you can arrive on Friday the 1st and stay the night at the Hilton Garden Inn located across from the airport and the transport shuttle will pick you up there on the morning of Saturday the 2nd around 11 am.


Book flights for anytime after 9:00 AM on Saturday, March 9th. We will coordinate the return shuttles for you. If you’re flight is before 9 AM, you may have to take a shuttle the night before and stay at the Hilton Garden Inn near the airport.

Please email you flight info to when you have it.


Who is this retreat for?

This retreat is for someone who wishes to connect & travel with others who have also ditched the booze. This trip is for those seeking to grow mentally, physically and spiritually in one of the most beautiful countries in the world – Costa Rica. The average sobriety time on this retreat is usually around 6-12 months. The retreat is not 12-step based, and we believe there is no right or wrong way to quit drinking, and remain alcohol-free.

If you are hoping to establish deeper connections with others, yourself, the planet, the birds, the ocean, stars and more, then we’ll see you there. 🤙

If this event isn’t for you, check out our events page for other types of events.

**This retreat is not a replacement for treatment or other detoxing services.**

What does the mandatory travel insurance look like?

All of our travelers must have Emergency Medical Travel Insurance that will cover the dates of the tour. This policy must meet the following criteria: (1) Medical Expenses coverage, (2) includes an emergency evacuation benefit, and (3) includes repatriation to your home country. The medical expenses, evacuation, and repatriation benefits must, when combined together, cover for at least $200,000.00 USD per traveler.

Several travel insurance companies provide this service, and you may find a cheaper provider than the ones we recommend below. Please budget anywhere from $125-250 for this depending on your level of comfort.

BattleFace is the travel insurance company that most of our travelers use. This company is usually the most affordable and a policy can be obtained in less than 15 minutes.

John Hancock Ins. Agency offers three different plan types (Gold, Silver, Bronze) that meet our mandatory requirements and provides you with the best protection based on your budget. They offer toll-free, 24/7 multilingual emergency assistance services to help arrange any care you may need while away from home.

NOTE: The Cancel For Any Reason Option must be purchased with the Gold, Silver or Bronze Plan within 14 Days of confirming your tour to qualify for the change of mind benefits. The Cancel For Any Reason Option allows you to cancel your trip, no less than 2 days prior to the scheduled departure date, and get back 75% of the prepaid, non-refundable payments or deposits for the covered trip arrangements. The Cancel for Any Reason option is not available in New York State.

How is this trip different than past Recovery Elevator Costa Rica Alcohol-Free travel trips?

Our previous trips to Costa Rica have been tours to different regions of the country where we stayed in hotels for 2-3 nights, then traveled to the next location. On this retreat, we’ll have one home base and take day trips to Venado Ranch, and to the pristine beaches of Costa Rica’s Gold Coast. This format lowers the cost of the trip and less time is spent in buses traveling. There is so much to see and do in Guanacaste!

What is the weather like in Costa Rica during that time of year.

We are visiting Guanacaste, Costa Rica in the dry season. It can still rain at any time, but there’s a good chance we’ll have daily sunshine with no rain. Temperatures are in the low 90’s during the day and in the 70’s at night. There is still humidity, but much less than in the rainy season. Bring plenty of sunscreen, but also pack a small rain poncho just in case.

Why is there a 15 day sobriety requirment for this retreat?

We want to ensure that attendees are not detoxing from alcohol at the retreat. We also want to mention this retreat is not a substitute for in-patient or out-patient treatment.

Is this trip physically challenging?

Yes, at times during this retreat you will find yourself sweating in the hot sun of Costa Rica, which is very healthy for you. We will be doing some fitness challenges and group movement but you can always go at your own pace or sit an activity out.

What are accommodations like? Where are we staying?

We have 20 single rooms reserved at the Playa Lagarto Eco-Devolopment which is located 10 minutes from Venado, Ranch. These are two bedroom condos that have a shared kitchen and living area. There is a large pool, on site restaurant, and yoga platform.

What should I pack?


• Sandals/flip-flops

• Shoes

• Shorts/skirts

• Sun hat/bandana

• Swimwear

• Reusable water bottle

• Shirts/t-shirts

• 2 Long Sleeve Shirts

• Small travel towel

• Sunglasses

• Headlamp

• Binoculars

• Plastic rain poncho (available for under $5 at most outdoor stores)

• Sunglasses

• Sunscreen

• 1 pair of pants

• Toiletries 

• Earplugs

• Small day pack bag

• Journal and Pen

• Eye mask (optional for breathwork)

• Bugspray: 2 bottles

• Extra spending money ($300-$500). Bring cash (US Dollars) and a debit card


• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at customs)

• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)

• Passport (required) (With photocopies)

Who is leading the retreat?

Recovery Elevator podcast host Paul Churchill is the retreat leader. He has been hosting retreats internationally since 2018 and feels the extra distance from home helps attendees “drop into” the full retreat experience. He strives to create an environment where people can be themselves without alcohol.

In addition, we are working with local Costa Rica guides for nature excursions, local surf instructors, local chefs, and local transportation companies.

How much extra money should I bring? Should I exchange money before departing?

It’s recommended you bring US American dollars. Bring clean (not ripped) $20 bills. All businesses accept $20 bills in good condition. It may be hard to use larger bills such as $50 or $100 bills since businesses may not be able to make change.

We recommend bringing an additional $150-$200 for meals not included. In addition, if you’d like to book optional excursions such as zip-lining, surfing, paddleboarding, horseback riding, or snorkeling, then budget $85 per activity.

All businesses in Costa Rica accept the US Dollar, so don’t worry about exchanging money.

Since we are traveling to remote areas, access to an ATM may not be possible so please bring enough spending money for the whole trip.

Almost all locations accept major credit cards. Check with your bank first to see if international fees apply, but usually this isn’t an issue.

Is Costa Rica safe?

Costa Rica is incredibly safe. We have been bringing guests to Costa Rica for several years and have not had any issues. The country has done a tremendous job building its tourism infrastructure and they place a high priority on the safety of tourists.

The water is safe to drink 👍 This is a HUGE bonus. Less nausea and less plastic.

Wildlife: Yes there are jaguars, black panthers, crocodiles, and pumas, but encounters with humans are extremely rare. The most venomous snakes in Costa Rica, the Bushmaster and Fer de Lance, are not in Guanacaste, so that is wonderful thing.

Costa Rica is overall a very safe country to visit, but you’ll still want to be smart and self aware.

No hablo español. Is that a problem?

It won’t hurt to know a couple of phrases like donde esta el baño, but if you don’t speak Spanish, no problemo. Guides speak to the group in English and can help you out if you need a translator. Plus, English is commonly spoken in Costa Rica.

We won't be roughing it at the Playa Lagarto Eco-Development

Costa Rica's Gold Coast

Recovery Elevator Sober Travel Costa Rica AF-Quest

Tour the Turtle Sanctuary Verdiazul Playa Junquillal

Alcohol-Free Travel Recovery Elevator

Check out pics from out previous Costa Rica AF Travel Trips

Recovery Elevator Bluze Zone

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