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Costa Rica Events

All Costa Rica Events | Additional Notes: Fasters | Interns | Walking Tour

What is included?

The event fee includes ALL expenses other than airfare and related taxes (and any private arrangements or expenses) to/from Costa Rica's San Jose airport including, but not limited to:
  • Transportation between San Jose airport and the hotel.
  • Transportation between the hotel and the retreat center.
  • One night's accommodation at a nice hotel near the airport to begin the event.
  • Accommodation at the retreat center.
  • One night's accommodation at a nice hotel near the airport to conclude the event.
  • Small health library access.
  • Meals at the event, appropriate to your needs, when not fasting.
  • Pure drinking water.
  • Group educational lectures and discussions.
  • Use of facilities at the retreat center (e.g. pool, spa and nature trails).
  • Gratuity for bus drivers, and staff at the hotel and the retreat center.
  • Linens provided.
  • Laundry service.
  • Wireless internet at the event.

What is not included?

The following expenses are your responsibility:
  • Airfare.
  • Souvenirs.
  • Postcards, Postage and Stationery.
  • Telephone calls.
  • Phone cards.
  • Personal items such as toiletries, clothing, etc.

What if I want to arrive a day early or leave a day late?

If you will be arriving a day or more early or departing a day or more late, you will need to book a room at the hotel at your own expense. The nightly tariff at this hotel is approximately US$100. There are other hotels nearby which have a lower nightly tariff.

What is the accommodation like?


We will be staying for one night at a nice hotel near the airport on the scheduled arrival day in Costa Rica. The hotel is like a tropical oasis, allowing us to relax and recover from our travels, before making the final leg of the journey to our retreat center. The hotel grounds have beautiful gardens, with mango and other fruit trees, as well as a pool and very comfortable, serviced rooms with a private bathroom with shower/bath, toilet and basin, and your choice of fresh air and open windows, or air conditioning.

After registering for the event, we will send you the contact details for the hotel. You can give those contact details to anyone who may need to reach you on the scheduled arrival day in Costa Rica. For those not fasting, the hotel accommodation includes a free breakfast of ripe fruit from 6am.

Retreat Center

At the retreat center, the rooms are serviced and very comfortable. The views of nature from the rooms are very scenic.

There will be two people in every room.

Each room has its own bathroom including shower, toilet and basin with room for your toiletries and personal items.

Keep in mind that shelf and drawer space is somewhat limited.

The hotel provides linens and towels and will provide extra blankets as necessary.

We are the only ones who will be using this facility, including our private pool.

Is there a private bathroom in my room?

At the hotel and the retreat center, event attendees will have their own private bathroom to be shared with their roommate.

Will I be able to purchase personal items like shampoo, soap etc?

There are limited range of basic necessities at a general store local to the retreat center. For specialized items the closest town is a 40 minute drive each way. We receive a weekly food delivery from the town and can sometimes arrange for specialized items to be purchased and delivered to the retreat center.

Currency exchange in Costa Rica

U.S. dollars are generally acceptable throughout Costa Rica, though the currency of Costa Rica is the colón or in plural form, colónes. There will be plenty of opportunity to change money once you are in Costa Rica, at the airport, hotels and banks. The exchange rate varies daily though it is usually around 510 colónes per U.S. dollar. It will likely be possible to exchange money in increments, if you prefer.

As we travel towards our destination, you will have the opportunity to exchange whatever funds you think you will need. At the retreat center, you will have little opportunity for currency exchange. If you are bringing currencies other than U.S. dollars, I suggest you make your exchange at your home airport. There is also an exchange booth at the San Jose airport, but it will only be open if you arrive during the day, most likely. Exchange rates are simply not worth worrying about for relatively small quantities.

What are the travel requirements for Costa Rica?

To enter Costa Rica all visitors must have:
  • a valid passport with at least 6 months' validity from the entry date to Costa Rica.
  • an entry and exit ticket, whether it is by air, land or sea.

Citizens of USA, Canada, Australia and most European countries traveling to Costa Rica are able to stay for up to 90 days without a visa. As travel restrictions can change without warning, ensure you confirm your travel requirements are met before arriving in Costa Rica.

  • Please visit the official website, visitcostarica.com to check:
  • Entry Requirements for entry and exit requirements specific to your home country such as whether or not you need a visa and how many days you are permitted to stay in Costa Rica with or without a visa;
  • Their FAQ.

Immunization shots are not required to visit Costa Rica.

Which airport should I fly to?

Airport location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Airport code: SJO
English: Juan Santamaría International Airport
Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaría
Note: DO NOT fly to San Jose, California (Airport code: SJC)!!!

Do I need to speak Spanish at the airport?

At the San Jose airport, all signs are in both Spanish and English. The airport staff can speak both Spanish and English.

How do I get from the airport to the hotel?

On arrival in Costa Rica, it is extremely easy to get a taxi to our hotel. If special arrangements have been made to meet you at the airport, plan on us being there to meet you, otherwise simply catch an orange taxi from the airport to our hotel. It will be easy to find a taxi and the trip takes less than 10 minutes. As soon as you step outside of the airport (there is only one exit available to you) one or more official looking men (probably all wearing white shirts, but the colors seem to change from year to year,) will ask you if you want a taxi. Simply respond slowly and clearly, "Yes" or simply say, "si." which means "yes" in Spanish. There is a taxi booth to the far left of the exit from the airport. The official looking men will direct you to the booth, where you tell the server the name of the hotel. The trip costs about $6 but you don't need to pay for it as the trip is included in the hotel room rate as long as you get an "orange" taxi. The men in the booth won't charge you but will give you a receipt. You then walk outside, show the receipt to the guy who puts people in taxis, and he will call one for you. You give the receipt to the driver of an orange taxi. The driver is reimbursed by the hotel reception on arrival and you do not need to make any payment to the driver. You don't have to tip the driver, but you are allowed to. A $1 tip is more than enough. Taxi drivers are typically very patient in Costa Rica compared to the States.

We will provide you with the hotel contact details after you have registered for the event. Be sure to bring the name and phone number of the hotel with you when you travel to Costa Rica.

How early should I leave the hotel to go to the airport when leaving Costa Rica?

Make sure you book your free taxi to the airport several hours in advance at the hotel reception. It is a good idea to plan to book a free hotel taxi to leave about 3 hours before your flight departure time. That way you will not be rushed or worried about missing your flight and you will be able to either do some souvenir shopping or utilize the free Wi Fi internet.

What happens at the airport when leaving Costa Rica?

The San Jose airport is well marked with signs in both Spanish and English, making it relatively easy to go through the departure process.

  1. Line up to pay the departure tax

    The Costa Rican government charges a departure fee, which was $28 USD (U.S. dollars) in 2012. The departure tax can be paid in cash (U.S. dollars or equivalent in Colónes) or may be paid by Credit Card. The fee can be paid at the airport or in advance at most hotels and banks. We find it most convenient to pay the departure tax at the airport. If planning to use a credit card, we recommend that you also carry enough cash as a backup option. You will need to show your passport when paying the departure tax.

  2. Check-in

    Line up at the check-in counter with your passport, luggage and a copy of your itinerary. While in the queue you can obtain a departure card. Be sure to get an English version of the form if you don't speak Spanish.

  3. Security and customs checks

    Line up to go through the security and customs checks.

What is the arrival day schedule?

  1. After arriving in Costa Rica, take a taxi to the hotel.
  2. On arrival at the hotel ask the hotel reception (they can speak English) for the room numbers of Dr. Graham's staff. The rooms will be booked under the name of Dr. Graham. Check in with us so we can give you a warm welcome and help you settle into your room.
  3. Before photos for the event will be taken during the afternoon.
  4. The fasters who have begun their fast will be monitored by the interns either in the late afternoon or the early evening.
  5. In the early evening we will have a brief welcoming ceremony in the restaurant area for all fasters, feasters, interns and staff, thereafter excusing the fasters for an early night's rest before the evening meal is served for interns, staff and anyone whose fast has not yet begun.
  6. Everyone should plan on an early night's sleep as we have an early start the following morning.

What is the travel schedule to the retreat center?

The morning after arriving in Costa Rica we make an early start to travel from the hotel to the retreat center. The schedule is as follows:
  1. By 6am, an unlimited fruit breakfast will be served in the restaurant for those who aren't fasting and don't wish to travel on an empty stomach.
  2. By 6:20am interns should be finished breakfast and begin carrying luggage to reception and then load the bus. By 6:20am everyone should have their luggage ready at the door of their rooms for the interns to carry to the bus.
  3. By 6:30am, all luggage needs to be outside the reception area ready to load onto our bus.
  4. While the bus is being loaded, take the opportunity to fill your water bottles and use the restrooms.
  5. By around 6:45am people can likely begin entering the bus and taking a seat. There will be room for bringing some light luggage inside the bus. Ensure your fragile luggage such as computers are loaded inside the bus rather than on the roof with the heavier luggage.
  6. By 7am our bus will depart from the hotel.
  7. We should arrive at the retreat center by around 12pm having taken several bathroom breaks and likely souvenir shopping.
  8. We will unload everything from the bus so the driver can depart.
  9. The Interns (Fasting and Feasting) or Work Exchange attendees (Walking Tour) will help with your luggage and show you to your rooms.

What sort of water will I drink during the event?

At the hotel, you will have access to free filtered water at the hotel entry near reception. Simply fill your own water bottle as often as needed. Be sure to fill your water bottle prior to leaving on the bus trip to the retreat center.

At the retreat center, you will have unlimited access to fresh, pure mountain water from the river which has been run through a double filtration process to ensure purity.

Will my valuables be safe?

Where we will be staying is very safe. No attendees have had any valuables go missing in all of the years the event has been at these locations. Even still, we recommend not bringing unnecessary valuables. Dr. Graham will maintain a lock-up, for people who wish for him to hold their valuables, though your valuables are your own responsibility throughout the event.

What is the weather like during January and February?

It will be warm and comfortable during the day for our entire trip. Night times however will be quite cool, often dropping as low the mid-50's (10C).

The rains will just about totally have stopped by the time we arrive. We might see a few afternoon rains in January, but they will peter out and the dry season is what we should expect.

What should I bring?


The daytime weather will be comfortably warm, the nights will be predictably cool. Perfect weather for sleeping and resting. Please bring sufficient warm clothing to allow for the coolness of morning and evening.

It is likely that we will go to bed very early, usually shortly after dark. Please bring at least one set of clothing with long sleeves and another set of sweats, and a warm hat. We don't want anyone to be cold. Bring an under layer of warm clothing too, to wear if necessary. Some evenings, you might wear both sets. Night time temperatures are usually in the mid-50s. Although it is warmer in your room, many prefer to leave the windows open to let the fresh cool air flow through. If you tend to be a cool person, bring sufficient warm clothing. Socks and a hat/beanie go a long way when trying to conserve your body heat.

Personal possessions

It is always nice to bring something that makes your space feel "homey," whether it be a picture, a special pillow, your blankie, or a stuffed animal.


Please bring at least one reliable headlamp or handheld flashlight/torch. You will need it almost every day of the trip.

Electrical adapters

You are unlikely to need any rain gear other than an umbrella during the event.

Water container/bottle

The electricity in Costa Rica works the same as in the United States. Outlets are 110 V. Some power outlets only accept two prong plugs while others will take either two or three prongs. Electrical adapters can be purchased at the airport.


The sun is extremely powerful in the tropics and at altitude. We will take it in small doses. There is plenty of shade available. Still, a hat is a good idea, especially for taking long walks.


You will have numerous opportunities to swim during the events in Costa Rica. The hotel near the airport has an unheated pool. The retreat center has a lovely swimming pool and heated spa. While at the retreat center there is the opportunity to visit at various swimming holes in the local river systems. The retreat center has a cold, yet refreshing swimming hole in the river that runs through our property.


Any books on learning Spanish.

Spending money

It is unlikely that you will find a way to spend $500 while on this trip. Many folks do this event without spending even $300. That money is spent on gifts, postage, phone calls, batteries, and the like.

Will there be time for shopping?

Leave room in your luggage for bringing home a gift or two. Many people purchase the wonderful large wooden plates made from cedro. We will stop to look at them as we drive through Costa Rica on the way to our retreat center, and again on the way home. Also hammocks are a big item that folks often bring home, so leave room in your luggage.

We usually stop in a large town for about an hour before completing our trip to the retreat center. In the town you will be able to pick up last minute items you may have forgotten. We will be able to send out a short shopping list once each week, for things such as film, postcards, phone cards, batteries, etc. You may find a small fanny pack or daypack to be extremely useful while shopping in town.

Is there internet access?

The San Jose international airport offers free Wi-Fi. The hotel near the airport offers free Wi-Fi, though some rooms may have a poor Wi-Fi signal. At the retreat center, there is wireless internet access available, but in previous years it has proven to be slow and somewhat unreliable when several people use it concurrently. It isn't fast, but it works, most of the time.

Is there a telephone available?

Phone access and phone cards will be made available. We will post a schedule for phone use which is to be restricted to 15 minutes per day and none during lecture hours.

Is there a cell phone signal at the retreat center?

Most cell phones need to find a higher vantage point to get a reliable signal.

Fasters: Additional Notes

What is included?

  • Room shared with an event attendee.
  • Daily monitoring during the fast.
  • Expert guidance for breaking the fast.
  • Daily lectures with Dr. Graham.

What are the benefits of staying for the Walking Tour after fasting?

The Walking Tour runs for an additional two weeks immediately after the fast.
Staying for the Walking Tour can allow you to either:

  • extend your fast beyond what is possible during the Fasting and Feasting event alone; OR
  • benefit from additional supervised recovery time after your fast under the expert guidance of Dr. Graham.
By staying for the Walking Tour, you also open up a wonderful opportunity to involve loved ones in supporting you through the recovery process.

What should I bring?


The swimming pool is one of the locations for fitness activities during the recovery phase of the fast.

When should my flights arrive and depart from Costa Rica?

It is important that fasters and feasters book their flights to arrive in the afternoon between 12pm and 4pm on the scheduled arrival date for the event. It is preferable for departure flights to leave in the morning, as early as you like, on the scheduled departure date for the event. We recommend booking your flights as soon as possible.

Interns: Additional Notes

What is included?

  • Training to monitor fasters.
  • Intensive internship program with an educational focus on hygienic fasting.
  • Experience working in an 80/10/10 kitchen.

What should I bring?

Warm clothing

It is often cold when preparing breakfast, and always cold at dinner.

When should my flights arrive and depart from Costa Rica?

It is important that interns book their flights to arrive in Costa Rica no later than 12pm on the scheduled arrival date for the event. If any interns have flights which don't permit arriving by 12pm, you will have the option to arrive the day before and cover the additional hotel expense. It is preferable for departure flights to leave in the morning, as early as you like, on the scheduled departure date for the event.

We recommend booking your flights as soon as possible.

What to expect on arrival?

On arrival at the hotel on the scheduled arrival day:

  1. There will be a mandatory meeting for interns at lunch time.
  2. Interns will begin to be trained to monitor fasters.
  3. Any fasters that have begun fasting should be monitored prior to the evening meeting.

On arrival at the retreat center:

  1. Fasters need to be monitored before the mid-afternoon meeting.
  2. A meeting for everyone in the common room will be scheduled in the mid-afternoon, typically around 3pm. After the meeting the fasters are encouraged to return to their rooms for an early evening after the day of travel.
  3. During the afternoon, initial jobs and roles will be established for the interns.
  4. In the evening, the first internship class will begin.
  5. Internship classes will be held during every meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) until the fasters have broken, at which time, the event becomes more social, giving the interns a chance to demonstrate the culinary skills developed during the event, as we celebrate the fasters' accomplishments.

Walking Tour: Additional Notes

When should my flights arrive and depart from Costa Rica?

On the arrival day for the Walking Tour of Costa Rica, all attendees, work exchange, and staff should arrive at the airport in the morning, as early as possible, in order to arrive at the retreat center before dinner. It is preferable for departure flights to leave in the morning, as early as you like, on the scheduled departure date for the event. We recommend booking your flights as soon as possible.

Can my spouse join me for the Walking Tour?

The Walking Tour is a wonderful opportunity for loved ones to strengthen and renew their relationships and to make habit of healthy lifestyle choices together.

What should I bring?


The Walking Tour will present numerous additional swimming opportunities including the local hot springs.


Your computer will come in handy to keep in touch with loved ones during the event. In order to gain the most benefits from the event, we recommend minimizing usage of computers wherever possible.

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