Mad To Live Retreats Costa Rica Round-up & Wrap Video


The latest leg of Mad To Live Retreats has just wrapped and I have waved off a group of some of the most incredible women I have been fortunate enough to spend time with, let alone be part of their adventure.  Experiencing the highs of catching waves, pushing their limits and more, in the wildly raw and beautiful Nosara, Costa Rica. 

With an all-time crew of ladies jetting in from around the world, the agenda was set, a full 10 days of heart-racing and stoke-inducing adventure in one of my favourite places in the world, Costa Rica, staying with my friends at Surf Bikini Retreat, who collaborated with me on Mad To Live Retreats.  A noted rare blue and green zone on the planet, I couldn’t wait to share the stunning natural beauty and adventure with the chicks, and for them to find out just why it’s one of the happiest places in the world.

The chicks arrived at the Retreat HQ to a bed of goodies courtesy of our awesome partners Roxy, Plenish Cleanse, SeaFolly Australia, Pip N Nut & Ombar Chocolate. 

Fuelled daily by wholesome and fresh meals sourced straight from the local organic farmers market, the ladies went head on into the adventure, embracing the awesomeness of the “Pura Vida” life, taking on their first 5k run of the week and stretching out travel-cramped limbs with a restorative sunset beach yoga session under peach melba dappled skies.

The Costa Rica leg of the Mad To Live retreats adventure sees our surfing instruction led by insatiable head coach Monty Murphy, who, with over 55 years surfing experience, has an incredible wealth of knowledge to share. 

Head Coach Monty Murphy

Head Coach Monty Murphy


Fellow head coach Adilia Zuniga and co-owner of Surf Bikini, a Vice President of the local surfing association, has long led the charge in Nosara for women’s surfing (you can read all about her and how she introduced surfing to the local female community here). 

Kicking off our surf sessions with a land-based in depth land training session, looking at the fundamental movements of surfing including the pop up, and how through land training you can better execute these movements on water, the ladies were fired up for their surf sessions.   

Shooting the girls for land analysis

Shooting the girls for land analysis

Later on in the week busting a sweat out with jungle-based HIIT classes, the women were pushed hard, training perched next to the jungles edge, exploring new training methods including tag-fit training and martial art/yoga fusion workouts.

One of the most rewarding parts of my creating the Mad To Live Retreats is by far, being a part of these ladies’ adventure, seeing the stoke on their faces when they catch their first wave, the reward of a hard climb up a hill or wall, conquering fears and realising just what they are capable of, and how incredibly rewarding it is for them.

The women charged at the waves all week, absorbing the in-depth coaching and I was so stoked to see their progression, from paddling into white water waves, popping up, and all of them scoring a head-high wave in the week.

Mad To Live Retreater Stephanie on a bomb

Mad To Live Retreater Stephanie on a bomb

Right on!  Surfing in an incredible sport in that it provides so many highs, no matter your level, whether its paddling into your first white-water wave, the first pop-up, or carving on clean green waves. 

The flora and fauna of Costa Rica is unparalleled, and setting off in kayaks later in the week, we headed deep into the mangroves of the Boca (river) of Nosara, meeting local wildlife including howler monkeys, herons, and wild horses, a few crocodile eyes may have even been spotted mid paddle.  Setting off on a nature hike to the local bio-park, the ladies darted amongst trees, climbing amongst the rough terrain to the sounds of bird song, monkeys playing and ancient trees rustling. 

The Surf Bikini HQ seemed to be the place though this trip for spotting wildlife – at the villa alone the ladies got up close and personal with some of the natives who tentatively crept over to us much to the chicks’ stoke, including both howler and white faced monkeys, an armadillo, a possum, iguanas, squirrels, pizotes (raccoons), and of course Pipeline, the camp sausage dog who rules the roost. 


Embracing their inner monkey, the ladies were set loose on the local climbing walls, nestled on the side of the verdant jungle.  With the highest walls some 50 ft. tall, these challenging climbs were tackled by the crew,, surpassing a few fears along the way.  It was incredible to see the progression of the group, going from the first lower wall, to embracing the belief that they could and did boss the final steep ascent.  Tears, high fives, and a zangy margarita later to toast, this was one of many moments where I was so incredibly proud and inspired by this badass group of women.

Toasting the adventure with an epic sunset sky-dappled horse ride across the beaches, with hair flying, charging as the sunset, what a crew of women and what an adventure. Here is to your next one ladies.

Check out the full video re-cap of the Mad To Live Retreats Costa Rica adventure below, and let me know what you made of it in the comments!

Pura Vida!

Sophie x

With thanks to Roxy, Sea Folly Australia, Ombar Chocolate, Plenish and Pip N Nut

Mad To Live Retreats collaborated with Surf Bikini Retreat

Book now for the Portugal leg of Mad To Live Retreats here!

Follow the adventures on Instagram @SophieMadToLive #MadToLiveRetreats