Destination Wellness Retreat : Kinkára, Costa Rica | By Lexi Reich

Last Updated: November 11, 2021By

Originally published in the Summer + Fall 2019 issue. 

As I step into the open-air yoga space, a beautiful wooden plate reads: The new path is an ancient one, and I know I have entered a sacred opening. Surrounding me is an edible mandala garden with eco-luxury tents symmetrically weaved throughout, and beyond is a horizon rich with mountains, rivers and luscious waterfalls. 

A weekend at Kinkára offers a new opportunity to connect with the earth. Located in the foothills of Mount Chirripo, Costa Rica’s highest mountain, the abundant landscape is designed to foster a mind body connection by uniting its guests with “the elements in nature that hold us in well-being.” 

A 30-minute plane ride from San Jose International Airport, Kinkára awaits as a dream glamping escape. You sleep under the clearest canvas of stars, bathe with views of vibrant greenery, and eat food grown just outside your living space that tastes raw and real and true. 

Costa Rica’s natural beauty is ever-present as you watch the sun rise and set each day, breathing the pure air in. Kinkára’s invitation to mindfulness truly creates a wellness retreat unlike any other. 

“It is an antidote to a world that is often out of step — and out of tune,” says David Comfort, Kinkára co-founder. 

Food is Medicine

A spirited connection between the two-and-a-half-acre Kinkára food forest and the kitchen illuminates the essence of unity. Earth to plate. There is a harmonious union created by paying respect and honor to the land that feeds us. 

No chemicals are used, ever, and the farm has organic certification. With permaculture, the multifunctional plants assist in creating a sustainable model. Honing in on the water element, the aquatics purify and rejuvenate the water from biological material and also contribute to composting.

Kinkára holds reverence to indigenous populations inhabiting these lands. Costa Rica’s lizards, birds and butterflies cohabit the land, harmoniously demonstrating the landscape’s productive ecological rhythm. 

Stepping outside my tent with locally made craftsman furniture, I can find ginger and turmeric that will later appear in the kombucha on tap at Casa Bulu, the communal dining and hangout space. The community tables are long and welcoming, designed for mingling with friends old and new. 

Dishes commemorate the land’s boundless ecological diversity. “We don’t have a fixed menu,” says chef Kuntal Kumar. “We are recognizing the dynamic nature of the farms and that is why our food is different every day.” 

And that is what made the experience all the more nourishing. Every day you try something new the land has to offer, like sweet potato served with amaranth and squash pilaf with cilantro and ginger. The way the food is prepared, plus the peaceful atmosphere, makes it all digest as superfoods for the soul. No processing or assembly line required. 

The bathrooms are filled with local and organic products. I never touched the commercial moisturizer I packed with me because their homemade coconut oil was divine. Its deep moisturizing properties, in addition to Costa’s Rica’s natural humidity, left my skin glowing. 

Essential oil blends are used as bug spray (and it works). Organic bed linens feel like you’re sleeping on clouds. There is detailed awareness into what is put in or on your body.

The New Path is an Ancient One

“Kinkára energizes the spirit. It connects guests to nature, to each other and to themselves. Each element of the guest journey is aligned to offer an immersive experience that is simultaneously fun, adventurous, communal and rejuvenating,” says Comfort. 

Kinkára energizes the spirit. It connects guests to nature, to each other and to themselves.

Kinkára is a public expression of a life connected to the earth and yourself. The brand wasn’t created, says Comfort, but discovered. We can all learn to realign ourselves with our roots — and those of the earth. 

The hope for those experiencing Kinkára is that they integrate the soul-nourishing principles taught at the remote property into their existing conceptions of self and the surrounding world, allowing for a more spiritually balanced and rewarding lifestyle. This wellness retreat is more than a weekend getaway — it is an opportunity to transform your life philosophy. 

Kinkára serves as a reminder to what it means to be in alignment with the rhythms of the earth and ourselves. It is a natural sanctuary equipped to turn your focus inwards. Whether your intention here is to celebrate your yoga and meditation practice, vacation with friends and family, or explore Costa Rica, everyone can benefit from this invitation of unity, connection and nourishment. 

After spending only a few days at Kinkára, I am still relishing in the lessons learned from experiencing this ever-present peace months later. 

Photos by Paul Dimalanta, Lori Barsamian, Lila Baghzouz and Paul Rennick.


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