5th Annual Pura Vida Ride Paddle Battle

5th Annual Pura Vida Ride Paddle Battle

The 5th Annual Pura Vida Ride Paddle Battle Stand-up paddle board race will take place on Saturday November 14th, 2015 at Las Catalinas, Playa Danta, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

Pura Vida Ride was the first to organize stand-up paddle board races in Costa Rica 5 years ago.  Each year the race route has changed slightly however always in the picturesque bay at Playa Danta.  This years event will have 2 race distances: the 9 km Elite Race weaving through the islands, and the 3.5 km Sprint making 3 laps around buoys right in front of the beach.  The day will finish with a Family race which is an adult and child (or dog) paddling one lap around the Sprint course.  There are Men’s and Women’s categories for each race as well as two board categories: 12’6″ Race board class, and the Stock board class which is an all around board shape under 12’6″.

Inscription cost is $30 in advance payable at Pura Vida Ride, or $40 on race day starting at 7:00am.  One inscription covers both races.

Elite Race will begin at 9:00am, the Sprint at 11:30am, and the family race at 1:00pm.  Awards will be at 2:00pm.

Medals and prizes will be awarded to the top 3 finishers in each race, category, and class.

Race Sponsors are Las Catalinas, Riviera, Chums, Pura Vida Bracelets, Camelbak, Smith, Otis, Freestyle watches, Rip Curl, and Sweet Waterwear. 

Details of the event and updates will be posted on the Facebook Event Page:


Hope to see you there!

5th Annual Pura Vida Ride Paddle Battle

5th Annual Pura Vida Ride Paddle Battle


The 5th Annual Pura Vida Ride Paddle Battle Stand-up paddle board race will take place on Saturday November 14th, 2015 at Las Catalinas, Playa Danta, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

Pura Vida Ride was the first to organize stand-up paddle board races in Costa Rica 5 years ago.  Each year the race route has changed slightly however always in the picturesque bay at Playa Danta.  This years event will have 2 race distances: the 9 km Elite Race weaving through the islands, and the 3.5 km Sprint making 3 laps around buoys right in front of the beach.  The day will finish with a Family race which is an adult and child (or dog) paddling one lap around the Sprint course.  There are Men's and Women's categories for each race as well as two board categories: 12'6" Race board class, and the Stock board class which is an all around board shape under 12'6".

Inscription cost is $30 in advance payable at Pura Vida Ride, or $40 on race day starting at 7:00am.  One inscription covers both races.

Elite Race will begin at 9:00am, the Sprint at 11:30am, and the family race at 1:00pm.  Awards will be at 2:00pm.

Medals and prizes will be awarded to the top 3 finishers in each race, category, and class.

Race Sponsors are Las Catalinas, Riviera, Chums, Pura Vida Bracelets, Camelbak, Smith, Otis, Freestyle watches, Rip Curl, and Sweet Waterwear. 

Details of the event and updates will be posted on the Facebook Event Page:


Hope to see you there!

SUP Costa Rica

SUP Costa Rica SUP, or Stand Up Paddle Boarding or Surfing, is the most popular new sport to hit Costa Rica and the world. SUP is a relatively new sport, having just been invented in the 2000’s. It began in Hawaii, but soon became popular all over the world, especially in Costa Rica. SUP is fun and easy to learn, making it a great activity for all types of people.

One of the best regions for SUP Costa Rica is in the waters of the Pacific Ocean, along the coast of the Guanacaste Province. The beaches of Tamarindo, Playa Grande, Avellanas, Flamingo Beach, Playa Danta, and Playa Coco are some of the best beaches for SUP, for all skill levels. Whether you’re new to SUP and surfing or are already an experienced surfer, you’ll find SUP to be an enjoyable activity. There are shops throughout the beaches of Guanacaste that offer SUP rentals, tours, and lessons so anyone can get the hang of it. 

SUP Costa Rica

SUP Costa Rica is a great way to explore the coast and after just an hour or so, anyone will feel like an expert. It’s a great total body workout that provides you with the opportunity to spend hours experiencing the beauty of Costa Rica from a new vantage point. Stand Up Paddle Boarding is also a great way to explore rivers or other bodies of water. There are many rivers and estuaries that feed into the beaches of Playa Grande, Avellanas, Flamingo Beach, Tamarindo, Playa Danta, and Playa Coco. You can explore these rivers on a SUP board rather than kayaking. Many tour companies will put together packages that allow you to spend some time having fun with your SUP board in the ocean and in rivers, allowing you the chance to see a variety of sealife, monkeys, iguanas, sloths, and other wildlife. SUP tours are quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to explore the waters of Costa Rica.

Another new trend of SUP Costa Rica is doing yoga on a stand up paddle board. The need for good balance and a strong core associated with yoga blends nicely with the skills needed to master stand up paddle boarding. Yoga classes are held out on the tranquil waters of the Pacific Ocean giving a whole new, exciting aspect to yoga practice. What better way to experience the calm, relaxing benefits of yoga than gently floating on the turquoise waters of the Pacific. And, after a good work out, you can hop off your SUP board and go for a swim! Since hitting the scene just a few years ago, SUP has become one of the most popular sports throughout the world. Wherever there is water, you’ll find SUP rentals and tours, but Pura Vida Ride is one of the most experienced and oldest SUP tour rental shops in Costa Rica. Once you’ve spent some time learning how to enjoy this new sport, you can take your experience and skill anywhere in the world and enjoy this new sport. Get your feet wet with SUP Costa Rica and then explore the waters of the world from your own SUP board. Surfing has never been so easy! 

SUP Costa Rica Race

Stand Up Paddle Costa Rica

Stand Up Paddle Costa Rica is quickly becoming one of the most popular activities in the country. For those unfamiliar with Stand Up Paddle Boarding(SUP), it’s a new sport with roots in Hawaiian culture and associated with classic surfing. Stand Up Paddle Boarding is easier to learn and master than classic surfing, helping it gain followers quickly. 

The boards used in Stand Up Paddle Boarding are similar to long boards for surfing and are generally nine to twelve feet in length, although sometimes they are even longer. Stand Up Paddle Boards tend have three fins on the bottom back end of the board, just like surf boards. One paddle is used to propel and navigate the board. The paddle is similar to that of a canoe paddle, but generally tends to be a bit longer. The price for new Stand Up Paddle Boards range from $1,000 to $2,500 (USD). Due to the increased popularity of Stand Up Paddle Costa Rica, there are many SUP rental shops throughout the different beach towns of both the Pacific and Caribbean Coasts. Stand Up Paddle Boarding is especially popular in the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica.

The beaches of the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica, in particular Tamarindo, Playa Flamingo, Playa Danta, Playa Coco, Playa Grande, and Avellanas, are ideal locations for both beginners and experts in Stand Up Paddle Boarding. For years, these beaches have been popular destinations for surfers due to the many great breaks along the coast. Now, thanks to Stand Up Paddle Boarding, even more people are able to enjoy water activities, even when the waves aren’t ideal for classic surfing. Stand Up Paddle Boarding is easy to learn and usually after an hour or so with an instructor, either on a river or on open ocean, most people will feel confident. All you need to learn to Stand Up Paddle Costa Rica is a little bit of balance and a sense of adventure!

Stand Up Paddle Costa Rica    Another reason the sport has become so popular in Costa Rica is because of its low environmental impact. Costa Rica is one of the most environmentally conscious and green countries in the world, so it’s no surprise that a sport like Stand Up Paddle Boarding has become so popular. SUP is a great way to explore the coastal regions of Costa Rica and also the rivers, mangroves, and estuaries that feed into the Pacific Ocean. Thanks to the design of the Stand Up Paddle Board, riders only minimally disturb the water and make almost no noise, creating the perfect conditions to catch glimpses of tropical fish, rays, turtles, monkeys, sloths, iguanas, and water birds hanging out by rivers or by the beach. Stand Up Paddle Boarding allows people to explore in a whole new way.

If you’re planning a vacation, don’t miss out on the chance to enjoy Stand Up Paddle Costa Rica. With the sport growing in popularity in Costa Rica and around the world, you’ll want to become an expert so you can continue to enjoy this fun and exciting activity anywhere in the world. Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information on tours and rentals during your stay.  

  Sunset Stand Up Paddle Costa Rica 

Costa Rica's First Coastal SUP Expedition

Written by Sarah Kennedy

Stand Up Paddling has come a long way over the past few years. People paddle for leisure, transportation, exercise or racing. The challenge is inviting and the feeling of walking on water is enticing. On September 22nd, experienced SUPer Erick Zamora took his love and admiration of SUP to a different, eye-opening level.

Erick, 29, employee of Pura Vida Ride and local resident of Potrero, Guanacaste, Costa Rica dreamt up a journey only few could accomplish—150km paddle down the pacific coast of Costa Rica from Pura Vida Ride at Playa Danta, Costa Rica to Playa Santa Teresa on the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. This takes dedication and preparation, but Erick wanted to do it, so he did. His passion to start this journey allowed him to gain sponsors, housing, rides, safety precautions, and support from the community just within a months’ time. He welcomed anyone who wanted to join and he received three takers; local SUPers, Rolando Herrera Siles, Geovanny Espinoza, Wim Van Cleynenbreugel and their right hand man following by kayak, Fabian Sanchez from Surfing Nation Magazine. This event was inspired by his love for the sport of Standup Paddle boarding, country and most importantly shining a light on the importance of keeping oceans clean.  

The tentative plan was to paddle for 6 days anywhere from 4-6 hours a day covering sufficient ground to make their 150km goal. They started by traveling from Playa Danta to Playa Tamarindo, Tamarindo to Playa Marbella, from Marbella to Playa Guiones, Guiones to Playa Carillo, from Carillo to Playa San Miguel and finally from San Miguel to Playa Santa Teresa. Each day they were welcomed with a different obstacle and adventure that allowed them to grow and learn as ocean SUPers. Erick chose to paddle a 14’ Bark Expedition for this event. 

September 21nd marked day one and they set off about 7:30am from Playa Danta in pristine conditions, flat water and little to no wind, but rounding the corner of Cabo Velas became their first challenge. It’s famous for strong currents and strong wind making the competitors struggle to pass. They reached their first destination, Playa Tamarindo at about 2pm that day and they traveled a total of 26km.

Costa Rica Standup Paddle

Lesson learned! The next day they were out on the water by 6:30am trying to avoid the windy afternoons, only to find themselves in one of the hardest paddles of their lives. Within hours of the paddle, wind picked up, making the water choppy and causing a battle between the water and the boards as well as testing their balance to the limits. They had to paddle nearly the entire trip on the left side of the boards. The last exhausting step was to pass the intimidating surf at Marbella, at least 3 meter (10ft) breaking waves had to be navigated to make landfall. They arrived at their second destination safely around 1pm traveling a total of 30kms.

That evening, Erick called Pura Vida Ride to give us the details of that day’s trip. Through the phone you could hear the exhaustion and pain he was feeling along with the other paddlers. Erick said, “It was the hardest paddle of my life, and I was scared.” He said, “I have never paddled in these kinds of conditions before,” and they all wondered what they had got themselves into. However, one difficult day did not sway them. They did not know how they would start the next day with such exhaustion, but they did, and with much more respect for Mother Nature.

SUP in Costa Rica

Day three came bright and early and they met the giant surf at 7am. Each and every paddler was knocked around as they made their way through, however Erick was caught by a rogue wave on one of his attempts to beat the surf; he, his belongings and the board went airborne. When he came back from the unexpected blow, he was lucky that a surfer was there to help him gather everything so nothing was lost and he got right back on the board for another go with the surf. With help from a local surfer and better timing, he cleared the overhead waves. Like most surf breaks, once you are up and over, the conditions become more manageable. Paddling through the glass like water, they were able to paddle with ease because of ocean conditions, but the sun was blistering. The calm conditions brought out a variety of sea life; they saw giant Manta Rays, Bottlenose Dolphins and rounding the coastline of Ostional, groups of large Parrot Turtles. The turtles were so playful; they came close enough to the boards to capture some spectacular photos. After quite a relaxing morning, they found themselves at their third destination, Playa Guiones around 12pm, they traveled 24km.

Stand up Paddle in Costa Rica

After a little rejuvenation, they were just over the hump and on the downhill slope of finishing this incredible journey. Starting day five at 8am, they were faced with overhead surf. As they paddled as hard as possible just to clear the break, a surprised awaited them on the other side. Because the beach is located in a bay, making it a perfect spot to surf, they were battling to clear waves 2kms off the coast. The entire geography of how they paddled completely changed for them. They found weather to be on their side once more as tail winds and currents pushed them down the coast allowing them to paddle with more ease. They arrived at Playa San Miguel at about 12pm traveling 24kms.

September 26th marked their sixth and final day and they were mentally and physically exhausted from their time on the water. Erick once again found himself fighting with the surf sets, unable to pass after about 30 minutes he traveled farther down the coast to enter at Playa Coyote. Everyone was in their zone, the end approaching, hearing nothing but one’s thoughts. Erick paddled 5 hours straight, with no rest or break for food. His adrenaline pumping and goal almost in hand, he was not going to stop until he reached Santa Teresa.

As the SUPers rounded the last beach and saw the Surftech banner flying to guide them in, they waited for one another to paddle into the final beach together. Mind and body beat, they timed the waves and paddled their very hardest. The crew landed safely in Playa Santa Teresa at about 1pm traveling 28km that day.

SUP with turtles in Costa Rica

The trip totaled 158.5 km or 98 miles traveled in just 6 days.  They are a group of inspirational men and Pura Vida Ride is a very proud sponsor of Erick Zamora and his epic journey. Congratulations and Pura Vida!

Mountain Biking Costa Rica

For thrill seekers and adventurers alike, mountain biking across Costa Rica has become one of the most popular ways of discovering this vibrant, lush, beautiful country. Thanks to increasing popularity, there are tour operators throughout the country offering half-day, full-day, and multi-day mountain biking tours, giving you the opportunity to truly discover all that Costa Rica has to offer. Some of the best trails and packages for mountain biking Costa Rica can be found in the Pacific Northwest of the country, the Guanacaste Province.

Guanacaste is one of the drier regions of the country, creating miles and miles of land perfect for exploring on a mountain bike. Here, you can rent mountain bikes and explore single track mountain bike trails on your own, or hire a guide to take you all over, showing you wildlife, a variety of plants and trees, beautiful beaches, dry forests, and even volcanoes. Exploring Costa Rica on a mountain bike provides more freedom than going in a van or car as you can stop where and when you like and you aren’t tied to the paved road. By mountain biking Costa Rica you can see some of the most majestic views of the Pacific Ocean from the cliffs overlooking the beaches of Tamarindo, Playa Coco, Playa Danta, Flamingo Beach, Avellanas, and Playa Grande. In Las Catalinas, also located in the Guanacaste Province, riders of all skill levels can enjoy the scenery and excitement of mountain biking. Las Catalinas offers over 15 kilometers of world class coastal single track mountain bike and hiking trails. Mountain biking Costa Rica is something that the whole family can enjoy and tours can be tailored to any skill level.

Mountain Biking Costa Rica

For those looking for real excitement and adventure, consider doing a multi-day mountain bike tour in Costa Rica. There are several options provided by a variety of tour companies. Multi-day packages can include volcano trails, coastal trails, take you through traditional Costa Rican towns, and show you parts of the country rarely seen by tourists and visitors. These multi-day mountain biking tours usually include other activities like swimming in rivers or waterfalls, stand up paddle boarding, surfing, and hiking. Accommodations for multi-day mountain biking tours vary depending on the type of package you choose and the parts of the country you will visit. Some nights are spent in hotels along your route, while other nights are spent camping in the natural beauty of Costa Rica.

Mountain biking Costa Rica is also the most environmentally friendly way to explore. The low impact that mountain biking has on the land and wildlife of Costa Rica means that you can enjoy every moment of your tour knowing that you are making a smart choice for the environment. In a country where tourism is so important to the economy, it’s important to make environmentally sound decisions when booking tours. Mountain biking is one of the best ways to explore Costa Rica not only because it’s fun, exciting, and memorable, but because it has a low impact on the environment, helping to preserve this beautiful country so that others will be able to enjoy its splendor for years to come. Please feel free to contact us to book your Costa Rican mountain biking adventure today!

2013 Pura Vida Ride Paddle Battle!

June 1, 2013 at 9:00am 

Las Catalinas, Playa Danta, Potrero, Guanacaste,

Costa Rica


The 3rd Annual Pura Vida Ride Paddle Battle is back and it will be the biggest and most rewarding event we’ve had!  We have leveled the playing field so that everyone has a chance to win the overall prize – a $2,500 Surftech Jamie Mitchell Lahui Kai 12’6 Race Standup Paddle Board!  This is the same model board that was used to win the 2012 Paddle Battle, and this year it can be yours!

 La 3ra edición de la “Pura Vida Ride Paddle Battle” está de vuelta y será el evento más grande y más gratificantes que he tenido! Nos han nivelado el campo de juego para que todos tengan la oportunidad de ganar el premio general - $ 2.500 Surftech Jamie Mitchell Lahui Kai 12'6 Standup Paddle Board! Éste es el mismo modelo que se utilizó para ganar la “Pura Vida Ride Paddle Battle 2012”, y este año puede ser tuyo!


Register Here!

Inscripción aquí

The racing this year will be based on a point system.  For one fee of $40.00 / CRC 20,000, competitors can participate in as many races, or as few races, as they would like.  The more races you compete in, the more chances you have to win points.  At the end of the day, the competitor with the most points wins the SUP!

To win will take strategy, not pure strength, skill, or a fast board.  Some may choose to compete in every race, or pick just one race that they are best at.  The choices and strategies are endless and will require training and forethought to have the best possible chance of winning the most points.

Thanks to our generous and loyal sponsors, we are also giving prizes to the top 3 winners in every category this year!  Not only will you win Camelbaks, Smith Sunglasses, Rip Curl Watches, Lola’s Gift Certificates, Chums, Beyond Coastal Sunscreen and Pura Vida Ride gear, but you will also earn points towards winning the Grand Prize Surftech Lahui Kai.

 Las carreras de este año se basa en un sistema de puntos. Por una tarifa de $ 40.00 / CRC 20.000, los competidores pueden participar en muchas carreras, o como algunas carreras, como les gustaría. Las carreras más que competir, más posibilidades tendrá de ganar puntos. Al final del día, el competidor con más puntos gana el SUP!

Para ganar se llevará a estrategia, no de pura fuerza, habilidad o un tablero rápido. Algunos pueden optar por competir en todas las carreras, o elegir una sola raza que son los mejores de los casos. Las opciones son infinitas y las estrategias y requerirá formación y previsión para tener la mejor oportunidad posible de ganar la mayor cantidad de puntos.

Gracias a nuestros generosos patrocinadores, también estamos dando premios a los 3 primeros ganadores de cada categoría de este año! No sólo va a ganar Camelbacks, gafas de Smith, relojes de Rip Curl, certificados de Lolas, Chums, Beyond Coastal Protector solar y equipo de Pura Vida Ride, pero usted también ganará puntos para ganar el Gran Premio Surftech Lahui Kai.

Here is the point system that will be awarded to paddlers in each class:

Este es el sistema de puntos que se otorgarán a los remeros en cada clase:


Here are the prizes that will be awarded to the top 3 competitors in each race:

 Estos son los premios que se otorgarán a los 3 primeros clasificados de cada carrera:


Here is the Elite Race Course – twice around this course.

Aquí está el Curso Elite - dos veces alrededor de este curso.

Here is the Sprint Race Course – three times around this course.

 Aquí está el Curso Sprint - tres veces alrededor de este curso.


Here is the Relay Race Course – out and back.  Each team must use the same board for all 3 competitors.  Each team must include at least one woman and one man.

 Aquí está el Curso Relay - de ida y vuelta. Cada equipo debe utilizar la misma tabla para los 3 competidores. Cada equipo debe incluir al menos una mujer y un hombre.

Register Here!

Inscripción aquí 

Sponsored by/Patrocinado por:

Pura Vida Ride, Surftech, Las Catalinas, Lolas Norte Restaurant, Smith Sunglasses, Rip Curl, Camelbak, Beyond Coastal Sunscreen, Chums, Sweetwater Wear, Pura Vida Bracelets


You Decide! Pura Vida Ride gives 1% to the Planet.

You Decide!

PURA VIDA RIDE became a member of 1% for the Planet this year, and now its time to put our money where our mouth is!  We are committed to giving back to our community and this is one of the many ways that we show that commitment. 

We have chosen 5 non-profit environmental and social organizations that are based in Costa Rica to whom we are willing to make our donation of 1% of our gross revenue this fiscal year, but we would like you, our fans and friends, to decide for us who should get our donation!

Review the profiles and websites of each of the 1% Approved non-profits below, then head over to our Facebook Page and VOTE!  Voting ends on December 15, 2012 and is open to all of our Facebook fans. 

Spread the word, spread the vote, and be part of the giving this holiday season!  The non-profit with the most votes at midnight on December 15 will get 100% of our 1%!


To educate the culturally diverse youth of Guanacaste through bilingual experiential learning and enrichment that integrates the local community and ecology, while preparing students to become thoughtful, creative, and active stewards of their environment and world.

Grant Categories

Environmental Education


Community Participation, Conserve/Preserve/Restore,

Educate/Teach, Research (Scientific, Economic, Social)  



To restore degraded or deforested ecosystems in public coastal areas by reforesting them with native species of the area.

Grant Categories

Biodiversity, Ecotourism, Environmental Education, Forests,
Oceans, Rivers, Wildlife Protection 


Community Participation, Conserve/Preserve/Restore,
Educate/Teach, Inform/Publicize, Wildlife Rehabilitation 



To improve the quality of life for Costa Rica’s rural, coastal residents through environmental conservation, sustainable economic development opportunities, and by improving rural educational systems.

Grant Categories

Development, Ecotourism, Environmental Education, Oceans,
Wildlife Protection 


Community Participation, Conserve/Preserve/Restore,
Educate/Teach, Research (Scientific, Economic, Social) 



Our mission is to nurture generations of ecologically aware, bilingual individuals providing them with the skills and motivation to make environmentally and socially conscious decisions on a local, national and global scale.

Grant Categories

Ecotourism, Environmental Education, Forests 


Community Participation, Conserve/Preserve/Restore,
Educate/Teach, Research (Scientific, Economic, Social) 



Our mission is to promote the conservation and restoration of the montane cloud forest ecosystems of Costa Rica through public education, scientific research, and watershed stewardship.

Grant Categories

Biodiversity, Climate Change, Environmental Education,
Forests, Watersheds 


Advocate/Lobby, Community Participation,
Conserve/Preserve/Restore, Educate/Teach, Inform/Publicize 



Our mission is to protect and restore populations of endangered marine fauna through sustainable community conservation, sustainable fishing and efforts to influence policy.

Grant Categories

Biodiversity, Ecotourism 


Advocate/Lobby, Conserve/Preserve/Restore, Research
(Scientific, Economic, Social) 


Ruta La Paz - Tamarindo November 10th! 5k and 10k Family Runs

Pura Vida Ride is a proud sponsor of the Ruta La Paz III 5k & 10k race in Tamarindo on November 10th, 2012 in Tamarindo, Guancaste.  Grab your running shoes and bring the whole family to join us for a breathtaking run on the beach followed by music at sunset. Ruta La Paz III is a perfect opportunity for participants of all ages and skill levels to come together in the name of positive healthy sport while raising funds for local scholarships at La Paz Community School. See you on November 10th!


“SUP & YOGA” Teacher Training Certification Retreat in Costa Rica at Playa Danta

sup-front-angle-pigeon-web"SUP & YOGA" Yoga Alliance Teacher Training Certification Retreat

Thursday August 23rd - Wednesday August 29th, 2012

At Pura Vida Ride, Las Catalinas, Playa Danta, Costa Rica

The Yoga Energy Studio, Your Zen Yoga and Pura Vida Ride are bringing you the "SUP & Yoga" retreat of your life!

A 6-night 7-day "SUP & Yoga" Teacher Training Certification in beautifulLas Catalinas, Costa Rica offered to you by 500-hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Trainers, World Paddle Association (WPA) and American Canoe Association (ACA) Certified Instructors.

Enjoy the gorgeous crystal clear waters of Playa Danta while learning how to properly combine the fastest growing sport with the ancient tradition of yoga.

Whether you want to become a professional "SUP & Yoga" teacher or simply want to immerse yourself in the "SUP & Yoga" lifestyle, one of the two following options will be ideal for you.

Option A: "SUP & Yoga" Retreat with 40-hour Yoga Alliance Teacher Training Certification

- 40-hours "SUP & Yoga" Teacher Training Yoga Alliance Certification. This certificate may be accepted for other fitness CEUs.


- 6 nights lodging
  (double occupancy) at the Sugar Beach Hotel

- 3 meals/day

- 2 half-day trips including shuttle transportation

- Daily Meditation & Yoga classes

- Unlimited board usage

Course material

- Cost $1,899.00 if spot reserved before June 1st, 2012. After June 1st, 2012 cost is 2,196.00. For local rates and other accommodations, please contact Dori Matthews at yourzenyoga@gmail.com

Option B: "SUP & Yoga" Retreat non-certification

- 4 days of "SUP & Yoga" classes

- 6 nights lodging (double occupancy) at the Sugar Beach Hotel

- 3 meals/day

- 2 half-day trips including shuttle transportation

- Daily Meditation & Yoga classes

- Unlimited board usage

- Cost $1,530.00 if spot reserved before June 1st, 2012. After June 1st, 2012 cost is 1,800.00. For local rates and other accommodations, please contact Dori Matthews at yourzenyoga@gmail.com

* Flight & airport transportation not included.
* The cost of any extra activities is not included.

sup-plank-webFlight arrangements:

Book flight into either San Jose (SJO) or Liberia (LIR), Costa Rica, and we’ll arrange your shuttle. It is a 5-hour scenic drive from the San Jose airport and a 1-hour drive from the Liberia airport.

NOTE: PASSPORTS ARE REQUIRED by all US citizens and must be valid for a minimum of 6 months from date of arrival. Other nationalities should check with the nearest Costa Rican Embassy 
or Consulate for entry visa requirements.

Also Bring:
Towels, sunscreen, five finger water shoes or similar style, shorts/pants for practicing yoga that can get wet, rashguard, sunglasses with strap, hat or headgear.

Reservations and Payment:
Reserve your space on the water by calling Karen at:
(727) 466-7994 or emailing:
The retreat is limited to 12 people.

A $500 non-refundable deposit is necessary to reserve your place.

Click here for the application and reserve your spot in paradise!

About us:
Yoga Energy Studio at yogaenergy.me.
Your Zen Yoga at facebook.com/yourzenyoga.
Pura Vida Ride at puravidaride.com.



Dori's Bio

Where you will stay in Paradise


Our hotel is set on the secluded beach cove of Playa Pan de Azúcar. It is a 3-star boutique hotel along Costa Rica's northern Pacific Coast. This charming beachfront hotel sits on a secluded cove in Guanacaste, a province famous for sunshine, surfing, eco-adventures and incredible natural beauty.

The cove is ideal for “SUP & Yoga” because it is protected from the strong Pacific currents. While on the water we may see turtles, rays, trumpet fish, parrot fish and many more tropical marine species swimming in the clear waters. From your room you will enjoy the soothing sounds of the ocean and flow to the tranquil rhythms of this remote tropical paradise.

423832_315091711875468_101253079926000_1019010_971549661_nThe hotel restaurant is open daily. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included in the retreat cost. Traditional Costa Rica cuisine, international dishes and fresh local fare, including fresh-caught seafood from the Pacific waters are on the menu. We will be dining at a covered, open-air patio overlooking the ocean.

The hotel has a gift shop that features books, nature guides & maps, Costa Rican & World music and local art and handicrafts. Here you will find the famed Guaitil pottery, made with the ancient traditional techniques used by the Chorotega Indians.

The materials used are taken from the nearby hills, and the pots are fashioned and painted by hand without electricity or foot pedals, and fired in large, outdoor ovens. The gift shop supports the Widecast organization, a group working in tandem with others to help preserve sea turtle habitats.

This is done by collecting hazardous plastic bags from the marine environment, and weaving them into beautiful shopping and handbags. The weavers, coastal rural women, also gain their livelihoods by their art. The gift shop also carries swimwear, various toiletries as well as an assortment of other useful goods.

Pura Vida Ride Paddle Battle 2012 - Race Day Results


Thanks to everyone for coming out on Saturday, June 23 2012 and having a blast with us at the second annual Paddle Battle at Playa Danta!  Stay tuned for videos, photos, and more, but here are the official race day results.


1 Ian Bean 75:54
2 Chris Celiceo 82:25
3 Roger Jaeggli 84:20
4 Abel McClennen 87:25
5 Diego Garcia 88:53
6 Erick Zamora 89:22
7 Jose Francisco Mori 91:54
8 Michael Rodrigues 97:25
9 Jim Berry 103:55
10 Tal Lurie 110:37
11 Jim Correll 117:45
12 Bobby Novak 125:30

1 Kristin Lewis 87:23
2 Natasha Craig 98:24
3 Sandra Tadeschi 103:55
4 Gabriela Power 106:57
5 Gina Correll 118:45
6 Cfayla Johnson 125:36
7 Dori Thomsen 152:30

1 Matt Craig 25:20
2 Forest Folger 25:46
3 Brayan Valerin 26:10
4 Jon Hansen 30:05
5 Graeme Webb 30:06

1 Laetitia Deweer 36:15
2 Corynne Bean 36:45
3 Sandra Tadeschi 38:20
4 Nicki Cramer 39:05
5 Heather Johnson 42:33
6 Kelli Ricco 44:45
7 Katy Hayslett 54:30

1 Bean
2 Jacobs
3 Hoffmann

Official Rules - June 23, 2012 Pura Vida Ride Paddle Battle


Here are the official rules that will govern the races on Saturday, June 23, 2012 at the Pura Vida Ride Paddle Battle.  If you have any questions, please email us.


paddle battle map 1


Pura Vida Ride Paddle Battle 2012




a.              Race schedule: Organizer’s Responsibility.
A race briefing for competitors is mandatory prior to each race.  Within this briefing, course layout / description, event rules, safety issues and competitor questions will be covered.


b.              Race Craft & Specifications:

1.         Distance and Sprint Class Races

12’6” Class Board

                                    Maximum length – 12’6”

                                    Maximum width – 33 inches

                                    Fixed Fin, no rudder


2.         Family Race

                                    Any watercraft that is human powered

                                    Rudders allowed

                                    Minimum two people to qualify


c.              General Race Rules [All classes]:


1.              Single blade paddle to be used.


2.              Rider must be standing at all times while paddling.


3.              Competitors must follow the designated set course, to be manned by water    marshals and rescue staff.


4.              The nose of the craft is the designated point for crossing the finish line when   determining relative placing.


5.              The finish and start lines must be designated by two buoys and legal competitors must have not crossed this line when the starter begins the race.


6.              No extraneous aids are allowed. This includes, but is not limited to swim fins, engines, wind catching devices [i.e.: sails, baggy clothing, etc] and personal support teams.  No twin hulls allowed (i.e.: catamarans).


7.              Wetsuits and hats [sun protection] are permissible.


8.              Competitors may be required to have an official mark / race vest and / or race number on their arm, which must remain on the individual throughout the event. No competitor shall be recorded as a finisher unless carrying the official mark / wearing the official vest and number on their arm.


9.              Organizers reserve the right to accept, reject and cancel entries.


10.           Protests must be made in writing and given to the Race Director within fifteen  minutes of the announcement of the provisional results. All decisions of the Race Director will be final.


11.           Race officials shall have the ultimate and final authority to remove a competitor from the race if the competitor is judged to be physically incapable of continuing the race without the risk of injury.


12.           Each entrant must sign the indemnity declaration on the Entry Form before the vent. If under 18, the parent or guardian must sign.


13.           The organizers reserve the right to reject or cancel any entry.

Standup Paddle Yoga - An Ancient Practice Using Modern Tools


Pura Vida Ride is pleased to be partnered with Dori Thomsen, one of the few Standup Paddle (SUP) Certified Yoga Instructors in Costa Rica.  Based at Playa Danta and partnered with Pura Vida Ride, Dori offers SUP yoga classes each Friday morning at 9:00am, and private classes by reservation in advance.


Classes cost $35 per student which includes equipment and instruction.


The calm water of the coves at Las Catalinas on Playa Danta provides ideal conditions for Stand-Up Paddle Yoga. Dori’s background includes wind surfing and SCUBA instruction, making her feel right at home on the water.   The SUP Yoga classes include Meditation, Pranayama, and Asanas (Poses) as you connect to the flow of Mother Nature on the board.


sup yoga beach warmup web


If you’ve never tried Yoga or Stand-Up Paddle, you are in for a treat.  Dori helps you feel comfortable and guides you at your pace.   The benefits of SUP Yoga are many.  The rise and fall of the water helps you stay more centered and deepens your own practice, as the floating board serves to help align your postures.  Additionally it works to define muscles you never imagined you had or used, while it strengthens your body and tones your core.   


In standup paddle yoga we have merged East and West—an ancient practice with modern tools.


Practicing SUP yoga with Dori at Playa Danta also lends itself to a great beach day.   You can enjoy all the toys that Pura Vida Ride has to offer, such as standup paddle board rentals, kayaks, snorkeling and mountain bikes, while taking delight in the delicious food of Lola’s Del Norte on the lush grounds of Las Catalinas. 


Dori has joined forces with Yoga Energy Studio of St. Petersburg, FL to host a SUP Yoga Teacher Training course, 40 hrs certified by the Yoga Alliance, on August 23-29!!  There is also the option to do solely a SUP Yoga retreat, without the certification, here in perfect paradise.  



sup front angle pigeon web


Pura Vida Ride Paddle Battle 2012

                       paddle battle 2012 print flyer


Join us for the second annual standup paddle challenge at Pura Vida Ride, Playa Danta, on June 23, 2012!  This year the event will support La Paz Community School’s “Guardians of La Paz”.   Sponsored by Pura Vida Ride, Lola’s Norte, and Surftech, this event is for your whole family to come and enjoy.  Register your attendance on our Event Page, and pay your entry fee on race day!


Featuring great music, pickup volleyball games, slack line challenges, great food, coffee, and more, come for the day with your family and compete, or just hang out and watch the fun with us.  This year we’ve changed the courses to make them more exciting, more difficult, and more rewarding!  View photos of last year’s event.



If you are visiting us from out of town for this event and need accomodations, we have partnered with three great hotels and luxury home accomodations to bring you 20% off of their normal rates for this event:



Las Catalinas is home to Pura Vida Ride at Playa Danta.  The homes are spacious, luxurious, and perfect for families coming for the weekend.

Hotel Sugar Beach is located 1 km south of Pura Vida Ride and a 10 minute paddle around the point!

Hotel Bahia del Sol is located 4 km south of Pura Vida Ride on the beach in Playa Potrero. 

All 3 hotels will give racers 20% off if you mention the "Pura Vida Ride Paddle Battle" when you make your booking!


Questions? Want to reserve a board?  Contact us and we will take care of you.






      paddle battle map 1


Distance Race:

The Distance race will be 9.4 km in distance starting at Playa Danta and racing around Isla Plata located off of Flamingo point and back to Playa Danta.  Boards are limited to 12’6 in length.  This year we have a Men and Women’s class, with both classes receiving prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.  A chase boat with support services and first aid medic will be provided for this race.  Personal hydration systems such as Camelbaks are strongly recommended.

Men and Women start at 9:00am.

Sprint Race:

The Sprint race will be 4 km in distance and will be a circuit around 3 buoys located close to the beach.  This race is designed to be challenging and exciting for both the contestants and also for everyone on the beach!  Racers will paddle through the surf zone multiple times, battling waves, white water, and their fellow racers. Boards are limited to 12’6 in length.  This year we have a Men and Women’s class, with both classes receiving prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.

Women’s race starts at 12:00pm.

Men’s race starts at 1:00pm.

Family Race:

Designed to be the most fun race of all, the rules are simple: Any human powered, floating vessel is allowed with a minimum of two people on board.  The race will be 1.3 km in distance around the race buoys once.  1st, 2nd, and 3rd places receive prizes. 

Race starts at 2:00pm.


This year we will have a special prize category for the most creative boat!  Judges of the most creative boat will be a selection of 1st grade students from La Paz Community School.



1st Place in the Distance Race, both Men and Women will receive premium Surftech Full Carbon Fiber San-O SUP Paddles! $400 retail value.




1st Place in the Sprint Race, both Men and Women will receive premium Surftech Composite Fiber Ventana SUP Paddles! $200 retail value.




2nd Place Contestants in Distance and Sprint Courses will receive Lola’s Norte, and Pura Vida Ride gift certificates.


Family Course winners will receive gift certificates.

Most Original Boat Competition will receive gift certificates.



To register, let us know on our Facebook Event Pagethat you are attending.  Registration and payment will start at 8:00am on Saturday, June 23 inside Pura Vida Ride.


Registration is $40 or CRC 20,000 and includes a race day T-Shirt.  Family racers only have to register one racer, others on the same boat race for free.  Extra T-Shirts will be on sale for $25.


Spread the word, share the love, support your community, and have fun all at the same time!  See you there!


Our Commitment to the Environment and our Community


The expressions “environmental stewardship” and “commitment to the community” are two of those catch phrases that have grown old and tired and often times, for me at least, rattle around in an empty chamber somewhere in my head before going out the other ear.   The problem is that it’s easy to insert them in marketing literature, in web sites, and during conversations, and they make us feel good.  But it’s harder to gauge the implementation of these words and to actually see results.

Nevertheless these two concepts, when really considered, are deeply meaningful and deeply important to our co-existence and success as a human race.   Since we first started dreaming and considering what Pura Vida Ride would be over a pitcher of margaritas, these two ideas repeatedly surfaced as being foundational to how we wanted to operate our business and how we wanted to participate in our local community. 


What has taken some time has been identifying the right avenues in which to express these commitments through authenticity such that we are not just adding these expressions as lip service, but can demonstrate through real results our commitment to environmental stewardship and to the community in which we live. 


As a result, we are now proud to be members of 1% for the Planet, and Guardians of La Paz.  Here is a bit more on each of these organizations and why we have chosen to partner with them in our business.




Since its inception in 2002, the 1% network has become one of the largest funders of environmental work around the world. Membership consists of more than 1,400 businesses in 38 countries, together giving over $15 million annually to over 2,000 environmental groups worldwide. To date, 1% for the Planet has initiated over $50 million in environmental giving.


Pura Vida Ride is proud to be one of 5 Costa Rican companies that are members of 1% for the Planet.  Every year, 1% of our gross revenue is given to a participating non-profit of 1% for the Planet.  The best part of all is that our money stays local, and we have the opportunity to contribute to Costa Rican causes and keep our money working in our national and local community!


guardians of la paz


Guardians of La Paz are community and business leaders who significantly support La Paz Community School through financial contributions and other services in its mission of positive social and cultural development for the Guanacastecan, Costa Rican, and global community. Pura Vida Ride is a proud Guardian of La Paz, and we actively and regularly contribute to the sustainability and expansion of the school’s core objectives.


La Paz Community School is a non-profit, primary, secondary, and preschool that has secured International Baccalaureate (IB) candidate status and offers progressive experiential bilingual education to the culturally and economically diverse children of Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Through its Mission and Objectives, the school prepares students to become thoughtful, contributing citizens and future leaders in the local, national, and global community.


La Paz students are taught at a young age to be active stewards of their “self, family, community, and world” through the La Paz Peace Practices.


50% of the school population is Costa Rican and the other 50% represent over 20 countries from around the world. 25% of the student population is involved in the school’s scholarship program, which offers financial assistance to dedicated and talented local youth. These children come from families whose median income is approximately $500 per month and hail from a geographic area spanning 25 miles of the Guanacaste Coast.  When you support us at Pura Vida Ride, we hope you are proud to know that you are also supporting both 1% for the Planet as well as the La Paz Community School.



Half and Full Day Mountain Bike Single Track Adventures!

Last night a few of us were watching the sunset at Playa Flamingo and someone threw out the idea of taking a mountain bike ride this morning.  At first we discussed just riding the great single track at Las Catalinas, but then someone suggested a nice 1.5 hour loop leaving from Potrero, riding to the nearby town of Tempate, then heading over a ridge to Nuevo Colon before returning back to Pura Vida Ride at Las Catalinas through the Zapotal Valley.  


1.5 hours?  Not.  4.5 hours later with over 4,000 vertical feet of climbing, we limped into Pura Vida Ride with a few bloody elbows and cramping legs.  It was an epic adventure to say the least although our spouses were not amused (to say the least).


The climb out of Potrero to Tempate is the first "warm up," with 450 vertical feet climbed over the course of 1 mile.  The descent into Tempate is fast and furious, before making a sharp turn up into the hills to the East.  This section of trail is spectacular.  Many of the ranch houses are old and were built in the true Gauancastecan style with ornate doors, high ceilings, and intricate carvings with screened in ventilation near the roofs.


Leaving town, the trail here gets steep and climbs a staggering 800 vertical feet in the space of one mile.  From the crest, the views are panoramic and distant, looking south to Cartagena and beyond.  Dropping east over the ridge the descent is on true single track, much of it rutted out which makes for a technical and challenging descent.  The single track slowly transforms into ever widening and improved tracks, then local roads.  Here is an interactive trail map that you can play with to see the route, elevation gain/loss, speed of travel, and other interesting metrics.



The highlight of the ride was discovering a roughly 35 foot high waterfall cut into granite with a swimming hole deep enough to allow for plunges from the top!  We took 10 minutes to rest, swim, and jump, before heading down the track further.  The wildlife, culture, architecture, and sense of place along this stretch of trail is otherwordly.  Its what Costa Rica must have felt like 100 years ago... yet its still here, right behind us!  It takes a bit of effort to get to, but the rewards are inspiring.  


Multiple river crossings, more climbing, descents, and water breaks later, we worked our way back to Pura Vida Ride via Zapotal Valley.  The last mile or so of the ride we joined up with the downhill stretch of the single track at Las Catalinas, which was the cherry on top of an amazing ride.  Here is a 2 minute video showing the highlights of trip.




The best part of this loop is that it can be customized to all levels of riders.  Hard core riders that want the punishment and reward can do the full 4.5 hours, intermediate riders can skip some of the hardest climbs, and beginners can be delivered and picked up along the route to enjoy the flattest, most scenic, and most enjoyable parts of the loop.  The best part of it is that all 3 riding levels get to experience the waterfall!


Contact us for more information and to book a ride with one of our guides!  We have an amazing selection of Kona 29er, Trek 26", and now full suspension Rocky Mountain and other great quality mountain bikes for you to use! 

Snorkeling with Pura Vida Ride


At PURA VIDA RIDE we rent a whole bunch of equipment, ranging from mountain bikes to kayaks and standup paddleboards (SUPs).  We also rent stuff like volleyballs, nets, bocce ball, and snorkel gear!  One of the questions we often are asked in the shop is, "So how's the snorkelling and sea life out there?"


It's true that weather and ocean conditions such as swell size, tide, wind, and rain all affect the clarity of the water; sometimes on a daily basis.  The anticipation and mystery of it is part of what makes our playground so much fun!  Despite the elements we can't control, our playground is a large flatwater bay that is flanked by steep cliffs and reefs that drop into the ocean.  These reefs are havens for a host of wildlife, including puffer fish, parrot fish, starfish, and lobster, to name just a few.  Further out in the bay its normal to see "bait balls" (schools of small fish surfacing in a frenzy as they are chased by their brethren further up the foodchain), turtles, rays (often launching themselves 6 feet out of the air and doing acrobatics), and once in a while a whale and her calf!


Below is a short video that shows some of the abundant sealife around the reefs in Danta.  Come and visit us and check it out for yourself!





New Hiking Trails Added to the Las Catalinas Portfolio


Over the past year, Las Catalinas has devoted a tremendous amount of time, money, and resources to develop some world-class trails around their property.  The topography and views at Las Catalinas are second to none and the natural beauty of the coastline is stunning.  To take advantage of this awe inspiring coastline, the trail building crews at Las Catalinas have built about 10km of combined hiking and mountain biking trails over the past year.  The crews were largely self taught how to build trails and sections of the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) trail building guide was translated into Spanish to help them understand techniques, grades, and sustainable construction practices.  The crews learned well and have taken tremendous personal pride in their work, and it shows.


Yesterday on our way home from Pura Vida Ride, my son Dylan (9) noticed a new trailhead and suggested we go and explore it.  I had also heard from Jim Berry at Las Catalinas that a hiking specific trail was now open and connected Pura Vida Ride to the top of McHenry peak with breathtaking views all the way north to Santa Rosa National Park on a clear day, and south to Cabo Velas with Potrero, Flamingo, and Brasalito in between.





Last night we convinced my daughter Grace (6- with a broken arm!) to join us on our adventure exploration, and a plan was hatched.  We arrived at Pura Vida Ride around 7:00am.  The winds were calm, there was light cloud cover overhead, and it was a cool 24 degrees; perfect hiking weather.  Below is an interactive map showing the trail, our speed, elevation gain and loss, and even average grade.  I’ve also included a bunch of photos so you can see our progress.






The trail is spectacular, which should have been expected.  Expertly built, it is still  fresh and will wear in over time with increased use.  The grades are kept as reasonable as possible with lots of switchbacks and stairs, which are necessary to climb up to 200m (600ft) in elevation to reach McHenry Peak.  As we climbed, we reached a number of ridges with breathtaking views.  Every time we came to a stopping point we’d snap photos and remark at the vistas, only to find they got better and better.




All in all we hiked 4.7km in a nice big loop that connected with a section of the existing trail leading back to the beach.  Dylan and Grace were super troopers and ran circles around me the entire time.  The hike took about 1 hour and 40 minutes at a comfortable pace with lots of water breaks and photo stops.  We discovered flowers, walking sticks, and a nest that had fallen from a nearby tree.




This trail is a spectacular addition to the portfolio of trails at Las Catalinas and Pura Vida Ride!  I can’t think of anywhere on this coast where you can find such raw beauty on trails that are devoted to hiking and biking.  It’s suitable for families of all ages, at least as young as six.  This segment of new hiking trail adds about 2km of additional trail available to explore from Pura Vida Ride… and the trail crews are building more every day!  See you soon.


What to bring:

-       Water!

-       Sunscreen and hats

-       Sunglasses

-       Snacks

-       Camera

-       GPS if you want to track your walk

-       Binoculars


When to go:

-       Early in the day is best to avoid the hot sun and higher temperatures



A Success for CEPIA


Sunday was a busy day for Pura Vida Ride. Our fancy Salvatore espresso machine never had a cool second; ring pops ruled the cash register, and conversations ran deep. Kids ran in and out with smiling faces, begging for parental approval to have some tasty Italian gelato from the nearby Potrero.

Why all the fuss? CEPIA held their annual fundraiser at Playa Danta in collaboration with Las Catalinas. Coming directly from their website, CEPIA (Culture, Education and Psychology for Infants and Adolescents) is a Costa Rican non-profit organization that seeks to promote culture, health, sports and education for children and teenagers from low-income families in the coastal communities of Guanacaste, Costa Rica.


Eyeballing the crowd, it is safe to say about three-hundred people were floating around at its high point, maybe more. At the entrance, Christmas decorations made by children of all ages and schools lined an endless table hoping for a chance to win the competition. A variety of stations targeted the imaginations of children such as a reading center, art center, exciting games, a Treasure Hunt, and none other than Santa Claus himself! Throughout the morning, talented children and teens got up on stage to perform. From the shop you could hear young voices singing Adele as well as guitar solos. If we glanced out the window girls performed everything from Latin dances to interpretive pieces. As the performances came to a halt, the stand-up paddle board race started to build up its competitors, and the race began around mid-day. Yet in the end, Pura Vida Ride’s one-and-only Jake Jacobs won the race with his Bark board by Surftech with Forrest Folger paddling into second. All proceeds from the rentals went towards CEPIA’s meaningful cause.
All in all, the CEPIA event receives an A+ in the eyes of Pura Vida Ride. We were more than happy to participate in a local organization and donate a part of our revenue to continue the support of their endless efforts. Stand Up for CEPIA! Kudos for a fantastic, fun-loving event.