Costa Rica ! What to pack and how to prepare for Set Sail & Surrender

In Blog by Trisha McBride

If you are stumbling upon this blog and you are not sure what Set Sail & Surrender is, it is an annual yoga and dance retreat co-hosted with Sibyl Buck, held in the heart of the jungle of Costa Rica over the first full moon of the new year.  We are on our third year and we are truly looking forward to starting with the full moon on the 23rd.   Those of you who are signed up WELCOME ABOARD !!! unnamed-4

I have some very good suggestions on what to prepare for and what to pack for your adventure in the jungle.

Our dates this year are January 23rd –  29th, at the exquisite Iguana Lodge in Puerto Jimenez on the Osa Peninsula. Wether or not you are joining us, check out this blog for suggestions on what to pack for your stay in Costa Rica.


#1. You do not need to exchange your american dollar for colones.  Most of all of Costa Rica will accept your american $$ so take that off your list.  You will most likely get change back in colones so there is that.


IMG_1284 (1)#2. You are taking a puddle jumper via Sansa Airlines to your final destination… pack light.  I mean truly, pack light.  The maximum weight for your carry on (NO CHECKED BAGS) is 30lbs. They need to keep the weight to a minimum; look how teeny this plane is!  If you are coming on our retreat, you will land in Puerto Jimenez where you will be picked up by car that will take you the resort that is 5 minutes away.  Maxine, who booked your hopper flight knows when you are landing, so the car will be there waiting for you.

#3.  Upon your arrival to Fantasy Island 😉  you will be well received with a beverage you will not be forgetting any time this IMG_1331century.  You will be able to drop your bags, and soon be escorted to your room.  You get to sit back and decompress after flying low over the beautiful lush jungle, take in the sights, the sounds and the smell of the ocean.

#4 WHAT TO PACK: You do not need to pack a towel if you are only staying at the resort and flying home afterwards. They have towels and sarongs waiting for you at Iguana Lodge

A) If you know you are sensitive to bug bites, pack a POWERFUL MOSQUITO REPELLENT.  I would suggest something with deet!! I know, I KNOW it’s poison and it sucks, but I can tell you from my experience, I will never step back into that jungle without the big guns ever again.  Many of our participants were not bothered, and some palo santo oil was all they needed, but I personally am bringing deet because those mosquitos in the jungle just laughed at my all natural-herbal repellent and bit me right through it.

Be sure to pack your whites to our first night under the full moon. IMG_1478January 23rd is the first full moon of the new year and the beginning of Set Sail and Surrender.  It is our tradition to have dinner and then to gather on the beach under the full and around the bonfire for our opening ceremony and ritual.   This is one of my favorite rituals of this retreat, I find it to be a very special occasion.

B) pack some CRYSTALS if you like that kind of thing.  I love charging mine up under the super potent full moon and its a great idea to practice with your crystals on, or near your mat during retreat.

C) SKIN CARE & SUNBLOCK, IMG_1857 I am extremely fair skinned, so I will burn to a crisp in an instant.  If you are like myself, or even if you are not fair, you will want to be sure to pack a sunblock that is over an spf 20.  More than and spf 35 is bogus, so just be sure its over 20 and water resistant. My favorite face sunblock is Herbal Elements Unscented Sun Stick SPF 30 click here.  I wear it rain or shine and  it is only $8 bucks.  It covers like a champ and  lasts a long time it is also made of the very best ingredients I can find.  I really can’t say enough about this product.  No pre-aging, thank you to this little miracle stick. As far as soothing a sun burn goes,  I had trouble finding anything that worked the way I wanted it to.  So I formulated SOLAR REPAIR within my own apothecary line Triluna Apothecary.  This product is loaded with colloidal silver and organic aloe vera juice, to quickly soothe sun burns.  It works fast to repair heat or sun damaged skin.  The humidity in Costa Rica is off the charts, so I tend to break out pretty easily as my shifts from extremely dry Utah air to tropical humidity.  I travel with my favorite zit slayer, Corrective Skin Care’s BPO Gel,unnamed-1 this stuff works like a charm, and I have used all the pimple remedies out there.   I won’t ever travel without it again. I also use it anytime I feel a break out coming on.  You can use it as a spot treatment, or to prevent future breakouts.  You can find this product here or email Kelly Brown at  for more info and check out the website . No one has time for bad skin in paradise!

D) CLOTHING SUGGESTIONS: Pack a few flowing cotton long pants and long sleeves just to keep the bugs off your bod, but for most of the day. During practice you will probably want to wear as little as possible as it is the JUNGLE and is nice and warm and wet. Pack an all white outfit for our opening night-launch party.  Jan, 23rd is the first full moon of the new year and we will be on our private beach wearing all white around the bonfire.   It is a tradition of ours to bathe under the first full moon of the new year in all white.  This way we absorb the moon’s powerful rays into our bodies on a whole other level as we launch into the new year.  Also pack stretchy breathable yoga wear and a swim suit of course.  Shorts and t shirts are always nice in a tropical climate. Be sure to pack some sunglasses and you won’t regret packing a hat that will shade your face.

E) YOU DO NOT NEED TO PACK A YOGA MAT, one will be provided for you by the resort and that is just extra baggage that you do not want with you.  I would suggest a large yoga towel.  Like this manduka towel click here to check them out ded8658e8968cdd6b34dae83cb348d5f You can cover your entire mat with one and it will keep you from slipping on your loaner mat in the humidity, ( I dislike not bringing my thick personal mat, but no room in the luggage for that). I highly recommend a yoga towel as mentioned above so you don’t slip. Also, I am a used mat germaphobe.  You can wash this towel nightly in your sink and hang it out to dry if you like me.  Having your yoga towel slightly damp is how you want it.  It is designed to work with best with water.  I believe they were originally designed for Bikram Yoga, so when you pour sweat YOU WILL NOT SLIDE.   I would also recommend  Triluna Apothecary mat spray to keep the microbes out of the picture and off you mat and towel.  Especially because you most likely will end up with a different mat every day.  I am particular when it comes to peace of mind on my mat so I created the Celtic Sea Spray Mat Renewal, click here to check it out. Not only does the sea sponge work to clean your mat, you can use it to exfoliate your body and face.   Wash it after you use il_570xN.815824938_ecu6it on our mat, take it to the shower and get that dead skin off your hot yoga bod and beautiful face.  You will want something to exfoliate with and I highly recommend this organic sea sponge. Organic sea sponges are actually filled with natural enzymes that inhibit the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria, making them toxin-free and hypo-allergenic. I also oil cleanse my face, I never wash with soap it dries my skin out.  The sea sponges I sell are just the best thing I have found to pull the oil off my face and body with and they NEVER grow mold.

F) HEAD LAMP:  You will want one while you are wandering around at night, the path is lit, but I like to really see what I might be stepping on, off the path.  If you want to explore at night bring a head lamp.

G) BENADRYL: Yup I HIGHLY recommend this little pink pill.  BIG thanks to our friend Beth, she had packed some last year and gave me a few after I was up all night on FIRE from my mosquito bites.  You will be bitten by mosquitos, sand fleas, and sea fleas.  Yes, you are the jungles breakfast, lunch and dinner,  so prepare well if you know your skin is sensitive to insect bites.

H) CHARCOAL:  The active charcoal that you can find in any natural supplement isle.  This will absorb any foreign funk that your system will have trouble adapting to.  It will also help your liver process toxins. No montezumas revenge for anyone with this stuff, not that I have ever had trouble in Costa Rica and I have an extremely sensitive system.  It truly saved me when I traveled to Israel a few years back and I always pack it just because it is a wise supplement to travel with.

I) EAR PLUGS: Sometimes the jungle gets loud !

J) FLIP FLOPS: And or river shoes aka Tivas

K) JOURANL:  It is always nice to write down your experience and thoughts and you process on retreat.

#5  A Full Moon Offering: This year we would like to open the floor to any and all of you if there is a poem, an intention, a song or anything you would like to share with the group.

#6  TAKE A CLEANSING APPROACH:  We will be in a very high vibrational setting, so please take the time to slow down and take care of yourself.  We ask that you enjoy yourself, but meanwhile please be mindful of your personal balance and what your intentions are in going on retreat. Many of us will use this time to get clear and cleanse our minds, bodies and psyches.  If you are coming for a relaxing vacation, by all means, have that experience, but know that you’re stepping into a healing space with us and our other guests who may have come to focus and connect inward. We just ask that you keep the vibes tidy and high!

#7  MARVELOUS MEALS:  Get ready to be fed on all levels.  If you are an early riser, you will be able to find 1st breakfast.  First breakfast consists of world famous Costa Rican coffee freshly brewed, or your choice of tea with light fruit, yogurt and granola at 5:30 am.   Lightly graze just before meditation that starts at 6am (more information on workshops coming up in my next blog).  Then we will have 2nd breakfast which changes from day to day, allow me to just say you are not going to be disappointed with any of the meals, plenty of vegetarian and vegan options.  We will then have lunch at the club which has an epic ocean view,  as you can see here in the picture I snapped last year.  IMG_1531 As I write this blog I am recalling the joy of last year’s lunches!  Fresh salads and soups with the most amazing flavors, all fresh from the bounty of the jungle.  The nourishment that Iguana Lodge offers is unparalleled. Dinner is last, and never least. As you can see from this picture, gathering in the dinging hall for the most amazing fresh divine dinners, is  just an epic part of this retreat.  unnamed-7If you enjoy fish you  are truly going to find yourself in heaven.  I find that the food on a yoga retreat is one of the most important features.   Meals of course play one of the largest rolles in our healing process and higher vibrational setting.  Get ready to be launched to the moon my friends as we partake in one of the most incredible culinary experiences.


A) MASSAGE: Gift yourself a massage.  Holly Clawson is our groups massage therapist. She hails form Salt Lake City Utah and it a part of the of the groups healing needs. unnamed-5We always try to incorporate someone who is involved in the groups evolution.  I have received massage from Holly and I can tell you that it is something you will want to receive during your own process during retreat.  One hour massage with Holly will be $120-  email her at to secure your massage and feel free to contact her with any questions or injures she can work on during your stay in paradise.

B) FACIAL SATTVA:  From the healing hands of Roger Coulombe, hailing for Los Angeles California comes a technique that is quite remarkable.  I just expiernced Facial Sattva for the first time very recently and it was like nothing I have ever experienced before.  To sum it up it first felt like non invasive surgery on my face.  Then I began to experienced several energy shifts that were taking place at the base of my body while Roger was working on my crown chakra. unnamed-9 I also felt him retraining my facial muscles to stay in place where age and time has taken their toll with gravity.  He approached certain meridians and pressure points in my face that were targeted with skilled precision.  I also felt an intense clearing of my third eye as Roger focused his energy and hands at this center, I also experienced this within my throat chakra.  A truly remarkable experience.  Both Sibyl and myself have experienced Facial Sattva and have seen our facial features slightly lift and tighten over just one session.  To see real results, two sessions are recommended. Roger is offering Facial Sattva for $150 per session.  Here is some further info on the technique. Facial Sattva removes tension carried by facial muscles which cause us to appear intense, aged, or scowling.  While it does suit aesthetic purposes, the treatment is very effective in stretching over-activated, tense muscles, and restoring a youthful “calm” appearance.  For more information on the technique please visit … To book a Facial Sattva session during retreat contact Sibyl Buck at you will also have an opportunity to book during your stay in paradise.

C) TAROT READINGS:  As I do every year, I will be offering personal tarot readings during retreat.  I find tarot to be an extremely helpful divining tool as I assist my clients in gainign clarity and focus along the windy road of a fierce spiritual path.  Some find reading to be soothing and validating, as your higher self moves through the reading.  Most often your spirit guides will attend the reading. unnamed-10I offer readings for $45- for an half hour and $65- for an hour.  Please email me at to book your reading during, after or before retreat.   I look forward to shinning a light for you in certain corners that are ready to be illuminated along your path. As we all step into the new year with sheer footing and a strong will to raise the collective vibration on our beloved planet.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.  Sibyl and I are truly looking forward to hosting you for our third annual retreat in paradise.  See you soon and stay tuned for more information on our daily schedule, guest teachers and a glimpse of our curriculum as we Set Sail and Surrender.