Located about 15 minutes south of Dominical, Uvita proper sits on the east side of the coastal road. However, the town of Bahia Ballena, which technically is its town, is often grouped when referring to Uvita. The locals commonly refer to the area as “Bahia – Uvita,” “Bahia Ballena – Uvita”, or simply “Uvita”.
Hence the local beach of Uvita, Playa Colonia, is the same as that of Bahia Ballena (and within the Marino Ballena National Park).
Though Uvita is not known for world-class waves, it is an excellent place for beginner and intermediate surfers to develop their surfing abilities. With consistent waves, little to no crowds for the majority of the year, and safer than average ocean conditions for novices, Uvita is the place to learn to surf in the South Pacific.
In general, from December to March, waves are small to medium size, and from April to November, there are medium to large size waves.
Located in the heart of the community of Bahia Ballena, the Bodhi Surf + Yoga Lodge is within walking distance to almost everything you could need during a week-long stay with us, including the beach, which is a 20-minute walk from Bodhi.
Several grocery stores are within a 15-minute walk, and some of the area’s most popular restaurants are within a 10-minute walk.
During your stay, we will provide transportation to and from surf lessons at Playa Colonia and to and from the waterfall, so a car rental isn’t necessary.
You will never find any Bodhi Surf & Yoga lodge area to be excessive or cluttered, either visually or physically. One of our highest values is that “less is more”, and these are words that we all try to live by every day. We encourage our guests to enjoy the many sights, smells, tastes, and sounds of the area and really feel what life is like here without too many “modern” distractions. Our three themes for building and decor have been natural, simple, and welcoming.
Since opening Bodhi Surf + Yoga in 2010, we have had a shared vision of providing an affordable and homey lodging option that is consistent with our vision of simplicity and environmental consciousness and creating a space that encourages fun, relaxation, education, and cultural exchange. This vision did not include “modern adornments” (such as flat-screen TVs) but rather a mellow vibe, quaint setting, and warm, personalized service. Since 2013, this vision has been a reality!
We, the Bodhi Surf + Yoga camp owners, live on the lodge premises and are available 24/7 in the event that you need anything. During the day, the Bodhi staff is on-site helping ensure that the lodge is running smoothly and likewise is happy to help you practice your Spanish or answer questions about the local community.
Our community is a jumping-off point for a number of tours and activities, both natural and cultural. We have adventure and adrenaline activities, but also ones for those who want to lay back and get some much-needed R&R in our beautiful and warm paradise. There are cultural and community-centered tour agencies. There are a plethora of spas and bodywork specialists. And we have lots of great food (see more below).
Whether you want to read a book in a hammock, rappel yourself down a rock face beside a roaring waterfall, see the humpback whales our area is so famous for close up, or learn about the history and culture of the town you now find yourself in, you won’t be disappointed in Bahia Ballena.
For being such a small community, there are so many delicious and diverse food options around, great news for foodies! If you are interested in eating out and experiencing culture through your palette, you are in luck. The entire Costa Ballena area has an array of both local Costa Rican as well as quality international restaurants. From low-key eateries to upscale dining experiences and everything in between, there is also something for every budget. If you prefer to do your own cooking, we have various farmer’s markets, small local food stores, and large supermarkets. There are also food delivery services, organic produce providers, and there’s even a zero-waste store!
Surfing and yoga
After decades of both practicing and also teaching surfing and yoga, we know firsthand that the two are medicine for your body, mind, and spirit. They are physical pursuits, but more than that, they are great teachers. They foster connection with the ultimate source — nature — as well as the self.
We here at Bodhi Surf + Yoga are experienced, passionate, and competent surf and yoga practitioners; and, more importantly, patient and enthusiastic instructors. Our topmost goal is that you really learn both yoga and surfing, and walk away with great memories, new skills, and a sense of awakened purpose. Surf lessons are held inside of a marine national park, it isn't just any public beach, so crowds are not usual around here.
Healthy and delicious meals
Daily breakfast (except on your free day) and three dinners are included in your week-long stay in Bahia Ballena. Meals are made with love and are hearty, healthy, and have locally-sourced ingredients. We can accommodate dietary restrictions! You also have plenty of opportunities to sample the local fare and support our community’s economy.
Recognitions and awards
At Bodhi Surf + Yoga, we are over the moon to have been recognized as one of the Best for the World™ B Corps of 2021! The Best for the World honorees are Certified B Corporation companies whose scores in one or more of the five impact areas assessed towards the certification reach the top 5% of all B Corps worldwide. We will continue using the momentum generated by this movement to fuel our forward progress and always strive to do better with each passing year.
We have been recognized for our efforts in the Community area. The other areas are Environment, Workers, Governance, and Customers. Bodhi Surf + Yoga is stoked to be counted among the 4,000+ Certified B Corporations across 77 countries and 153 industries, unified by one common goal: transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet.
We won Tripadvisor's "Travelers' Choice Awards 2021". An award such as this is an endorsement by the guests themselves. As they are the central focus of any operation, it is a significant acknowledgment for any hospitality business. To receive the Travelers’ Choice Award means that your company is ranked within the top 10% of hotels in the world, based on feedback by travelers.
In 2010, four friends from various corners of the world joined forces to create a responsible tourism company whose primary purpose was to facilitate high-quality surf and yoga instruction within the relatively undeveloped confines of Bahia Ballena-Uvita, Costa Rica.
Given the pristine state of their surroundings and their collective, pre-existing ethos, the co-founders decided their business should be used as a vehicle to facilitate positive social and environmental change in both their local and global communities. Over the years, this business has grown and developed into today: a B Corporation certified and 1% for the Planet member surf and yoga camp.
We are formally committed to donating the equivalent of 2% of revenues or more to charitable partners each year (including in-kind product donations). Our Corporate Responsibility measures are the means by which we make progress on this journey, and we have endeavored to be transparent with this process by releasing a document highlighting each year’s initiatives since 2013.
Bodhi Surf + Yoga's mission? Educating, inspiring, and empowering our stakeholders to live more sustainably through surfing, yoga, nature immersion, and community engagement. In fact, the physical pursuits of surfing and yoga are simply the low-hanging fruit of Bodhi Surf + Yoga's mission. Ultimately, these activities function synergistically in the cultivation of awareness — which, quite deliberately, is the meaning of the Sanskrit word Bodhi.
Certified B corporation
Bodhi Surf + Yoga has had a strong tradition of Corporate Responsibility since our inception, and that was further solidified in November of 2016 when we became a Certified B Corporation. B Corps are companies that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency and harness the potential of their businesses to find solutions to social and environmental problems in their communities, both local and global. Since 2010, we have worked to build it into more than just a business that sustains its owners and employees and have been guided by our own principles, initiatives, and the great examples that have been set before us. We were proud to re-certify for the second time in 2020. We believe that the standard of doing business is changing, and we are excited to be a part of this movement.
Community investment & community programs
At Bodhi, we like to be active and invest in our community because as individuals, we love our home and as a business, we depend on its well-being; moreover, we know that a community that is well cared for is a community that thrives. There are many ways that we invest back into our community. Some of the most notable initiatives include our Travelers’ Philanthropy Program, our summer service programs with high school students, and our participation in a number of community groups.
Bodhi has either designed or co-developed a number of community programs that aim to preserve or improve the place we call home. Some of our areas of impact are providing educational opportunities, improving the environment, and uniting community members. A few examples include our Service & Surf Saturdays, Yoga for the Community, and Bahia Ballena Libre de Plástico (Bahia Ballena Plastic-Free).
Environmental awareness & impact reduction
We believe that we have a unique opportunity to not just provide our guests with the opportunity to have powerful experiences in a beautiful, protected natural area, but to utilize those moments as a catalyst to create long-term behavioral change. We have found a way to utilize what we do — hosting surf and yoga camps — as a vehicle to spread environmental awareness. Some of the ways we do that are through our surf and yoga curricula and our Ocean Guardian Pledge and Digest.
It’s one thing to talk the talk and another to walk the walk. At Bodhi Surf + Yoga, we believe that reducing our individual and company footprint is important, both for the act itself and to be positive role models for other people and businesses alike. This is a category in which we can still improve a great deal, but this challenge serves as motivation. Currently, we reduce our environmental impact by having onsite compost and recycling, limiting our use of plastics, and using biodegradable cleaning products.
The travel industry is very influential, but hasn’t historically been the greatest for local culture, society, or the environment. We have learned that “with great power comes great responsibility” — This is why we believe in a travel industry model that doesn’t blindly seek profit but considers people and the planet as well. Some of the ways we do that are by attending responsible tourism conferences and staying educated in our industry, working with other local responsible travel providers, promoting guest interaction with the community, and putting investments back into our community.
We are members of "The Transformational Travel Council," which is a collective of global tourism stakeholders who refuse to skirt the challenging issues. Instead, the association throws their boundless enthusiasm and well-researched knowledge and wisdom determined to find a resolution. We stand for the betterment of lives and livelihoods through mindful travel, regenerative thinking, and conscious choice-making.
We are also members of the "1% for the Planet", a global movement inspiring businesses and individuals to support environmental solutions through annual memberships and everyday actions. The association advises on giving strategies, certifying donations, and amplifying the impact of our network.