Journey into the Forest Liz's Costa Rican Adventure

I'm going to share a story of how I started 2017. by challenging myself in more ways at one. Creating crisis!

I started the new year with making some annual goals two of which were; challenge myself and travel more. By January 3rd I had located the adventure I wanted to go on. Only one thing left to due before book, talk it over with Peet. I was not sure how he would feel about me asking to leave in ten days to go alone to Costa Rica to disappear into an Eco-community off the grid for ten days to challenge myself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I wanted change and was not ready to wait for it, creating a physical, mental,emotional and spiritual crisis was exactly what I thought I wanted to create space for growth. After listening to me, he said I needed to go for it. I was shocked and overjoyed all at the same time.

After communicating via email and phone with the guide that day. January 4th I booked my Personal Transformation Retreat. One thing to be aware at this point in my story is no exact details of what we would be doing, I knew where we would sleep, what we would eat , what we were to pack and what to leave home.

I had 10 days until this adventure began. I was ELATED and TERRIFIED simultaneously.

I don't know how people can book this sorts of things months or even years in advance, the next 10 days were a total roller coaster of emotion, from hopeful energy to anxious fear of disappointment. Had it been longer I might have gone mad. Type A all the way here, So this lack of knowledge and control already had me triggered and I was still at home, lol. My guide sent me an email a few days before, he went over how folks typically go through this cycle before a transformation. Hearing that I immediately felt better, I was not alone in my freaking out.

I had to start my journaling before the trip, one of the prompts was to capture what our goals and fears for the journey were. After this exercise I was even more scared the list was long....

Jan 14th 2017 I was on my way to Liberia, Costa Rica!

The afternoon of the 14th I landed in Liberia, Costa Rica at the tiniest airport in a grassfield.

Liberia, Costa Rica airport

I would make my way via Nissan pickup truck "taxi" to my hotel for the night. Hotel Del Rincon, simple accommodations, was good segway from modern urban to the rustic forest life awaiting me tomorrow.

Accommodations at Hotel del Rincon

Stayed here for the night, met my guide and learned my group consisted of 4 women. I would dine with the youngest of our group and my guide that evening. After simple dinner we turned into get a good rest before heading our early in the morning for the forest and Pachamama.

Gerdy: Our Faithful Chariot!

The next morning as we prepared to depart, we meet what would be our mode of transportation for the next 10 days, Gerdy as she became known. Gerdy was a silver 1988 manual 4 door Nissan Sentra. 5 adults and our luggage, pile in and head out.

Sights from the car window on drive from Liberia to Pachamama.
Nicest of the gravel roads that covered last 60 minutes of drive.

Drive was going well until our guide informed us that was the end of the asfault, the next 60 minutes of the drive were on gravel roads and we descend deep into the forest as we travel southwest towards the Costa Rican Coast.

To say Gerdy took a beating would be putting it mildly. All 5 of us and our luggage bounced up and down almost continuously for the next hour. It was a truly unique transport adventure. I have no pictures beyond the start of the gravel because we were trying to stabilize until we stopped. One might think gravel roads, one drives slower right? Add in river flooded crossings, single lane sized bridges and the fact that nobody drives slow, it's like a baja race track with added obstacles. It was amazing :)

We made it!


I had no idea of the adventures the next 10 days would take me on as we pulled up to Pachamama. I was excited as I knew something was coming.

Since this experience was so rich here is where I have to start summarizing a bit or you might never get through this post :)

My first few days at Pachamama were really about creating separation. I struggled with being too loud and too dependent on others for emotional regulation, so I was challenged by my guide to go silent for a few days, I was asked to turn my phone off and really allow my focus to center in on me. This was WAY more difficult than I expected. I am a continuous data stream. I was being shut off from all external feeds, and asked to focus in on me. Accepting this challenge was the first of many for me on this adventure,


The Pachamama diet scared me coming in, going; dairy, grain, caffeine, sugar, meat free. The food was amazing at Pachamama prepared with such care and pride.

Dishes from Pachamama Kitchen

All the ingredient are organic and local grown, lots of it is raised right on Pachamama.

Wild Treats

Juice board and Cacao Menu at Wild Treats

Filling the need of a hangout and treat spot, Pachamama's Raw Cacao bar, Wild Treats is Amazing! Starting my day with a raw cacao shot was my caffeine substitute and ending my days with raw cacao treats was heavenly.

Raw Cacao Chocolate Treats


I was introduced to all sorts of new therapy methods while staying at Pachamama, as well as getting to delve further into those I was familiar with already. Clarity breath-work, meditation and yoga were daily. Massage and other body work methods were every other day. Tai-Chi was 3 days a week. I got to experience: Reiki, Cranial-Sacral, acupuncture, sound bath therapies.

The Beach

I don't believe you could stay at Pachamama and not go to the beach, but if you did you'd be missing out. My group not only used the beach for sun and fun, but meditation, Kundalini, Tai-chi and group clarity breath-work sessions. Many a sunset meditations were enjoyed on the beach and are now etched in my mind as part of this experience.

Osho Hall

Osho Hall is such a central part to the Pachamama experience.

If there is one place you can truly share in group growth and positive energy exchange while staying in Pachamama it is in Osho Hall. The reverence and respect it is shown can only truly understood after experience the magic that happens inside it. My first day in Pachamama, I was instructed there is only one thing that they really ask everyone to participate in each day, 1 hour silent meditation each evening before dinner in Osho. That was the framing of my first intro to Osho hall and many of the camps residents. Osho would be home to many of my emotional challenges, physical movement really triggered deep seeded emotions; Dance, Yoga, Kundalini, and Tai-Chi were just a few of the physical movements I experienced in Osho Hall.

Osho is an integral location of Pachamama


I went to Pachamama to be pushed, to be challenged.

  • I was challenged to turn inside myself and to learn to recognize my own strength and value.
  • I was challenged to be silent, to listen only, gaining no external validation.
  • I was challenged to see my contributions through the eyes of others, ones who had only just met me. If they could see my traits, there was no way for me to deny.
  • I was challenged to cleanse, so I fasted for 3 days in silence.
  • I was challenged to overcome fears mental and physical, by jumping off waterfalls, to walking over fire all the way down to saying without exception what I truly feel.
  • I was challenged to recollect the missing pieces I had let other judgement encourage me to leave behind in the past.
  • I was challenged to see humanities innocence.
  • I was challenged through a vision quest, like I never have been before and will probably never be again. My guide was so in tune with what areas I wanted to stretch and what needed reinforcement. That when I accomplished my quest, it was an infallible victory for me internal struggles.

Frolicking in the Forest

Pictures can't capture the experience of living in such beauty.

Low Tech

Pachamama takes the no tech route whenever possible


Some of the locals


Spiritual challenges were not what I came to Pachamama expecting to get the most value or vision from, but the experiences I got to be a part of touched me in a way I have never experienced before.

Just a few of the moments, that touched me.

From around camp

360 degree Tour of Pachamama

I made this walking tour my last morning in camp, so I would never forget how wonderful this magical forest is.

Created By
Liz Cooper

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