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7 Days Chen Tai Chi Retreat in Costa Rica

  • Casa Marea Alta, Punta Banco, Costa Rica

Tai Chi Training in Costa Rica

Discover the wonderful benefits of tai chi for health and self-defense in a pristine tropical setting in southwestern Costa Rica - discover the natural beauty of the country. Everyone is welcome to join this retreat. Dr. Bob Bacher will work personally with each student to ensure that they receive the proper understanding and instruction to gain all of the benefits of Chen Tai Chi.

Highlights

  • Daily Tai Chi classes
  • Classes suitable for all levels
  • Work with Dr. Bob Bacher to ensure a proper training
  • Discover Tai Chi’s health and healing benefits
  • Delicious daily Costa Rican meals
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 7 days with instruction
  • English
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During this retreat, you will be staying at Casa Marea Alta, which is located at the bottom of an 800-acre private biological reserve and looks directly out at the ocean.

The rooms are cozy, rustic, airy, and unique. Each room has stunning views of the jungle or ocean, private bathrooms, private entrances, balconies, and hammocks. Only steps away from each room is the ocean, gardens, training area, and self-guided hiking trails.

You will see exquisite tropical birds, hear the howling monkeys, and watch the other rainforest animals roam freely in their natural environment.

What is Tai Chi?

Tai chi is a martial art based on ancient Chinese culture, medicine, and philosophy. Millions of people all over the world practice Tai chi daily for its wonderful benefits for health and fitness, healing chronic pain and illness, reversing the effects of aging, and relieving stress.

Tai Chi builds a strong body and sound mind. Daily practice develops a positive mental outlook, respect for oneself and others, self-discipline, self-confidence, concentration skills, and emotional balance, and improves our overall quality of life.

Tai Chi’s gentle flowing movements, combined with deep breathing and full intention, have a profound calming and soothing effect on your central nervous system, dissolving both physical and emotional stress. Regular practice of Tai Chi can relieve back and joint pain and arthritis, stabilize blood pressure, improve circulation, heal illness, and keep your mind and body feeling young and alive.

You will learn original Chen style tai chi in the tradition of Grandmaster Wang Xi’an, including tai chi principles and theory, along with the following six components:

How to breathe

Tai chi’s specific method of breathing to energize your whole body for vibrant health and wellbeing.

How to loosen up

A series of gentle joint rotation exercises to loosen up muscles and joints, increase circulation, relieve and prevent joint pain and injuries, and reverse the effects of aging.

How to silk reel

Silk reeling is tai chi’s continually spiraling and coiling whole body movements. Silk reeling strengthens and tones muscles, tendons, and ligaments, cultivates powerful qi (vital energy) circulation, improves cardiovascular and lymphatic function, and heals and prevents soft tissue injuries. This is the healthiest and most intelligent way to exercise the whole body.

How to stand

Learn how to align your body with gravity to relax and conserve energy. This is the key to all tai chi postures and movements.

How to stand quietly

A simple method of standing to cultivate stillness and total relaxation of body and mind, sometimes referred to as standing meditation.

How to stretch your back

A simple spinal stretch performed while standing to increase spinal mobility and correct alignment of spinal vertebrae. The best exercise to relieve and prevent back pain and restore youthful spinal pliability for life.

Program

  • Tai chi theory and principles
  • Tai chi foundation training
  • Standing post-training
  • Silk reeling power training
  • Chen style tai chi Old Frame First Routine (75 postures)
  • Self-defense applications from old frame
  • Push hands
  • Tai Chi Qigong
  • Meditation
  • Dr. Bob Bacher

    Dr. Bob Bacher practices and teaches tai chi daily with the same enthusiasm and joy as he did the day he started in 1969. He travels worldwide offering workshops and retreats, sharing tai chi’s original principles and practice methods as he learned from 19th generation lineage Grandmaster Wang Xi’an. Dr. Bacher’s goals are simple: to always strive to achieve the highest level of skill in tai chi, to be the absolute best teacher that he can be, and to share the beauty and health giving properties of tai chi with as many people as he can.

This retreat will take place in Punta Banco, Costa Rica. Punta Banco is located at the end of the road. Literally, you can not drive further; the road ends at the beach and the jungle. Being so isolated makes this place uniquely special. There is less tourism and more peace and quiet.

During this retreat, you will enjoy freshly prepared vegan meals, which will be prepared with only the finest local ingredients. Fruits and vegetables are from our garden and local farmers in the area.

  • 2 daily tai chi classes
  • 4 daily delicious vegan meals
  • 6 nights lodging at Casa Marea Alta

Driving directions from San Jose

  • Leave San Jose on the new highway heading to Jaco. Before entering Jaco, take the coastal road south
  • Travel south passing turns for Playa Hermosa, Quepos, and Dominical
  • In Palmar, you will meet with the Pan-Am Highway, go right
  • Fill up on gas or diesel here. This is the last real gas station, unless you are going into Golfito. You can get fuel in Pavones but only from a drum at the hardware store
  • Then, in Rio Claro, go right again. There will be a sign for Pavones around four to five miles on the right side of the road, but be aware and pay attention
  • You will need to take a hard switch back left turn at this sign. The Rodeo Bar is on this corner. If you get to Golfito you have gone too far and missed the turn; go back and watch for the Rodeo Bar
  • The rest of the way will be marked with new signs and will take around one hour and 30 minutes
  • Make a right turn in Pueblo Nuevo.
  • Make another right in Conte, there is a supermarket and bar here. You will be on the road to Pavones
  • Stay left at the two forks in the road after Conte. The other roads go to Zancudo
  • Upon arrival to Pavones you will pass the grocery store, Rio Claro Bridge, and Pavones Point Break. Stay on the beach road about six kilometers more, passing over a couple bridges and through the Pavones beach
  • Look for Tiskita Jungle Lodge on the left. Casa Marea Alta is directly after them. You will see a sign for Casa Marea Alta

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Golfito Airport (GLF). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request. There are charter flights from Sansa Airlines and Nature Air that leave daily from the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) to Golfito. The flight is approximately one hour long.

Once you land in Golfito, you can catch a cab to Casa Marea Alta. The cab averages about 80 and 100 USD and the ride takes approximately one hour and 30 minutes. Sansa and Nature Air both allow surf boards on the flights.

Arrival by bus

You can take the bus from San Jose to Punta Banco, Costa Rica. Although very inexpensive, this bus ride can take up to eight hours and 30 minutes. With this potion, you will get to stop in some different places, eat some good food on the road, and save a few bucks.

From San José, you can buy a ticket at the Tracopa Terminal (every taxi drivers knows where it is). If possible, you should buy your ticket a day in advance because it can get crowded, especially on the weekends and holidays.

Buses depart San Jose for Golfito from the Tracopa station at 7 a.m. The trip takes about eight hours and costs 12 USD.

Buses to Pavones depart Golfito daily at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. They depart near the supermarket across the street from the hospital. The trip lasts two-and-a-half to three hours and costs 2.40 USD.

To return to San Jose, buses depart Pavones daily at 5:30 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. for Golfito. They depart Golfito in front of the Deposito Libre at 5 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The trip takes about eight hours and costs 12 USD.

In case of a lack of time, you can get off the bus at T-junction kilometro 14 (between Golfito and Pavones) and get on the Pavones bus there. Whatever you do, make sure you are on that bus, because it only goes to Casa Marea Alta once a day.

Tell the driver to drop you off at Casa Marea Alta, Clyde Aspinall’s house, next to Tiskita Jungle Lodge. Plan to arrive around 6 p.m. If by any chance you miss the last bus to Pavones, you can take a taxi from Golfito to Casa Marea Alta, which will cost you around 80 USD.

Arrival by ferry / boat

Once you land in Puerto Jimenez, Casa Marea Alta can arrange for you a private artesanal boat that will take you across the gulf, ending in Pavones. Here, they will pick you up and bring you to the lodge. The boat ride is a great way to see the coast, get a feel for the water, and enjoy the scenery. You also might have a chance to see a variety of sea life, such as whales and dolphins.

  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 2 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Testimonials

  • Review by Rey Serna from Seattle, Washington

    "As luck would have it, I met Dr. Bob Bacher while traveling in Costa Rica. He introduced me to the amazing art of Tai Chi. I say amazing, because the more I learn about Tai Chi the more impressed I become with Tai Chi, it’s history, and it’s ability to be used as a healing tool for life. Tai Chi is a very un-assuming and impressive martial art that can empower women or anyone willing to spend a little time learning it. This book is no doubt a great start to Tai Chi. Also, In my opinion, there is no one outside of the few great Chinese Tai Chi masters still alive, that has the experience and knowledge like Dr. Bob. He has attained this mastery through his extensive studying and years of daily practice!"

    Tai Chi Costa Rica website, edited

  • Review by Joe Mahoney from Sunrise, Florida

    "Tai Chi has given me the means to deal with the stress in my life like nothing else I have ever encountered. As a government employee, I deal with considerable stress on a daily basis and Tai Chi allows me to nullify the effects of the stress by quieting my mind and calming my nervous system. My mind could be racing with the thoughts of a stressful day but once I focus and begin to do the form, I immediately begin to feel the quieting effects of the practice of Tai Chi, and when I am done with the form, I am once again in the space of quite calm, absent of the effects of the stress of the day. My ability to now sense tension in my body and release that tension in the practice of the form has allowed me to alleviate the cumulative effects of stress that I used to experience, such as headaches, low back pain, and constant digestive issues; effects that no medication ever had on me. Dr. Bob Bacher has been my instructor for nearly 5 years and I continually thank my lucky stars for having found him to study Tai Chi with. I have studied with multiple instructors for years at a time and taken workshops with “Tai Chi Masters” who never demonstrated the skill level that Dr. Bacher has shown me, let alone be able to explain and teach. Dr. Bob lives a modest life devoted to the study and teaching of Tai Chi and consequently has developed knowledge and skill rarely seen outside of China. His devotion has led him to find and study with Master Wang Xian in China, in whom he found the highest level of practitioner of Tai Chi that can be found anywhere. As such, his knowledge and ability is comparable to a renowned orchestra conductor, whose study of his art allows him to combine theory and practice to achieve remarkable results. Those results can be experienced anyone willing to spend time in earnest practice of Tai Chi. Dr. Bacher has given me what no other teacher has, the knowledge and theory to practice on my own and have a lifetime of study, which allows me to deepen my own understanding of the internal art and benefit from the health effects that such practice affords me. From other instructors I learned forms. From Dr. Bob, I learned the internal art that I had wanted to learn since I started to practice Tai Chi more than 25 years ago. I recommend to any serious practitioner of Tai Chi that you give yourself the experience of studying with Dr. Bob Bacher, the most passionate and devoted practitioner of Tai Chi that I have ever come across."

    Tai Chi Costa Rica website, edited

  • Review by Sheena Russel from Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada

    "Due to the fact that I ran and operated a hair dressing salon for 33 years, I had chronic pain in my lower back and between my shoulder blades. My husband and I belonged to a Tai Chi club in our home town for many years. We loved our tai chi meetings and made many friends through Tai Chi. We began doing research and with luck we found Dr. Bob Bacher. We invited him to teach in our home town. This turned out to be one of the best things our club ever did! Dr. Bacher explained Tai Chi in a way we all could understand and taught us many new ways to release tension and direct the flow of Qi. After Dr. Bacher’s visit and teaching in our home town, we decided to make a trip to Costa Rica to learn from Dr. Bob. We were not disappointed! In a short time, Dr. Bob pointed out to me simple body alignments, which I had done so long that I thought it was normal to move that way. I will be eternally grateful to you Dr. Bacher!"

    Tai Chi Costa Rica website, edited

  • Review by Dr. Ernst Papperger from Rosenheim, Germany

    "Dr. Bob Bacher has a very profound knowledge both of health care and the art of Tai Chi that is rarely found today. His vast experience enables him to teach in a very individual and unique way, and at the same time, to keep it simple. His dedication to the art and his authentic attitude regarding a healthy lifestyle gets students really enthusiastic about the subject of learning and using Tai Chi. He has the great ability to further the learning process of students in a perfect way, while having fun at the same time!"

    Tai Chi Costa Rica website, edited

  • Review by Jason Aguila from Miami, Florida

    "As a personal trainer with a very diverse clientele, I can say that the Tai Chi skills I have learned under Dr. Bob Bacher have been essential in taking my clients to the next level in their health. Whether it’s in the power of intention, balance, or simple mechanics of movement, I often refer to my Tai Chi training. In addition, as a body builder, the skills I have cultivated this far have helped tremendously with mind to muscle connection, intensity, focus, and posing in competitions."

    Tai Chi Costa Rica website, edited