Leaves and Lizards Retreat

/lēvz and lizərds rəˈtrēt/


1. a quiet or secluded place in which one can rest and relax.
2. a unique cabin resort in Costa Rica with rustic charm and breathtaking views of the Arenal Volcano.
synonyms: refuge, haven, sanctuary, hideaway, home away from home

Lodging & Rates

We offer 10 unique private deluxe cabins  spread out on 30 acres of rolling hills ALL OPTIONS offer amazing views of the Arenal Volcano.

Vacation Packages

We can streamline your vacation planning by creating customized experiences for individuals, couples, groups or families.

Tours & Activities

There’s so much to do in Costa Rica! At Leaves and Lizards, your activities and tours are personalized and can be customized to meet your needs.

Escape from the ordinary at Leaves and Lizards…

We’re not just another Costa Rica rain forest hotel. Choose one of our unique cabins and immerse yourself in the local Tico culture. Take in breathtaking views of the Arenal Volcano as you watch toucans from your private porch. Collect eggs, milk a cow, or brush a horse on our working farm. Enjoy fresh farm to table food and delicious Costa Rican coffee. Experience the best horseback riding in Costa Rica, let us plan a zip-line or rafting adventure for you, or simply relax by the pool and enjoy a signature cocktail.

“Left a piece of my heart there…”

Like all the best things in life, it takes some effort to get to L&L. The road there is a trip in and of itself but if you let a little gravel stand in the way of you getting there, this place probably isn’t for you anyway. Eventually, you make you way through the village that time forgot and end up in the retreat.

“Gratitude for Horses!”

I’m so grateful for the experience I had at Leaves and Lizards. It was truly a life changing experience that I couldn’t have anticipated. Being surrounded by such love from all the horses and animals on the farm, waking up to a stunning view of the volcano, eating delicious organic meals, being in the middle of the  jungle and working with such amazing facilitators was healing on so many levels.

“Paradise Found!”

Leaves and Lizards is a beautiful and relaxing paradise set in the rainforest of Northern Costa Rica. It’s a rough track as you near this paradise but, without doubt, worth it. The views from every cabin and the open air restaurant are spectacular, vistas of luscious green rainforest and the famous volcano Arenal

“Simply the best”

L&L is an excellent example of a successful business run by resident owners who have put so much love and attention into every inch of the property. It is evident from your arrival to departure that it is important that you enjoy your stay and gain a full and varied experience of the local area. It is well managed and impeccably presented.

“Even more than we hoped for"

We had such a wonderful time in Costa Rica at Leaves and Lizards! We loved loved, loved the Hummingbird house and were SO glad that we upgraded to it. The bird watching was just incredible – far more than we even hoped for. We had toucans in the trees right outside the house singing to each other, a flock of green parrots, saw a white hawk, and of course saw gorgeous hummingbirds all around.

Come visit us and find out for yourself why Leaves and Lizards Retreat in Costa Rica is ranked in the top 1% of resort hotels in the world!

What's New at Leaves and Lizards!

When is the last time you played in the mud? Vacations are for playing! A tropical vacations offers opportunities to play in the mud! #leavesandlizards #playinthemud #beingakid ... See MoreSee Less

When is the last time you played in the mud? Vacations are for playing! A tropical vacations offers opportunities to play in the mud! #leavesandlizards #playinthemud #beingakid

We are in France with Leïla Audrey Pagès as she is finishing up the France premiere of her award winning documentary, The "Freedom Tracks" Herd (La horde "Sans Attache") The film was very well received from Paris to Pau! Today she will show it at a private screening in the Basque Region of Southern France at the beautiful home of Marie Hélène Mauvenu-Willieme. She is planning a USA tour in late September/early October. Just for fun.....here is some behind the scenes footage! 🤣🤨😂

Sans Attache - Freedom Tracks
Dans les coulisses du documentaire: Visitez notre studio d'enregistrement haut de gamme pour le doublage en anglais de la bande annonce de Sans Attache! 😛

Behind the scenes of the documentary! Visit our very fancy recording studio for the english dubbing of the trailer for Freedom Tracks! 😛
... See MoreSee Less

A beautiful Boa...not so far away...:) ... See MoreSee Less

A beautiful Boa...not so far away...:)
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Contact Us

Toll free from the US or Canada: 1-888-828-9245 or 1-866-860-7613.

Locally in Costa Rica: 2478-0023 or 8333-6863.

Email: leavesandlizardsretreat@gmail.com

Our address is: 500 meters Sur de Super Kike, Alto Monterrey, Monterrey, San Carlos, Alajeula, Costa Rica

Leaves and Lizards Retreat

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica CLICK HERE, for directions
The Next Act Sabbatical @ Leaves and Lizards
Aug 25 – Sep 9 all-day
The Next Act Sabbatical @ Leaves and Lizards


Our experiences, our lives, our moment.

As in a play, the early ”Acts of our lives prepare our character and set the stage for our Next Act.

What story do you want your Next Act to tell?   

The Next Act Sabbatical will guide you to reflect on the previous stages of your life and create a vision for the next one.  YOU have the power to write the award winning script….and our team knows how to help you do that.

Click for the Full Brochure: The Next Act Sabbatical

In her TEDx talk, Jane Fonda, explains it well…. 



Eponicity and Susan Crimmins present: Illuminating Our Spiritual Intuition – Guided by Horses @ Leaves and Lizards Retreat
Sep 16 – Sep 23 all-day
Eponicity and Susan Crimmins present: Illuminating Our Spiritual Intuition – Guided by Horses @ Leaves and Lizards Retreat

“We live between the act of awakening and the act of surrender. Each morning, we awaken to the light and the invitation to a new day in the world of time; each night, we surrender to the dark to be taken to play in the world of dreams where time is no more.”

John O’Donohue”

                                   Feeling called to Awaken your Divine Self?

Come and join us in Costa Rica for this enlivened adventure of living our questions, as we illuminate our unique, intrinsic wisdom (spiritual intuition) with horses as our guides

In communion with our sentient, four-legged guides, both on the ground and mounted, our time together will extend an open-hearted invitation to: spiritually ground meditate and pray cultivate awareness of signs and symbols differentiate intuitive guidance from emotions and projections identify obstacles and opportunities explore ambivalence to embrace knowing and learn how to listen when our soul is speaking.

We ask that you be open to the possibility that whenever horses are serving as guides our Divine guest, Mystery, is invited. When she arrives, we simply never know what she will offer to each of us; however from experience, we do know that it will be exactly what we need….

For Full Brochure Click Here

Journey into the Soul – Horses and the Medicine Wheel @ Leaves and Lizards
Oct 13 – Oct 23 all-day
Journey into the Soul - Horses and the Medicine Wheel @ Leaves and Lizards

“The sacred duty of being an individual is to gradually learn how to live so as to awaken the eternal within you.” ~ John O’Donohue

Join Eponicity and Mike Bodkin of Rites of Passage in Costa Rica for this soul filling retreat of connection and introspection. The Native American Medicine Wheel lays a path for us to follow, through cycles of birth and rebirth. If you are ready to go deep into this exploration, this journey into what lies ahead and what is in this moment and what must be healed and let go of…then let your horse take you on this journey.

Full Brochure Click Here

Introduction to Sand Play Training For Healing Arts Professionals @ Leaves and Lizards Retreat
Oct 28 – Nov 1 all-day
Introduction to Sand Play Training For Healing Arts Professionals @ Leaves and Lizards Retreat

Introduction to Sand Play Training Course for Healing Arts Professionals
Presented by Gretchen Morgan, LCSW
Lighthouse Counseling Services, New Jersey
Gretchen Morgan has been using in her practice and teaching Sand Play for over 20 years and is offering this 3 day, 18 hour course, for persons in the healing arts community. Health care professionals will earn 18 CEU’s for the course.

Details (4 nights)
Participants arrive on or before October 28th, 2018.
Arriving flights should come into SJO or LIR airports by 2 pm on October 28th. Airport transportation is not included but will be organized by Leaves and Lizards.
$1300/person/double occupancy
Includes: Sand Play Training Tuition, Lodging, all on site meals.
Not included: Airfare, airport transfers, soda pop, alcohol and tips.

This can be an add on to the Heal the Healers Retreat starting on November 1st.

Healing the Healers Retreat @ Leaves and Lizards
Nov 1 – Nov 8 all-day
Healing the Healers Retreat @ Leaves and Lizards

You the Healer….

As a Healer your soul has been called to give, to heal, to provide comfort to others during difficult times; with selflessness and compassion. Your needs are often set aside and life consists only of giving and can you may find it hard to receive.  Eventually the giving becomes a strain, both physically and emotionally.  The depleted healer becomes vulnerable to burn-out, and can begin to perceive their healing gift as a burden.  Recognizing it is essential to take time for self-care, to renew and to learn to receive can restore light and energy back into the soul of the healer.

Full brochure please click here: Healing the Healers 2018

Intermediate Sand Play Training for the Healing Arts Professional @ Leaves and Lizards Retreat
Nov 8 – Nov 11 all-day
Intermediate Sand Play Training for the Healing Arts Professional @ Leaves and Lizards Retreat

 The Lighthouse Sand Play Therapy Technique

Intermediate Sand Play Therapy Training Series

Presenter: Gretchen Morgan, LCSW
For those who have completed our three-part Introduction to Sand Play Therapy Series, we offer an Intermediate Level of Sand Play Therapy Training. The format is small group and highly experiential.  Some topics that will be covered include: Complex Trauma, Defense Mechanisms, Resource Development, Somatics and Symbolism. All intermediate trainings are approved for CE  for 18 CE’s by NJ CE Collaborative, APT and NBCC .

$1500/person double occupancy  (guaranteed single occupancy is $700 extra)

  • Arrival to Leaves and Lizards is on or before November 8th. Class is on Nov. 9,10,11th, 2018.
  • Departure is on or after November 12th (departing flights should leave after 2 pm).

Additional nights at Leaves and Lizards are offered at  $180/night plus tax*

Includes: Food and lodging, tuition

Not included: Airfare, airport transfers, tips, soda pop, or alcohol

Consider this as an add on to our Healing the Healers Retreat Nov. 1st to the 8th.

*extra charge for the Tree House, Butterfly or Hummingbird


Higher Living Now ~ Horse and Yoga Self Empowerment Retreat @ Leaves and Lizards
Dec 10 – Dec 16 all-day
Higher Living Now ~ Horse and Yoga Self Empowerment Retreat @ Leaves and Lizards
The retreat will be centered around the 5 kosha bodies and have experiences designed to bring balance, regain strength, renew spirit and rediscover our power. Through a framework of an ancient system designed to look at levels of consciousness, we can  become more of our most authentic selves. We will be using this system as a tool kit to check in and see where we are coming from and areas that we can focus on to improve our life. This will provide the framework of the each day’s activities.
Click Here for more information.
It will include the following days:

 5 Kosha:

  • Annamaya  “Food or Physical”
  • Pranamaya “Energy”
  • Manomaya “Mind”
  • Vijnanamaya “Wisdom”
  • Anandamaya “Bliss”

Costa Rica Adventure Photography Workshop ~ Rob Knight and Leila Pages @ Leaves and Lizards
Jan 19 – Jan 26 all-day
Costa Rica Adventure Photography Workshop ~ Rob Knight and Leila Pages @ Leaves and Lizards

Award winning photographers Rob Knight and Leila Audrey Pagés have designed this photo workshop to be different than your average Costa Rica photography tour. Of course you will visit beautiful locations, meet friendly local people, and see amazing wildlife; and you will have experienced photography instructors to help you make the most of every opportunity. Rob and Leila want to take you further. They want to show you what can happen when you truly tune in to your environment and focus on the images you want to create.

A creative journey…

You’ll explore concepts such as visual storytelling, mindful photography, and photographic intent. Use Costa Rica as a backdrop to engage your creative side while you explore your unique viewpoint. This tour is not just about philosophy though. This is truly a Costa Rica photography workshop. Rob and Leila will provide hands-on instruction, presentations, and demonstrations throughout the week. You will learn photography and image processing techniques to help you create your own compelling images.


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Resort Amenities

  • Infinity Pool
  • Poolside Tiki Bar
  • Lava Lizard Restaurant
  • Vegetarian and vegan offerings
  • Gluten free options
  • Concierge service
  • Laundry service
  • Naturalist guide service
  • Covered Yoga Deck
  • Yoga classes
  • Massage therapy
  • Horseback riding
  • Our own private waterfall
  • Arenal River access
  • Rain forest hiking trails
  • Working farm with cows, chickens, and pigs
  • Farm fresh eggs and milk
  • On-site photography services
  • Photography classes
  • Personal coaching

Things to Note about our Cabin Retreat

  • Our delicious Breakfast is included in the nightly rate.
  • Leaves and Lizards Rates do not include the 13% Costa Rica tourist tax, it is added to your food and lodging total.
  • In accordance with local tourism law, an additional 10% service charge is added to your food bill.
  • Cash, PayPal, VISA and MasterCard are accepted on site.
  • We are not a typical hotel/resort. We have a welcoming retreat like atmosphere.
  • In keeping with our retreat atmosphere, we ask for a minimum stay of 3 nights. Please don’t ask for shorter stays. Our average length of stay is 4-5 nights.
  • Leaves and Lizards Arenal Volcano Cabin Retreat is suitable for older children. We may not be the best choice for kids under the age of 5.
  • We can provide transportation, please inquire about rates.
  • We are located in a rural area. Expect a bumpy ride for at least 3 km. We know it is a rough road. It keeps out the riff raff!
  • Check-in is at 1:00 pm and Check-out at 11:00 am. This can be flexible, just ask.
  • FREE local calls and FREE high speed wireless internet.
  • Daily yoga $12/person during most peak times.
  • Lunch – $12, Dinner – $16-$25. Served at the Lava Lizard restaurant. Children’s menu $8. Reservations are necessary.
  • Farm to Table Fresh is our motto! Foods grown at Leaves and Lizards: Milk, cream, sour cream, cheese, butter, ice cream, chicken, beef, pork, eggs and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Please plan to pay tips in cash.
  • For ideas of other great places to stay, our friends Berni and Nhi, owners of Pura Vida Hotel near SJO,  have excellent recommendations.  ‘Places you will want to stay (longer)’.