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The Writers' Retreat

COSTA RICA: La Fortuna

Join us for a 7 day writing retreat in Costa Rica. Our base is a gorgeous bio dynamic farm set in lush rainforest with lovely accommodation, an open air restaurant, swimming pool, hot tub and spa. Mornings are spent in writing workshops run by Julie Hartley, author of The Finding Place. Julie has 20 years' experience teaching at retreats, colleges and at her writing school in Toronto. In the afternoon, write or enjoy sightseeing. There are rainforest trails close by and workshops such as herbal medicines and chocolate-making. It's a short drive to hanging bridges, horse treks, ziplining and the pleasant town of La Fortuna. Beginner & experienced writers are welcome; attend alone or with family. Rates include airport transfer, room, breakfast and an afternoon at the hot springs.

Finca Luna Nueva is the location for this retreat, open to writers from all over the world. What began as a bio dynamic farm is now a beautiful lodge with pleasant rooms overlooking rain forest. Your first sight in the morning may well be a sloth hanging from a tree outside your window! Many rooms have pleasant patios with hammocks and rocking chairs: a perfect place to write or relax. There is a lookout tower for spectacular views, a lovely pool, a hot tub and spa. Trails lead through the farm and rain forest, where toucans and parrots are regularly seen. The food is organic, locally grown and healthy. Breakfast is included; other meals can be purchased at the lodge or elsewhere. This is the perfect place to relax, write and appreciate nature.

Finca Luna Nueva is not only the perfect place to write, it is a great location for a family holiday. Children and spouses may choose to relax by the pool, explore the trails or learn about the farm while writing workshops are in session. In the afternoons, families have time to sightsee together on the property or by booking tourist attractions directly at the front desk. Free afternoons spent writing or exploring are followed by a social meal together in the evenings. Mid week, we'll take a trip together to one of the local hot springs for which the area is famous... and end the day with a lovely dinner.


Writers of all levels and writing in all genres are welcome to join us. You are invited to submit up to 15 pages of your work for a critique prior to the trip should you wish to do so. Julie Hartley will offer a reading and a discussion of her work at a social gathering on the first evening to which all writers and family members are invited. Workshops each morning include writing prompts, discussions on technique and a chance to share your work with the group. The atmosphere of all workshops is informal and relaxed, the emphasis on each writer's personal journey.

Price includes:
Transfer from San Jose airport to Finca Luna Nueva Farm and Retreat
(2 hours, cab with AC, English-speaking driver)
7 nights' accommodation in comfortable rooms, most with rainforest
views, all with en suite bathrooms
7 breakfasts (all you can eat, choice of local fruits, juices, home made
jams, hot and cold options)
A tour of the farm (includes bio dynamic farm information and tasting,
hike and bird watching)
An afternoon at the local hot springs, plus an evening meal;
transfers to and from Finca Luna Nueva
Use of all retreat facilities, including swimming pool, trails,
recreation areas, Wi-Fi.
Welcome drinks on the first night

En suite bathrooms, daily maid service, phone, breakfast included, lunch and dinner available on site, spa, swimming pool, farm tour, rainforest hikes, lookout tower, games room, cottages available.


Julie Hartley is a poet, short story writer, playwright and children's author. Her poems and short stories have appeared in newspapers and literary magazines in Canada and in England where she was also the recipient of the Peace Poetry Prize. Her plays for young people have toured across the UK. Her novel for middle grade readers, The Finding Place, was published by Red Deer Press in 2015.


Your Host and Retreat Operator:  Julie Hartley.

Region:  Our retreat is located at a lovely lodge locate on a biodynamic farm in the heart of the rainforest just a 20 minute drive from La Fortuna. Arenal Volcano can be seen from our lookout tower. The area is home to a diverse range of wildlife and is stunningly beautiful. La Fortuna offers many options for writers also hoping to sightsee: horse riding, hiking, caving, ziplining, famous hanging bridges, boat trips and more.

Location:  Our retreat is a short drive from La Fortuna and a 2-hour drive along good roads from San Jose Int'l airport. Alternately, if you are combining this trip with a family resort vacation, we are located 3 hours from Liberia Airport, Costa Rica.

Closest airport:  San Jose International Airport, Costa Rica

Tourism information:  Closest tourist office: La Fortuna


Studio Name Description Weekly Rates
Private Room CDN $1499 plus $350 writing course if required (total $1849) CDN $1499
Double room Sharing double room: CDN $1049 per person plus $350 writing course if required (total $1399) CDN $1049


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Payment terms:  A deposit of $500 is required to reserve a room. Please click the button on the page to inquire or to reserve your space. We must also complete the reservation form we'll provide.

Cancellation policy:  We cannot reimburse travel costs or accept financial liability for other losses incurred by you in the event of cancellation either by us or you for any reason whatsoever. You are strongly advised to take out flight/travel insurance to cover potential loss arising from cancellation or other eventuality affecting your booking. You should check that any policy you take meets your needs. In the unlikely event that we must at any stage cancel this trip for any reason whatsoever, all participants will be offered a full refund of the 'writing workshop' fees, and the option of either a full refund of all other fees, or the chance to proceed with the trip independently. Our liability shall then cease.

A sampling of memories from our residents

A. L. “Finca Luna Nueva is a magical place. The entire experience melded together in an enchanting way: the rainforest, other group members, Julie’s workshops and the accommodation contributed to an experience I will never forget. Julie’s workshops were accessible for every level of writer and introduced techniques and perspectives for even the most experienced writers. She genuinely cared about everyone’s experience.”

The Writers' Retreat
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