Tribal Gathering Festival Review + Guide – What is Tribal Gathering?

Tribal Gathering Festival Review + Guide – What is Tribal Gathering?

Woah man, where do I even begin with Tribal Gathering? This festival, or should I say… more of an experience, more of a temporary beachside camping community in the jungle with a thousand likeminded and inclusive individuals, was so unique. It was unlike any festival I have experienced before. The entire duration of the gathering is 18 days – literally almost three weeks of camping in a remote Caribbean beachside jungle in Panama.
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What IS Tribal Gathering Festival?!

Well, it’s a lot of things. It’s a multi-faceted and complex entity of the festival world. And I’m going to be my very best to put it into words right here by starting with a few of the main aspects!

 

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Tribes

Before I get too far into it, I think mentioning how the actual festival works is quite important! 😛 This is not a normal festival whatsoever. Tribal Gathering is actually just that – a Tribal Gathering. It’s put on by a nonprofit called Geoparadise whose function is essentially to preserve and help indigenous cultures and ancient traditions. This festival each year is a time where they actually fly out different indigenous tribes, shamans, and leaders to come together and share their knowledge with each other and with festival-goers each year. There are tribes from all over North and South America, Africa, Central America, and more.

 

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18 Days of Awesomeness

Tribal Gathering Festival is 18 days of camping, again, on a remote beachside paradise of a jungle in Panama. The first 12 days are the ‘indigenous immersive’ part of the festival, where tribal workshops/ceremonies are paramount and you live, interact, and form relationships with the indigenous tribes each day. But it is important to note that after this first 12 day period is over, the tribes leave! They are only there the first 12 days and they leave before the ‘Dance Celebration” begins, and tribal art and workshops end.

The Dance Celebration is the last 5 days of the festival which are more focused on music and partying than the indigenous immersive part. During this period a new stage, the Lotus Stage, comes to life and plays psytrance almost 24/7! More on this later.

 

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An Actual Cohesive and Cooperative Community

This is a LONG festival. It’s not like the 3-dayer’s where you come in, go hard, and leave. It’s also quite small, with about 1000-1500 people, so you really see people over and over and get to know the community. When you are staying at a place for so long, you really feel like you live there. You live and interact with the community for multiple weeks, running into people and sharing experiences with so many different groups that you seem to slowly become one.

Volunteering is pretty big here and many people take part in different volunteering shifts at the kitchen, bar, front desks, tea bar, and medical tent. Each shift is 5 hours and you will be rewarded with $13 credit on your wristband (which is how you pay for things). This equates to approximately 2 meals or 5-6 drinks! It’s nice to be able to contribute and also to be able to save money by getting meals/drinks for free. Volunteering helps you feel like you really contribute to make the community work. It’s a very different and amazing feeling!

Traveling Overseas for a Music Festival?! – I’ve got exactly what you need! Check out my International Festival Camping Checklist – All the Essentials for a Destination Music Festival Overseas! 

 

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Workshops and Art

The tribes stay in their own little village in the middle of the festival, and are only there for the ‘Indigenous immersive’ 12 day first part of the festival. During these first 12 days people from the tribes teach workshops, hold art classes, and hold all kinds of different experiences to share their culture. The people from the tribes usually do speak english and seem to be very familiar with Western culture, but they grew up within indigenous culture and lifestyle just the same. It’s actually quite nice to be able to communicate so easily with people with such different and ancient knowledge!

Workshops/Talks can be anything from massage to making tribal jewelry and art to learning about how different tribes make cacao or tea or think the calendar should work. There are speakers and workshops all the time for the first 12 days, often from the tribes and sometimes others as well.

I found the 13/28 calendar talks very interesting; there were a few speakers talking about how the calendar should naturally work in a schedule of 13 months of 28 days, and a few theories as to why it was changed to the weird 12 month/random days schedule it is now. Some other of my favorite talks were hearing a man from a nomadic tribe from Mali talk about their way of life and how they learn from/follow the animals of the desert, and a Mexican/Aztec tribe woman teaching us how to make Aztec crafts that represented their beliefs in different human and cosmic energies. So fascinating!

 

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Plant Medicine Ceremonies

For 5 days in the middle of the first 12 days, tribal shamans will hold traditional plant medicine ceremonies in a special area of the festival known as the shamanic realm. Each ceremony will be held around a certain natural plant medicine that the shaman leading the ceremony’s people have used and respected for thousands of years. People must sign up for these at the Hub, and they cost from $50-$100 each for the medicine and the leadership of the shaman for the 2-4+ hour experience (and part goes as a donation to the charity too!). Some of the plant medicine ceremonies that occurred included: Ayahuasca, mushrooms, peyote, cacao, kambo (frog venom), and Bufo (another derived from a frog, I believe).

And yes, all cards on the table: these are quite intensely psychedelic substances. But this festival is a safe space for people to take part in these plant medicine ceremonies with well educated shamans and open-minded attendees! These medicines tend to be very mind-opening, enlightening, and profound, and many people experience life-changing actualizations while on them. Not everyone takes part in these ceremonies – in fact the majority may not – but they are available for a 5 day period for anyone who is interested.
Personally, I got there a bit too late to take part in any ceremonies. I didn’t check the schedule properly (the ceremonies end about 5 days before the ‘Dance Celebration’ begins) and I got to take part in a Cacao ceremony on the last day of ceremonies with a wonderful Mayan shaman from Guatemala. It was truly incredible – more on that later too!
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Tribal Gathering Location/Venue – Caribbean Beachside Jungle

 Tribal Gathering is held in Playa Chiquita, Panama. This place is an absolute paradise oasis of neverland, and probably could not be more perfect. But you definitely pay the price of how awesome it is in getting here… or attempting to. Apparently there are two Playa Chiquitas a few hours from each other, and they had basically no signage on the dirt road you had to take to get here. But I’ll go more into how to get to Tribal Gathering in my ‘transportation’ section below! 🙂
The Tribal Gathering location is fairly easy to comprehend. Once you manage to get yourself up and down a few intense dirt hills and into the festival gates, everything is pretty much right there. The gathering happens all along a beautiful warm beach with tiny light grains of sand and shells to be found all over the place. Along the beach are layers of palm trees and jungle where you can camp.
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The Hub

The Hub is where all the information you need will be contained. It’s one of the first things you see at the festival and is comprised of a few windows – a check in window, a volunteering window, and shuttle and lost and found window, and a wristband top-up window (money is all on your wristband). They also have a message board here where you can leave messages for friends because there is NO SERVICE here at all.
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Global Stage/Bar/Kitchen

This is the main area of the festival with the only stage that runs for the first 12 days. The Global Stage has all kinds of music throughout the day – from tribal drums to psychedelic rock to techno. You never really know what to expect here but it’s an awesome place where everyone congregates to hang out, dance, and relax.
The bar is right at the back of the global stage. Volunteers work shifts here and everyone of course frequents the bar! There is a pizza kitchen right by the bar where you can get pizzas for $8 (maybe the most expensive thing here but pretty worth it when you need it). Next to the pizza kitchen is a large shaded seating area near a massive kitchen that expertly prepares three meals a day. More on food and drink below!
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The Carny

Past the Global Stage you will find a beautifully constructed stage area with multiple little rooms and areas and even a cocktail bar. There was a ‘tattoo room,’ (not sure if it was used for this), another secret room, a tiny little theater room where they did comedy shows, and a few balconies that you could climb to annd around a big grass area in front of a massive outdoor stage shaped like a pirate ship. They had carnivals here each night put on by a massive British circus crew who would hoop, fire spin, do aerial shows, do comedy, dancing, and everything in between. The Carny happened around 7 each night and was so much fun to watch for everyone.
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Tribal Markets

There was a huge row of little market stalls right past the kitchen area where you could buy all kinds of crafts from crystal jewelry to Latvian whistles to guatemalan tapestries. There was a lot of good stuff on display!

Geohaven Stage / Tribal Village

This area was right at the entrance to the Tribal Village where all the tribes stayed in thatched huts. The Geohaven had a big schedule of tribal speakers, yoga, meditation, and all sorts of interesting stuff each day especially during the first part of the festival.
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The Creek

There was a freshwater creek that reached the ocean along the beach, where everyone would go to bathe! There were showers (where you had to use a watering can to ease yourself, ha) so the creek was a great option for many people to wash off and hang out. Beware of nakedness, though, people were all especially free here!
ARE YOU A FESTIVAL PERSON LIKE ME?  – Check out my review-guides for: Envision Festival in Costa Rica, Lightning in a Bottle, CRSSD, Coachella, and Joshua Tree Music Festival in California, Sziget Festival in Budapest, Tomorrowland in Belgium, Lost Village in the UK, Ultra Europe and Hideout Festival in Croatia, Traveling to Afrikaburn or the 10 principles of Burning Man culture, Southbound Festival in Western Australia, and Austin City Limits in Texas!
OR, for some inspo, check out the Best Music Festival Hacks to know before any festival, Transformational Festival in Australia to add to your bucket list, Transformational Festivals in South + Central America to add to your bucket list, or my Camping Checklist for International Music Festivals!

Tribal Gathering Crowd

The crowd here was really diverse. I would say the median age was definitely well into the 30’s – this was not a festival focused on youngsters partying! The crowd here was very mature and understood the idea of a functioning community. There were children, families, and even people in their 80’s. The people were probably mostly in their 20’s-40’s in general.
I would say that the crowd here was mostly from Germany and the UK. There is of course a massive range of countries but Germany and England really stood out to me as the most represented countries, followed possibly by Canada, other central European countries like Austria and France, and maybe the USA. The entire circus crew of 50+ was from England which probably influenced that population quite a lot.
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Vibe

The vibe here was amazing. It was not quite as inclusive as some festivals I have been to before, but I think that’s because everyone here was so real. Conversations at some festivals are quite surface-level and everyone is extremely nice for the split second you meet them. But here, I felt that conversations were more deep and meaningful, and you got to know people more (and not just in passing) because of the festival’s small size.
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Tribal Gathering Atmosphere/Decorations

The atmosphere here was very artistic and earthy. Everything was made from wood, palm fronds, and colorful accents. They didn’t go too out of the way to make it look beautiful because the place as it is, is AH-MAY-ZING. You really did feel like you were a part of the land here as everything looked like the could have made it from materials found in the area!

Tribal Gathering Lineup/Music/Artists

So, this is not quite the festival people come to for the lineup. Or, maybe they do come for the psytrance lineup but I wouldn’t know that 😛 That’s not to say that the lineup isn’t fantastic and talented, but the artists here aren’t known for being world famous.
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First 12 Days Lineup

Again, the first 12 days have only one stage, the Global Stage. A lot of attendees knew personally a lot of the DJ’s, but I really didn’t know anyone going in. This actually lead me more to appreciate the music that was playing rather than the name who was playing it. There was EVERYTHING at the Global Stage, from bass to techno to live rock bands to tribal music to glitch. I liked some music and didn’t like others, but it was so easy just to go chill at the beach or have a swim when you wanted to.

Last 5 Days – 2 Stages

They spent the entire first part of the festival working tirelessly to construct the Lotus Stage, which came alive for the last 5 days. This stage was in the middle of a grassy palm tree area directly on the beach, with an amazing breeze consistently flowing from the ocean. This stage played pretty much only psytrance. Some people I met knew some people on the lineup, but I really don’t understand how any psytrance sounds different than any other psytrance. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong 😛
I have never really gotten into psytrance before this festival, but I must admit that when I committed myself to it, I did have a LOT of fun dancing to it. After attempting to enjoy myself I learned that you just have to get literally into a state of psytrance, and strange experimental dance moves will come out and you will actually find yourself having a lot of fun! I danced to it for hours a few nights and was quite impressed with myself 🙂
On the last night, a DJ called Grouch played what I think was the absolute best set of the weekend. He incorporated live drum and a ‘jaw harp.‘ Seriously Google that, I had never known it existed before it was being played live in front of me during an awesome techno set and my mind exploded into a million pieces.
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Tribal Gathering Camping

Everyone camps at Tribal Gathering. Even all the staff. There’s no other option – it’s not like there are any 5 star hotels at a place you can only get to via unmarked dirt road. In this way, the camping amenities were the festival amenities! You can really camp anywhere. Once you get past the small central part of the festival, you get to the camping area which ranges to beachfront to a bit farther back in the jungle. Some people wanted to be by the waves, and others preferred shade. If you can find both, all the more power to you!
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Tribal Gathering Camping Amenities – Bathrooms, Showers, etc

There were actually pretty nice wooden drop toilet bathroom stalls at each end of the venue. These were cleaned very regularly and honestly weren’t that gross at all. People also wrote lovely little notes and quotes on the walls which were fun to read while doing your business 😉
There is one filtered water station near the Hub which was not inconvenient to walk to whenever you needed water.
The showers are free and consist of about 8 tiny bamboo stalls equipped with a watering can that you could fill at a tap. Not kidding. 😛 They were fine when you actually needed to wash your hair/face every few days but on all other occasions the sea and the creek sufficed just fine!
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Transportation/Hotels/Parking – Getting To Tribal Gathering

To get to Tribal Gathering you either have to take a shuttle from the Airport (Panama Tocumen) for $50, take about 3 public busses, or take a taxi/uber. The shuttle is pretty foolproof but is more expensive than other options.
If you wanted to take public busses from Panama city, I believe you would have to take one to Sabanitas, then one to Portobelo, then one to Playa Chiquita. Or something like that. Maybe it would cost like $20 but I actually don’t really know.
If you want to take a taxi or uber, SHARE IT. Post on the Facebook page to try and find buddies, because it will cost anywhere from $80 (the cheapest I heard – but honestly too cheap!) to $150+. I found three friends on the FB page who wanted to go on the same day as me. We found an uber driver and told him we would pay $10-$15 over uber’s quoted price to the venue, and he agreed. I think uber quoted it wrong, though, because it quoted $65 and it was a three hour journey and our driver got stuck trying to drive one of the dirt roads by the entrance. We ended up paying him $90 for 4 people.

Basic Tribal Gathering Directions Written by Me

(Look at Google Maps) From Panama City, you go north to Colon and take the road going right/east at Sabanitas. Take this road a long way – past Portobelo, Palenque, and all the way to Cuango. On Google Maps you will see a little creek/river here. Take a right turn at a dirt road at the end of Cuango (before you get to the creek) and follow it inland and east over said creek and along into where Google Maps says Playa Chiquita (the road is not on the map!). Drive quite a ways on this road and eventually you will see a sign that says Playa Chiquita. Keep going and eventually you will see a road on your left which will probably have a few people/cars around it (it looked like a construction site to us at night but this was the unmarked entrance.) Drive down this road only if you have 4wd (!!!) and if not, get out of your uber/car/taxi there and walk to the festival. If you don’t have 4wd I’m sure you could do it but our uber got stuck and another car had to be dragged out while we were leaving. The parking lot, however, is down this road so if you want to access the parking lot you must brave this road.
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Food/Drink at Tribal Gathering

Tribal Gathering Food

There were two food/drink areas at Tribal Gathering. One was inside the venue – the kitchen and bar near the global stage. The main kitchen served three meals a day and had a certain menu each day for each. Usually there was a meat/veg option, a choice of a few starches, a choice of a few salads, and a few other options. You could choose a medium plate for $6 (where you should have either/or options for many dishes) or a large for $9 (where you could basically have all they could pile onto a plate). I won’t go into listing certain things they had but the options were always good (especially at the beginning of the festival!) and if you didn’t like it you could always get pizza or get food outside.
The pizza kitchen was right next to the kitchen and served pizzas at lunch and dinner time for $8 a pop.
Right outside the venue (literally basically connected to The Hub) there were about 6-10 little food vendor stalls, some of which accepted money from your wristband and some of which did not. One had burgers, hot dogs, candy, and other basic items, some had different Panamanian options each day (fried plantains, different meats/salads, beans, rice), one was a vegan cafe, one had crepes and ice lollipops, one had vegan burgers and other yummy options, and one had chocolates and other snacks. There were definitely enough options!
However, for anyone who had the drive to plan ahead, cooking in campsites was very popular. Many people made fires and brought pots and pans to cook each day. I even saw a group with their own ‘kitchen tent’ with tons of canned items! I would bring as much food as you can to save money!

Tribal Gathering Drinks

The bar sold drinks for $2 each. Beers, juices, sodas, wine, and all shots were all $2. This means if you wanted a mixed drink of, say, rum and coke, it would cost $4 and they would give you the can.
The outside stalls sold some drinks and smoothies, and they opened up another bar when the Lotus stage opened. The stocks sometimes ran low because the area was so remote, but they usually refilled everything. A lot of people simply brought their own drinks in!
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Tribal Gathering Price

There was a different price for the indigenous immersive (first 12 days), the dance celebration (last 5 days), and the full package (entire 18 days). If you buy early you could get the entire experience for $320, and I have heard it’s even cheaper if you buy for the next year directly after one year ends. Either part of the festival will cost you from $230-280 depending on when you buy it.
If you ask me, I would either do the full thing or just the indigenous immersive. By day 12 most of the people have already gotten to know each other, and people who just arrived may feel left out. I also feel that people who only booked the dance celebration did not feel satisfied because the festival was not packed and the stage stopped each night a bit early because of this.
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Tribal Gathering Security

There isn’t much security here – only to secure the perimeters and let you into the venue from the entrance. There are workers always floating around to keep an eye on things and make sure your wristband is the proper color for the part of the festival you’re in, but other than that they don’t really bother anyone much. Someone told me you aren’t allowed to bring in your own alcohol but I didn’t see it enforced personally – I hid my bottle just in case.
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Weather at Tribal Gathering

I expected it to be impossibly hot for Tribal Gathering, but I was pleasantly surprised by the bearable weather! It was hot and humid, sure, but it was comfortable. The ocean was always within a few minutes walk, and the BREEZE was a life saver on many occasions! The breeze was constant and coming from the sea, so if anyone was ever hot they could just go find a hammock at the beach. Some nights it even got – dare I say it – chilly! I think I put a thin sweatshirt on a few of the nights but promptly took it off as soon at the sun came up. To stay cool in your tent, make sure it has a ‘window’ or face the opening towards the breeze! I lived in a bikini most of the time but it was never unbearable and always breezy.
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Fashion

Fashion here was boho, island chic, and hippie if you will! There was no specific fashion and most of it was oriented around swim suits and warm-weather clothes, but people definitely got into it and had fun with some outfits, glitter, and face paint.

Tribal Gathering Time

During the first 12 days, morning wellness workshops and yoga would start before 8, and the Global Stage would finish usually by 2am (give or take a few hours depending on the DJ and sound crew’s mood). Workshops and speakers went until 8-9pm and then everyone would congregate at the stage, watch the carny shows, or have little powwows at their respective camps.
During the last 5 days, the psytrance stage was supposed to be going legit 24/7, or at least until 8am or so. This did not happen a few of the nights – it ended at 5am or so on a few of the nights – but I was (usually) not there to see it! 😛
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Money

As I have mentioned before, there was a wristband system here at Tribal Gathering. You could put cash (and I believe sometimes card when the system was up) on your card at The Hub, and simply scan your wrist to pay for everything inside the venue and a few of the vendor stands outside. Working a volunteer shift would load your wristband with $13 to use inside the venue.
I have heard though that you must bring enough cash to Tribal Gathering to last you the whole 18 days. It was just a rumor that you could actually use your credit card to fill your wristband, and on the website it says that you cannot! So – bring lots of cash. You will need it. Remember to budget for any ceremony you want to do ($50 or $100 each), however many $2 to $4 drinks (or $6 cocktails) you will drink in 3 weeks, a few $6ish meals a day, and any snacks or extras you may want – for 18 days. Bring plenty of snacks if you have room and maybe even cooking supplies because many people build fires on the beach.
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Final Tips – Things I wish I knew before attending Tribal Gathering

  • The tribes actually LEAVE after day 12. So if you want to take part in any tribal things, come before then.
  • The Ceremonies end on day 8 or so, and begin on day 4 or so. If you want any ceremonies, check the dates they are happening.
  • bring snacks. The communal kitchen is awful but many people build fires to cook.
  • Getting here is DIFFICULT. the shuttle drops you off somewhere you must walk a few hundred meters up and down hills. SO pack as lightly as you can, or just prepare for a tough walk in and out.
  • There are no road signs to get here. See my basic directions written above under ‘transportation’ that in my opinion are better than anything I could find online 😛
  • Spend as much time as you can with the tribes, do workshops, and attend wellness ceremonies. Don’t get too caught up partying – when else can you be in this close of proximity with amazing indigenous tribes?!
  • Face your tent entrance towards the ocean for maximum breeze
  • Make sure our tent is waterproof. Surprise monsoons may occur.
  • If you don’t think you like psytrance, just TRY IT. Trust me. Get into it and you will have fun! Watch how others dance, find your own groove, and the dance moves will ensue.
  • There are lots of naked people around – lots of people swim naked and bathe in the creek naked. It’s such a free place and its awesome to be so comfortable in your natural state!!
  • Bring enough cash for everything you may need. Lots of people I met ran out of money and literally had to work volunteer shifts to survive.
  • But, work volunteer shifts anyway! They are a great way to meet people, feel as if you are contributing to the community, have a little fun, and also score some free food/drinks while you’re at it.
  • Explore the area around the festival site! it is SOOOOO beautiful and you can walk a long way on both sides of the festival along the water.
panama backpacking guide

March 30, 2018

Envision Festival Review + Guide: All You Need to Know for Costa Rica

Envision Festival Review + Guide: All You Need to Know for Costa Rica

As I set out to write this Envision Festival Review + Guide, I had trouble deciding where to begin. This music festival was more of an entire Envision experience, taking place in a beautiful location in a beachside jungle in Uvita, Costa Rica.

Although I knew before that Envision is so much more than a music festival, the weekend made that more clear than ever. As one of the leading transformational festivals in Central America, Envision Festival truly takes the ‘transformational’ part to another level. It has the 8 Pillars of Envision Festival upon which it builds its foundations, and music is only one of them! Read on to hear all about that is by far the best festival in Costa Rica.

 

Envision festival review: All you need to know about envision festival in Uvita, Costa Rica. Location, crowd, security, fashion, food/drink, price, time, all parts of the venue, sustainability practices, weather, and more! #Musicfestival #festival #CostaRica #Envision

Psssst! Before you continue, this Envision Festival review is EXTENSIVE and over 5k words and 18 categories all about Envision Festival Costa Rica. Why not Pin it to your Pinterest boards to save it for later too?

 

People did come to Envision festival to party and enjoy the (amazing) music lineup, sure, but people more came with the actual intent to transform themselves through awakening new potentials, learning from influential people and ideas, and connecting to a buzzing conscious energy that emanated from each and every person.

People here really knew what this gathering was about, and it showed. It was more than a party. There was work to be done on each person there, and everyone was quick to get to it. It was inclusive, it was beautiful, it was musical, and it was soulful, and I couldn’t be happier that I went.

Without further ado, let’s get to my classic 17+ categories of each festival I go to, organized to make sure anyone who went to Envision Festival can look back fondly at their experience, or anyone who plans to go will know absolutely everything they need to make the most of their weekend.

But Before the Envision Festival Review, Check some More Relevant Central America/Festival Articles:

ALSO: – If you would like to see my complete Envision Costa Rica photo album, CLICK HERE!
Envision Festival Venue Guide Review Costa Rica

Envision Festival Location/Venue

Envision Festival is held at Rancho La Merced on the coast of Uvita, Costa Rica. This is on Costa Rica’s Western coast, on the Pacific ocean (see below for transportation tips!). The Pacific is nice and warm in Central America, and lots of people enjoy surfing the gentle waves during the day.

Rancho La Merced is a beautiful jungle area just inland from the sea. There are many grass/dirt areas shaded by massive trees throughout. The site is actually quite small, and is very simply split up into camping areas, the village/food area, three different stages, and five or six different yoga, speaking, workshop, or ceremony areas.

Envision Festival Guide Review The Village drum circle

The Village

The Village is a lovely shaded gathering place at Envision Festival with a stage, food stalls, lots of amazing markets, and tons of space to set up slack lines, form drum circles, or lay out a tapestry and have a nap. The Village stage had lots of speakers and workshops during the day, many of which focused on plant and agriculture/sustainability/eco-friendly/ancient healing practices, and had smaller bands play shows at night.

The Village is where all the food stalls at Envision festival were lined up as well. There were plenty of great options, of which I will go into more detail below. The market stalls here were also very diverse, with lots of festie-fashion, jewelry, oils, and other fun stuff.

Envision Festival Guide Review sunset uvita beach acro yoga

Uvita Beach

Festival goers may take a short path from the venue to the beach during the day, but this path does close around 5:30pm/sunset time for safety reasons. The beach is an absolutely amazing aspect of Envision Festival, and people gather there each night to watch a spectacular sunset over the ocean. At sunset time thousands of people gather on the beach, hooping, swimming, doing acro yoga, and even fire spinning.

The path to the beach is also full of vendors selling all kinds of food, cacao, jewelry, clothes, $2 beers, drinks, and more. The beach is a great option to save a few bucks on drinks and food, because it’s cheaper there than inside the festival! I liked to wake up in the morning and head straight to the beach for a morning swim, snack, and maybe a cacao wake-up boost.

Envision Festival Stages

 

Envision Festival Guide Review sol stage

Sol Stage

This stage runs Friday-Sunday and could be considered the main stage for live performances. Headliners like Bob Moses, Xavier Rudd, and Matanza played here.

Envision Festival Guide Review Luna Stage

Luna Stage

Envision does have a big focus on bass music (glitch, trap, etc) and the Luna stage really brought this focus to life. The Luna stage was DECKED out – with live (and displayed) art literally all over the place, insane lighting and speakers, and one of the coolest fire setups I have seen in my festival time. At certain intervals (heavy bass drops of course) the entire area would erupt in a burst of warm fire, from about 8-10 pillars set up all around the area. At the back of the Luna stage was an amazing art gallery with an array of interesting and psychedelic art pieces to wander around and look at.

Envision Festival Guide Review Lapa stage monolink

Lapa Stage

Lapa is where I spent most of my time! 😉 The Lapa stage was home to all the deep house, funk, and techno of the festival, and was located a bit more tucked away near the entrance to the beach. The lighting and production here was amazing, but couldn’t really compare to that of Luna!

Envision Festival Yoga/Workshop/Chill Tents

Envision Festival Guide Review meditation

Yoga Templo Auspicio

 

Envision Festival Guide Review yoga temple

Yoga Templo De la Union

No Envision Festival review is complete without mentioning all the awesome yoga and workshops! There were two yoga areas, the Yoga Templo Auspicio and the Yoga Templo de la Union. Both areas had much more than yoga, however, and had a schedule each day for different workshops, varieties of yoga, and meditations. The Yoga Templo Auspicio had a wider variety of spiritual practices, and the Templo de la Union focused more on different aspects of yoga. I did some amazing yoga classes, some meditations, a life changing ‘breathwork’ session, and more!

This ‘Breath of One’ workshop with Gregorio Avanzini was one of the most unexpected and profound experiences I have ever had. Through different breathing techniques and proper coaching, dozens of people were able to access and unearth deeper parts of their subconscious. It was full of emotion, letting things go, bringing dark things to light, and more. It’s hard for me to even explain in words on a page or even in person, but if there’s on thing I would recommend trying it is this breath work!

Envision Festival Review superhero academy workshops seminars

Superhero Academy

This was another lovely chill area with bean bags, mattresses, and a schedule of speakers each day.  I saw some talks on decentralization, managing stress and anxiety, and a fascinating plant mediation where scientists attached lie detector (energy measuring) electrodes to a plant and we could hear its energy.

Envision Festival Guide Review red tent sanctuary song ceremony

 

Red Tent + Sacred Fire

The Red Tent was a lovely gathering space at Envision Festival focused on women and feminine energy. It had many empowering talks, song sessions, and ceremonies. I attended an incredible song celebration simply because I heard it from my tent as I was getting ready for the night. The song that drew me in was a call and return song between women and men.

The women would clap and chant, “I honor you and empower you to be who you are. I honor you and empower you to be who you are. I am a strong woman; I am a wise woman. I am a healer and my soul will never die.”

To which the men would clap and chant, ‘I honor you and empower you to be who you are. I honor you and empower you to be who you are. I am a strong man; I am a women’s man. I am a peacemaker; my soul will never die.”

This exchange was so beautiful and full of acceptance that I couldn’t help but be completely dumbfounded to what I had stumbled across. During the last few chants everyone stood up and danced and clapped, and I thought that more exchanges of ideas like this between women and men in society would help a great deal! I stayed for the entire song ceremony for what must have been a few hours; it was such beautiful and empowering energy for both men and women.

Envision Festival Guide Review kula lounge

Kula Lounge

This was a shoes-off area between both yoga tents what was strictly for chilling! There were couches, pillows, and more, and it was perfect for an afternoon nap (of which I had a few!)

Herbal Clinic

The Herbal Clinic was there for anyone with any type of ailment to give advice of natural and herbal healing processes and first aid.

Envision Festival Guide Review breath of one breathwork meditation gregorio

Envision Festival Crowd

The crowd at Envision was quite international, but definitely had large concentrations of Californians, Canadians, Germans, and Costa Ricans of course! A lot of people flew in for this specifically as a destination festival, but many also ended up there on a leg of some longer travels.

I’m not going to lie; the crowd at Envision festival to any outsider would honestly look like a crowd of textbook hippies. Dreadlocks, crystals, and tie dye ran rampant, but these weren’t the type of hippies who just dress the part. People here really embodied the lifestyle that they portrayed, and were welcoming, conscious, kind, inclusive, and happy. Spanish was spoken quite often in conversation but the workshops and yoga etc were all in English.

Vibe

Envision was a very high vibrational festival with, as I would say, at least the majority of people there to focus on bettering themselves. Everyone was very kind, intentional, and supportive of one another at different points in their journey, and went about getting what they needed out of the festival without imposing upon anyone else with different intentions. They did this all the while having one hell of a party at night as well! 😛

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Envision Festival Guide Review VIP cabanas envision venue tree of life

Envision Festival Atmosphere/Decorations

Envision’s atmosphere was lovely! It was already situated amidst amazing jungle trees and palms, and this feeling of being in the middle of nature was intensified by the decorations and atmosphere around the grounds. There was a lot of art and installations all over the place, and the feeling was quite psychedelic in the stage design, colors, and setups.

The main stages are made of intricately carved, layered, and patterned wood in the shapes of serpents and dragons, upon which colorful and twisting light is shone. I’m not sure how they do it to be honest, but the light hit the different facets of the stages perfectly and created an amazing moving art piece in itself.

Envision Festival Review Guide Bob moses lineup live music i love you
Bob Moses AKA the love(s) of my life doing his thang.

Envision Lineup/Music/Artists

Envision has a variety of music that is heavily focused on bass music. The Luna stage is very obviously and clearly the most decked out of all the stages, and this is the stage with glitch, bass, and trap artists. Over the years this stage has hosted the likes of like Clozee, Opiuo, Diamond Saints, Thriftworks, Shpongle, Random Rab, IHF, Troyboii, and Soohan. The Luna stage is the full Envision experience with live art, galleries, fire, and performers/acrobatics during almost every set.

The other two stages, although not as fancy, also have fantastic artists playing. You can expect live performances such as Bob Moses, Beats Antique, Xavier Rudd, Matanza, Autograf, Goldfish, and Santos Y Zurdo at the Sol Stage – all varying genres of live shows. The genres here range from deep house to Costa Rican folk, and it’s always interesting to pass by the Sol stage to see what they are paying that day.

The Lapa stage is the haven of all house & techno. You can expect names like Monolink, Acid Pauli, Audiofly, Tara Brooks, Bedouin, Ivan Cespedes, Blond:ish, DJ Tennis, and Be Svendsen at the Lapa stage – all great names in the house, techno, and melodic scene.

Envision Festival Review camping tips guide costa rica

An ideal shaded camping spot right behind The Village

Envision Festival Review Camping & Tips

As a camping festival, your ticket to Envision festival comes with access to camping. I would say that most people camp, although some do stay in hotels and hostels nearby (see below). Envision has a few designated camping areas and spaces, in which you can set up wherever you want. Some people with early arrival passes arrive on the Wednesday and clear out a lot of the best (read: most shaded) camping spots, but you can always squeeze yourself in somewhere shaded. If I could give you one camping tip for Envision Festival it would be to camp in the shade if you want to get any sleep at all!

The camping is pretty much a free-for-all and some spots are closer or farther away from the stages. I camped just behind the Village which was perfect for me and very close to go out and get food or listen to a talk at the Village Stage.

Read more of my best Music Festival Hacks + Tips for any festival! 

Envision Festival Glamping/Camping Options

There are a few clamping/special camping options at Envision which I will list below!

Rent-a-Tent

For international attendees, Envision Festival Costa Rica also has the option for you to rent a tent and sleeping pad for the duration of the festival for about $80 extra. However, I have not heard good things about these! From what I have hard, the tents are locked up for the whole year and only used for the festival, leaving them slightly damp and gross. I heard a few people saying their zippers or wind flies were broken, and that the tents were water resistant and not totally waterproof. Just a word of warning! I brought my own camping stuff down from garage sales and Walmart and had a splendid experience (although it was definitely heavy!)

Casa de Luz Yoga Camp

This camp is farther away from the rest of the festival and directly next to the yoga tents, for any dedicated yogis out there! It was dorm style and seemed to have nicer amenities, private bathrooms, and a nice sense of yoga community.

Volunteer camp

The volunteers (there are a lot of them if you are interested in working!) camped in a special area with pre-erected and spacious tents.

Envision VIP

There are loads of different options for Envision VIP. There is a designated camping area for VIP attendees that a pleb like me could not even go into. But as you can see on the website it seems that this area is nice and luxurious and worth a bit of extra money. VIP also has its own fancy bar area directly between the three stages. The VIP area apparently has happy hour each night, and its own cabanas for rent all over the venue.

VIP Cabanas

There are multiple different types of VIP Cabanas, bungalows, and treehouses available for Envision Festival, all of which look incredibly luxurious and awesome. Many have viewing platforms of different stages, living areas, and more. One day!

Envision Festival Guide Review sign posts

Lots going on here!

Envision Festival Camping Amenities

As I said before, the Envision festival location is very small (you can walk end to end in less than 10 minutes I would say) and all the camping amenities are also the festival amenities. Your Envision ticket comes with access to camping, and the bathrooms, water taps, and amenities that are available to everyone.

Envision Festival Guide Review envision artists live art

Envision Festival Amenities – Other Stuff to Do

As a leading transformational festival in Central America, there is SO much at Envision festival to do besides music! I would say that music is only a small part of what this festival is about. I have listed specifics above under ‘venue,’ but here are some extra amenities by category.

Performances

There were performers left and right at Envision festival. They had world class fire spinners, aerialists, and acrobats, and they performed at the Luna stage and also in the Village and around the grounds. These people were seriously incredible and it was jaw-dropping to see some of the shows. It was especially cool to see people flying through the air at the Luna stage during a DJ set. This was super unique and something I really loved about Envision!

Workshops + Speakers

There are at least 5 or 6 different places where speakers would hold sessions and workshops all day every day. Some workshops you can expect include: psychedelics and society, decentralization, sacredness of housekeeping, moon medicine, crypto currencies and their future, the tantra of sacred commerce, sotrytelling for a cause, and more.

Yoga

The Yoga tents, again, had much more than yoga. Each session had a different name and it  was important to check the schedule to see what it was because the name didn’t always make it clear. At the yoga tents you can expect all kinds of yoga, movement, dance, breath work, meditation, acro yoga, and other fun stuff. Yoga was a main aim of this festival and they did it very well!

Envision costa rica envision Festival location Guide Review

 

Transportation/Hotels/Parking at Envision Festival

Getting to Envision Festival

Uvita is a lovely beach on Costa Rica’s southwest coast on the Pacific ocean. Uvita is about 3-4 hours from San Jose, where most people will fly into. There are plenty of cheap flights to San Jose from all over the world – the USA especially. I heard that a lot of people got theirs for $400 or less.

To get there from the airport, Envision has shuttles from for $70 per person, which I almost took… but am very happy I did not! I thought this was my only option as a solo traveler but it turns out there are much cheaper options available – I have to include some money-saving info in my Envision festival review, of course!

From the bus station in the city, you can get a public Tracopa bus to Uvita for $15. Factor in an uber/taxi to the bus station and it’s still very cheap! But, remember that the bus does not drop you directly at the festival site, it will drop you in the town which is a taxi ride away from the venue.

After getting in crazily early in the morning after a red eye, I took an uber to my friend’s hostel in the city. Uber is actually technically illegal in San Jose, but many/most people still use it. At the hostel we found a group of two more people (making a full uber of 4) and made a deal with a driver to take us to Uvita off the app for $80. So, rather than spending $70, I spent only $20 to get there in a ride share. I think this might be a bit cheaper than a standard uber fare to Uvita, but in that it was off the app the driver made more. I think this is the best option to get to the festival, and you might be able to make a similar deal with a taxi driver too.

If you want to stay and explore Costa Rica, you may want to rent a car. Lots of people did this and it can save you money depending on your situation. There is so much more to explore in Costa Rica and this would give you the freedom to do so!

If you are already traveling, there are many busses (look up Tracopa bus/Ticabus) that will enable you to get to Uvita from Panama or elsewhere in Costa Rica.

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HELLO WORLD!!! I’m back on the map for just a couple days after one of the most magical and transformative festivals I have had the pleasure of experiencing to date – @envisionfestival ✨🧘‍♀️🌴 Oh I have SO much to say about this weekend – about the yoga, workshops, talks, and beach time all day, the sunset celebrations each night, and the incredible production, live art, and musical lineup all night – but I think I’ll save most of that for my ‘review-guide’ that, as you may know, I write for each festival I attend!! Envision was seriously the most amazing fusion of spiritually conscious, musically inclined, and genuine souls I could have imagined, all in the jungle/beach of Costa Rica! You may have seen highlights on my story, which I will post more of today if you missed it!🙌🏽 It truly was a weekend of Pura Vida – THANK YOU Costa Rica🌞 . . Today on the Story: I have just arrived in Panama City where I will spend the next 2 days catching up on my blog before yet ANOTHER amazing festival experience – Tribal Gathering! Check the story for more, but basically this event is put on by a nonprofit that functions to preserve indigenous cultures. Each year they fly out 60 tribes (yes actual tribes) from 30 countries to this gathering, where the tribes teach workshops and parts about their traditional ways of life, and end in a dance celebration! The whole thing is 18 Days but I’m going for the last 7-9 because I have lots to do! But anyway that’s the gist, and I’m pretty stoked about this awesome experience of human connection and knowledge I’m about to have. . . Phew that was a lot for today! I’ll be sharing more bits and pieces as I edit photos etc, but I would love to hear if any of you have been to these festivals before or if you would go! Stoked to be back on the road again✈️🚙🎼🌸 . . . . . #envisionfestival #envision #puravida #musicfestival #festival #festivalfashion #festivalstyle #festivalgirls #festivalvibes #sunset #sunset_ig #costarica #sunsetsniper #nikontop #sunsetsky #sunsetmadness #sunset_madness #nikon_photography_ #sunset_pics #dametraveler #femmetravel #ladiesgoneglobal #travelinladies #wearetravelgirls #globelletravels #sheisnotlost

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Parking at Envision Festival

There is a day parking lot at Envision if you are staying off site and have a car to drive to the festival. As far as I know it is free.
Envision Festival Guide Review food and drink

Hotels/Hostels for Envision Festival Costa Rica

If you don’t want to camp, there are a few options for you. Cascada Verde hostel was right down the road and cheap, and U Kinca hostel was probably the closest and on the same road as the venue.. After the festival I discovered a lovely property called Hotel de Montana Villas Bejuco (couldn’t really find them on many hotel websites but they’re on google maps! 🙂 ) and stayed in a private room for a few nights for $20 (the wifi and view were great and a few other festival-goers stayed here too).

Hotel Samsara is where a big group of attendees stayed (and had an after party). Tucan Hotel is cheap and close, or you could go big with some private Villas like the Golden Pineapple Hilltop Villas  or the Chic Luxury Villas.

Many other people got pretty nice Airbnb’s in the area too.

Taxis at Envision Festival

Taxis are all over the place in Uvita and at the festival, and any hotel/hostel should be able to call you one to get to and from the venue. But, it is an extra expense when your ticket already comes with camping. I always say camping makes for the best experience at a festival, and this is especially true at Envision.

food and drink at Envision Festival Guide Review

Empty food stalls on a bright early morning. Did I wake up early or had I not gone to bed yet? You decide 😛

Envision Festival Food/Drink

You are allowed to bring whatever food and drink you want into the festival, and to save money I would recommend a grocery store run and maybe a cooler to come into the campgrounds.

That being said, there are many food and drink options here. The village has a massive row of food vendors selling burgers, Indian food, pizza, shakshukas, vegan/veg options, sandwiches, tacos, burritos, empanadas, smoothies, coffee, cacao coffee, and more!

As far as drinks go, there are lots of options. There are many different kinds of craft beer, sangria, cocktails, blended daiquiris/margs/pina coladas, and even an alcoholic ginger beer. The options are great and hard to resist! But you can also get cheaper drinks out on the beach.

You can expect to pay $8-12USD for a meal and about $6 for a drink (or $2 on the beach). See the ‘money’ section below for specifics!

sustainability and compost Envision Festival review Guide
Very responsible with waste and leaving no trace!

Envision Festival Sustainability Practices

Envision Festival is a leave-no-trace and sustainable festival. This means that no one-use items were used at all. If you want a drink you must bring your own cup/bottle or purchase a reusable plastic one (and try not to lose it!) I always use my reusable water bottle and switched off filling it with water and alcohol 😛

As far as food goes, you must use a plate coupon or pay a bit extra to use a reusable plate. When you are finished you take your plate to a designated washing area and receive a coupon for it which you can use to get another plate or redeem.

Envision is all about sustainability, and you will see this in the composting and garbage systems, different talks and initiatives, and more.

Envision Festival Guide Review vendors

Envision Festival Price

The festival ticket to Envision will be about $360 last minute and maybe $280 early bird – it fully depends  on when you buy it. Rental tents etc would be around $80 and VIP can range from $500 to a whole cabana weekend experience with amenities for over $2500. Check prices early!

For budgeting, make sure to factor in plane tickets, food/drink/etc costs, transportation, and more if you want to make a festival budget. Personally, I just try to spend as little as possible while still sustaining myself and having a good time.

Envision Festival security Guide Review

Envision Security Review

Envision security are mostly Costa Rican locals. The only thing they will check/take from you are glass containers. Glass is the only thing that they will check your bag for as it is a safety hazard. They being said, they don’t mind of you bring alcohol or anything inside as long as its in plastic or tin. You may bring coolers of beers inside or bottles of alcohol decanted into water bottles, and I would recommend doing this to save money!

They are also very serious about checking wristbands when you return from the beach. The beach is not technically a part of festival grounds in that anyone can just walk down the beach, so there are multiple wristband checks when you are walking back into the venue from the beach. The beach is also one place I would definitely not bring your valuables in that I have heard of theft happening there as people swim.

weather at Envision Festival Review uvita beach costa rica

Envision Festival Weather

Costa Rica in February is hot, hot hot! You can already feel how much more humid it is when you arrive from San Jose, and the sun will surely wake you up by 8-10am, 10:30 latest. This is why it’s super important to make sure there’s an extra layer of shade above your tent – either via an EZ-up or trees. My tent was greatly shaded by trees and still somehow managed to be a box of humidity by 10 each morning. Many people simply brought their air mattresses outside or slept on some lounge areas that Envision festival had in the area.

While it’s very hot during the day, the temperature will return to a nice and comfortable level at night. Some people brought cardigans for the very early hours of the morning, but you can generally still walk around in a bikini/tank top and shorts at all times of day.

One more very important note about Costa Rican weather is that it CAN and probably WILL rain. Ok not just rain… it may POUR. We had a monsoonal downpour on my first night at the festival, leaving the entire grounds slippers and muddy. It was quite the adventure, and trust me when I say I am relieved my tent was waterproof! They covered the grounds with sawdust after the storm and the mud wasn’t too much of a problem afterwards, but just make sure to be prepared!

Envision Festival Review yoga sunset envision festiva location Uvita beach dancer pose
Gettin’ my sunset yoga on. Totally candid.

Envision Festival Fashion

Fashion here is very yogi-hippie. Some people went all out with festival outfits and makeup, but many others just wore bikinis, tanks, or shorts and crochet tops. Colorful patterns and fun flowy clothing is the norm, with your classic crystal necklaces, festival jewelry, body paint, and all that fun stuff.

I wouldn’t say that people dressed up too much for Envision. Some people did, but it was more the type festival where girls wore no makeup and everyone just dressed comfortable for the heat.

Envision Festival bathrooms showers Guide Review

Envision Festival Bathrooms/Showers

Bathrooms at Envision are well-maintained porta potties with extra toilet paper stacked outside. They were always fairly clean and not disgusting, and for most of the weekend many of them even had lights inside (I can’t remember if porta-potties usually have lights but I remember being impressed that I didn’t have to awkwardly fumble around with my phone light inside. So basically, these porta potties were lit. 😛

The showers here costed money – $6 each or 4 for $20 – and were in my eyes one of the only real reasons staying in a hotel/hostel would be favorable. But hey, the ocean is fine, right?!

Envision Costa Rica Envision Festival Review house techno lapa stage going to a festival alone

The Lapa Stage, circa 6:30am one morning.

Envision Festival Timings

Envision runs pretty much all the time, giving me pretty bad fomo whenever I wanted to go to sleep. There was yoga and workshops each morning from before 8am, but the Luna stage went until sunrise most mornings. At Envision you definitely have to pick and choose your nights and days… or simply don’t sleep! 😛

The daytimes were all about workshops, talks, and yoga, which would all run until about 8 or 9pm. Music would start in the early afternoon around 2-4, but headliners would all be suuuuper late the next morning, the earliest being around 11 and the latest groups/dj’s coming on as late as 4-5am.

I always felt a strange lull between sunset and ‘party time,’ in that the sunset was before 6pm and the headliners/music I wanted to see wouldn’t be until at least 11. At some festivals the sunset means the onset of the headliners and more intense music-watching time. But here, if you want to stay up for headliners coming on at 3am+, you might have to budget your time a little differently.

The Luna stage was the one that went the latest most days, and with the latest headliners. The Sol stage would actually finish by around 1-2am most nights, and the Lapa would usually end just before Luna.

The schedule was pretty interesting in that the last stage (usually Luna) closed at around 4am on Friday night, around 6am on Saturday night, and at literally 8am on Sunday night/Monday morning. I’m not totally sure what they were going for with this staggered time, and was especially confused when the music stopped at 8am on Monday morning and they expected everyone out of the venue by noon. But, there you have it.

slacklining at Envision Festival Guide Review slack line the village

Important festival slack time in The Village.

Money at Envision Festival

In Costa Rica the currency is colones, and these exchange for about 560 or so per 1 US Dollar. However, they accepted both US Dollars and colones here, at an exchange rate of 500 Colones/1USD. Prices will be listed in colones, but food vendors inside out outside the venue on the beach will usually accept USD at this slightly lower exchange rate.

You can expect to pay $8-12 USD (4000-6000 colones) for a meal inside, but you can get meat skewers or a falafel on the beach for cheaper. You pay cash for all the food.

As far as drinks go, Envision has a token system for these. I’m not sure why they do this for drinks and not food, but you can pay $3USD/1500 colones for one token, and exchange these for drinks. If you want cocktails, some beers, sangria, ginger beer, margaritas, pina coladas, etc, you can expect to pay two tokens, or $6. But they do have great bar options, a selection of beers, and some yummy fruity drinks too. If you want, however, you can get beers outside on the beach for 1000 colones/$2.

Envision ATM’s

There are no ATM’s in the venue. There was one ATM but it strangely enough was only for bitcoin. It did fit in with the decentralization theme of the festival but I thought this was strange and don’t know if anyone actually used it. The closest town was about 5 minutes away and had an ATM and supermarket.

Envision Festival review Guide sunset fire spinning uvita costa rica envision festival location

Envision Festival Tips/What I Wish I Knew Before Going to Costa Rica

  • You can bring anything but glass into the festival. I wish I had grabbed a cheap cooler and brought tons of beer/drinks inside and simply put it down near where I was dancing and grabbed a new drink whenever I needed one. I would have saved tons of money if I could have been bothered to take a taxi into town and grab some supplies from the supermarket.
  • Bring snacks! I survived off of power bars some mornings/evenings when I just needed a pick-me-up rather than buying a whole meal.
  • Make sure to attend some workshops and yoga, and actually check the schedule before doing so. It’s hard to just stumble upon the beginning of a talk/yoga class, so checking the schedule and actually eyeing some interesting ones and getting there on time could make all the difference in your experience and comprehension of the talks.
  • Take come chill time: Again, the time between sunset and the first headliners is quite long. So grab some food, see the ends of some talks, and save your energy if you want to make it until sunrise.
  • Vary your late nights and early mornings: To get the most of the Envision festival experience and to be able to see the sunrise one morning and maybe wake up for morning yoga on another, choose your nights to have late ones or early ones. I usually stayed up until about 4 and woke up at about 10/1030, but it would have been cool to be up earlier some days or even stay up until the sunrise more than once.
  • Remember buying food and drink on the beach (rather than inside the venue) saves you money!
  • Also remember that it will be HOT. A hand fan would be a great idea, or even a spray bottle/motorized fan.
  • Have fun! 🙂

What to Pack for Envision Festival

If you are coming to Envision from overseas, which I assume you may be, check my International Festival Camping Checklist to see what you should bring that will fit into your checked baggage.

Staying Longer in Costa Rica?

There are HEAPS of adventures to be had! Ziplining, surfing, rafting, animals, and caves are just a few things your could dip your toes into while here. There’s an amazing beach called Playas del Coco nearby, and tons of other adventures. Check these out just as a teaser to ways you could extend your Envision Festival adventure!

Envision festival review: All you need to know about envision festival in Uvita, Costa Rica. Location, crowd, security, fashion, food/drink, price, time, all parts of the venue, sustainability practices, weather, and more! #Musicfestival #festival #CostaRica #Envision

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March 16, 2018

12 Ways Costa Rica’s Envision Is Way More than Just a Music Festival

12 Ways Costa Rica’s Envision Is Way More than Just a Music Festival

Envision Festival in Costa Rica is definitely at the forefront of transformational festivals in South + Central America. The Envision lineup is always fantastic, but the music really is only a small part of what this gathering is all about. Envision is all about the betterment of each other and the world, and the coming together of all different walks of life through music, workshops, and togetherness.

If you know me and follow any of the festivals I go to, you’ll know I am an absolute sucker for a good transformational festie. I mean, I love any music festival, but transformationals are the ones that really get me. The idea of attending a massive gathering of like-minded people looking to enjoy good music and expand their consciousness at the same time is pretty much my paradise. This is why I have to spread the word about Envision – it does all this and way more.

Envision Festival even created 8 pillars to facilitate the fact that this is more of an entire experience than a festival. These 8 pillars of Envision go through the 8 different main objectives of the festival, and they are the first reason Envision has so much more to offer than a simple lineup of music.

costa rica envision festival

 

The 8 Pillars of Envision Festival

These pillars are all precisely different reasons Envision is so much more than a festival. I mean, how many other festivals can offer this much diversity in experience and betterment of so many different aspects of life?!

Permaculture

Envision Festival is all about making the world a more sustainable place. In the permaculture programs inplemented throughout the festival, you will see and learn about making sure items are reusable and compostable, that nature, forests, and plants are all preserved in the best way possible, and that our earth is cared for properly.

Spirituality

Envision is all about consciousness. Whether is it through meditation, workshops, or simply having deep conversations with those around you, spirituality will be a main focus here.

Movement

Envision is all about movement in ALL forms! Dancing is an obvious one, but there will also be all different forms of yoga, dance, and other performances all about moving your body!

Art

Art is massive here, and you will find all the stages and surroundings exploding with creative expression and art installations adorning most everything. Envision Festival is all about expressing yourself through material, visual, and musical art.

Music

See, I told you music is only a small part of this music festival! Yet, it is very important just the same. The musical talent at Envision comes from all different origins and facets of live performance, but you can bet that it will all be incredible in its own right. Check this year’s lineup!

Community

Envision Festival is a coming together of like minded individuals to form a cohesive community of friends. This is central to the ethos of the festival and it goes without saying that everyone there – of all different cultures, ages, and backgrounds – will soon be your new friends and collaborators.

Health

Wellness is an important pillar to go with the rest as it involves taking care of your body while you make conscious leaps toward a better life. You will find all sorts of healing workshops, organic and locally sourced food, different types of herbal remedies and medicines, and interesting nutritional perspectives at Envision Festival.

Eco Building

Envison is all about leaving no trace, sourcing materials and labor ethically, and making sure that the smallest footprint is left behind. It is important to use renewable and compostable materials and to leave the earth better than we found it! This festival really does set an example for not only other festivals but ourselves as well when it comes to living in a eco-friendly way.

costa rica envision festival yoga workshops

Permaculture Course

This year, Envision Festival is doing even more to promote sustainability by offering a permaculture design course for an entire week before the festival begins. This course is to take place on a local Costa Rican farm that is world renowned for its biodiversity. Here, students who partake will be able to learn all about the best sustainability practices for growing plants and food, and will dedicate lots of time to bettering themselves and how they take care of the world around them.

Blue Clay

Something else that’s unique about Envision Festival is its blue clay station. This station at the festival allows you to grab goops and goops of special blue clay to put on your body during the hot days. This clay is basically magic, and I will tell you why! Not only does it have cooling properties to regulate your body temperature while you’re dancing in the sun, but it also helps to exfoliate dead skin cells, has antiseptic properties to help and scraped from jungle hiking, and also acts ad a sunscreen and insect repellant!! I would like some all over my body now, please and thank you.

costa rica envision festival

Envision Festival Venue – Rancho La Merced

What other festival can say it takes place right at the perfect unison of a magical jungle and tropical beach?! None that I can think of! Envision Festival has a unique venue right on the lower pacific coast of Costa Rica, and it could not be more pristine (and it faces the sunset over the ocean… which is obviously something I would think of beforehand!) Yoga on the beach at sunset, I’m coming for ya!

costa rica envision festival

 

The Village

The village is where it all happens at Envision. There’s a Global Market, a locally sourced and reusable-only eatery, The Temple for all sorts of amazing talks and ceremonies, a Healing Sanctuary with all types of healing workshops and treats, and even a family area for baby festival-goers who are surely getting a head start upon their consciousness!

 

I could go on and on, but I will wait for my festival review + guide that I write after the festival 😉 Stay tuned in this space for what I can only foresee as INCREDIBLE photos and experience at Envision Festival!

Thanks to Envision Press for these images! Can’t wait to take my own! 😛 

 

February 7, 2018

Transformational Music Festivals in South & Central America to Add to Your Bucket List

Transformational Music Festivals in South & Central America to Add to Your Bucket List

Transformational music festivals in South & Central America have not caught on as much as some places in the world, but they are definitely on their way. If you’re new to the term, transformational festivals are music festivals that focus on much more that music – they focus on all possible outlets of creativity, expression, and education.

They will often have different seminars and workshops throughout the festival about topics from sustainability and permaculture to mindfulness and culture, and usually have yoga and meditation type classes as well. Many will have different kinds of activities like slack lining or hiking, have different kinds of art classes and installations, and community building practices encouraging health and social responsibility. And, all this goes along with often amazing music, as well! If you enjoy traveling around for music festivals, you will enjoy these.

Transformational Festivals in Central America

Envision Festival, Costa Rica

Where: Punta Mona, Costa Rica

When: Last week of February

Envision Festival can be seen as at the forefront of transformational festival culture in the area, and is definitely the most well known and coveted festival in Central America. There are eight pillars of envision which they say encompass what they stand for as a gathering, and these pillars are music, movement, art, bio-construction, health, community, permaculture, and spirituality. The combination of all these is transformative at its core! They explore many mindful and sustainable practices along with healing techniques, and focus on cultivating a community of like-minded people to connect on a deeper level.

This year they are also holding a permaculture design course the week before the festival for a group to expand their knowledge on farming, food, and sustainability practices from one of the most biodiverse farms in the world! Envision is truly more than a festival – it’s an entire experience to elevate the body and mind.

 

Cosmic Convergence, Guatemala

Where: Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

When: Over the New Year

With a strong focus on ancient Mayan culture and consciousness transformation, Cosmic Convergence brings in the New Year with an array or music and learning opportunities. Expect sustainability activities, art installations, all kinds of workshops and talks, a breathtaking setting, and of course amazing music with this Guatemalan transformational festival.

Website

Singing Alive (Cantando La Vida), Costa Rica

Where: Finca Amrta, Costa Rica

When: late January

Singinga Alive is a gathering dedicated to song circles that actually takes place in  five different locations in North America. These regional song events are dedicated to the healing and nurturing power of multi-cultural song , and use singing, prayers, chants meditations, and different forms of togetherness to awaken spiritual life. They will involve healthy eating, yoga, plant walks, and more in a fully participatory environment to connect with others.

 

Tribal Gathering, Panama

Where: North Caribbean coast of Panama

When: 18 Days Late Mar-Mid Feb

Tribal Gathering is 18 days of music, workshops, wellness, and art from over 60 tribes from 30 countries around the world sharing their knowledge and local perspectives. That’s right, is really is a tribal gathering in that they bring in that many different tribes together in one place (the largest tribal gathering in the world) to enrich each other through sharing of culture, music, and more. How cool is that?! Some of the workshops they list on their website are: bioconstruction, tribal skill exchange, yoga, botany, shamanism, storytelling, local marine ecology, local foods, traditional instruments, carving, weaving, tribal painting, sustainable agro forestry, medidation, cocoa and chocolate making, and more!

Tribal gathering is put on by GeoParadise, a charity organization dedicated to preserving native communities around the world. Tribal Gathering is the annual gathering of such tribes to come together in a sort of modern ritual and sharing of indigenous customs. The last five days are an electronic music festival, and the weeks leading up to it are focused on tribal presentations of all different kinds!

Website

 

Ometeotl Festival, Mexico

Where: South of Mexico City, Morelos State

When: Last week of March

For this one I am just going to straight quote (a translation of) their website because I love what it says so much. Here is a screen shot below:

transformational festival in mexico ometeotl transformational music festivals in South & Central America

 

As you can see the festival is named after a sacred god within Mexican culture and encourages all to come together to celebrate culture and ‘elevate the spirit of humanity’ through music, art, and workshops. They actually begin the festival by lighting a sacred fire which burns throughout the gathering. The lineup is generally pretty good as well!

Ometeotl Facebook Page / Website (not current)

 

Transformational Festivals in South America

 

 

Fuego Austral, Argentina

Where: outside of Buenos Aires, Argentina

When: End of March/Beginning of April

Fuego Austral is Argentina’s regional burning man event, and is held every February. This means that it takes a transformational festival to the next level and upholds the ten principles of a burn through the event. It is a temporary city based upon these principles, and freedom, art, and being whoever you would like to be. This means – theres no form of money, everyone comes with a camp with all their food and drink for the week, and art installations, participation, all forms of creation, music, gifting, radical expression, immediacy, and all that good stuff are encouraged! If you are a transformational festival lover like me I really would recommend experiencing at least one burn in your life- it truly is life-changing to live in such a way for a week!

Website

 

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Festival Nomade, Chile

Where: Southern Chilean Coast – Nearest to Osorno

When: second week of February

Festival Nomade is an incredibly unique weeklong gathering in southern Chile that begins with a 10km hike to the festival site. Whoever wishes to participate can meet to drive to the hiking point and hike through an ancient jungle to begin the experience with supreme connection to nature. The first three days of the festival focus on creating a sense of community between participants (not attendees 😉 ) and local tribes, helping one another to complete infrastructure, set up the site, and learn about local culture by interacting with and visiting the homes of local tribes.

On the fourth day music and celebration begins, with the people who you have already become close to. Expect yoga, meditation, vinyasa, surfing, slacklining, hiking, sustainability talks, workshops, and storytelling, all amongst music and new friends.

Website

 

 

Mundo De Oz Festival, Brazil

Where: Sao Paolo, Brazil

When: Last Week of April

Its tagline says (In Portuguese, of course) “an experience of art, culture, ecology, and music,” and I don’t think many taglines scream ‘transformational festival’ more than that! Mundo de Oz creates a space of education, creativity, and performance where each and every human being is valued to their core. There are spaces for: Children, ecology, social/environmental action, consciousness, and much more, and it sounds like it would be a truly transformative experience. Oh, and the photo above is actually a stage!

Website

Universo Parallelo Festival, Brazil

Where: Outside of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

When: 8 Days over New Year

Universo Parallelo may be Brazil’s most famous transformational festival in its 14th year. It’s held on the beach/jungle of the coast of Bahia, and is home to 10 days of camping and 8 days of music. You will also find family areas, different kinds of performances, lots of art and culture, and a beautiful and colorful setup. Next New Year, I’m Looking at you!

UP Facebook Page

 

 

Pulsar Festival, Brazil

Where: Minas Gerais, Southeast Brazil (Between Sao Paolo and Salvador)

When: End of May May-June

Pulse festival is going into its fourth year, and it invites guests back to another amazing experience of art, culture, and sustainability, or ‘psychedelic music, connecting to nature, and breaking paradigms.’ Situated at an amazing site next to a massive waterfall, the perfect scene is presented to listen to amazing music and also learn about their many different causes such as sustainability, permaculture, amazing FOOD, performances, and workshops.

That’s all for now, folks, but you best believe I will be continuing my research and adding many more festivals to this list! If you know of any more festivals that would fit well into this post, PLEASR leave a comment and let me know! I want to discover all the possibilities so that one day I can experience them all (and stay forever in an ideal fairytale festival world, because it’s way better there, right?!).

Save this list for later and Pin it to your Pinterest Boards to stay up to date with any new ones I discover!

Transformational Music Festivals in South and Central America to add to your bucket list! Transformational festivals include music, art, culture, workshops, yoga, sustainability, ecology, health and much more to transform yourself as you experience it.

 

January 14, 2018