A week awake

Radical Surf Experiences for Women in Costa Rica

Way more than a Retreat

A Week Awake is a radical and soulful surf experience for women to connect, recharge, and empower themselves where the jungle meets the sea.
AWA will absolutely expand your body, mind and soul while embodying the relaxed lifestyle of this unique laid-back destination.

What is AWA?

Have you ever been to a place and stood in awe of its beauty and inspired by its sense of community? Have you felt at peace just being there but with just one nagging realisation that you won’t be able to integrate the way you’d like in a short week vacation? We know the feeling well and that’s why we have curated an experience that goes above and beyond what you could possibly find on your own but also provides you a window into the town and our group of powerhouse women that no other retreat can offer. 

You’ll be hosted, coached and held at all times by an all-star lineup of local women that inspire through their simple mindful way of living. We will laugh, move, stretch, meditate, share our love for surfing and enjoy the simple pleasure of connecting as human beings of this beautiful earth. The food here is a highlight. From exotic tropical fruits to local fish caught that morning we will enjoy absolute decadence and rejuvenation with every meal. Your body and soul nourished by organic locally sourced food prepared in house with love by more amazing women.

There is truly something beautiful in watching people transform and being able to share that space and thrive together. We want AWA to leave you overwhelmed with joy and expand your body, mind and soul while living the relaxed lifestyle of this unique laid-back destination. That’s why we do this. That’s why we want you to do it with us.

Limited Availability

Our experiences sell out really fast!
If your heart is calling you here we suggest you secure your spot in advance.




We LOVE surfing! Come to catch the first waves of your life, take your surfing skills to the next level or simply enjoy the ocean with us and our badass team of surf instructors.



We will explore different styles of yoga and introduce meditation and conscious breath-work. We aim to help you develop strength, create mental space and become more aware and in tune with your body.



One of our greatest teachers and our favorite medicine. Costa Rica’s wild and lush landscapes will capture your heart and take you by the hand to a deep and unforgettable journey.



We believe that cultivating your best self is a journey. AWA will take you beyond borders and inspire you to see the world in new radical ways. This is the time to challenge our limitations and take our fears head on together.



We believe in the power of sisterhood and building community is our passion. There is a very special tribe of badass women in this jungle town that we want you to connect with, to feel inspired and to inspire them back.



We celebrate food with enthusiasm and loyalty. We eat local, organic and whole ingredients in every meal, nourishing our bodies with the purest flavors of Costa Rica. Food is always a powerful way of connection to ourselves, with each other and the nature that surrounds us.



Living in a small beach community has made us keenly aware of our daily practices regarding our natural surroundings and the people we live with. We share our efforts and responsibilities for you to leave with tools and inspiration to bring sustainable practices into your life, business and communities.



You can’t pour from an empty cup. Everything starts within you. We will give you the space and time to learn self-love practices for you to incorporate healthy habits into your daily life. We believe that falling in love with yourself is the very first step to find pure joy and happiness. 

Your hostesses

We first met in Nepal in 2015 during a very powerful Earthquake. This experience bounded us so deeply that anytime we create together the world shakes a little and magic happens. We are both big life lovers and share a deep passion for the ocean and the tropical paradise we get to call home. Together, supported by an amazing community of jungle "seasters", we are shaping the most magical times for women from all over the globe. We love to attract all the good things and that is exactly what we are putting into AWA, our latest project and we believe the most badass creation so far.



Mi name is Andrea “Mona” Picasso. I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and moved to the beach town of Mar Del Plata when I was a little girl. It was here where i first fell in love with the sea and started surfing at the age of 14.


Ten years after I booked a ticket for my first solo trip to Costa Rica, following my passion and my desire to explore the world. Santa Teresa was my favorite destination and where I wanted to reshape my life. Here i set myself free, felt in love and built a family. In this new lifestyle, the ocean became my natural temple and my daily playground.


I enjoy so much being outside adventuring with girlfriends that i became an ISA surf instructor and a ILS Life Saving to be able to share my passion and knowledge with many others. For the past 6 years I’ve been introducing women to the ocean and teaching them how to surf.


Today i feel so fortunate to be able to share this beautiful paradise with women from all over the globe, empowering each other and having fun in the waves together. Im excited to turn your adventure of learning how to surf into a wonderful life changing experience, much love, Mona.




Hi! Hola!

My name is Giulia Vallotto and I was born and raised in a small town in northern Italy called Bassano Del Grappa. My hunger for adventure got me to move to the States to chase the American Dream when I was a teenager. 

I spent most of my adult life jet setting from Coast to Coast in the fashion industry and living between Miami and NYC. One day I decided it was time to trade the glamorous city life for a sun kissed barefoot kinda living. I left it all behind and moved to Santa Teresa where I found my home.

I am now so honored to host women from all over the world and to share with you all my passion for the ocean, this wild nature and the amazing community I get to call family!




" This was such a well put-together retreat. Mona and Giulia thought of every detail from exquisite food to professional surf coaching, amazing yoga sessions and other festive activities."

Karen, California

"You will laugh, sing, dance, surf, meditate, make new friends, enjoy incredible food, and be treated like a goddess during this amazing week in paradise."

Una, USA

"After being to countless surf retreats i can honestly say that between the pristine ocean and the extremely professional team, this was the best surf experience i've ever had."

Ana, Colombia

"Incredibly talented people imparting their wisdom, cheerleading and mischief making. Coffee, hugs, OMG hugs!"

Jennaea, Minnesota

"Thank you for making my dreams of surfing come true."

Sarah, USA

Upcoming experiences


Costa Rica

December 11 - 17 2021· 7 days


A Radical and Soulful Experience for Women



Costa Rica

January 22 - 28 2022· 7 days


With GRLSWRL Lucy Osinski


Costa Rica

February 19 - 25 2022· 7 days


With Kassia Meador



Costa Rica

April 23 - 29 2022· 7 days


A Radical and Soulful Experience for Women
$200 EARLY BIRD OFFER - just for subscribers



Costa Rica

March 12 - 18 2022· 7 days


With GRLSWRL Lucy Osinski



Costa Rica

July 23 - 29 2022· 7 days


With Kassia Meador
$200 EARLY BIRD OFFER - just for subscribers


Design your own retreat.

Work together with us to shape the dream retreat for you, your family or friends.

Additional Information

To apply for an AWA experience a non-refundable deposit is due to reserve your space. The remaining amount is paid a week prior to arrival. Private and shared rooms availability are on a first-come, first-served basis. Please book your reservations early to receive your preferred accommodation. We reserve the right to refuse bookings at our discretion.

Please confirm availability with us before booking your flight tickets. AWA doesn't include the airfare and the transportation to and from Santa Teresa/Mal Pais. We do offer concierge services to help you make all the arrangements needed. If you decide to extend your stay in the area, we can guide you on how to achieve your most desired vacation, from lodging to all sort of inspiring and fun activities.

To enter and exit Costa Rica, you must bring a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining before expiration date. Most of the countries are not required to issue a Visa to enter. During the check-in of your flight, you might be asked to show a return ticket from Costa Rica before 90 days since the arrival date. All clients must have a medical insurance issued by their own travel agent to join any AWA experience.

For all requirements related to COVID - 19 please see below on "COVID-19 in Costa Rica" tab.
Citizens/residents from ALL countries are currently allowed to enter Costa Rica. If you are planning a trip to visit us in Mal Pais/Santa Teresa, there are specific entry requirements that must be met, listed below.


- Fill out the electronic epidemiological Health Pass form, available at https://salud.go.cr (available 48 hours prior to arrival; requires insurance to be purchased first).

- Traveler’s Medical Insurance - international or purchased through Costa Rica via the National Insurance Institute or Sagicor.- For the National Insurance Institute (INS), we’ve found that the English version of their landing page is currently not working. Scroll down and click “COMPRAR” to continue.- INS offers better rates as compared to Sagicor; Trawick International (more below) is currently offering the best rates for coverage that meets the CR requirements.

OR an international insurance policy. Tourists must request a certification from their insurance company, issued in English or Spanish, verifying at least the following three conditions:
- Effectiveness of the policy during the visit to Costa Rica.
- Guaranteed coverage of COVID-19 related medical expenses, with minimum coverage of $50,000 USD. While the plans offered by Costa Rican entities (linked above) only need to require $20,000 of medical coverage, international plans must meet the $50,000 USD minimum coverage.
- Includes a minimum coverage of $2,000 USD for lodging expenses as a result of being placed on quarantine if you become ill during your trip.*
*Many international insurance providers that we have researched, called, and vetted do NOT meet the lodging/accommodation requirement, such as: World Nomads and Safety Wing. Passengers who fail to comply with these requirements may not enter the country.

Upon landing in Costa Rican territory, travellers must wear face protection and comply with the protocols of the airport with regard to physical distancing and taking temperature readings, and must follow any other sanitary instructions.

International Travel Insurance Options:
- U.S. Citizens: Trawick International has a policy that meets the requirements available that is far more affordable, depending on trip length and age of the travellers. Choose the “Safe Travels Voyager” option Don’t enter a value for “Insure Your Trip.”

- Canadians: Trawick is offering a policy that meets the requirements for non-US citizens. Choose either “Safe Travels International” or “Safe Travels International Cost Saver.”Manulife insurance for bookings made by Aeroplan members does NOT meet the lodging/accommodation requirement.

- Rest of World: Trawick is offering a policy that meets the requirements for non-US citizens. Choose either “Safe Travels International” or “Safe Travels International Cost Saver.”

COVID TEST: A RT-PCR COVID-19 test with a negative result was required for entry until October 26th, 2020. While this is no longer a requirement for entry, please consider the high percentage of cases worldwide that have been asymptomatic — Help slow the spread and protect those most vulnerable. We ask that anyone with a trip planned to AWA, or the country itself, be mindful of this and consider changing their travel dates if they show ANY signs of the COVID-19 related symptoms and/or if they suspect having come in contact with someone who has/will test positive for the virus. Our updated Cancellation Policy takes this into consideration; it’s possible to change or refund (100%) your reservation up to your date of arrival.

VACCINATED TRAVELLERSFrom August 1st, vaccinated travellers will no longer need a COVID Insurance Policy to enter Costa Rica. To qualify, you must:
- Have received an approved vaccine: Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, or J&J.
- The last dose must have been administered at least 14 days before entering Costa Rica.
- Proof with a document that includes full name, date of each dose, formula and lot number.
While we still recommend buying travel insurance with COVID coverage, the dropping of the mandatory insurance means you can choose whichever company you'd like.

From January 26th those returning to the U.S. will also be required to show a negative COVID result from a test taken within 72 hours of departure. More information here. Our understanding is that international passengers in transit via the U.S. are exempt, although please confirm with your local embassy.

Testing options include:
- NEW UPDATE! You can now get tested at the airport of SJO or Liberia and get the results in a few hours! You only need to plan to be at the airport 4 hours before take off. Learn more about it here.

- A clinic in Santa Teresa is working with a lab in San Jose to provide PCR tests. We can schedule an appointment for you to get tested at the AWA Lodge 72 hours prior to your flight. The clinic charges $150 USD for the test.

- Multiple labs are available in San Jose (roughly $100). Results are guaranteed in 12-24 hours.

IMPORTANT NOTE: There’s so much information out there about COVID-19, and the last thing you want to do when planning your vacation is read from various sources that are often contradicting. Please reach out to us with any concern or question you might have, we are here to help and provide you with a seamless booking process. We will get back to you as fast as possible, much love, Mona & Giulia.
AWA is following Costa Rican local and republic guidelines about what criteria we must provide to our guests. Rest assured that we are taking COVID seriously and will update our policies as needed. The safety of our staff and guests is our top priority. We have adopted new policies about cancellations or reservation changes to both keep our guests and staff safe during these tough times.

We have amended our cancellation policy to offer our guests a choice to either re-book at a later time at no charge or refund 100% of all monies received from guests who cannot fulfill their reservation due to COVID positive tests, country closures, local rules and orders, AWA staff and guest safety concerns, and/or beach access and availability.
AWA is currently taking reservations for stays from 02/17/2020 onward under the following conditions:

- AWA reserves the right to cancel any reservation up to 24 hours from the arrival date.
- AWA will offer a full refund for any cancellation or will offer a free change of date (within 6 months after the retreat originally booked) if the guest prefers.
- AWA requires all reserved guests to confirm a lack of COVID symptoms 48 hours from arrival.
- AWA cannot offer any COVID related refunds once a guest has arrived.
- AWA recommends purchasing refundable airline tickets for travel to Costa Rica.

We will try our best to keep all information above as current as possible, however, we highly recommend double checking your country’s guidelines and/or local embassy in San José.


The following is our cancellation policy: There is no refund for arriving late or leaving an adventure early.

Cancel 61 days or more prior to the retreat start date: you can either apply a 100% credit towards another retreat date or cancel in full and be charged a cancellation fee of $600.

Cancel 60 – 30 days prior to the retreat start date: you can either apply a credit towards another retreat minus an office fee of 60% of your total retreat package or be charged a cancellation fee of 75% of your total retreat package.

Cancel 29 – 15 days prior to the retreat start date: you can either apply a credit towards another retreat minus an office fee of 70% of your total retreat package or be charged a cancellation fee of 85% of your total retreat package.

Cancel 14 days or fewer prior to the retreat start date: you will be charged a 100% cancellation fee.

No Exceptions to Cancellation Policy: There are no exceptions to our cancellation policy, including but not limited to weather, personal emergencies, flight cancellations, or delays. We highly recommend purchasing Travel Protection Insurance.

COVID Requirements for:


  • It is mandatory to show a negative PCR test within 48 hours from the beginning of the experience. There are no exceptions for vaccinated guests.

  • We all want to do our best to be responsible in order for the group to enjoy the experience to the fullest so we ask you to please be aware of the risk of exposure during the travels and carry all necessary sanitary items in your hand bag, such as face masks, hand sanitiser, sanitary wipes.

  • Upon arrival we will also take a precautionary rapid test in house. In case of positive result, we will expedite a PCR test to make sure it is not a false positive. If proof positive, we will take responsibility to help accommodate comfortably the guest  in a separate location from the group throughout the necessary quarantine time. We know that potentially being sick in a foreign country can be scary so we want to assure you that we will be available to provide daily assistance without risking the health of the other members. We have the resources to support with medical assistance, food services and help with the logistics of the duration of the trip, including flight changes, insurance claim, etc.

  • We ask that ALL guests show up upon arrival with a face mask on until the rapid test result comes out.

  • Social distance at your own discretion. Please consider and respect everybody’s personal protocols and try to limit your visits to other people’s rooms. Maybe it's high fives over hugs. No judgements, all is perfect and honoured with love.

  • Upon departure, depending on your country of origin you may be required to show a negative test. We will coordinate this for you.

  • While we will not require on-site mask-wearing, we do ask that you respect local guidelines and wear a mask when visiting restaurantes and/or shops in town.



  • We’ve reduced the amount of guests in our experiences to avoid crowded public areas and room capacity.

  • There will be hand sanitising areas available at the the Villa/Lodge and we encourage all guests to use them often.

  • Our Villa is designed for open air flow throughout the common spaces and rooms which is not only great for keeping fresh air but also stays nice and cool all day long.

  • The use of the kitchen will be limited to our staff with exceptions such as snacks, drinks, etc.

  • Outside of direct AWA staff, nobody is allowed to enter the Villa and surrounding property to minimize the risk of exposure. This includes surf instructors, practitioners, and deliveries.

  • Yoga mats and blocks are sanitised and placed in rooms prior to arrival. After each use we ask that guests please sanitise it and keep it in their room.


  • All AWA Team will be tested upon arrival. If any staff member at anytime during the week shows symptoms of any kind they will be sent home to isolate until they can show a negative test result.

  • Your AWA hostesses will be wearing a mask until the entire group is tested according to protocol. Further use of mask throughout the week will be discretionary.

  • The AWA Kitchen and Cleaning staff will always wear a mask inside the Villa/Lodge.

  • Hand washing takes place every 30 minutes, and every 15 minutes for our chef, following the protocol required by the Ministry of Health.


  • Common spaces are disinfected regularly.

  • Use of masks and gloves by housekeeping staff are mandatory at all times.

  • Housekeeping staff will not enter when guests are in rooms.

  • We will always check with you if you’d like your room to be cleaned or not.
All the activities supplied by AWA carry with them a degree of risk both to people and equipment, even though enjoyed under proper supervision by qualified instructors. They are also some activities that require those taking part to have a reasonable standard of health and fitness. All clients must inform of any medical conditions, illnesses or allergies they may have and any prescribed medication they might be taking prior booking. No one should participate in any activity if they are suffering from a heart condition or are pregnant. No client should in any circumstances take part in an activity while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication, which may adversely affect their physical abilities.
After reserving your space, we will send out Liability Release Forms for you to fill up and sign before starting the trip.

There will be NO exceptions to this policy.

Once you book your AWA Retreat, along with your Liability Release Forms, you will receive a Welcome Kit with helpful information you might need for the week. This includes informative description of the area, tips on how to pack, extra activities to explore and much more.

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