Costa Rica 2024

Costa Rica Retreats 

November 3-10, 2024

November 12-19, 2024

Register for either (or both!) dates

A Residential Painting Retreat in Costa Rica

Join us for one (or both!) of our 7-day intensives in beautiful Costa Rica. This is the first retreat for The Painting Experience in Costa Rica, and we look forward to the adventure!

Located 1 hour west of San Jose’s airport and 15 minutes from the Pacific beaches, this 20-acre private gated jungle property consists of seven Spanish-style villas. Each villa has its own kitchen, living space, and bathrooms for each bedroom. The property has three pools and a shared common space for our studio. You will have your choice of either single or double accommodations in a group limited to 12-14 participants.

Your tuition includes twice-daily facilitated painting sessions with Stewart Cubley and Matt Belay, as well as all accommodations, meals, art materials, daily group discussion circles, and video presentations related to the painting process.

You will have the opportunity to go on multiple free excursions to the beach and other nature walks. You will also have one full day off as well as optional days before and after the workshop, where we can help you arrange paid excursions such as horseback riding, zip lining, and boat trips.

Reserve a single room by September 1st for a discount!

Workshop Information (Click on the paint bucket)      

Workshop Schedule: November 3-10

You will arrive on the afternoon of November 3rd and be ready for dinner, followed by our first session that evening.  Note: you may choose to arrive one day early.

You will depart on November 10th or choose to stay an extra night and leave Monday, November 11th.

Workshop Schedule: November 12-19

You will arrive on the afternoon of November 12th and be ready for dinner, followed by our first session that evening.  (Note: you may choose to arrive one day early on November 11th.)

You will depart on November 19th or choose to stay an extra night (or two) and leave on November 20th or 21st.

Combined Schedule: November 3-10 and 12-19

You will arrive on the afternoon of November 3rd and be ready for dinner, followed by our first session that evening.  (Note: you may choose to arrive one day early on November 2nd.)

You can choose to stay at the retreat location on the nights of November 10th and 11th or take the time to explore.

The second session begins on November 12th. You will depart on November 19th or choose to stay an extra night (or two) and leave on November 20th or 21st.

Retreat Costs

Workshop fees include tuition, accommodations, and all meals.

  • Single Accommodations 7 Nights: $4000/14 Nights: $8000.
  • Shared Accommodations 7 Nights: $3000/14 Nights: $6000 Two people per room.
Extra Nights

Extra Nights: November 2, 10, 11, 19, 20

$150 each night. Includes a care package of coffee, fruit, yogurt, granola, and flowers. There are several restaurants within walking distance.

Early Bird Discount

Sign up before August 1st, 2024, for a single accommodation, and you will receive a $500 discount. Or stay for both events and receive a $1000 discount.

Continuing Education Credits

24 CE Credits are available each retreat for MFT, LCSW and RN. Learn more.


A few minutes from our villas is the entrance to Carrara National Park with excellent hiking trails.


All Food will be fresh and cooked on-site by local Costa Ricans or enjoyed at one of the many nearby restaurants. (Alcohol is not included)

While we will serve meats and local fresh-caught fish, Vegetarian options will always be available. We will do our best to satisfy specific dietary issues we are made aware of. Costa Rican food is generally not spicy.

Air Travel

Please contact us if you haven’t yet booked your flight (or have any other questions), as we can recommend the best options, the best times to arrive, and specific transportation opportunities. Once you are in the country, whether you want to reserve your own rental car, share a rental car, or get a shuttle service to the Villas, we can help you arrange the best options. (See Transportation at the link below.) We aim to help everyone have as easy and stress-free travel as possible.

If you are arriving from the East Coast or Central United States, flights often arrive at (SJO) San Jose International Airport sometime between midday and early afternoon. If this is the case, we can help you arrange a rental car, which is about an hour’s private shuttle to the villas, and drive on that same day.

If you travel from the West Coast, you will arrive late evening or night (unless you take an overnight flight), most likely at (SJO) San Jose International Airport. We suggest booking one of the nearby airport hotels, such as Holiday Inn or Hampton Inn, only a couple of minutes taxi ride. Then we can help you arrange for an Uber, a shared shuttle, or a rental car to be delivered to the hotel, and you will arrive that day during daylight hours at the villas, which are about an hour’s commute from the airport.

Local Transportation

We can help you arrange for an Uber, a shared shuttle, or a rental car to the villas, which are about an hour’s commute from the airport. Having your own rental car or sharing a rental car with several participants can be a way to add flexibility and independence to your trip. If you are interested, please contact us; we will help coordinate with other participants.

Costa Rica has the major rental car companies available to use, as well as some lesser-known companies near the airport. You do not need a four-wheel drive to access our property or take any excursions we plan.  Unfortunately, Costa Rica is one of a couple of countries that do not have government oversight over the practices of rental car companies, and there are often difficulties for people when they rent cars as prices and services are often intentionally confusing, and prices are often not accurately described. We recommend that you consider using one of the private rental car services that we have connections with, as they simplify the rental process and charge one daily/weekly fee, including taxes, insurance, and fees.

If you choose to rent a car with one of the major companies, such as Avis or Hertz, we recommend using their direct website and only getting insurance with them directly and not an affiliate website, such as Travelocity or Orbitz, etc. Do not get third-party insurance through a service such as Travelocity or Orbitz, as it will not be recognized when you arrive, and you will have to purchase the Avis or Hertz insurance at the counter, which will be significantly more expensive.

Arrival Process at SJO San Jose International Airport.

   Upon arrival, you will be brought to immigration, where you will need to present your passport and the address of the place where you will be staying your first night, Costa Rica. That will either be the villas in Tarcoles or the hotel that you booked the first night you arrive.

  You do not need to get a visa beforehand. When you pass through immigration, they will give you a stamp allowing you to be in Costa Rica for 180 days. You need proof of a return ticket out of Costa Rica when you pass through immigration.

   Once through immigration, you will be directed to baggage claim, where your bags will be scanned again by machine. Make sure you are not carrying any fruits or vegetables – or more than $10,000 in cash.

    Once past those machines, you will be in an area with rental car companies and a door leading outside where there will be many people waiting with signs to collect people and taxis available. Depending on your plans, we can help organize someone to wait for you to bring you to the Villas, or you can take a taxi for five minutes to one of the local hotels.

Cellular Service and WiFi

    Upon arriving at SJO San Jose International Airport, once in the terminal building, Wi-Fi is free to access and generally works ok while you are in immigration and at baggage claim. It will not work once you leave baggage claim to leave outside of the airport.

  If you want to use Cellular service while in  Costa Rica,  check with your provider to see what is available for you. If you have AT@T or T-Mobile Service, your phone may work normally when you turn it on in Costa Rica, depending on your cellular service plan. 

   If you have Verizon, you have the option of using a travel pass, which will cost $10 per day, and you can arrange for that to begin on the day that you arrive in Costa Rica.

   You can alternatively purchase an e-sim card for your phone or arrange for a SIM card to be sent to your home. Note: None are available to buy at the airport, and it is time-consuming to buy a local SIM card for a short trip.

  When you arrive in Costa Rica and take your phone off of airplane mode, be sure that you have one of these systems set up so that your phone is not roaming and being charged for unplanned data, causing unnecessary fees. If you have an international plan or an e-sim or other service provided as described above, you should be able to turn your phone off and back on, and the service will work normally. Sometimes, you have to turn your phone off and on several times and give the networks a little time to connect.

   Just be sure not to leave the airport baggage claim area and the Wi-Fi until you have a signal (unless you are going to one of the nearby hotels by taxi, where you can make further arrangements as needed.)

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel before September 1st, 2024, you will receive a full refund minus a 15% handling fee. After that date, your payment is nonrefundable and nontransferable.

Why Paint for Process? (Click on the paint bucket)

The exhilaration of creating without the pressure to perform, produce or succeed.

The goal is free-expression. Process painting emphasizes the creative process rather than technique or expertise. No prior art experience is necessary. We all start from beginner’s mind.

The personal power that grows from being present in the moment.

Process painting offers an exceptional opportunity to inhabit the present moment. It’s an engaged spirituality — a practice of equanimity, presence, and learning to stay present in the face of whatever arises.

The beauty of letting yourself be led rather than grasping for control or attempting to plan.

Through listening to your intuition — the color that calls to you; the placement of the brush on the paper; the shape, the form, the image that wants to be born — process painting invites you to unleash your inner wildness.

The rewards that come from experiencing doubt and carrying on anyway.

One of the myths of art is that you have to feel inspired, have endless ideas or feel confident in order to create. But not-knowing allows innocence. Accepting imperfection yields compassion. Risking vulnerability opens the door to breakthrough and awe.

The healing that comes from true completion.

Completion is one of the greatest mysteries in process painting. It can be a moment of astonishing surprise and release. Completion is an inner state of freedom that you experience when you carry a painting through to its natural end.

The development of an awakened stance towards life that is centered yet expansive.

The meeting with yourself that occurs in the painting process is meditation in action — where the circumstances of your life are seen as potentials rather than problems.