Writing in the Rainforest with Pricing

Writing in the Rainforest

Inspiration awaits in Costa Rica’s lush rainforests, pristine beaches, hiking trails, and abundant wildlife.

Join Patricia Charpentier for a week of writing while surrounded by the beauty of nature
and an intimate group of fellow writers in Punta Quepos, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.

Interested but have questions? Call Patricia at 321.279.1791.

Writing in the Rainforest experts answer all your questions!

Here is a replay of the recent Writing in the Rainforest discovery call with Patricia Charpentier, travel agent extraordinaire Paula Iwanski, and Costa Rica travel coordinator Ericka Padilla where we reviewed the nuts and bolts of the retreat and answered participants’ questions. If you have other questions about Writing in the Rainforest that weren’t addressed, please email patricia@writingyourlife.org, and we’ll get you the information you need.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024, through Wednesday, May 8, 2024

2024/05/01 00:00:03
Happy Sloth

“If you’re looking for inspiration or an outlet for new writing possibilities, Patricia is ready to guide you into that adventure. She believes everyone has a story waiting to be written.”

Norma Heffron, long-time class member
and author of An American Character

About Patricia

Since she first visited Costa Rica in 2018, Patricia Charpentier’s dream has been to host a writing retreat there. She fell in love with the country’s beauty, the friendliness of the people, and the pura vida attitude that abounds.

Patricia had to cancel her first planned retreat in 2020 because of COVID, but the wait only served to improve the upcoming event.

She is the author of the multi-award-winning book, Eating an Elephant: Write Your Life One Bite at a Time. She also teaches, writes, edits, ghostwrites, and publishes personal and family history stories and has been doing so for more than twenty years. To date, Patricia has coauthored, edited, and published more than seventy personal and family histories.

She also runs a successful membership, Life Writers, where people from around the world come to write, learn, and connect.

A popular instructor at The Enrichment Academy in The Villages, Patricia’s classes are fun, informative, and always filled to the limit.

Her belief about capturing life stories is: The only way to do this wrong is to not do it at all.

Patricia Charpentier Portrait

What’s included*

  • small, intimate group of writers
  • pre-trip meet and greet via Zoom
  • seven nights and eight days at a luxury resort
  • Tropical-level room with private balcony overlooking gardens, writing desk, free internet access
  • welcome and orientation at hotel
  • 7+ hours of writing instruction
  • 6+ hours of scheduled writing time
  • feedback on your work from Patricia Charpentier and participants
  • group writing sessions
  • daily buffet breakfast
  • six group meals either at hotel or local restaurants
  • private guided Isla Damas mangrove boat tour and driver/guide tips
  • private guided jungle night hike and driver/guide tips
  • private guided hike of Manuel Antonio National Park and driver/guide tips
  • transfers to San Jose International Airport (English-speaking guide on trip to hotel)
  • quality time with fellow writers
  • farewell reading
  • story in Writing in the Rainforest anthology
  • professional editing and publishing of anthology your story
  • two (2) copies of anthology (additional copies available for purchase at a discounted rate)

*Meals and tours include both writers and their companions


Writing participant (double occupancy) – $3469
Writing participant (single occupancy) – $4795
Non-writing companion (double) – $2762

$500 deposit per person to hold your place
50% payment due November 1, 2023
50% payment less deposit due December 1, 2023

A payment plan is available. See FAQs for details.
Cancellation policy is detailed in the FAQ section.

Parador Nature Resort and Spa

Parador Nature Resort and Spa sits on twelve acres of tropical rainforest atop the Punta Quepos promontory, providing stunning views of the Central Pacific Ocean below.

Your Tropical-level room offers a place to rest and relax with either a king or two queen beds, free wifi, coffee maker, cable television, writing desk, safety deposit box, and more.

Wake up to the sounds of several species of monkeys, macaws, and toucans right off your balcony, and if you need inspiration to slow down and enjoy the moment, look to resident sloths in nearby trees.

Have a delicious buffet breakfast before your day of writing, exploring, or relaxing. If you need a break, walk seven minutes to the beach, take a dip in one of three swimming pools, hike a trail on property, or book a massage at the onsite spa.

At the end of your fun-filled day, enjoy a wonderful meal at one of Parador’s three restaurants.

Parador Nature Resort and Spa is an international award-winning luxury hotel that is committed to a green philosophy and adheres to the strictest codes of sustainable tourism. 

Daily Itinerary

Wednesday, May 1
Transfers from San Jose International Airport to Parador Natural Resort and Spa with certified, bilingual guide

by 1:30 p.m. at the latest

Arrive at San Jose International Airport

Time TBD

Transfer from San Jose International Airport to hotel with driver & bilingual guide

Time TBD

Arrive at hotel and settle in

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Orientation, introductions, and welcome dinner at Parador's Sunset Terrace

Thursday, May 2
6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast at hotel

8:00 a.m. - noon

Manuel Antonio Park Tour

12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Group lunch at Marlin Restaurant in Manuel Antonio

3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Writing instruction on hotel balcony and/or library

6:00 p.m.

Dinner/evening on your own

Friday, May 3
6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast at hotel

9:00 a.m. - noon

Writing instruction/feedback session on Parador balcony and/or library

noon - 1:30 p.m.

Lunch on your own

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 

Optional group write-in on Parador balcony and/or library

5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Sunset dinner as a group at Ronnie's Place

Saturday, May 4
6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast at hotel

9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Day to write or explore on your own


Lunch on your own

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Optional group write-in on Pardor's balcony and/or library


Dinner on your own

Sunday, May 5
6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast at hotel

9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Optional one-on-one sessions with Patricia in library

2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Feedback session on Parador's balcony and/or library

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Lunch on your own

2:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Free time at the hotel

5:45 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Night walk at Espadilla nature reserve

7:45 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.

Light dinner at Espadilla Hotel by pool

Monday, May 6
6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast at hotel

9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Damas Island mangrove tour

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Lunch as a group at Tucanes Restaurant

3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Writing instruction/writing time on Parador balcony and/or library

6:00 p.m.

Dinner and evening on your own

Tuesday, May 7
6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast at hotel

8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Writing instruction and writing time at Fragata Restaurant at hotel

11:00 a.m. - noon

Optional Dutch-treat lunch at Fragata Restaurant at hotel

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Free time to write or explore on your own

6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Farewell dinner & reading by participants on Sunset Terrace

Wednesday, May 8
6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast before saying goodbye


Transfers to San Jose International Airport

  • meals = blue
  • tours = green
  • instruction & writing = red
  • transfers = violet
  • black = free time

Writing in the Rainforest FAQs

Do I have to be an experienced writer to participate?

Absolutely not. Writers of all ability levels are welcome to participate.

What is the name, address, and phone number of the hotel?

Parador Nature Resort and Spa

How accessible is the hotel?

The hotel is accessible. It is built on the side of a hill, so guests need to be able to navigate ramps and some steps.

Is my flight included in the price?

No, you will need to arrange for your own flights. We purposely set the retreat dates from Wednesday to Wednesday for lower fares. Twelve of the fifteen major US airports have direct flights to San Jose International Airport. You can book your own flights, or once you submit your deposit, the travel agent assisting with retreat arrangements will contact you. if you so desire.

When must I be in San Jose to access transportation to the hotel?

Transportation to and from the hotel is included in the retreat price, provided you arrive at San Jose International Airport (SJO) by 1:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday, May 1, 2024.

If you arrive before 1:30 p.m., you will be taken to wait at Sr. y Sra Ese Souvenir Store and Restaurant. There you can purchase food, do a bit of shopping for great-priced souvenirs, and take a tour of their woodworking factory where many of the souvenirs are made.

Should your flight be delayed, or you are not able to arrive in San Jose by the 1:30 p.m. deadline, we can help you arrange for a private transfer at your expense, which costs approximately $250 to $300 per person.

If you are concerned about not arriving in time to access the provided transportation, you may want to fly in a day early.

What time should I schedule my return flight how?

Our transportation back to San Jose International Airport (SFO) leaves the hotel at 8:00 a.m. and takes three hours to reach the airport.

It is recommended you arrive at the airport three hours before your international flight, so to be safe, I would not schedule your return flight before 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, 2023.

What’s not included in the retreat fee?

  • Flights to/from San Jose International Airport.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Meals besides those specified.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Excursions besides those included with the retreat.
  • Personal expenses/shopping/souvenirs.
  • Transportation for non-group exploration.

Do you have a payment plan available?

Yes, you can begin making monthly payments on September 1, 2023. Each payment consists of one-sixth of your retreat fee. Payments will be auto-debited from your account on the first of each month, beginning in September 2023 and ending in February 2024. Contact Patricia at patricia@writingyourlife.org if you are interested.

How can I add time to my trip before or after the retreat?

Definitely, there is much to see and do in Costa Rica. Once you submit your deposit, the travel agent assisting with retreat arrangements will contact you. if you so desire.

How many writers will attend?

Writing in the Rainforest will host a small, intimate group, no more than ten writers and their companions.

What are the details of the Writing in the Rainforest anthology?

If desired, each writing participant can submit a story with photos for inclusion in the Writing in the Rainforest anthology. Once we return home, your stories will be professionally edited, and a coffee-table-style book will be expertly designed and published. We will also include some of your retreat photos, making this book a keepsake of your Writing in the Rainforest experience. Two copies of the anthology are included in your writer’s participation fee, and others will be available for purchase at a discounted rate.

What’s a write-in?

A write-in is time set aside to write as a group. At the start, everyone says what they plan to work on, and we check in midway through to see how each person is doing. It’s a great way to draw energy from the group to accomplish a lot of writing.

Do I need a passport or visa?

You will need a passport, but United States citizens do not require a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date you leave Costa Rica.

What should I bring with me to write?

You can bring your laptop and/or writing paper/pens, whichever you prefer.

Do I need to speak Spanish?

Not at all. More than ninety percent of Costa Ricans or Ticos speak English, and all guides are fluent in English.

Is there any one-on-one time with Patricia Charpentier?

Yes, optional thirty-minute sessions with Patricia are available at $60 per session.

What is your cancellation policy?

  • 100% refund, less the $250 administration fee, before November 29, 2023.
  • 50% refund before December 31, 2023.
  • No refund after January 1, 2024.

Should I purchase travel insurance?

It is strongly recommended that you purchase travel insurance. Once you submit your deposit, the travel agent assisting with retreat arrangements will contact you, if you so desire.

What kind of food can I expect to eat?

Costa Rica offers delicious food, including pico de gallo; pork, chicken, beef, and seafood; fresh fruit and vegetables; plantains; and other local specialties. Gluten-free and sugar-free options are readily available.

What will the weather be like?

Temperatures range from daytime highs of 82 degrees and evening lows of 75 degrees. It’s humid with lots of sunshine and the possibility of a shower or two. Prepare to sweat. Bring cool clothes, cooling towels, bandanas, and such.

What other excursions are available in the area?

The Manuel Antonio National Park area offers many activities depending on your preferences—hiking, snorkeling, sailing, beach combing, ziplining, kayaking, horseback riding, spice tours, coffee tours, bird watching, biking, fishing, and much more. A full menu of excursions will be available soon.

Can I pay with a credit card?

You can pay the deposit with a credit card, but the balance will be paid by ACH bank transfer. After you sign up, you will be invoiced for amounts due on specified dates. If you must use a credit card to pay the balance, contact Patricia at patricia@writingyourlife.org. An additional service fee will be charged to cover all credit card fees.

What clothes should I bring?

Costa Rica is a relaxed, casual environment so you can leave your suits, ties, high heels, and hosiery at home. Instead, bring shorts, slacks, lightweight shirts, sundresses, light rain jacket or poncho, sun hat, bathing suits, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, binoculars, toiletries, medication, day pack, plastic or metal water bottle, sandals, sneakers or hiking boots, and anything else you may need or want. Don’t forget your passport, and make sure it is valid for at least six months from the date you leave Costa Rica.

What does pura vida (POO-rah VEE-dah) mean?

In Costa Rica, pura vida is both a saying and a way of life. Translated, it means pure life or simple life. It reflects gratitude for what the people have rather than focusing on the negative. Costa Ricans or Ticos use it to say hello, goodbye, and everything is good.

If you have any questions that have not been answered by the information on this page, email me at patricia@writingyourlife.org.

Here’s your chance to write and learn in paradise with people you’ll love!

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