Costa Rica, a country known for its otherworldly natural wonders is also home to one of the most remarkable festivals in the world.
“Our aim is to inspire one another through the collective participation in art, spirituality, yoga, music, dance, performance, education, regenerative strategies and our fundamental connection with nature.” – Envision
Home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, tourism is the top source of foreign exchange. All year round, people from all over the world visit its national parks, biological reserves, animal refuges, and protected areas. But the convergence of culture only happens at the Envision Festival where people find a spiritual connection with the very essence of its majestic nature.
Celebrated for four days every February, the festival is a fusion of music, dance, performing arts and education in conservation and sustainability. The event takes place in Rancho La Merced near the village of Uvita de Osa mere minutes from the central Pacific coast.
“The vision is to create an experience that allows people to taste how sweet it is to be living surrounded by like-minded people,” said co-founder Stephen Brooks. “It’s a community where everybody cares about each other. We try to create that vibe so that when you come you feel that and you don’t want it to be any other way.”
Indeed, for the people who take part in the celebration, it is living by the beach during the day, dancing under the shimmering stars in the evening. All throughout, it is about being connected with nature through different multicultural performances and workshops. Surreal and perhaps even life-changing, the festival truly delivers a remarkable experience that touches the soul.
Envision Festival 8 Pillars
People from over 70 countries visit the festival each year. The experience of one, though, may be different from the other as individual expectations are different. Even so, the organizers bring diverse cultures together in these pillars.
In its different forms and interpretations, art is at the very core of the Envision purpose. Hence, the objective is to dig deep, awaken, and unleash the creativity and potential within.
Since ancient times, music is a part of every culture. It is not only one to touch the soul but one that fuels the soul. From reggae to house music and electronic, get lost in the magic and sway to the beat on the dancefloor.
The Envision Festival is about connection, and none is as profound as the spiritual oneness with nature, universe, and self. Through yoga, meditation, and workshops, learn the practices dating back to the ancient times to unlock the consciousness hidden deep within.
Building structures often come at the expense of nature and the diverse endemic life it supports. As beautiful as these wonders are, it takes only a few months of construction to destroy fragile ecosystems that took millions of years to develop. Hence, the organizers of Envision Festival have committed to minimizing the impact by harnessing materials given by its jungles.
History has shown that humans have an uncanny ability to undo what nature provides. Permaculture, as one of the eight pillars, is a means to a sustainable and self-sufficient source of food in agriculture. It is also a holistic means of living as one with mother earth.
One of the most compelling revelations is not a secret. No one is ever alone. At the Envision Festival, each visitor does not join a community because of the celebration. Instead, it is the shared purpose that forms a bond between people from different nations and culture.
Physical, mental, and spiritual health are all part of the festival. From its different activities to food, the organizers cannot overstate its importance. Only with sound health can people live to be the best version of themselves.
From the solemnness of meditation to gyrating on the dancefloor, the movement is as much about knowing the inner self as opposed to physical activity.
Things to Expect at the Envision Festival
As mentioned, different expectations result in different experiences. Still, it is best to know a thing or two.
1. Living Conditions
General admission is the cheapest but finding a spot may not be as easy as it seems, even if one were to arrive early. While it can be crowded and hot, it is one of the best ways to get to know more people. As an option, VIP tickets are more comfortable than tents with bungalows and tree houses. For the ultimate luxury, one can also opt to stay in a hotel a few kilometers away from the site.
Depending on where one came from, the Costa Rican heat may feel excessive. Naturally, the best way to cool off is to take a dip in the ocean. Even if the water may feel warm for some, stay submerged for a period and it begins to feel cool. One thing to watch out for is the strong sea current. It is best to swim during slack high or low tide.
3. Drinking Water and Shower
There are drinking stations with filtered water. Because it is free, one simply has to bring a container. For brushing teeth or cleaning dishes, there are other stations marked for that purpose.
There are showers for co-ed as well as ones exclusive for women only. It runs from 8 am to 12 pm, then 4 pm to 8 pm daily.
Envision Festival organizers prepare themed activities daily. From art and education, earth and sustainability, community and culture, to health, wellness, and spirituality, there is a myriad of things to do.
An Otherworldly Experience
The Envision Festival is unlike the typical local celebrations. It is not watching a parade or marching on the streets. Instead, it is a celebration of life and the inner consciousness. It is about being one with the people from diverse cultures and the environment.
Only through these connections can one finally unlock the inner mind be one with nature and universe. Organic food feeds the body, but the spirituality of the experience is the one that nourishes the soul. Indeed, the Envision Festival takes one on an otherworldly journey in and the process of doing so, transform lives.