A piece of paradise

Living Forest, what a place! Everything about the place is perfect. The workshop was life changing, the location, the comfort of sitting in the workshop space, the views of the amazing jungle like trees surrounding the workshop space, with the odd howler monkey visiting!!The passing exotic birds, the hospitality and warmth of the owner Johanna, and the natural swimming pool by the river, and as for the food! Deeelicious! A piece of paradise!

Sharon from Ireland.

We'll be back!

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Tamara Yates, New Braunfels, Texas, USA

Tamara Yates

A place I'd like to visit again

I recently visited Costa Rica to attend a workshop at the Living Forest; Lake Arenal Retreat Center. Living Forest is a wonderful recently built Center nestled in the jungle, surrounded by a rushing stream.The faculties were very comfortable and the meals provided were top notch. And a special bonus was the large outdoor covered dance floor/deck that put us right out in nature! From the hammocks hanging from large wooden beams we were even able to watch wild howler monkeys flying through the trees surrounding the retreat. And the area around the Retreat was just as beautiful. Lake Arenal was very close, and a short walk took us to a place where we had beautiful high views of both the lake and the active volcanoes surrounding it. And those same volcanoes provided wonderful hot springs in the jungle that we were able to swim in whenever we needed a break from our workshop. We also met local residents during our stay who were always friendly, and went out of their way to help make us comfortable. The Living Forest; Lake Arenal Retreat Center is definitely a place I'd like to visit again.

George Mohrmann, New York

What an amazing place!

When I came to Johanna´s retreat I did not know what to expect. I did not follow the published development on facebook before. 
So I came by schoolbus to her ground and when I entered the property I was really overwhelmed what she had created. A peaceful quiet and magic place in between the wilderness of birdsong, surrounded of a charming bubbling river, howling monkey-families hanging around the trees looking for food and a silence only broken through the nature. This place has a beauty all its own. Whenever you want to be on your own, relax or meditate or as a starting point of exploring the wildlife and adventure - you are right there. And Johanna will help to make you feel even more comfortable with her talent of organizing things for and welcome you in her tasteful charming Center.

Carlotta Heckmeier

My new favorite place

I have seen the prettiest places in Hawaii, but I've found my new favorite place at Living Forest at Lake Arenal! No big deal: I told my boys when I got back home "Get your passports -- we're going to Costa Rica instead!!"

Beautifully splayed out like a buffet for the gods -- the accommodations, the porch, the river, the trees -- it patiently awaits to be soaked up.

Johanna & staff are super-human at serving the best food to which I've now rearranged my daily diet!

I cannot thank Johanna enough for making a place like this! Moreover, I cannot wait to go back!!


Angela Clark,

Affordable Furniture & Bedding, LLC
Quit Your Day Job Productions, LLC

I felt very relaxed and at home while staying at Living Forest. The house is enveloped by a beautiful, lush jungle and the animal and water sounds are truly intoxicating. Everything from the hanging hammocks to the beautiful wood furniture provided warmth and comfort. The surrounding landscape of Living Forest is a harmonious combination of green hills, the impressive Lake Arenal and bright blue skies. I felt fully supported by Nature and happy during my stay. I'd love to come back soon! 

 Veronica Ferre, 

Set Designer, 

New York City

welcomes you with loving arms

Johanna has found the perfect location to cultivate a heaven on earth.

The Lake Arenal Retreat Center is exactly what it needs to be for each person who chooses to enter the space. The landscape literally unfolds itself before you revealing nature's secrets through rare and diverse species that seem to appear out of nowhere. Some as ancient and grand as you will ever see in this lifetime.

Johanna's dynamic personality fused with the existing energy of the location welcomes you with loving arms into a vastness so cozy you'll feel transported far beyond any place you've been before.
And the best part is it feels just like coming home.

Jessica Manley
Creativity Director/Producer and Muse @Enchanted Rant and JM Publishing

lucky to have been with Johanna

I was lucky to have been with Johanna when she found this spectacular piece of land at Lake Arenal. I had already fallen head over heels in love with every aspect of Costa Rica and the local culture, but when we finally made our way to the Lake Arenal area and put our feet on this property, every cell of my being tingled from head to toe as we were welcomed by the magic jungle and all of its rich wildlife.
During my time there I felt cleansed, purified and deeply nurtured. I found the air, the volcanic red earth, and the water to have a powerful effect on my body and mind. There is a stillness in the land that pulls you into deep serenity and centeredness, and yet at the same time an indescribable power that emanates all around you. It is something that must be experienced in person to be understood. I have no doubt that the spiritual magic of this land found Johanna in order to create a sacred space to not only bring through more light on this planet, but to provide a healing sanctuary that will support the awakening of the divine self.

Rev. Jennifer Hanson
Healer & Teacher, Texas, USA

located in paradise

Conveniently located in paradise, Living Forest sits in the heart of Lake Arenal's lush rolling hills and tropical splendor. A river flows between the property and the jungle wall behind it, from which emanates a chorus of birdsong in the morning, and the exotic sounds of howler monkeys in the evening. This is a peaceful, enchanting place perfect for relaxation, for contemplation, and for exploration of the area's natural beauty, the sight of the lake and the nearby volcano turning every walk, and every leisurely drive through the region, into a heart-lifting experience. Zip-lining nearby was an exhilarating experience, flying over beautiful jungle canopies, with attentive, experienced instructors guiding us each step of the way. The hilliness of the area makes it the best part of Costa Rica to go zip-lining in - some of the lines are quite long, so you actually have enough time to look around at the amazing land you speeding through joyfully and effortlessly. I actually felt like I was flying; and after that, took advantage of hot springs, water slides and pools. Studies have shown that Costa Ricans are among the happiest people on earth; staying at Living Forest, you'll soon know why.

Stefan Wenger
New York