Costa Rica Lean Minded Retreat


January 26 - February 2, 2020 (Sunday to Sunday)

About Us


Mike Howard

Dipl. FLM, Personal Trainer

With over 20 years of practical experience as a personal trainer, youth fitness specialist and mindset performance coach, Mike has continuously sought out the best ways to help people achieve sustainable success. Along the way he has orchestrated meaningful, individualized solutions to thousands of clients both in Vancouver and around the world.

Mike has gained national and international attention for his philosophies on body composition, youth fitness and matters relating to fitness and nutrition education. He has appeared on TV (CBC and Shaw TV), print (Vancouver Sun, IMPACT Magazine) and has over 400 online articles. He has also been the guest on a handful of podcasts. Mike is the author of the well-received e-book “Talking Back to Diet Gurus: An Un-revolutionary and Un-Sexy Guide to Fat Loss”.

Mike Enjoys all sorts of outdoor activities and sports and practices Muay Thai when he isn’t busy with writing projects.


Verena Pelletier

Personal Trainer, Boxing, Yoga and Pilates Instructor

Born and raised in Vancouver, Verena always loved being active in this playground we call our backyard. She was a competitive swimmer growing up, training and competing in B.C.

After a serious car accident led her to rehabilitation Pilates, Verena fell in love with the practice and decided to change her career direction so she could share with others what has helped her so much.  Along the way, Verena continued to add to her fitness certifications and movement practice, including amateur boxing! She is certified in Mat, Prenatal and Apparatus Pilates, Yoga 200 YTT, Boxing for Fitness, Conditioning and continues to update her skills and knowledge in workshops with leading professionals in their fields.

Verena emphasizes health for all fitness levels with body positivity emerging through strong, healthy bodies of every shape, size and age.

A Day at a Glance

Daily Activities


Morning Workout, Breakfast & Free Time

We rise pretty early to get a 7am workout in, followed by breakfast at around 8:30. After breakfast there will be free time to enjoy the surroundings – anything from laying on the beach to playing with the water toys (I will be renting a SUP, tandem kayak and there will potentially be surfing lessons at the door). There will also likely be several group trips to the adjoining action-packed Playa Tamarindo. This is YOUR trip so customize it the way you wish!


Lunch, Free Time, Yoga and Dinner

Lunch will be served around 1 after which you can enjoy more free time (we will have group activities planned, but you can run solo if you want). A yoga session will take place around 4:30 after which dinner will be served around 6 – just after enjoying a breathtaking sunset at about 5:45.


Deep Dive Sessions/chill time/Night Out

Evenings are wide open. Some may want to just chill while others may want to take the very short ferry across to Playa Tamarindo where the action is. Regardless there will always be options to fly solo, in small groups or larger groups.



Early Bird


All prices in Canadian dollars

Before August 30th:

  • Double accommodation: (1 king size bed): $2,199 for the week
  • Single accomodation: $2,499 for the week

Regular Price


All prices in Canadian dollars

After August 31st:

  • Double accommodation: $2,399 for the week

  • Single accommodation: $2,699 for the week


LAS VELAS BLANCAS . COSTA RICA is right on a the beautiful, secluded beach of Playa Grande, surrounded by 70 acres of pristine forest facing the breaking surf of Costa Rica’s Pacific Ocean. A short five-minute walk on the beach takes you to the estuary, the natural barrier that separates the protected beach of Playa Grande from the lively surf town of Tamarindo. Pangas are always available to assist in the crossing.

The beach compound is limited to five 5 bungalows, each beachfront bungalow consists of 2 private master bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, a/c, wi-fi, a fully equipped kitchenette and a covered deck with living and dining area. Each unit has its own private grounds and beach access.

The large swimming pool is at the heart of the amenities area, with the main kitchen, dining and bar b q facilities on one side and the magnificent open two story lounge facing the ocean; where a delightful fresh breeze flows constantly and you will be witness to the silent beauty of the most spectacular sunsets. The swimming pool was renovated in June, 2018.


What is included in the price:

Lodging, all meals and snacks, all group classes (fitness, yoga/pilates, boxing), all educational sessions, water toys, bike

What is not included in the price:

Flight and Airport transfer, Special excursions, Gratuities, Massage (available at resort by appointment), Personal sessions (coaching, boxing, pilates/yoga) can be requested by appointment, Meals outside of the resort

If you are in Vancouver, the flights are actually quite reasonable – with some participants getting a one-stop flight for around $600. The airport is Liberia and it is 50-70 min away from the resort.

*** note that although the resort charges in USD, we will be charging in Canadian $. When in Costa Rica you can use USD or Colones.


January 26 – February 2, 2020 (Sunday to Sunday)


  • Early bird deadline: August 30th, 2019 (the first $500 installment to be paid upon registration)




If you are experiencing issues with our payment portal, or for more information, please contact Mike Howard: mike (at)