Forest Therapy Guide Training

Cohort Name:

Costa Rica - Spring 2020

Six Month Training Program Begins
March 6, 2020
Jouvence Lodge in Winter
Weeklong Intensive: 06 – 13 March 2020 | Practicum Ends: 27 September 2020

Event Full - Registration Closed

The world's most experienced forest therapy guide trainers invite you join a growing global movement and an activist community that is making a difference by rebuilding the relationships between people and all other beings.

Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat

About the Venue:

Our Costa Rica training is located at Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat in the Sarapiqui Region, one of the most biodiversity-rich places in all of Costa Rica, in the heart of the San Juan la Selva Section of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.

Native Sarapiqueño Davis Azofeifa and Irish-Canadian Meghan Casey are the founders of Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat. The Retreat was born out of the couples dream to work together on a project that would benefit the local community and also the critical section of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor where Davis and his family have traditionally lived. The property consists of 55 acres of Sarapiqui Riverfront and lowland tropical rain forest.

According to National Geographic’s article “The World’s Happiest Places” from November 2017, Costa Rica is ranked one of the three happiest countries in the world. Looking at its natural beauty and its vibrant culture, this really comes at no surprise. Come and train to be a Forest Therapy Guide amongst the majestic trees, animals and birds of this special place.


Pricing includes lodging for 7 nights, all meals and transportation to and from the airport by shuttle:

  • Single occupancy private room: $963 USD per person
  • Double occupancy private room: $650 USD per person
  • Triple occupancy private room in Jungle House Lodge Main Floor: $583 USD per person
  • Quadruple occupancy in Family Suite or Top Floor Jungle House Lodge: $618 USD per person
  • Bed in Dorm Room in Jungle House Main Floor: $478 USD per person

The food we serve is all locally sourced and is majority organic. We can accommodate all dietary restrictions, including vegan and meat-eating options.


Transportation to and from the airport via shuttle is included in the price of accommodations.

Chilamate Rainforest Eco Retreat
Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
Costa Rica
Meghan Casey:

In this training, you will learn:

  • The Standard Sequence of Guided Forest Therapy Walks
  • Professional standards and competencies: what a Forest Therapy Guide should know and be able to do
  • The pedagogy and fundamentals of nature connection
  • Nature and forest therapy research and effects on health care and well-being
  • Our framework for the Way of the Guide, wisdom on the inner aspects of the art gained through decades of experience
  • The leadership skills and style of the Guide archetype
  • Creating space for others to find their own authentic nature connection
  • Accelerating connection to deep mindfulness and bodyfulness through simple sensory invitations
  • What makes a good setting for forest therapy
  • How to facilitate restorative human connection through storytelling and witnessing
  • Our theoretical framework of deep nature connection through embodiment, liminality, reciprocity and relationship
  • Sequencing forest therapy invitations for maximum impact and benefit
  • Expressive arts activities for forest therapy
  • Somatic techniques for embodied awareness
  • Our aim is simple: to train competent guides. However, many participants report that this training profoundly affects many aspects of their lives.


Registering for a training begins by completing an application which may take 20-30 minutes. This application is a way for us to get to know you and to determine if we think you will make a good forest therapy guide. Once your application is received, our admissions team will review it and, if you are accepted into the program, send an acceptance letter within three weeks. This letter will contain all the information for next steps, including a registration link to reserve your space in the training. To promote an optimal learning environment, we generally cap enrollment at 21 participants per training. Applications we receive after we have filled the training will be placed on a waitlist. If an accepted applicant drops out, we will contact the next applicant on the waitlist until the training is full again.

Apply Now
Who should attend


Our trainers are among the most experienced guides in the world and each one undergoes a rigorous training process beyond their certification as guides. The trainers listed below are subject to change based on trainer availability. No matter which trainers you work with, you will be taught by the best in the field.


Manuela Siegfried was born and raised in this beautiful, bio diverse country called Costa Rica. Having a biologist as a father, he made contact with nature an intrinsic part of her life. This passion led her to work as a naturalist tourism guide for 3 years. She came across the concept of Shinrin-Yoku and the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy and immediately felt inspired and related to it. Manuela was trained and certified in 2018 and has been guiding very actively since then. She is passionate about helping people awaken their senses and slowing down in a natural setting so they can reconnect with themselves and the more than human world. Falling in love again with the natural world helps to rediscover our intimate, personal relationship with the forest and we become aware that we actually ARE nature. Manuela is also a mentor and trainer of guides with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy and is absolutely committed and in love with her job.

Jackie is a trainer and business consultant with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. She’s a certified forest therapy guide trained in 2017 at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, and has been guiding regularly in her community ever since. She’s one of the first guides to pioneer guiding walks remotely via Zoom when the pandemic made guiding in-person unsafe for many months in 2020. Born and raised in China, Jackie came to the United States in 1990 to pursue her PhD in American Literature. She has had a diverse background in various fields such as teaching, translating, marketing, and practicing as a Certified Public Accountant. One of her greatest joys in guiding is witnessing the positive impact on participants’ well-being, including that of her own autistic son.