Costa Rica: The Land of Pura Vida

By Brandon Dall’Acqua

Welcome to Costa Rica, where everyone’s motto is Pura Vida!  

No doubt, if you’ve been looking up anything about your amazing upcoming trip with VoyEdge RX to Costa Rica, you’ve seen those two little words pop up a few times.  But have you ever wondered what they really mean? Why they’re so important here?

When you travel here, you’re going to find out immediately!  

Hi, my name is Brandon Dall’Acqua.  I’ve been living in Costa Rica for the past 11 years where I’ve been continually pursuing my two passions- Fitness & Travel!  Being in a Central American, beautiful, peaceful country with access to some of the most amazing beaches in the world was a natural fit for me.  

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So what’s the Pura Vida all about?  EVERYTHING

It can be a greeting: Pura vida mae! (Hey dude!)

Response to ‘how are you doing?’: Todo pura vida (Everything’s great)

Is everything OK?: Pura vida (Doing alright)

How are you feeling?: Pura vida (I’m feeling good)

As a farewell: Pura vida (Adios)

Literally, the words translate to “Pure Life”, but in Costa Rica, they mean so much more than that.  Pura Vida reflects the attitude, spirit, and way of life of Ticos (slang for Costa Ricans). More than just words as a greeting and response, it symbolizes some of the core beliefs of Costa Rican life.  

The way of life here is a little more relaxed, more tranquilo.  Everything moves a little slower. Not lethargic, just with less sense of urgency.  This laid-back attitude is part of the meaning of the Pura Vida- slow down and enjoy the life you’re living.  Live the moments and fully embrace the world around you.

Once you’re here, it’s easy to understand how this attitude takes over!  From the central valley, where the capital of San Jose is located, all along with the mountain ranges and volcanoes along the center of the country, out to the breathtaking beaches along the coast, there is so much to enjoy in Costa Rica.   With so much amazing country to see, you’ll want to slow down, take everything in, and enjoy that Pura Vida attitude.

One of the best places to relax and enjoy this attitude is Puerto Viejo. This Carribean town on the east coast is famous for its laid back way of life.  A short drive from San Jose, you’ll be in Pura Vida in no time. Along the way to get there, you’ll pass through some amazing country including tropical rainforests, banana plantations, and coastal port towns.  Once you pass the painted palms, you’re close to paradise. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled while you drive. Despite accounting for only .25% of the world’s total landmass, Costa Rica is home to over 5% of the world’s total known species!   So be on the lookout for monkeys, sloths, pisotes, and quetzals.

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Once you’re in Puerto Viejo, it’s time to start exploring!  All along this coast are some of Costa Rica’s amazing beaches.  From the aggressive surf at Salsa Brava to the south to the protected national park of Cahuita to the north, you have no shortage of sand to explore.  In fact, if you wanted to spend a day on every beach in CR, it would take you over a year to see all of them!

So go grab your pipa (coconut water) or your guaro (local liquor), get to one of these amazing beaches and start to enjoy the Pura Vida for yourself.  You’ll quickly realize how this attitude can completely take over. But be careful- it can be pretty addictive. You could end up not leaving. I know from experience!