What is ‘Pura Vida’? How to Embrace the Costa Rican Lifestyle

A waterfall in a forest splashing into a green pool below.

Photo by @georginajeremiah (Instagram)

It’s 6pm and you’re sitting out on the veranda sipping on a glass of red wine after a relaxed day of sunbathing and shopping at the local organic market. “Ahh… pura vida,” you sigh, with a feeling of contentment that you haven’t felt in a very long time. 

Spanish for “pure life” and Costa Rica’s official slogan, the phrase pura vida has become ubiquitous in Costa Rican culture since it was popularized by a Mexican movie in 1956. In the Costa Rican lifestyle, pura vida can be anything from a greeting to the acceptance that things in Central America don’t always happen as fast as you’d hope. Join us as we explore four of the most important ways to embrace the full meaning of pura vida in Costa Rica.

Relax into Costa Rican Time

As anyone living in Latin America will tell you, efficiency is not a high priority. But then again, for people looking for a quiet, laid-back escape, this slower approach to life might be just what you need. When you’re waiting in line for an appointment at immigration or your luggage gets lost and it takes the airport a few extra days to get things together, simply sigh and say “Pura vida!” — accepting that embracing the Costa Rican lifestyle means learning how to go with the flow.

Live in the Moment

Don’t get us wrong — the pura vida lifestyle isn’t about showing up late. But it is about entering fully into the moment and putting the minute hand in second place. Once you arrive at your sightseeing destinations, put your wristwatch away and take a minimum of photos so that you can soak up the experience in all of its wonder.

Enjoy the Simple Pleasures

A cup of black coffee on a tree trunk table.

Another meaning of pura vida is simply what it sounds like — valuing the simple pleasures of life. The aroma of fresh Costa Rican coffee with a splash of sugar cane liquor, the breathtaking sight of the sunset over the ocean, and spending time with family and friends are all part of the pura vida lifestyle. 

For many, these simple pleasures include the pure rush of adrenaline that you feel when ziplining across the rainforest in Malpaís or surfing on the waves of the Pacific Ocean a mere 75 feet from the front door of your vacation rental. For others, it’s taking in the kaleidoscope of colors of a local cultural event and watching children play as you walk down the street. 

With the lower cost of living and plenty of free time, enjoying the world-class biodiversity and culture that surrounds is one of the major attractions of the pura vida lifestyle.

Take Time out for Relaxation

Between sightseeing trips and cultural experiences, be sure to take some time out to indulge in a little self-care with a mani-pedi or professional massage. While spending time with loved ones is one of the main attractions, enjoying the luxury of time to yourself every now and again is all part of embracing the meaning of pura vida

For a relaxing afternoon, take the time for a nap in the poolside hammock or simply sit and listen to the sound of running water or the waves of the ocean crashing onto the shoreline. Wellness services are also on hand to ensure that you return home completely refreshed.

Experience Every Aspect of the Pura Vida Lifestyle with an Exclusive Stay at Casa Teresa

A swimming pool and poolside deck chairs at Casa Teresa, Costa Rica.

Situated on a 1.3-acre property just steps from the ocean, the Casa Teresa luxury villa puts every aspect of pura vida right within reach. A pristine stretch of the Pacific coastline, local eateries a mere half-mile away, and lush green vegetation everywhere you look provide a feast for the senses while our second-to-none concierge and private chef make sure that all of your daily needs are met.

We invite you to read through our visitor testimonials to see for yourself why Casa Teresa is the perfect place to experience the pura vida lifestyle of Costa Rica for your next vacation or group retreat. We also offer event planning services if you’re interested in a pura vida wedding! 
Contact us for more information about pricing and availability and secure this once-in-a-lifetime experience today.

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