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In India, they say Namaste, or Namaskar. It’s a greeting, accompanied by hands in prayer mudra, that means “I salute the divine in you.” And it neatly sums up the Indian spiritual philosophy that underlies the culture.

In Costa Rica, we use the term Pura Vida as a greeting, an expression, a salutation, an explanation … in fact, it is used liberally, and in just about every way possible, to express the essence of Costa Rican culture. Pura Vida means, literally, pure life and refers to a philosophy of enjoying life and living it to the fullest. So, when a waiter brings you a tasty plate of gallo pinto con huevos , he might say, “Pura vida!” as he puts it in front of you. Or if you are standing with some Ticos (Costa Ricans) and a particularly beautiful thing happens, like a multi-hued sunset, they might exclaim, “Pura vida!” Or you and your friend might order one Guaro Sour and when two arrives the bartender might shrug and say, “Pura vida,” by way of explanation.

The Pura Vida philosophy puts the enjoyment of life at front and centre, and it’s one of the reasons Costa Rica is such an attractive tourist destination. Well, along with the country’s incredibly rich biodiversity, tropical climate, alluring beaches, stable government, commitment to sustainable tourism and the opportunity for seemingly unending outdoor adventures among some of the most exciting landscapes on the planet including ocean beaches, rain forests, volcanos. and mangrove swamps! So here is our tip for if you want to embrace the concept of Pura Vida:

Just enjoy your time in one of the happiest place on the planet and let it go a little. You will soon start to feel like you are Livin’ la Pura Vida! 

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