Edited: June 2021


The Pura Vida in Costa Rica


In India, they say Namaste or Namaskar. This is a greeting, accompanied by hands in prayer mudra. The meaning of this is “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, and an explanation. In fact, it is used liberally, and in just about every way possible to express the essence of the Costa Rican culture.

Costa Rica is characterized by a unique landscape, exciting wildlife and beautiful beaches. But above all Costa Rica radiates a very special atmosphere and a particular feeling of life. When you are walking down the street you always here the ”Pura Vida”. The locals here also live by this motto.

Literally the ”Pura Vida” means ”Pure Life”. But it is used for greetings, goodbyes, and any other types of communication. So when you are a tourist in Costa Rica, and you don’t know what to do or what to say – don’t worry! A simple ”Pura Vida” will surely help you.

Pura Vida means, literally, pure life. It 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 with eggs, he might say: “Pura Vida!”, as he puts the food in front of you.

If you are spending time with Ticos (Costa Ricans) and a particularly beautiful thing happens, like a multi-hued sunset, they might also exclaim: “Pura Vida!” Or, if you order 1 Chili-Guaro shot, but the waiter/waitress arrives with 2, they might shrug and say: “Pura vida!” by way of explanation.

Costa Rica beach sunset

Background of this life philosophy is especially the thankfulness for life, to be healthy and to enjoy life to the fullest.  The Ticos avoid the focus on the negative, and they have a simple way of looking at life. They don’t stress themselves, and take things as they come.

You have to experience this way of life yourself to be able to understand it! This simplicity and the optimism, which is common here is definitely contagious. So when you want to have a unstressed time filled with happy moments, and friendly encounters – We definitely recommend booking a plain ticket and heading over to this paradise we live in!

The Pura Vida philosophy puts the enjoyment of life at front and center.

This is 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.

In Costa Rica you will find every type of adventure in the most exciting landscapes, from ocean beaches and rain forests, to mangrove swamps and volcanoes!

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 Living The Pura Vida! 


Costa Rica Pura Vida