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Costa Rica: The Land of ‘Pura Vida’

‘Pura Vida’ literally translates to ‘Pure Life’, but to the Tiicos, as the Costa Rican locals are affectionately known, it means oh-so-much more… to them, ‘Pura Vida’ is more than a saying- it’s a way of life.

Put more simply, ’Pura Vida’ IS Life- Life to its fullest. Simple, full, exciting, bright- being thankful and appreciative for the here-and-now. Compared with the hectic, non-stop lives most of us lead these days, the Ticos’ perspective and laid-back attitude is alluring indeed. Fortunately for us, in Costa Rica, one doesn't have to look far to find and experience ‘Pura Vida’ themselves.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a nature-lover, a beach bum or an adrenaline junky, Costa Rica has something for EVERYONE. Gorgeous landscapes, friendly people, delicious food, affordability, ease of getting around- these are just a few factors that have contributed to Costa Rica’s rise on the tourism scene. Throw in healthy dose of adrenaline and it’s easy to understand why Costa Rica has come to be known as the ‘Adventure Capital of Central America’.

Costa Rica is tailor-made for adventure. A lush land dotted with volcanoes, covered by rainforest, flowing with rivers and bordered by two massive bodies of water (the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east), it is teeming with opportunities to challenge oneself and get out of the ‘comfort zone’. Zip lines, ATV excursions, cascading waterfalls and raging rapids- these and countless other heart-pumping activities are accessible throughout this incredible country. Steel your nerves and feel the Pura Vida rush through you…

Food more your thing? Costa Rican food is delicious, from the national dish of ‘Gallo Pinto’ (‘Painted Rooster’) to the pineapples, mangos and papayas commonly served at breakfast, lunch AND dinner… Rice, beans, fried plantains- all are staples of the local ‘sodas’- small, locally-owned and operated traditional restaurants found on nearly every street corner in the country. Need a pick-me-up? Costa Rica is world famous for its coffee- plantations spot the country north to south and east to west. Sipping a freshly brewed cup of coffee to the sounds of toucans and howler monkeys hidden in the mist high in the cloud forests of central Costa Rica is a life-changing experience. Take a sip, drink in the Pura Vida…

Scenery, you ask? Towering volcanos, sparkling blue rivers, lush green rainforests, beaches that stretch for miles… Costa Rica has it all. Throw in the resident wildlife and it’s clear to see that Costa Rica is a Naturalist’s dream. Countless bird species, sloths, jaguars, monkeys, nesting sea turtles- and that’s just what’s to be seen during the daylight hours. Want a unique encounter with local wildlife? Take a Night Hike into the rainforest with a local park ranger, watch as they point out tarantula burrows, albino armadillos and fluorescent scorpions amongst the trees and the hanging vines. Peer into the numerous eyes that seem to be peering back at you and feel the Pura Vida creep up your spine…

‘Pura Vida’. Really, it all comes back to the Ticos- their friendly smiles, their warm welcomes, their constant urging to take advantage of the opportunities their spectacular country presents at every turn. While Spanish is the national language, English is widely spoken as well, making communication that much easier. Of course- a little effort, a little miming, a lot of laughter and a good attitude go a long way. Be brave, try out your Spanish- a laugh and a smile from a local is Pura Vida at its finest.

Costa Rica. The Land of Adventure; the Land of Beauty and Tranquility; the Land of the Ever-Friendly Ticos.

Costa Rica- the Land of ‘Pura Vida’.

Come and experience it for yourself…

Written by Fit4Adventure Guide, Nick Tilley

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