I grew up in Costa Rica but it wasn’t until the age of 24 that I really started to appreciate where I came from and began visiting all the magical places that my country has to offer.
Pura Vida is what best describes Costa Rica as a culture and society. It means “simple life” or “pure life”.
People here are always there to support you and always try to live life to its fullest. I believe that’s who we are as a country.
Costa Rica for me represents home. Even after traveling the world and having the time of my life, I will always be happy to get back home to that beautiful Pura Vida place named Costa Rica.
I remember the first time I decided to explore Costa Rica. I thought to myself: “I’ve traveled to so many different countries and yet I still don’t really know my own country”. So, I packed my things and drove to the less touristy yet absolutely beautiful Caribbean region of the country.
At the age of 24, I had the best weekend of my life — waking up next to one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica called Manzanillo which is located inside the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife and Marine Refuge.
My Top 3 Pura Vida Destinations in Costa Rica
Once you get to see this place you’ll know exactly why it’s top of my list of destinations to visit. It’s full of amazing hidden gems in the lush mountains.
Another gorgeous spot that I recommend is Santa Teresa Beach in Puntarenas with sunsets that are out of this world! The sunsets that you can experience here are just…wow…the colours are spectacular! And besides that you’ve got many restaurants and other nice beaches close by.
It’s so beautiful and the fact that you have to hike more than 30kms to reach the top makes it that much more rewarding. The views sweeping over the surrounding Talamanca mountains are stunning.
Best Beaches and Outdoor Adventures in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is an adventure paradise and there are dozens of outdoor activities that visitors will absolutely love!
I mean just imagine hiking through a lush rainforest in the morning, crossing hanging bridges and visiting beautiful waterfalls, and then in the afternoon relaxing in a hot spring with a volcano in the background! That really is Pura Vida Costa Rica!
The most popular outdoor activities in Costa Rica are zip-lining, bungee-jumping, hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, skydiving, diving and snorkelling. Costa Rica offers a dizzying amount of outdoor adventures for just a small country.
While we offer many amazing adrenaline adventures, we are also a place to escape the routine of life by just relaxing. And Costa Rica’s beaches are the best place to unwind.
Even just thinking of these beautiful places makes me want to relax on the beach and swim in the pristine waters.
One tip I would offer in Playa Uvita is to check the swell and waves before visiting. You want to make sure you visit this place at low tide so you can see the full whales tail! I got a photo of this and it was just amazing!
Ecotourism, Food and Road Trips in Costa Rica
Costa Rica has become a popular destination for ecotourism with more and more hotels, restaurants and tour operators joining this sustainable movement.
We’ve got more than 400 tourism services nowadays with a Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST). It’s amazing to be able to connect with nature while you are on vacation. Ecotourism is definitely the way to go.
It’s quite funny for outsiders to see that we pretty much eat rice and beans in all of our meals during the day. Not a bad diet if I say so myself!
As well as trying some of the delicious local food in Costa Rica, I would also recommend people rent a car so they can travel at their own relaxed pace. If you plan your road trip properly, you can get to know a lot of places in just one week. We are a small country but full of hidden gems.
Invest some time researching and you’ll see why Costa Rica is Pura Vida!