Experience Costa Rica
Pura Vida Lifestyle
Pura Vida is without a doubt the phrase most commonly used and can be heard far and wide throughout Costa Rica. Broken down, the literal translation means “Pure Life”, but the saying goes far beyond its simple translation. It’s a way of life and those who come to Costa Rica and get a taste for it always return wanting more. Contextually, it symbolizes the idea of simply enjoying life and being happy. Often referred to as a synonym of hakuna matata, pura vida reflects the relaxed lifestyle of Costa Ricans, which serves as a model for those of us lucky enough to vacation in this beautiful country.
This term is used as much for a greeting as to bid farewell to a friend or a stranger alike. It can be an expression of gratitude or satisfaction, and is most definitely used as a way to say “everything’s great!”. Pura Vida embodies the lifestyle that Costa Ricans live; a world where being stress-free and thankful for the simple things like family, health, food on the table and good friends are far more important than material acquisitions. Not surprisingly, Costa Rica has been named one of the happiest countries in the world and is home of one of the world’s blue light zones, where centurions live long and happy lives.
We invite you to come and experience a little bit of pura vida. With any luck, it might be contagious!
A LITTLE HISTORY
The history of Costa Rica is as rich and interesting as its beautiful coastline. In 1821, Costa Rica and several other Central American provinces declared their independence from Spain which lead to the increased cultivation of coffee, ultimately transforming Costa Rica into an independently sustainable nation. To this day, Costa Rica still has a large agricultural sector including coffee, banana, pineapple and sugar exports which easily grow in the fertile Costa Rican soil.
Costa Rica has been a peaceful democracy without a military for more than 60 years and is often referred to as the Switzerland of Central America. Its citizens boast a 96% literacy rate and all citizens receive free education and health care, leading to a happy, healthy and productive society.
Costa Rican society is deeply rooted in family and Costa Ricans have a sustained commitment and stewardship to their natural environment. As Costa Rica’s economy is deeply tied to tourism, their environmental efforts over the past 40 years have created a world class model of sustainable development. Costa Rica’s progressive conservation efforts have helped to ensure that 25% of its total landmass has been preserved as National Parks. With a commitment to developing renewable energy, Costa Rica is on track to become the first carbon-neutral country, with 99% of the country’s energy needs meet through a combination of geothermal, hydroelectric, and wind power. These concerted efforts of Costa Ricans have made it possible for all of us to revel in the natural and unspoiled beauty that Costa Rica has to offer for generations to come.
Whether it be a World Cup soccer game, a Presidential election or a bumper sticker on the back of a car, the Costa Rican flag with its blue, white and red colors is proudly displayed from coast to coast. The Costa Rican society is a closely knit proud and humble nation. With a peaceful history and booming economy, visitors head to Costa Rica for its progressive environmental standards, international political stance and safety.
Costa Rica is a democratic republic with a very strong system of constitutional checks and balances. On February 2, 2014, Costa Rica elected its current President, Luis Guillermo Solis in a well anticipated democratic voting process. Costa Rica has long emphasized the development of democracy and respect for human rights and because Costa Rica has no armed forces, it has avoided military involvement in political affairs, lending itself the nickname “the Switzerland of Central America”. Regardless of political affiliation, Costa Ricans are fiercely proud of their nation and the many advances they made throughout history.
Despite its relatively small size, Costa Rica is a very diverse nation depending upon which part of the country you’re in. Costa Rica is a tropical country with two distinct seasons; wet and dry. The “dry season”, referred to as “verano” or “summer” is marked by days that are typically rain-free and runs from December through April. The “wet season”, fondly known as the “Green Season” and to locals as “invierno” or “winter” extends from May through November. Don’t be fooled by the rumors of “Green Season”; some of the best kept secrets and deals are offered during this time and sunshine abounds in the morning, offering visitors plenty of time to soak in the sun and relax to a jungle shower in the evening.
Costa Rica has a tropical climate with an average temperature of 22 degrees Celsius or 72 degrees Fahrenheit that increases considerably on the coastal areas to an average of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The changes in temperature are considerable in the different regions throughout the country and due to the short distances between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and mountain ranges in this relatively small country, they can all be experienced in just one day.
The Guanacaste region to the north tends to be the driest, while the highlands are generally colder and misty. The Caribbean coast has unpredictably wet weather, and the Pacific coast, home to the infamous Manuel Antonio National park can be filled with sunshine year-round, but is typically the most rainy in the month of October. Regardless of what time of year you decide to visit Costa Rica, you’ll be sure to fall in love with it’s warm tropical climate and everything it has to offer.