Costa Rica’s “Pura Vida”

By | Category: Travel destinations

Lomas de Barbudel Waterfalls in Costa Rica

The central American country of Costa Rica has launched a new tourism strategy for 2018. Called Wellness Pura Vida.’ It means to look after the body and soul.

Its truer meaning is “full of life,” and is more in keeping with the attitude that many Costa Ricans have of life.  The phrase “Pura Vida” itself is widely heard in the country because it is used as a greeting or expression of happiness The country claims that burnout – the state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress, is now a global issue. To combat this, UK travellers are increasingly combining travel with wellness.

The tourist board is working with Costa Rican hoteliers, domestic tour operators and local communities to develop their wellness offering with a “Tico twist.” (Tico being the informal word for Costa Rican.) That “twist” will include elements such as activities, sports, organic food and local community outreach. In this way the tourist board is hoping that visitors will have a 360 degree attitude to wellbeing. They will also be promoting eco-friendly wellness tourism that has minimal impact on the environment.

For example, visitors can swap technology and tweeting for morning yoga in a rainforest, a midday jungle trek and an afternoon surf lesson. The tourist board says that smoking volcanoes, dense virgin forests, unique wildlife and endless tropical beaches make this Costa Rica one of the most diverse places on earth for a healing holiday.

Costa Rica is not only renowned for being one of the happiest places on Earth, but also one where people live the longest. The Nicoya Peninsula has one of the highest percentages of centenarians in the world, and the region has been declared as an official ‘blue zone’ (one of five geographic areas in the world where people live statistically longest.) Visitors taking home new healthy habits, starting with its healthy food based mainly on grains including rice and beans, (called “gallo pinto” when mixed,) drinking the calcium-rich water, eating the fresh fruits and sampling the local coffee might make 100 years old but the Costa Ricans don’t guarantee it.

On the South Pacific coast, there is the opportunity for watching the humpback whale migration, exploring the mangroves by kayak and the beaches and mountains on a recreational cycling tour, going bird-watching, or just enjoying the Corcovado National Park, the largest of Costa Rica’s parks and home to some of the most unique wildlife in the world.

No wellness holiday to the country is said to be complete without a visit to the hot springs, which are said to have healing and restorative properties due to the high mineral content. Arenal, Rincon de la Vieja, Miravalles Volcano, Orosi area, Perez Zeledon and the Caribbean are the country’s best destinations for thermal soaks, some of them boasting highly-rated hot springs, mud baths and spa facilities.

And if all of that doesn’t energise you, it won’t be for the country’s want of trying!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , ,