Whether you want to spend your free time going on adventures in volcanoes or in jungles with new friends; or simply relaxing in a hammock on a beach with a beer and a book, Costa Rica offers a fantastic lifestyle for those looking to enjoy the natural beauty of the world and the simple pleasures of life.
Costa Rica also offers a varied lifestyle that will ensure that you never get bored; you can just as easily walk to the local farmers market to buy fresh and affordable produce or driving down a modern highway to a large shopping mall or luxury chain stores. In the same way, you can fill your days with activities, such as fishing, hiking, surfing or diving; Or you can choose to sunbathe on the beach, maybe take a break to dip your toes in the water and search for shells in the sand. Whatever you choose, the general spirit of Costa Rica is that you should enjoy doing it and live as much of a stress-free existence as possible.
Costa Ricans have one of the longest half-lives in the world, and this longevity is attributed to a philosophy known as ‘pura vida’. Although it has become a marketing slogan in recent years, this recipe for a happy and healthy life remains the same and never has a negative connotation.
The beauty of Pura Vida lies in its versatility, and you may start using it after a few weeks too: it can mean ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’, ‘everything is fine’, ‘great’, ‘just like you’. Although it literally means “pure life”, it can be more loosely explained as ‘enjoying life’. Indicates a joie-de-vivre that defines the lifestyle you can expect while living in this Central American haven.
Interestingly, Costa Rica topped the Happy Planet Index rankings for the third time. According to the New Economic Foundation, “Costa Ricans have higher well-being than residents of many wealthy nations, including the US and the UK, and they live longer than people in the US.”
In addition to its incredible natural beauty and biodiversity, this small country is known for its peaceful way of life. It does not have an army, enjoys relative political and economic stability, and is often referred to as the “Switzerland of Central America.”
Enjoying every moment
Pura Vida suggests relaxing, enjoying every moment, and appreciating the little things. It’s a philosophy of taking it easy and having fun, as well as putting friends and family first. It’s also about appreciating the simple pleasures in life and not being in a rush, and represents a lifestyle that anyone living in Costa Rica can participate in.
A stable country
Costa Rica is a relatively stable country with an excellent health care system, and this definitely helps explain why Costa Ricans have such a high average life expectancy. Nicoya, which is an isolated peninsula 80 miles south of the Nicaraguan border, is one of the world’s five Blue Zones, and residents are apparently twice as likely as Americans to reach the age of 90, in addition to living healthier and happier lives.
The water in this Pacific peninsula has the highest calcium content in Costa Rica, which, along with exposure to sunlight and vitamin D, may explain the lower rates of heart disease and osteoporosis. The traditional diet of fortified corn and beans is also a great nutritional combination, and low calorie consumption seems to add years to life.
A life plan
However, one of the main reasons that residents of this region are believed to live so long is that they have what is known as a ‘life plan’. This can be translated as a ‘reason to live’, which encourages a positive approach and helps keep people of all ages active.
This culture of building strong social networks can be seen throughout Costa Rica in general: neighbors are friends and frequently visit each other; families support their elders and live together, all of which help to continue to cultivate a strong sense of purpose and community spirit.
Everyone has a reason to live, a life plan. There is also a strong focus on family, and children provide a sense of purpose and belonging for the elderly. People feel needy in old age and consequently want to contribute to the good of society. Simple pleasures, like listening and laughing together, are also valued, and people appreciate what they have.