What does Costa Rica Pura Vida mean?

Pura Vida? What does that mean? You may or may not have heard of this term in one of your Costa Rica guidebooks. Pura Vida (pronounced “POO-rah VEE-dah”) is used by “Ticos” (Costa Rica natives) in their daily conversations. What many people do not know is that this iconic saying is more than just a phrase, it’s a philosophy of life.

What is the meaning of Costa Rica Pura Vida and how is it used?

Think “Hakuna Matata”, “Take life easily” and “Don’t worry, be happy” to understand the meaning of Pura Vida. At some points of time your life may seem like a burden, but remember, there is someone else in the world whose circumstances makes your life seem like a gift. Keep your head up and stay positive. Live simply, live freely, and live for moments—that is the “Pura Vida” lifestyle.

You will hear this phrase on a daily basis. It may be used to say “hello”, “goodbye”, “awesome” “enjoy life” or even to describe someone. For example, if someone asks how you are doing, you can say “Pura Vida”, or if you want to describe someone that has those good vibes you will feel in Costa Rica, you can say “Él/ella es pura vida” (He/she brings only good vibes to my life). There are millions of uses for this motto; to truly understand it, you have to live it.

What is the origin of Pura Vida?

According to a study of expression by Anna Marie Trester, Pura Vida comes from a Mexican film directed by Gilberto Martínez Solares that was first played in Costa Rica in 1956. The term is used to express “eternal happiness” by one of the main characters who seems to have to constant bad luck, but keeps moving on. A few years later after the premiere of this film, this blissful expression became part of the Costa Rican vocabulary. “Pura Vida Mae” (Pure Life, Dude).

Can I live Pura Vida?

Of course you can. The first step is to visit Costa Rica. Go off the beaten path from your hotel, and try a local restaurant, chat with a local in a coffee shop or visit a remote region of the country to truly grasp the meaning of Pura Vida. The Ticos are very friendly people and are famous for their hospitality and their “Don’t sweat the small stuff” attitude. They are very aware of the beautiful land and nature that surrounds them and love to show visitors the sights. Once you are in Costa Rica you will truly understand what “It’s the simple things in life that makes living worthwhile” means. What are you waiting for? Come and try the Costa Rica Pura Vida lifestyle out, you may never want to go back home after experiencing it.

More questions about Costa Rica? Here is a list of common frequently-asked questions that can help you:

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