NOTE: The content on this page was last updated on May 18th, 2017.
Costa Rica is PURA VIDA!
The above photo was taken within days of Ricky and I meeting for the first time. He bought us each a bracelet, and I was sold. I was excited to sport the icon of the entire country and culture, so much that Ricky and I bought new “pura vida” bracelets every 6 months for the first few years of our relationship. Looking back, the bracelets not only documented the promises we made to each other throughout the development of our relationship, but they also stood for our commitment (Ricky’s inherent commitment and mine certainly learned), to the pura vida lifestyle.
WARNING: The fun, good-hearted, and laid-back lifestyle that is “pura vida” is extremely addictive. Falling in love with Costa Rica is a severe side effect.
Pura vida is a spanish phrase that represents a way of life in Costa Rica. Literally translated as “pure life”, pura vida is used by Ticos to represent a relaxed attitude towards life – including its ups and downs – and an easy-going nature. Pura vida is also heavily used in Costa Rican discourse. I have yet to come across a moment when it is inappropriate or unfitting to slip the phrase into conversation when the communication has positive undertones. Practice your “pura vida”:
Question: Hello! How are you?
Response: Pura vida! (meaning: very well, thanks!)
Question: Are things going well at work?
Response: Pura vida! (meaning: yes, good!)
Comment: I am going to a new restaurant for dinner tonight.
Response: Pura vida! (meaning: great! enjoy!)
Question: After dinner I am going to the hot springs. How are the pools?
Response: Pura vida! (meaning: very nice!)
Comment: Well, see you soon!
Response: Pura Vida! (meaning: see you later!)
Pura vida is used exclusively in Costa Rica so understanding its meaning and using it throughout your vacation can help you fit in among the locals. It is just one of the reasons you will enjoy meeting and interacting with the people, exploring the culture, and experiencing all that Costa Rica has to offer! Of course, since pura vida is like an inside joke that only Costa Ricans get, take the phrase back to your native country and share what you have learned. Any Latinos who hear you cite it will instantly recognize your Costa Rican experience, and you can feel proud knowing you are sharing the Costa Rica love with the rest of the world!
QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: What travelling, is it an interest of yours to mingle with the locals?