Finding Pura Vida in Costa Rica

      8 Comments on Finding Pura Vida in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is known for many things, and living pura vida is one of them. In our first 10 days, I feel that we are getting close to finding this heightened state of being.

Carli joined us, or, I should say, we joined her, for the first leg of our journey. Our aim has been to get as much pura vida, as possible. More than a way to say hello, goodbye, or everything’s cool…. Pura vida:  it’s an emotion, it’s an attitude, it’s happiness, and it’s a way of life. 

The Emotion

Our rendezvous with Carli, was complicated and frustrating… not really the emotions we were seeking.

a map screenshot with no data

Carli is the blue dot… does that mean we’re close?


She was staying with friends in a private condo, and there weren’t any landmarks or named roads to assist in locating her. With several trials & errors, we managed to get there before nightfall. If we missed that window, we would have needed a Plan B.

When we got there, we were ready for something lighthearted, and that’s just what we found. Conversation, stories of Costa Rican adventures, and while Sarah mixed some delicious margaritas, we got to enjoy the sunset hangover. Pura vida.

a sunset hangover

The Attitude

Costa Rica is the right place for an adrenaline junkie. Whether you want bungee jumping, hiking an active volcano, zip lining, surfing, or anything in between, you will likely find it here. We opted for somewhat less adrenaline, and reached for the exotic. Birds, wildlife and rainforests. I learned so much from our guides, it was a thrill.

Thanks to Carli, we even caught video of a fairly fast moving three-toed sloth:

We notched up the attitude a little. We practiced some new yoga positions, hit some serious water slides, hanging bridges and managed a white water rafting tour. Pure, pura vida!

The Happiness

The locals, known as Ticos, have a relaxed way of looking at life. There seems a genuine joy in simple things: feeding the birds,

female Red-legged Honeycreeper

male & female Red-legged Honeycreeper

mixing a perfect smoothie

Piña, banana and tamarindo smoothies

maybe tasting all the perfect smoothies,

Coconut, Limonada & Guanabana smoothies

Coconut, Limonada & Guanabana smoothies

or sharing the delight when a monkey is spotted in a tree. Heck, José – the hotel operator – rushed to get us when toucans finally got brave enough to be seen.

toucan high in a tree

the timid Toucan!!

Magali the desk clerk, pointed out her joy in “hosting” at this jungle hotel. It can’t be an easy job, but she clearly is thankful for what she has, and doesn’t dwell on the negative.

So far I haven’t come across a Tico that was sharing a bad day, or a bad attitude. Life is good = pura vida.

The Way of Life

Personally, I think it has to do with the absolutely juicy, sweet fruit which makes for pura vida. It is heavenly, and I can’t get enough.

Then again, it could be the coffee. Or, if you want to be serious, their top-notch health care, democracy, free education and a stable social security system, doesn’t hurt either.

Pura Vida

It is everywhere you look, if you keep an open mind. Carli heads back home today, and I’m gonna miss her! She adds a nice balance to our travel style. Regardless, we’ll continue looking and capturing the pura vida moments. Oh, and about that featured image… seen below…

image from insects eating a leaf

…is it possible that even the worms feel pura vida? These dancing figures, are worm holes in leaves. Similar to how we may fold and cut paper snowflakes, worms have chewed through a rolled-up leaf, leaving beautiful patterns.patterns made from insects eating a leafPretty pura vida, isn’t it?

8 thoughts on “Finding Pura Vida in Costa Rica

  1. Sonia Hazelgren Purello

    Hi !!!! How awesome to see your adventures ♥️❗️ Loving it. Stay safe and love love love your pictures ❗️ Xoxo

  2. Mormor

    Absolutely fabulous! Great fun reading this, and the photos are priceless. One of Carli looks so much like Woody, and another looks just like you. Both gorgeous. Love you all.

  3. John Stipan

    Hali, this was one of the most enjoyable reads, accompanied with fabulous pictures & side notes! Blessings Only on you & Woody, and Carli !! Pura Vida


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