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If you learn one phrase before you arrive in Costa Rica, then it should be this one: Pura Vida. With just two simple words you’ll be ready for a variety of situations! But what does Pura Vida mean? The literal Pura Vida translation is “pure life” but this simple two-word phrase is full of rich cultural meaning.

What does Pura Vida mean?
Pura Vida is a way of life in Costa Rica

How is Pura Vida Used?

The term is frequently used as a greeting, a farewell, a way of giving thanks, or as a common expression of how things are going. Think of it as the local way of saying “cheers”, but way better. But it is so much more than that, in Costa Rica, Pura Vida is a culture, a way of life.

This is what the Pura Vida lifestyle looks like!The term Pura Vida, (pronounced poo-rah vee-dah) is really an expression of happiness and optimism, a belief that no matter what seemingly bad situation you might be in, there are many others out there who are even worse off. It’s an expression of hope, of better things to come, and of the laid-back lifestyle that Costa Rica is known for.

Living Pura Vida

It’s a good idea to read up on the meaning of Pura Vida before traveling to Costa Rica, but it’s not until you hear the locals use it in day to day life that you will truly grasp the Pura Vida meaning… Pura Vida is the motto that the people of Costa Rica live and die by. And we have to admit, their genuine belief in the phrase and everything that it stands for is inspiring…

It’s a beautiful way of looking at life and it definitely is one of my favourite things about Costa Rica. It’s more than words, it is an emotion and to truly understand it, to feel it, you’ll just have to visit Costa Rica and experience Pura Vida for yourself!

Happy in Costa Rica with Pura Vida
Even the trees are smiling! Pura Vida flows through Costa Rica

Pura Vida means that no matter the day, month, it will be the best time to visit Costa Rica!

Do you believe in Pura Vida?

About The Author

2 thoughts on “What Does Pura Vida Mean? From a Local not a Dictionary!”

  1. I was in Costa Rica about two months ago, and the same happened to me, even tho I knew about their “famous” “Pura Vida” phrase it wasn’t until my cousin told me PURA VIDA! as a greeting when I first met her that I actually got it.
    PD. I went to Guanacaste beach too! (not sure about the location details since it was my first time there), I feel like a fan that missed the chance to meet her favorite singer now, knowing you guys live near by!!
    Hope to say hi to you guys some day.
    Pura vida!

    1. What part of Guanacaste did you visit, Reyna? There are so many amazing beaches in this province. You could have been many hours away from where we stay. We are based just south of Tamarindo. Maybe you visited that beach during your trip?

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