Pura Vida! If you haven’t visited Costa Rica and are thinking about such a trip, I hope after reading this you will take the leap and book a ticket. Not only because of its wondrous beauty, which Costa Rica voluminously contains, but also for the feeding of your soul – which will be exponentially expanded.
I am sitting here in my studio apartment blasting “Costa Rica Radio” and experiencing a rush of feeling reminding me of what it was like to first breathe in the humid and peaceful Costa Rican air. The vibes of this country are well worth writing about and sharing and I do so in hope you will create the opportunity to visit and enjoy a beautiful eye opening, soul expanding experience like I did.
Sometimes, while on vacation, we long for home. Although vacation is usually a wonderful time, we miss the comfort of our daily surroundings, and most likely, our own bed. However, there are times, as vacation is nearing its end, when we feel an emptiness as we are about to leave – as soon as we get on that plane we become homesick for the place we are leaving. For me, one of those places is Costa Rica. The lessons of life I learned while there have forever changed me. The alluring sense to return is only a portion of what Costa Rica has to offer. I excitedly had the words “PURA VIDA” tattooed on my wrist which is the slogan and motto of the country – this is really what they live by. Now, I have a constant reminder of the PURE LIFE!
The group of people I traveled with were fortunate enough to find a house on airbnb on the Lake of Arenal. The cost was only one-hundred dollars per night and the house was incredible, offering marvelous views. For our group this meant twenty-five dollars a night per individual for our own private house on five acres of land, overlooking the Lake and, on cloudless days, the Volcano.
Upon our arrival we were greeted by our house mate who took the time to sit with us and inquire as to what sort of activities we would like to enjoy and, impressively, helping us book our adventures. Our guides name was TY and he was Canadian. Ty came to Costa Rica for a holiday once upon a time and never left. “It is paradise. There is nowhere like it”, he claimed. As time passed, I found his statement to be fully true. Here are some tips that the “TICOS” (Coasta Rican people) taught me about life which have enriched my soul and forever created in me the choosing to permanently live Soulistically Happy!
Their attitude about life. To put it quite simply the Ticos live simple and free. I found, for them, the land is more important than the actual houses there. There usually is no washer and dryers. Television and internet are not as important and usually they live on their own farm. As earlier mentioned, their slogan is “Pura Vida” ( (poo-ra-vee-da) which signifies a more simple approach to life. How it was explained to me by the Ticans was “No matter how bad a day you are having, someone else out there is wishing your day could be their day”. Their attitude about life is simple and positive. Having such gratitude and appreciation for life genuinely raises your vibration as well as the vibration of the country – and this fact is living and breathing truth. I cannot tell you how many people I talked with, from our house host to owners of popular restaurants out there, and persons who had left their countries to move to Costa Rica purely because of the attitude and way of life of the Ticans. It was such a relaxed, easy and happy feeling the entire time I was there. Also, most bars and restaurants do not have TV! They are open-air so you can take in and enjoy the culture, the fresh breeze and being outside rather than gluing your eyes to a television set and becoming disconnected from each other and the world around you.
(Here are some views from some of the restaurants and bars we were at)
They live off the volcano and which provides many of their resources. I want to share this really awesome article I came across. http://costarica.com/travel/how-costa-rica-is-going-green/
There are many different resorts with natural hot springs created by the volcano which you can stay in or just attend for the day. We only paid forty dollars to swim in these natural pools all day. The ones we attended had swim-up bars, water slides and caves. The price included an amazing dinner at the foot of the volcano. On another day my friend and I enjoyed the best massage of our life right in the middle of the jungle, which included access to the natural hot springs as well. This was only sixty dollars for two people. All this was in the city of La Fortuna and was well worth it, and one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had.
Being an avid traveler, the main thing that struck me about the people who work at these resorts, and even the ladies that massaged us, was they did not expect anything, and they were humble. For the kind of natural, flower breathing, relaxing massage they provided, I would have to pay good money for here in the states while these masseuses bashfully accepted the fact we even wanted to tip them.
They respect nature. Don’t bother putting a leash on your dog, all animals run free here. The amount of dogs and cats we came across just roaming around was tremendous, and I fell in love with them all, especially Linda, which means beautiful in their language.
My friends and I enjoyed a hanging bridge tour through the jungle where you basically explore the jungle while having to cross many tall and suspended bridges. While on our excursion, we came across some Ticos who were guides for other people. The amount of respect they taught us to show for nature and the wild animals was tremendous – and they expressed themselves in a beautifully kind way. Although we were exploring the jungle populated with more poisonous animals than you will ever see, wild boars and others animals, there was such a sense of calmness. It was a uniquely beautiful experience to witness just how Costa Rica has developed a universal consciousness of peace and respect for all nature – and nature responds equally in return. Why else would these flowers and trees and plants grow so beautifully. They feel the love just as much as the animals do; a true a wonder and a marvel to experience and peer upon.
We also visited an ecological park for reptiles and amphibian. The passion Ticas have for these creatures, and the drive to keep them safe and alive, was amazing to witness. As I think back, I am warmed once again in my soul.
The Adventure is unreal. La Fortuna is Costa Ricas adventure capital, therefore the adventures we were able to encounter were so amazing and I have not been able to find anything quite like them as of yet.
The zip line is considered the most thrilling in the country. It ranges from the longest cable at 2493 feet, which is about half a mile, and the highest cable is 656 feet. You are literally zip lining through the rain forest over waterfalls and jungle. This was the most beautiful and adrenaline rushing experience; and let me tell you why. When you have an experience like this you are forced to be in the present moment and you appreciate life and where you are in that particular moment. You are overcome with pure joy and all fear leaves you and you are, in that moment, ALIVE! The town of La Fortuna offers many other adventures, but if you do anything I highly recommend you do the zip line.
Once we headed to the beach we were able to take a Jet Ski/ Snorkel tour where we saw three different beaches with three different color sands blanketing them, some monkeys, and we held a blown up puffer fish!
Check out this video of us holding the blown up puffer fish!
Family above everything. Most businesses are family run where the entire family works together. Some restaurants were actually half restaurant and half someone’s home, with the wife serving and the husband cooking, or visa versa. Each family member respects the other and each do their part in providing a wonderful experience for their customers. And, the best part is, they are working with each other – it truly is a beautiful thing to see.
When we took a Jet Ski tour to snorkel in the city of Conchal, our tour guide had his whole family with him just lounging on the beach. He gets to spend time with them in between tours in one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Also Conchal Beach was probably one of my most favorite beaches I have ever been to. The vibe was unreal. I was just so happy. We were all so happy!
The food. I want to share with you an interesting fact I learned in school while required to view a presentation by Scott Tips on the Codex Alimentarius (Food Code) and then write a report on it. The definition of Codex Alimentarius is “a collection of internationally recognized standards, codes of practice, guidelines and other recommendations relating to foods, food production and food safety. In their worlds they have two goals (1) to protect the health of consumers, and (2) to promote fair practices in the food trade”. Simply put, this is not what they are doing at all and that is a whole other blog. The point I am making with this, and tying in Costa Rica, is that the Codex Alimentarius was setting the standards and lowering all the vitamins in our foods and guess who was the ONLY country to speak up? That’s right – COSTA RICA!
You can taste it in their food too; anyone who has traveled there will confess to how amazing and rich it is. The food is pure and most of it is in a natural state. Gallo pinto, is probably something I dream about every day and have tried to remake, but never can get it right. The fruits, the vegetables, the homemade hot sauce, the fresh caught fish, everything was mouthwatering and FRESH. This goes along with respect for each other, respect for themselves, nature and their guests.
I trust this blog has maybe opened your eyes a bit towards adopting some of the simple Soulistic ways the country of Costa Rica has to offer. I can’t wait to go back and hope to see you there! PURA VIDA!