What is the Meaning of Pura Vida?

Directly translated it means “pure life” in Spanish. However, in Costa Rican Spanish, it means so much more. It is used as a greeting and as a farewell; you can use it for “I’m doing well” or “Everything’s cool”; you can use it for “Oh well!” or “That’s life!” It also can be used for “You’re welcome” or “No worries”–or just about any exclamation like “That’s great!”

The story goes that this saying was first used in the 1956 Mexican movie of the same name— Pura Vida. However, it was the Costa Ricans who picked up the term and ran with it. Sure, you can say it all day long, but is it more than uttering these two simple words. It is truly the spirit of the country and culture. It’s living the good life…cherishing simple pleasures…spending time with loved ones…and enjoying a slow, relaxed pace of life.

And the good life is exactly what Costa Rica offers.


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