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What is the Meaning of Pura Vida?

Literally pronounced POO-rah VEE-dah, it represents a sort of Costa Rican philosophy. Directly translated it means “pure life” in Spanish, many refer to it as a sort of synonym for “hakuna matata” and means life is wonderful; go enjoy it. It’s a phrase and symbol representing the relaxed culture and slower pace of Costa Rica.

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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