Pura Vida....Pure Life
Pura Vida is the main greeting in Costa Rica and its exactly what you feel when you are in Costa Rica. My wife and I had our fist visit to Costa Rica in July 2005 and brought our kids here in March of 2017. One day, we plan to retire here because it's so special to our family and somewhere we know we'd really enjoy longer term.
We break down specific locations of Costa Rica in other blog posts, but here are our top 5 things that we love about Costa Rica:
1. SO much natural beauty This is number one, easily. It's the reason people keep coming back to Costa Rica. The nation has protected over 1/4th of the country and you can really feel a sense of pride with the locals (known as Ticos) regarding their focus on the environment. There are waterfalls, volcanoes, tropical rain forests, and some of the most beautiful beaches you can image. On top of the natural landscape, you have many beautiful birds and exotic animals roaming around.
2. Slower pace of life We really appreciate this one. Things move a little slower in general there. We wanted to point this slower pace to our children to remind them to stop and appreciate things. Yes, we were on vacation so were slowed down anyway, but Costa Rica is another level of relaxation.
3. Lots of variety If you have an adventurous family, you can really plan some amazing outings in Costa Rica. Our kids were 1 month, 2, 6, and 8 years old at the time and we had so many options. Our two older boys took surfing lessons, our 2 year old daughter loved to play on the beach, and the 1 month old had some amazing siestas! From swimming in the oceans, hiking around active volcanoes, trekking through rain forest tours...you can plan an unforgettable vacation in Costa Rica.
4. Affordability Most large families need to consider this one and we were no exception. Nobody likes going on vacation and worrying about money. The great thing about Costa Rica is that it's really affordable. You can have great meals at Sodas (a Costa Rican version of a small diner) for really cheap! The food is really fresh and excellent. Resorts can be expensive, but if you just explore the towns you'll find that Costa Rica is very family friendly from a cost perspective.
5. Safe and Educated Not only did Costa Rica abolish its entire military in 1948, it focused on its population. The nation is one of the most literate in the world with over 95% of its population literate. My wife and I have been out at night plenty of times and never once felt unsafe. When travelling with a family, this is always a consideration and Costa Rica is one of the more safer countries you could visit.