The Culture

Aside from its tropical location, Costa Rica has a culture unique to Latin America that makes it the most attractive travel destination in the region. A commitment to conservation  and a reverence for nature has guided the country’s development for decades. Costa Rica has set the bar internationally for ecologically conscious development and tourism and its culture reflects a joy and ease that are contagious.

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Pura Vida is Spanish for ‘pure life’, and you’ll hear it everywhere in Costa Rica. Similar to the Hawaiian “Aloha”, Pura Vida goes far beyond a literal translation to transmit values essential to the Costa Rican way of life. Pura Vida means living slowly, enjoying life, appreciating what you have, and living life to the fullest. The Pura Vida philosophy seems to be working; according to the Happy Planet Index, Costa Rica is the happiest country in the world.


Costa Rica is a world-renowned adventure travel destination. With stunning jungle eco-safaris, whitewater rafting, hiking up smoking volcanoes, and epic surfing, there is something here for everyone, from families to diehard thrillseekers. Adventure travel is one of Costa Rica’s main attractions.


An incredible array of microclimates and diverse habitats has blessed Costa Rica with an incredible gift. Despite having just 0.1% of the world’s landmass, the country has nearly 6% of its biodiversity. This is by far the highest species density in the world – an incredible natural endowment for such a small nation. Costa Rica has recognized the richness of this treasure and committed to conserving it with policies designed to protect and a tourism economy built on highlighting and preserving nature instead of destroying it.


Thanks to the country’s vast amounts of water and the ability to tap into geothermal sources, Costa Rica generates an incredible 90% of its power from renewable energy sources. The nation plans to be totally carbon neutral within six years. This goal is eminently achievable as the country has not yet tapped into its abundance of wind and sunshine as an energy source in a significant way.


After a 1949 civil war, Costa Rica abolished its military and today is one of the few nations in the world without a standing army. In a region that is sadly known for its frequent coups, this proved a prescient decision. Costa Rica is the region’s most politically stable country, and its safest.