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  • Writer's pictureLisa Cappello

Discover the Secrets of Costa Rica's Blue Zone

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

Costa Rica, land of lush rainforests, stunning coastlines, and warm, friendly people. Nestled within this tropical paradise lies a unique phenomenon known as a "Blue Zone." A blue zone is a region where a significant percentage of people live to be 100 or more years old. There are five recognized blue zones in the world: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy, Ikaria, Greece, Loma Linda, California, and Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. The secrets of these long-lived and contented people has sparked interest worldwide. There are several factors that play a pivotal role in promoting longevity, vitality, and happiness. Discover Costa Rica Blue Zone secrets with us!

Many of our clients fall in love with the people of Costa Rica and the “pura vida” way of life. Pura vida translates as “pure life,” but it is more than just a saying – it is truly a way of life here. It can be used to say hello, goodbye, or “everything’s great,” or “just go with the flow.” The more time you spend with Ticos (what native Costa Ricans call themselves), the more you begin to understand what pura vida means, and you start to recognize the Blue Zone factors that contribute to life here.

So what is it about Costa Rica that makes a difference? According to Dan Buettner, who coined the term Blue Zone, Costa Rica is one of the happiest places in Central America where Costa Ricans report a high level of life satisfaction. Buettner says, “this is a place where religion, family, and social interaction are the main values, unlike trying to get ahead, or financial security, or status. Towns are set up so they’re bumping into each other all day long. They walk to markets, where they have conversations with people.” It is also quite common for multiple generations to live together or within close proximity, and families stay very involved in each other’s lives. There is a “village mindset” with friends and family looking out for each other.

Some factors that contribute to Costa Rican longevity include:

  • Embracing a plant-centered diet, with beans, vegetables, fruits and whole grains making up the foundation of meals, and minimizing processed foods and red meat.

  • Physical activity, such as walking, and gardening, and things that keep them moving throughout the day.

  • Prioritizing sleep, rest and stress reduction. If it seems like things move at a slower pace here, it’s because it’s true.

  • Having a sense of purpose makes a difference too, by engaging in meaningful work and hobbies, including helping friends and neighbors and volunteering.

  • Nurturing social connections, through religion, extended family, and community involvement.

  • Staying positive and having an optimistic outlook is also something that Costa Ricans cultivate - that “pura vida” mindset which is truly contagious.

Where in Costa Rica can you find the best examples of Blue Zone living? It’s impossible to draw a distinct line on a map to designate the Blue Zone areas of Costa Rica, but in general, the Nicoya Peninsula has been identified as the hub of Blue Zone living here. The peninsula is located along the Pacific side of the country and is made up of small coastal towns, surfing beaches, and abundant wildlife. It stretches approximately from Tamarindo, moving down the coast to the towns of Nosara, Samara, and further south to the tip of the peninsula with towns such as Manzanillo, Santa Teresa, and Montezuma. On the interior side of the peninsula, there are numerous islands, and a ferry to the mainland.

We have several ideas for how you can enjoy a Blue Zone vacation!

  • For a one-day Blue Zone immersion, check out our exclusive Blue Zone Tour, which includes a boat safari, a sugarcane plantation, a Santa Cruz city tour, a rum tasting, and more.

  • For surfing enthusiasts, you will love our Endless Summer Surf Tour, a complete vacation package with visits to classic surfing beaches.

  • We have the sweetest Costa Rican Honeymoon vacation package, which includes a stay at a glamping hotel on a picturesque island just off the coast of the Nicoya Peninsula.

  • Our Ultimate Girl’s Trip vacation package includes a stay in beautiful Nosara with a sunset horseback ride, and beginner surfer lessons.

  • We can also design a vacation from scratch to match your particular interests and budget. Just fill out our custom itinerary form and we can get started.

For more information about all of our services, please visit our homepage. We hope that if and when you do come to Costa Rica that you will find ways to embody the “pura vida” blue zone lifestyle long after you get back home. By embracing the wisdom of the Blue Zone and incorporating its life-affirming habits into our own lives, we can pave the way to a longer, more fulfilling existence – a life truly worth living! ¡Pura Vida!


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