What is "Pura Vida"?

What is "Pura Vida"?

Anne Dangerfield_Tico Lingo
Anne Dangerfield
Anne is a world traveler that has worked as a biologist, geologist, and research assistant. She’s a big fan of online resources and has taught and taken online classes in many different fields.
Published March 23rd, 2015
Heard literally everywhere throughout the country, “Pura Vida” goes way beyond the simple English translation of “Pure Life”. It’s been in the local dialect for over 50 years and is sure to be heard by anyone coming down for a visit to this beautiful country.

Literally pronounced POO-rah VEE-dah, it represents a sort of Costa Rican philosophy. I’ve heard 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.

I’ve had many a conversation with locals about what this phrase means to them. Many believe that the more foreigners grasping this concept, the better the world will be. The more people taking a step back, looking at their lives in the perspective of others, and really learning to relax, the better for all.

It’s a hard right turn from the American Dream I was raised on and, after being here for a few months, I think I’ve forgotten the rat-race and really soaked up the Pura Vida lifestyle.

Below are some examples of how I hear the team used throughout my day-to-day:


Hey Tamara! Pura Vida?
Everything’s great! Thank God!

Hey there! How is everything?
Pura Vida! And you?

See you tomorrow!
Pura Vida! Bye!

Thank you very much!
Not a problem! Pura Vida!


¡Hola Tamara!, ¿Pura vida?
¡Todo bien! Gracias a dios.

¡Buenas! ¿Como está todo?
¡Pura vida! ¿y Usted?

¡Nos vemos, mañana!
¡Pura vida, chao!

¡Muchas Gracias!
¡No hay problema! ¡Pura Vida!

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