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Costa Rica wellness is about finding gratitude, joy, and flow in simple pleasures, like an evening beneath the stars. Pictured: Soul House

You may have heard that Costa Rica is one of the world’s happiest countries. And that may make you wonder, is there some secret to Costa Rica wellness, well-being, and general happiness?

As it turns out, there isn’t. (Well, that took a turn.)

Joking aside, it’s true: It’s not a secret. It’s 2023 and there’s plenty of research into the science of happiness: What makes humans happy? What increases our set point (essentially, our baseline happiness)? And what can we do to be happier?

The secret sauce, if you see it that way, is that Costa Rican culture has long indulged in many of the behaviors that science now deems to be happiness inducers. From finding gratitude in the little things to letting go of everyday annoyances, Costa Ricans are well-practiced at cultivating optimism, prioritizing joy, and shrugging off the rest.

Whether you’re here for a week or a year, you’ll feel happiness all around. From a genuine smile to a random stranger willing to go the extra mile, visitors soon learn that happiness is a state of mind. And maybe that’s the real key to Costa Rica wellness.

Tip #1: Let it Gooooooooooo

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Happiness can come down to a friendly smile and a wave… even from a whale!

You may know that Costa Rica’s favorite catchphrase is pura vida, but you may not know that this means a lot more than “pure life.” From “hi!” to “how are you?” and “all is well,” pura vida means a lot to Costa Ricans.

And yet, that’s not all it means. Pura vida is both a mindset and a lifestyle: It’s a reminder to slow down, let the little annoyances roll off your back, and embrace this wild ride we call life. Or, as Queen Elsa would say, let it go.

So, when you’re here, whether it’s for a week or an extended stay, embrace the pura vida. Lift your face to the sun. Inhale the ocean breeze. Take time to watch the pelicans dive into the surf and the pipers to hop up and down the beach. Give yourself permission to just be.

#2: Go Outside

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Lose yourself to nature. Maybe even swim beneath a waterfall!

Science says that the outdoors makes us happy. We say that tracks!

Whether it’s the warm, tropical sun, the fresh air, or simply being surrounded by the environments that sustained humankind for millennia, it’s been proven that nature has psychological benefits and can act as a powerful anti-depressant.

Costa Rica wellness naturally (forgive the pun!) revolves around nature. After all, with year-round warmth and sun, we go outside, every day. (You would have to make a gargantuan effort to not go outside here!) So, indulge. Do whatever you love to do. And do it as often as every day. You’re in Costa Rica, after all!

#3: Practice Gratitude

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Sometimes, gratitude can be grounded in something as simple as a beautiful sunset

Another big takeaway from neuroscience research? There are a few strategies that can help us live happier lives. Among them: Count your blessings.

While Costa Rica is one of the world’s happiest countries, that doesn’t mean we don’t have problems here. From the small to the big, from bumpy roads to wealth disparity, we have it. And yet, a key aspect of Costa Rica wellness and happiness is gratitude. Costa Ricans, by and large, find joy and happiness in life’s little pleasures: An afternoon cafecito (coffee) and a snack with friends. A dip in the river. A rainbow. A warm bowl of soup. Everything that brings us comfort.

So, while you’re here, do as Costa Ricans do and nurture gratefulness for the little things. It may just help you find your joy, long after you’ve returned home.

#4: Seek a Calm Mind and Body

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Speaking of long hikes – one of our favorite is Rincon de la Vieja’s Las Pailas trail, whose stirring sights are guaranteed to calm our minds.

We tend to think of “tranquility” as ephemeral and calm as something we need to cultivate. But bear in mind that yoga originated in northern India and meditation practices likely were born in the east, as well.

And yet, Costa Rica wellness and joy are rooted in calm. And, while we have fully embraced yoga and other meditative practices, Costa Ricans have long sought calm in other ways, too: Take a long walk with a great view. Choose a swing or hammock and listen to the sounds of Mother Earth. Paddle a kayak into the ocean or mangroves. Breathe in the aroma of a beautiful flower.

Do something, anything, that zeros out your mind, focuses your attention, and reminds you we are all connected to a greater world.  

#5: Practice “Flow” Experiences

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Learning to surf pulls double-duty: learn a new skill and surrender yourself to the flow

Research has also found that so-called flow experiences boost our happiness. “Flow” is a term coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi to define those experiences in which you become so engaged that you lose track of time. As they say, time flies when you’re having fun. Apparently, it also flies when we’re happy.

There are a few interpretations of why this is how it is. But the bottom line is that flow experiences engage our brain in a way that other activities do not. When we reach flow, whether through work or play, it’s almost like a meditative state. We also learn new skills better this way – and new skills are yet another way that we humans seek (and find) happiness.  

So, seek your flow. Challenge yourself to a new experience or skill. Take a surf lesson. Learn how to open-water dive (SCUBA). Get lost in a hike (or a stroll down a secluded beach). Soak in the sea. Do whatever you love and that gets you into a flow state. You’ll emerge refreshed, engaged, and enlightened – and with a whole new take on what Costa Rica wellness really means.

Stay Here: Soul House

Playa Langosta | 4 Beds | 4 Baths | 14 Guests

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Speaking of finding your flow and seeking a calm mind – Welcome to Soul House! Answer the call to breathe and the invitation to soothe your soul. For here, Soul House welcomes you to a Balinese-inspired villa located in peaceful Playa Langosta. To an escape to serenity and a promise of zen. To calm for body and mind (and soul).

Just steps to the sand, Soul House is home to Balinese-style artwork and accents – each, reinforced via thoughtful details throughout the home. This special retreat offers quiet and privacy for all, including in the second-floor private apartment. Outdoors, a backyard enclave, complete with shaded seating, lush gardens, and the centerpiece: a private pool, perfect for quiet afternoons of diversion and reflection.

>> Inquire <<

Casa Bellamora

Playa Langosta | 8 Beds | 8 Baths | 20 Guests

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A treasure of Langosta Beach, Casa Bellamora is one of Costa Rica’s few beachfront, luxury homes. Welcome to the one detail that cannot be replicated or equaled.

Sitting above the sand, this spectacular home ascends to one of Costa Rica’s most private, yet central locations: Just a one-minute walk to your toes in the sand, yet deep in the heart of upscale, laid-back Langosta. It’s the best of both worlds, in an overlap that is truly rare. And yet, Casa Bellamora does more than rest on its exceptional laurels.

This incredible home offers a full host of upscale amenities, including a clean and modern design, expansive, oceanview pool deck, a sparkling swimming pool, breathtaking views, and sun-drenchedterraces and lounge spaces (with shaded seating, too!).

>> Inquire <<

Practice Self-Care: Engage Our Complimentary, Expert Travel Planning for a Low-Stress Vacation

Another key to happiness? Peace of mind. Letting go of stress will immediately boost your happiness – now and into the future.

When you reserve one of our luxury villas in Costa Rica, you’re booking more than just a spectacular home; your reservation also includes full travel concierge services.

So, what does that mean? Well, when you make your reservation, our skilled in-house concierge will get in touch. She is an expert in all things Costa Rica and her job is to get to know you that well, too. Share your desires and preferences, peruse our recommendations, and start building your must-haves, can’t-miss lists.

Our concierge will tailor your vacation to your specific needs and interests. From the little details – airport pickup and a private chef – to all your activities and transportation, our concierge services are absolutely and always free for our guests. You dream, we take care of the details.

Please get in touch for more information about our Costa Rica luxury vacation villas and our concierge services.