If you already have visited Costa Rica or maybe if you are currently in the country, you’ve already heard this expression more than once. If you are planning to visit, be sure you will hear it a lot! But what does it mean? Where does it come from?

Actually, “Pura Vida” has a lot of meaning: “I’m doing well”, “everything’s cool”, “that’s great”, “you’re welcome” and even “no worries”. It is used as a greeting & as a farewell. More globally, the phrase “Pura Vida” represents the whole Costa Rican’s way of life & culture. The literary translation would be “Pure life”, which stands for a tendency to focus on and appreciate simple things. Tico’s (people from Costa Rica) avoid unnecessary stress on things that don’t matter that much. It’s a great way to find out what is really important in life.

It seems that the origins of this saying came from an eponymous old Mexican movie where the main character (Melquiades Ledezma, played by comedian Antonio Espino, or “Clavillazo) used the phrase to describe things, actions & people. He endures many unfortunate events, but still remains optimistic & sees things in a good & nice way.