Costa Rica 2018: the next big thing in wellness

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The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) has launched a new tourism strategy for 2018 – ‘Wellness Pura Vida’ – a new ethos that redefines what it means to look after the body and soul.  According to the World Health Organization, “burnout”, the state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress, is now a global issue. To combat this, UK travellers are increasingly combining travel with wellness, a trend that the tourist board is responding to with this new movement for 2018.

The phrase “Pura Vida” itself can be heard echoing throughout Costa Rica. Used as a greeting or expression of happiness, the phrase literally translates to “pure life,” however its truer meaning is “full of life,” which accurately symbolises the Costa Rican mind-set of energy and positivism that awaits visitors.


Mauricio Ventura, Minister of Tourism explains that “With Wellness Pura Vida, we seek to position the country as one of the world’s leading wellbeing destinations, offering unique and transformative experiences, which improve the quality of life of our inhabitants and those who visit us.”


Under the new ‘Wellness Pura Vida’ strategy, ICT will:

  • Work with key stakeholders to build on their existing wellness product offering
  • Work with local leaders to ensure that the boost in tourism benefits the local community
  • Promote the use of the newest wellness techniques, but ensuring that they have a ‘Tico twist’ (Tico being the informal word for Costa Rican); incorporating elements such as activities, sports and local community outreach – a 360 degree attitude to wellbeing which differentiates the country from its international competitors
  • Promote the importance of increasing wellness tourism without adversely harming the environment
  • Promote local and indigenous gastronomy as part of the wellness offering


Costa Rica offers a huge number of authentic natural wellness experiences for all visitors looking for a healing holiday. These activities include yoga, meditation, earthing, forest bathing, treatments with hot springs, thalassotherapy amongst others, and can be carried out in pleasant and tranquil natural spaces throughout the country. Smoking volcanoes, dense virgin forests, unique wildlife and endless tropical beaches make this Central American paradise one of the most diverse places on earth for a healing holiday.


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