Costa Rica offers perfect conditions for freeing yourself of stress and disconnecting from the hustle and bustle of daily life. These take the form of unique experiences, ranging from the sampling of various fruits and vegetables and the tasting of pure cocoa to laying back and relaxing in a volcanic hot spring.
Costa Rica is known as the country of pura vida (real living); not only because this expression is commonly used in local vernacular, but because it offers fantastic experiences for you to pamper your mind and body. Its natural resources and climate mean that numerous natural products can be produced within the country, offering properties that are beneficial for your health. These natural resources can also be used to achieve the utmost relaxation. This is the thought behind Wellness Pura Vida.
Try local fruits and vegetables. 12 different climate areas
can be found across the territory of Costa Rica, spanning a little over 51,000 square kilometres. It also has a series of micro-climates, making it possible to harvest a huge range of fruits and vegetables. The best way to enjoy these delicacies is in the form of natural juices and drinks, which are often found in restaurants and cafeterias across the country. Common fruits in Costa Rica include papaya, banana, pineapple and passion fruit, but other fruits are also grown exclusively in the country. These include the cashew fruit, which belongs to the mango family and is commonly used to make a drink resembling lemonade.
Enjoy the properties of pure cocoa.
The cocoa bean is packed with magnesium, calcium and antioxidants, and is believed to be good for your heart. To experience its health benefits and to learn about the history and culture of Costa Rica, there’s nothing better than participating in a traditional cocoa ceremony, as performed by indigenous populations. Sitting down in a circle, participants taste the ceremonial drink made from boiled cocoa beans, singing and uttering mantras to the sound of traditional instruments.
Bathe in volcanic hot springs and mud.
The thermal baths of Costa Rica run directly from several volcanoes and are filled with minerals. Local people have bathed in these waters and mud baths for centuries, with the mud containing minerals such as sulphur, zinc and magnesium, which have many health benefits. Zinc and magnesium help to alleviate swollen skin and joints, whereas sulphur is regularly used to treat skin rashes. These hot springs and mud baths have also been linked to several anti-ageing properties. There are many places in the country where you can enjoy these thermal baths, including those close to the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano in Guanacaste. The formation of natural thermal baths means that users can enjoy a relaxing bath while feeling at one with Mother Nature. La Fortuna de San Carlos is another area known for having several thermal baths.
Treat yourself to a volcanic rock massage.
A volcanic rock massage is one of the most popular wellness treatments in Costa Rica. During the treatment, the black rocks are heated in water of 50 to 65 degrees centigrade, before being placed therapeutically on the skin. The heat causes the blood vessels to expand, improving circulation, while the weight of the stones is conducive to full relaxation. One of the most famous places for these massages is Playa Montezuma in the province of Puntarenas, renowned for its spa treatments. These are especially popular, as clients can enjoy the treatments in an outdoor setting.