Location: Costa Rica

Pura vida isn't as much a mantra in Costa Rica as it is the thing that softly lures you back to this easygoing coastal country time after time. The "pure life" here revolves around happiness and living life to the fullest. Nowhere does that seem easier to do than in this well-rounded Central American state, which is filled with leafy rain forests, smoking volcanoes, and white-sand beaches.

With about 4.8 million residents, Costa Rica is home to ample coastal area, and includes four distinctive regions: San José, Guanacaste, Puntarenas, and Alajuela. Leverage Partner Plantación Properties has recognized each for unique, defining characteristics: San José, the capital; Guanacaste, with its ultra-blue waters; Puntarenas, a small, compact island; and the historic, stately city of Alajuela.

San José showcases a mix of Victorian structures and more modern concrete buildings. The small but mighty Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, for instance, displays lavish trinkets from history, while nightclubs and dancehalls offer evening entertainment throughout the city. It's this juxtaposition of modernity and history, however, and the locals' ability to find pura vida that makes Costa Rica's capital stand out. Meanwhile, the Guanacaste region, home to striking marine waters and ultra-green landscapes, is more travel-friendly. Our favorite beaches, restaurants, and ways to while away the hours in each region follow here:

LOS ALTOS DE EROS BOUTIQUE HOTEL & SPA  This unrivaled Costa Rica Spa invites you to embark on the most pleasurable journey of your life. Unlike any other, Spa de Eros is composed of five private treatment rooms overlooking awe-inspiring views of the tropical forest and Pacific Ocean. Spa de Eros offers a range of rejuvenating treatments performed by highly qualified massage therapists. Services include everything from deep tissue massage and body scrubs to a soak in an ocean-view Indonesian tub.

DRAKE BAY  Named for Sir Francis Drake, who was believed to have traveled here in the 16th century, Drake Bay is the place for thrill lovers who, like Drake himself, delight in exploring the land.

ESCAZU  In the San José region, Avenida Escazu offers an updated, modern view of Costa Rican life.

PLAYAS DEL COCO  This beach town enjoys its status as a tourist hub. It recently opened a spectacular Hard Rock Cafe.

GRECIA  With beautiful parks and a stunning red cathedral, this traditional Costa Rican town is worth exploring.

OSO PENINSULA  If you came to Costa Rica in search of the rain forest, look no further. This area boasts some of the leafiest landscapes in the world-plus it holds 2.5 percent of the world's biodiversity.

EL LAGARTO  We love this restaurant as much for its tasty barbecue as for its stunning sunset views.

CORCOVADO NATIONAL PARK  Within the limits of this national park, you'll find 13 ecosystems that support all manner of wildlife and vegetation.

MUSEO NACIONAL DE COSTA RICA  Originally a military barracks, this museum opened its doors in 1950 and houses important artifacts from Costa Rican history.

PLAYA DANTA  This popular beach in Las Cantinas is also home to plenty of great restaurants, like La Limonada.

COCO LOCO  While we wouldn't exactly classify it as "Margaritaville," there's a certain je ne sais quoi about this beachfront bar. Order a round of drinks and watch the sun dip into the marine waters.


  • Topics:
  • Voice from the Street
  • Beach
  • Location:
  • San Jose, Costa Rica

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