Pura Vida: 25 Captivating Images of Costa Rica

I almost tripped over myself as a sudden commotion at my feet brought me to an abrupt halt on the dirt path that snakes through Cahuita National Park. Moments earlier, I was wandering along the trail with my eyes directed up at the lush tree canopy, camera in one hand, eagerly scanning the branches for dozing sloths. As I looked skywards, out of the corner of my eye I caught a blur of feathers rush out from the ground brush and my attention was brought to the spectacle now unfolding at my feet.

A cockroach the length of my middle finger and twice as thick madly jumped around, desperately trying to escape the razor sharp beak of the dotted brown bird chasing it. Despite me literally leering right over the action, the bird was fearless. Apparently the chance of snagging a cockroach of that size was worth the gamble of hopping around my predator sized feet, which could have easily crushed the bird. After several more violent pecks of the beak, the cockroach lay still. The daring little bird stood next to its prey, eyeing me as if to say, “You wanna go next”?

Not eager to have my eyes pecked out, I took a few quick snaps with my camera and continued on down the trail.

It’s little moments like these that I will remember for many years to come when I think back on Costa Rica, a small country full of dense rainforest, down-to-earth locals, beach bums and surfer dudes, tons of sloths, and some of the prettiest postcard-worthy beaches in Central America. The whole country lives and breathes the national motto pura vida, literally meaning “pure life”, but it's really a completely open concept. Whether it means doing yoga on the beach at sunrise, savoring a cup of freshly brewed Costa Rican coffee, or having a brief Mexican standoff with a fearless little bird, it's up to each person, local and visitor alike, how they want to interpret their own pura vida.

Whatever your pure life is, you need to experience it in Costa Rica.


1. Postcard-worthy beaches at Cahuita National Park

Cahuita National Park

2. A poisonous red frog you don't want to kiss

Red tree frog

3. Sunset yellows over Limón

Costa Rican sunset

4. A green iguana silently watching from the tree canopy

Green Iguana

5. & 6. The surf breaking on driftwood in Cahuita National Park

Driftwood on the beach in Cahuita National Park
Driftwood on the beach in Cahuita National Park

7. The Banana Spider, commonly found in households and gardens across the country

Banana spider

8. Cacao preparations

Cacao

9. A blooming red hibiscus flower

Red Hibiscus flower

10. Siesta time

Sleeping Dog

11. A quiet spot in the lush jungle

Waterfall in the jungle

12. The inside of a cacao bean

Cacao bean

13. Storm's a Brewin' Near Limón

Clouds over Limon

14. A quiet predator in the branches

Snake

15. Coconut water, the most refreshing beverage in Costa Rica

Coconut water

16. Jungle walks in Cahuita National park

Jungle walk in Cahuita National Park

17. & 18. Waterfall and jungle views

Costa Rican jungle
Waterfall

19. Footsteps in the sand

Beach in Cahuita National Park

20. Dinner is served

Bird eating crab

21. A colorful home in the jungle

Colorful house in the jungle

22. A butterfly resting its wings on the beach

Colorful butterfly

23. Walking amongst the driftwood in Cahuita National Park

Cahuita National Park

24. Just hanging out

Sloth

25. Fishing off the coast at sunset

Fishing boat

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Costa Rica is a small country full of dense rainforest, down-to-earth locals, beach bums and surfer dudes, tons of sloths, and some of the prettiest postcard-worthy beaches in Central America. Here are 25 captivating images of Costa Rica.