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.