Gliding across the water as the imposing Arenal Volcano comes into focus, Elidier Rojas of Pedal Board Costa Rica turns and shouts, “You can jump in if you want,” writes assistant editor, Ann Ruppenstein in this week’s cover story in Travel Courier.
Picture a stand-up paddleboard with handles for balance that’s propelled forward by a stepping mechanism instead of a paddle, and you’ve got a pedal board. While we’d been attempting to meticulously maneuver the devices on the large lake to avoid unintentionally getting soaked in the wake of motorboats, the owner of the family-run business had other intentions.
Leaping gleefully headfirst off his board, tour guide Rhyan Cruz is among the first in our small group to take the plunge, embodying what’s known locally as the Pura Vida lifestyle. Although the popular Costa Rican colloquial phrase, which translates to pure life, means living life to the fullest while nurturing the mind, body and soul through such things as wellness and adventure activities, Cruz explains that the term was actually coined from the 1956 Mexican movie of the same name.
“Here in Costa Rica, it is more than just a saying — it is a way of life,” he says. “Costa Ricans, Ticos, use this term to say hello, to say goodbye, to say everything’s great, to say everything’s cool. However, it is not the words that reflect the true meaning of ¡Pura Vida! – Pura Vida is the way Ticos live.”
In a resting phase since 2010, Arenal was the country’s most active volcano for 43 years, and the small town of La Fortuna remains a hub for travellers drawn to quintessential Costa Rican experiences such as chasing waterfalls, soaking in therapeutic hot springs, sloth encounters, and a healthy dose of outdoor activities like hiking, rappelling, canyoning, zip-lining and a plethora of water excursions, all in the foothills of volcanoes.
If it’s adventure and wellness your clients seek, there’s no end to the options in Costa Rica. Fans of ABC’s hit reality show The Bachelor can also look forward to seeing the destination showcased in the current season featuring pilot Peter Weber.
For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.