Pura Vida! Costa Rica

On August 1, 2011 by Mrs C

In September 2008, I was fortunate enough to be sent to Costa Rica. Although the trip from Manila to Costa Rica was over 24 hours in total, my total stay there was just about 1 week. Most of it was a struggle against jetlag to stay awake for the whole-day meetings. As such, we were only able to squeeze in a city tour, and we were unable to visit Costa Rica’s famous volcanoes and rainforests (boo).

Pura Vida (which literally translates to pure life) is like the nation’s phrase or expression — much like Hawaii’s Aloha! or the PhilippinesMabuhay! It’s used as a greeting or as a farewell, as well as a cheer/toast, or just an expression when you’re totally enjoying. As tourists, we liked to interject it into conversation whenever we can. Like, wow, this food is great! I love it here! Pura vida! LOL

Flying In

Some of us flew in via Continental Airlines through Houston, TX. You can read more about my journey from Manila to San Jose here.

Others coming from Europe flew in through Atlanta, GA.


We stayed in at the The Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, which is about 30 minutes drive from the airport.

Courtyard by Mariott San Jose Escazu - facade

The room was quite big, compared to the hotel rooms I’ve been to in Hong Kong and Singapore. However, since it was a 3-star hotel, there were a few amenities that I missed (from my other business trips). Free internet more than made up for it.

Courtyard by Marriott - Hotel Room

On the opposite side of the courtyard were a number of restaurants which provides a few alternatives from the hotel food.



Chancay (Peruvian cuisine)

La Gelateria

City Tour

We availed of the city tour through the hotel. The tour guide was multi-lingual, and alternated between Spanish and English throughout the trip. We got off at a few places, such as in a nice traditional restaurant for lunch, in a museum/shop for jewelry/art, and a souvenir store. For others sights, we just drove by them (which is why I am unable to name some of the buildings we photographed). It was raining in the earlier part of the trip, so some of my shots from my poor digicam also suffered. As such, this will be mostly be just a series of photographs which are mostly un-labeled.

Raindrops on the tour van window

A prison?

Nuestra Tierra - our stop for authentic Costa Rican lunch

Costa Rican cuisine. I learned throughout my 1 week in Costa Rica that beans are a staple of their meal.

Costa Rican dessert

They performed a lively traditional dance for us, then later grabbed a few of us to join them.

The signage outside seems to say "Legislative Assembly"

An important building. I think this is the Vatican embassy.

A signage of a fire station. The same word for "firefighter" is used in Filipino/Tagalog: "bombero"

A church

Teatro Melico Salazar

Museos Banco Central de Costa Rica. According to research, it's also known as the Gold Museum.

The Embassy of the Unites States of America

Jewelry Store

Here's a sign at the souvenir shop where we stopped.

Rattlesnake Eggs. One of the interesting souvenirs available at the souvenir shop

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