Costa Rica’s Blue Zone: A Life Changing Trip
Ok this is no exercise. No test. Grab your stuff. Just the most important things. Pack them up. And get ready for a life changing trip to Costa Rica’s blue zone!
Where snorkeling becomes a magical exploration. Surfing turns to an act of liberation, both of body and soul. Spas have a natural aftertaste of mindfulness. Yoga is a stretch of wonderful balance. And with these, you haven’t even scratched the surface.
So here, take National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettner’s advice and discover why the Nicoya Peninsula is one of the few on the list of places where longevity is the average. Why do people reach 100 years and stay active in these areas only? You’re about to find out what Costa Rica’s Blue Zone is.
Costa Rica’s Blue Zone – The Longevity Region
This piece of information is only a starting point to what will most likely turn into the experience of your life: vacation will never be the same again.
You need pure information. So the first thing you’ll read is a TO VISIT list.
Santa Teresa, Malpais and Montezuma
These three are the entrées to Costa Rica’s immaculate and spectacular beaches. Surfing playgrounds with delightful beach activities ranging from lazy sunbaths to fishing, snorkeling, early morning meditation, and great exotic fruit smoothies.
Here you’re taking beauty to a family-friendly level. A hike through the tropical forests surrounding the area is kindly complemented by the smaller, kinder waves waiting for new surfers to get a grip.
The Cabo Blanco Natural Reserve
Costa Rica’s first protected natural reserve will present a marvelous image of what nature is capable of when it generates raw art. Not just virgin green, but quite a lot of fauna too – as well as howler monkeys, coatis, coyotes and a series of beautiful species of birds.
Barra Honda National Park
It’s where the Earth keeps its artistry preserved. You’ll take an adventure to a new level of discovery, taking a closer look at the underground chambers of delight – caves that will keep you amazed for hours.
Palo Verde National Park
It’s a magnet for bird lovers – home to 279 different kinds of birds such as tanagers, orioles, black-bellied whistling duck and so much more. You can also go on boating tours that will reveal crocodiles roaming free, or make a stop at the famous nesting colony of Isla de Los Parajos.
Ostional Wildlife Refuge
Not many tourists miss this one when visiting Nicoya. It’s where you get to see turtles nest and their eggs hatch. Just imagine observing giant sea turtles while they’re turning the beach into a passing-through crib. And then add the picture of baby turtles touching the water for the first time, in the morning, just after the eggs have hatched.
Blue Zones and Longevity
That’s how the blue zones work. We’re looking at rare areas on the globe where locals have been observed to enjoy a long-lasting, relaxed and healthy life. At least that’s how it works according to Dan Buettner, who has named and detailed this concept in his book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. He claims that in these places people literally are different than all others.
Visiting Nicoya’s main attractions might actually bring a change to the way you see life as a whole, not just on vacation. In fact, there are several resorts that are teaching guests about the ways of the locals –how, when and what they eat, how to stay fit and what happiness really is.
Surfer’s Favorite Place
However, Costa Rica’s blue zone is so much more. Nicoya is famous for being a marvelous playground for surfers all over the world.
The Peninsula is covered by spectacular beaches that host nature’s best. Eco-tourism is a natural must in this out-of-this-world scenario, where everything that happens is in a quiet, lovely pace.
Costa Rica’s Longevity Region: Being Old Is Great
When you see these sapphire waters, you almost feel that getting old is not a problem anymore. In fact, you have no idea how right you are.
With a bit of guidance, you might actually learn the secrets of reaching 100 and still enjoying physical work just like the Ticos (locals in Costa Rica).
Enjoy Some Sunshine
And then it’s ok to soak up some sun in these parts since researchers have found that small portions of sunbathing actually helps locals keep vitamin d at the right level.
It provides strong bones and healthy body function. Why on earth would anyone say no to that?
Beaches In Costa Rica’s Blue Zones
Costa Rica’s blue zone is a world of marvel, but no matter how far you’ll explore, out of a month-long vacation you’ll most likely spend at least a week covering its most popular beaches. And that proportion grows exponentially as you move into the details.
Santa Teresa: “one of the best beaches in the world”
Start with Santa Teresa, since you have Forbes Magazine’s word. According to the publisher, it’s one of the best beaches in the world.
While surfers will enjoy its richness year-round, those looking for genuine balance will find a seemingly unlimited amount of yoga classes and studios in the area.
Playa Montezuma: bungalows and adventures
Playa Montezuma, on the other hand, will add some salt and pepper to the surfing mood with its hiking and swimming attractions.
Think beachfront hotels, bungalows and then add the rightful activities you’d want in a memorable experience. Yes, adventurous tours nearby will reveal waterfalls of amazing beauty, send you around kayaking and offer you adrenaline rushes with zip lining and other activities.
Malpais: a chance to peace
Then there’s Malpais. Yes, that one is a true heart builder. Located on the tip of the peninsula, it’s more than a beach. Aside from the perfect weather year-round, great bars, restaurants, and luxury hotels, it’s here where you’ll want to stay if what you’re after is a less crowded resort.
The Secrets of Costa Rica’s Blue Zone
Now, as a tourist traveling to heaven, you’ll be expecting wonders for the soul. But there’s a lot to this place for your body as well.
Since you’re considering a vacation to Nicoya, Costa Rica, you might as well take a minute to listen to what researchers found about the centenarians living here.
You never know how these findings might actually help you live a better life.
Stay Active, Eat Less, And Hug People
Centenarians are active individuals and enjoy physical work for all their lives. They find joy in everyday chores and live with their families. A sense of purpose and belonging keeps them integrated into the community. They have a group of close ones that use their experience and wisdom in an active way.
The Food – Oh The Food!
According to Blue Zones, eating fewer calories appears to be one of the surest ways to add years to your life. Nicoyans eat a light dinner early in the evening. And then “for most of their lives, Nicoyan centenarians ate a traditional Mesoamerican diet highlighted with the <<three sisters>> of agriculture: squash, corn, and beans.”
Neighbors visit centenarians frequently because they are people who listen, laugh and are thankful for what they have.
Demographic research has proved that there are at least five regions with similar health benefits among its inhabitants. Sardinia in Italy, Okinawa in Japan, Loma Linda in California, Icaria in Greece and Nicoya in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica’s Blue Zone And Fishing?
So here you are, you’ve taken bird-watching off your list. The whitest sand, the highest hills, the greatest forests, the deepest caves, heck, you even swam with the sharks. It’s time to get back to your roots. It’s time to get hooked on these Nicoyans waters as real fishermen do.
Playas Del Coco
Here sport fishing is at the foundation of everything that stands. Clearly, deep-sea diving is present and early mornings will be necessary if you’re here for that.
The Tico community in the area will gladly help you out with the right areas to catch proper fish. And if you’re lucky, they might even share a secret or two of this craft that’s been making man sail the seas since forever.
Playa Carrillo – The Sand of Silence
4 km down from Samara, Carrillo unfolds. A wide beach with clean white sand, cracked granite headlands and the jungle in the back. While it’s turning into a family resort for Ticos during weekends and holidays, the crowded beach becomes somewhat deserted once the weekdays kick in.
It’s a great place to balance your crazy Nicoyan days with some calm Costa Rican sunsets. And when that’s over, head back to the little town situated on the hillside above the beach and ask for the local drink.
If traveling to the Central American paradise has turned into an obsession, you might want to check up on a couple of things before leaving.
Weather In Costa Rica’s Blue Zone
According to costarica.org, the dry season – December-April – is considered high season for tourists. However, the rainy season – May-November – is not that bad either, considering it usually only rains during the evening or at night, which leaves your Costa Rican sunbathing in place. In fact, opting for the latter might actually be better, since you’ll find fewer tourists and lower hotel rates.
While even one day spent on a Nicoyan beach is going to be a picture you never forget, you might want to consider a minimum of two weeks for a proper trip on the peninsula.
It’s not going to be enough to cover everything, but at least you’ll get a taste of the main attractions.