Ten years ago Santa Teresa, Costa Rica and all of the Mal Pais area were relative unknowns, but now just about anywhere one travels in the world, people have heard about Santa Teresa. It’s become a must-stop for travelers passing through the beautiful isthmus nation and RE/MAX Pura Vida wants you to have a head start on the vibe and style that is bringing people to the area in flocks. While, the area from Mal Pais to Playa Hermosa, known casually as Santa Teresa, is absolutely stunning in its natural beauty, housing pristine white sand beaches and tropical jungle growth that hide secret waterfalls, it’s truly the “Wild West”. There’s a bit of a peaceful no rules vibe that keeps bringing people back. At first glance, the place can seem like a sanctuary of ultimate freedom, and it can feel like that after living there for a while as well, but there are a few secrets to getting into the in-crowd and really having a life-changing experience that the combination of place and people can provide.
1) TAKE IT SLOW
The first thing RE/MAX Pura Vida wants you to remember is to take it slow. This high-tech world has become one of instant satisfaction, and having those kinds of expectations in a paradise can have you missing the forest for the trees. Pura Vida means “pure life” but it really translates to living in the moment and being present. Things can often take a long time in Costa Rica, and the culture is unapologetic about it. Getting food may take a while at a restaurant, but who cares? The views are amazing and the company is good, not to mention a freshness to the food that can rival anywhere around the globe, so look about and pick a detail to enjoy, your food will be there before you know it. Same can be said for tours or check-in times. It’s entirely possible your tour guide or concierge could be late, but remember, just like our own RE/MAX Pura Vida employees, everyone that lives here is about living in the moment and enjoying the present just like you are.
2) KEEP IT SIMPLE
Many in the Mal Pais and Santa Teresa area are also a bit minimalist. The combination of constant outdoor entertainment and harsh conditions of the jungle climate means that luxury electronics and amenities are often left to pass. It’s difficult to receive mail in town and it’s distance from any high-end retail stores can make it a bit of a challenge to be a heavy consumer of the latest in style and wares anyhow. The trick is to keep it simple and reduce down to things with multiple functions that accent one’s favorite activities. Visitors will even often find refrigerators bare, because the abundance of local food and places to purchase it creates a habit of cooking with only the freshest of ingredients. Why not, when most everything is within walking distance or a quick quad ride down the mountain?
3) BECOME PART OF THE COMMUNITY
The community of Santa Teresa and long-time long-term residents are the hidden gem that make everywhere from Mal Pais to Playa Hermosa a truly unique place. There is a vast group of eco-conscious adventurers in pursuit of happiness with a like-minded love for the area and everyone in this tiny town can make it feel like something of a summer camp for adults, so don’t hesitate to get involved. There are plenty of community get togethers and good causes where you can meet new people. Even RE/MAX Pura Vida is involved with local soccer teams and local cyclists helping children and adults alike. Check out our #REMAXATHLETE hashtag to find out how you can join the fun when you’re in the area.
4) TRUST THE PROFESSIONALS
Next up is to trust the professionals. Flat out, this is an important one, especially if you’re building or developing in the area. The jungle is a unique place with a unique set of challenges to overcome, so if your mechanics or contractors are giving you pertinent information that seems out of the ordinary, just remember, they’re likely do have dealt with this before. Experience can go a long way in a lush paradise so far from mainstream civilization. Even your real estate agents are likely to have great tips and insights on great opportunities in the area and how best to handle them.
5) EMBRACE THE “PURA VIDA”
Which brings us back around to “Pura Vida”, that essence of Costa Rican living. Drinking in the moments of life goes farther than having patience and slowing down. It means crossing the street to have a conversation with someone because that’s more important than getting to the store in the next moment or even being on time for a group function. It’s only sixty seconds, and that conversation could change your day. Pura Vida means living life to the fullest and not judging others on their pursuits of happiness. It means to tend the garden you can reach and wear a smile wherever you go, even if that means chasing a beautiful butterfly down a beach path. It won’t be hard to become infected by the blissful vibe that is Pura Vida, so don’t resist, drink it in and have another drink.
While you’re slowed down, blissed out and enjoying that drink, follow a little butterfly over to RE/MAX Pura Vida. We’ll help you make this place home and may even join you for a drink. Located right at the main crossroads in town, RE/MAX Pura Vida is within close vicinity of some of the best places to eat in town and even the top tattoo spot, in case you want to stop in for a Pura Vida tattoo. Look out for our #REMAXATHLETEs riding through town as well, any one of them will be happy to tell you how much they love the area and until then keep checking back with us here.