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Posted by Rick Civelli | 07.08.2013 | Costa Rica Surf Camp

Travels in the Land of the Tico – Learning the Language of Pura Vida

Pura Vida – Pure Life… I heard these two simple words for the first time while leading my first WB Surf Camp trip last year. Here in Costa Rica, this phrase can be used in place of “thank you”, “you’re welcome”, “what’s up?”, “no worries”, “good bye”, and so on. But most importantly, Pura Vida is used to describe a lifestyle specific to that of the Costa Rican population, a lifestyle that embraces the inevitable  difficulties of life while treasuring every beautiful moment along the way.


This go-with-the-flow way of life is very compatible with the core values at the base of surf culture, so it’s no wonder that thousands of surfers travel to the rich coast every year, chasing both an endless summer, and a taste of Pura Vida. As we conclude our first week of the first session Teen Costa Rica, I’m feeling a familiar sense of gratitude. This place, this culture, these waves…they’re truly something special, and as a surf instructor for WB Surf Camp I have the unique ability of helping a group of teens experience the magic of this country in an unforgettable way.


After our arrival in Liberia on Friday, Alex and I spent the next two days hashing out some of the details for the following two weeks of adventure. This summer we’ve rented out a beachside paradise in Playa Grande called Rancho Privado, and if a more picture-esque Tico resort exists, I haven’t seen it. We couldn’t wait for the campers’ arrival so that we could share this very special experience with them.


Rancho is the perfect classroom. It is located less than 100ft away from the beach, so our mornings are mingled with the sounds of sea birds, ocean breezes, waves, and the occasional crab scampering about on the patio. Simply the sounds of Pura Vida. When our group arrived on Sunday every soul was jet lagged and exhausted. But as we walked inside Rancho with the teens for the first time, I could see a sense of surreal excitement on everyone’s face. Please stay tuned for more updates on our campers, the WB Surf Camp experience, and, of course, the Pura Vida lifestyle.

– Nick O.