Due to its higher life expectancy, the Nicoya Peninsula is renowned for being one of the world’s five Blue Zones. Moreover, the Nicoya Peninsula is home to breathtaking, pristine beaches, natural forests, and a small town promoting the famous surfing culture that is perfect for visitors who want to escape the hustle and bustle of a busy life. The Nicoya Peninsula is a paradise for water sports lovers – many surfers consider it the best surfing location on earth. Visitors from all over the world visit the Nicoya Peninsula to explore the caves, watch wild birds, and go to the Cabo Blanco Reserve to spend quality time with family and friends during their vacation.
So, prepare yourself for a tranquil and memorable Costa Rican vacation in the Nicoya Peninsula with our small informative guide. We have covered all the details you might need to know before visiting one of the Blue Zones in the world.
What is a Blue Zone?
On average, global life expectancy is 71 years. But you will be surprised to know that there are places or regions around the world where people, effortlessly and naturally, can live to more than 90 years of age. These areas are referred to as Blue Zones.
David Buettner from National Geographic coined the phrase “Blue Zones” after leading a team of researchers to understand why some regions of the world have people who live longer, happier, and healthier lives than the rest of us. They focused their research on five specific areas, all of which were in different nations but had unique characteristics that contribute to the overall health of their residents.
Blue Zones Across the World
The top five Blue Zones across the world are –
- Okinawa, Japan: Women in Okinawa live longer than women in other countries and have lower cancer, heart disease, and dementia rates. The secret to why Okinawans live longer lies in their diet, which includes soybeans, sweet potatoes, bitter melon, turmeric, and mugwort.
- Sardinia, Italy: This island is a mountainous region of Italy with the highest concentration of centenarian men. Sardinians have lower cancer, diabetes, and death rates because of their protein-rich diet.
- Ikaria, Greece: This Blue Zone is an island where people follow the Mediterranean diet consisting of vegetables, healthy fats, and lower quantities of meat and dairy products to lead a happy, healthy life.
- Loma Linda, California: The community of Loma Linda follows a healthy vegan diet that contributes to their healthy lifestyle. This diet also makes them live ten years longer.
- Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica: This Central American region ranks the second highest in terms of having male centenarians and has the lowest rate of mid-age mortality globally. The secret of the Nicoyans’ long, healthy life lies in the diet they follow and, on their beliefs, physical activities, social networks, and regular habits.
Blue Zone in Costa Rica – Nicoya Peninsula
The Pacific Ocean borders the Nicoya Peninsula on its west and south. The base of the Peninsula is in the Guanacaste plains, while the southern and central portions are in various mountain ranges. The province lies in a region where the tropical rainforest meets the dry forest. The southern part of the Peninsulas has a wildlife reserve, which is home to some rare plants and animals, making it one of the most popular tourist spots in Costa Rica.
The Blue Zone in Costa Rica is full of adventure with its beaches, waterfalls, and wildlife reserves. When you visit Costa Rica, you can go on a tour to add more fun and excitement to your vacation. Some popular tours you can include in your travel itinerary are kayaking, ATV, hiking, and surfing at Santa Teresa Beach or the Montezuma Waterfalls.
The weather on the Nicoya Peninsula is lovely all year round, making it one of the few places on earth ideal for visiting any time of the year. The dry season from December to April is considered the peak season of the year for travelers. For eco-tourists and people who enjoy the outdoors and wish to see the plants in bloom, the rainy season, which lasts from May to November, is ideal. During the rainy season, there will also be fewer tourists and accommodation will get cheaper. You can enjoy the warmth of the Costa Rican sunshine for most of the day during the rainy season because it only rains in the evening or at night.
The Nicoya Peninsula, a Blue Zone in Costa Rica, is renowned for its tranquil, laid-back ambiance. The people of Nicoya value their families a lot, and you can often see them joking with their neighbors, working hard for long hours, and enjoying the sunshine. Due to the fantastic breaks in Santa Teresa, there is also a vibrant surfing culture which you can enjoy during your visit to the Blue Zone in Costa Rica.
Why Do People in the Blue Zone Live Longer?
The Nicoya Peninsula Lifestyle
Several investigations have been conducted to discover what all the Blue Zones have in common that support such extraordinarily long and healthy lives. These investigations suggest that even though thousands of kilometers separate all the Blue Zones, these different regions have one thing in common, i.e., the lifestyle traits that contribute to their exceptional longevity.
The Nicoya Peninsula is the only Blue Zone in Latin America and the biggest in the world. It is one of the five Blue Zones worldwide, where people enjoy long, happy, and healthy life effortlessly. Nicoyans unusually live more than 100 years, which suggests that there may be something more than just the Pura Vida lifestyle, which is responsible for their long lives. If you are interested in knowing some of the secrets of Nicoyans happy, healthy life, we are ready to spill the beans.
We have compiled the everyday lifestyle traits Nicoyans follow in the list below. Make sure to not only read them but also try to incorporate some of them into your routine as well.
- Work-Life Balance: People in the Blue Zone in Costa Rica believe in living in harmony with their work. They enjoy a slower pace of life even though the world is developing, changing, and moving fast. These people dedicate time slots to take rest throughout the day. There are lunch breaks and afternoon siestas when they put their work aside and enjoy their personal life.
- Choose Social Life Over Digital Life: Nicoyans believe living with their family is one of the best ways to unplug from this fast-changing digital era. These people prioritize their families, neighbors, and close ones over gadgets. Even generations of their family live together, spend time with each other, and help each other grow and develop.
- Connection with Nature: Costa Rica is a phenomenal natural paradise where people can find profound harmony with nature, which is rare worldwide. People living in the Nicoya Peninsula are fortunate enough to be able to breathe clean, fresh air and enjoy the sunshine daily. These people are surrounded by nature and aren’t afraid to get dirty, feel the sand between their toes, or swim in the refreshing river or the sea. Surfing, swimming, hiking, fishing, and riding horses are everyday leisure activities Nicoyans indulge in to keep themselves fit and healthy.
- Quality Life: One of the biggest reasons why Nicoyans live longer is their mantra to prioritize quality life, which means they believe in living a simple, stress-free, and quality life with their loved ones. Centenarians of the Blue Zone in Costa Rica believe living a good life will typically result in longer and healthier life.
- Regular Exercise: Centenarians in the Nicoya Peninsula region emphasize being active and fit. If you ever visit this region of Costa Rica, you will get to know that these people ride their horses every day to see their neighbors. The other activities Centenarians include in their routine are working in their gardens & yards every week, a short hiking trip every morning, milking cows, cattle farming, cutting wood, and harvesting vegetables & fruits on their farm.
- Have a Purpose in Life: Most centenarians have a sense of purpose in their lives which helps them lead a quality life. While discussing with one of the centenarians why having a purpose in life is essential, they stated, “Having goals in life helps you live with better mental and physical health and helps improve your life quality. A purpose-driven life also motivates you to fulfill the purpose and ultimately live a happier, longer, and focused life.” The Nicoyans also gain a sense of purpose by helping neighbors and communities in every possible way.
The Nicoya Peninsula Blue Zone Diet
Centenarians of the Nicoya Peninsula region eat a fresh and healthy diet, which includes locally grown fruits and vegetables. They generally prefer to eat home-cooked meals having staple Costa Rican fruits and vegetables like passion fruit, pineapple, papaya, cassava, yam, zucchini, pumpkin, and plantain. There is nothing on the list that contains preservatives or processed food items. All the ingredients needed to prepare a healthy Costa Rican food, like fruits, vegetables, and herbs, are grown organically and are easily available throughout the region.
Generally, all the traditional recipes which centenarians have during their lifetime are passed on from one generation to another. Also, when any dish is cooked at home, love and good intentions are the key ingredients, and mealtime is considered an opportunity to spend quality time with family. That is why mealtimes are of utmost importance to the Nicoyans. They do not even entertain distractions like using mobile phones or watching television while having meals together.
How Villa Firenze Promotes a Happy, Healthy Lifestyle in Costa Rica?
Villa Firenze is one of the best luxury rentals in Costa Rica, where you can enjoy a perfect blend of luxury, comfort, security, and privacy during your stay. While staying at Villa Firenze, you can relish natural splendor and experience the Pura Vida lifestyle of Costa Rica.
The villa is situated near beaches, parks, and a golf course, making it a perfect place to spend quality time away from the hustle and bustle of your busy life. While staying with us, you can enjoy fun activities like snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, swimming, and boat rides. And, when you want to relax, look no further than the amenities of Villa Firenze. We are known for providing our guests with all the luxuries they need for a memorable vacation. The infinity pool, clubhouse, gaming room, and open bar area are some amenities you can enjoy while staying at Villa Firenze for a relaxing vacation.
Pura Vida Lifestyle
Pura Vida is not only a Costa Rican slogan but also a significant part of the Costa Rican culture. At Villa Firenze, you can experience Pura Vida life in several ways.
While staying with us at the Villa, you will get to know that we are dedicated followers of Pura Vida, which means simple, pure life. Embracing Costa Rican lifestyle means learning to go with the flow. Pura Vida life is more about living in the moment and spending every day with the ones who are close to you. So, keep one day of your vacation free when you can enjoy the beautiful amenities of the Villa. You can escape the hustle and bustle of your busy life and enjoy a laid-back experience at Villa Firenze, where you can spend quality time with your family and friends. Just grab a cup of freshly prepared aromatic Costa Rican coffee and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the sunset. This experience is what you call Pura Vida.
Private Chef – Healthy Organic Food at Villa Firenze
When you book your stay with us at Villa Firenze, your package comes with a private chef. You can talk to our chef about your dietary preferences and can get customized meals to meet your culinary needs. Menu customization facilities will make it easy to follow your specific diet even when you are on vacation.
Locally Sourced and Produced Ingredients
At Villa Firenze, we prioritize our guests’ health. During your time with us, we will provide you with dishes made using organically produced fruits and vegetables, so you do not need to compromise on your diet during your vacation.
Yoga Retreat at Villa Firenze
The gardens of Villa Firenze provide many serene spaces for yoga and meditation. You only need to contact the Villa concierge if you want to plan a yoga retreat with your family or a group of friends. There will be a yoga instructor, mats, and a Zen Garden available for meditation sessions.
The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica has almost everything you need to spend a few relaxing moments away from the hustle and bustle of life. Come here and explore the culture, enjoy the meals & local produce, and spend some time experiencing the incredible beauty of sunsets. Whether you are here for a vacation or planning to stay, ensure to take back the secrets of a longer, healthier, and happier life.