The phrase Pura Vida is everywhere the moment you enter Costa Rica (another smooth border crossing by the way). I’m told there is actually no direct translation into English, the closest being pure life and that its understood as an all encompassing frame of mind. Costa Ricans, or Tico’s as they call themselves, drop it in conversation most often as a response to how they’re doing like we would use “it’s fine” or “I’m cool”.
Puerto Viejo would probably be the poster town for this phrase. It’s set on reams and reams of perfect coastline on the one side of its main road and emerald-green fauna on the other. The handful of roads making up the town are made up of bars, shops and budget accommodation for surfers, hippies and backpackers. I spent a leisurely afternoon on a rented bicycle checking the town (and trying to figure out bus schedules for the coming week) and beaches around it. We watched the locals school some tourists at crazy surfing in hectic conditions and managed to squeeze in a beer or two at one of the beach bars on our way home.