The marketing directors at Costa Rica’s Tourism Ministry attributed the “invention” of the term Pura Vida Wellness to Hans Pfister, CEO of the Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges. The term had come up in a workshop a few years ago on how to make Costa Rica more competitive in the fast-growing segment of wellness travel.
Since then, we have been invited by the Tourism Ministry and its Public Relations company to share our interpretation of Pura Vida Wellness with representatives of the international press in several trips to the US. The presentation of what wellness means to us at Cayuga and what could be a model for Costa Rica was very well received. We think this could be developed further.
To us at Cayuga, Wellness goes far beyond a massage with your head down in a climatized treatment room at a luxury spa or resort. It is about experiencing nature and the outdoors, interacting with the locals, learning new skills and of course also relaxing experiences.
We find that a lot of our guests leave our hotels and lodges feeling better, healthier and happier than when they arrived. Quality interactions with others, connecting with the natural surroundings, enjoying local healthy foods and slowing the pace can do magic.
We found that stepping out of the comfort zone and opening up to new and somewhat challenging experiences is part of the wellness concept that we describe as Pura Vida. Hiking through a primary growth rain forest with a local naturalist guide for a few hours breathing pure air and learning about the flora and fauna is probably more relaxing for the mind than a traditional spa treatment. Learning a new skill like getting up on a surf board and catching a wave for the first time is an experience that might reprogram the way you think of yourself and what you are able to achieve.
And then there is another level to the interpretation of wellness that we discovered at our hotels and lodges. Our mission at Cayuga is to find the perfect symbiosis of luxury and sustainability. We are all about biodiversity conservation and the improvement of the local communities where we operate. Our guests comment that this guilt-free vacation experience where they feel they actually contribute something positive through their visit makes them feel very good and has an important impact on their well-being. Pura Vida Wellness indeed.
For the next year, we plan to add many more Pura Vida Wellness features to the experience at our hotels and lodges. Complimentary yoga classes at the beach or in a rain forest setting, cooking classes on how to prepare fresh local foods and visits to local farmer’s markets and communities are just a few examples.
Let us know about your interpretation of Pura Vida Wellness at email@example.com.
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San Jose, Costa Rica