About Us

Learn More About Pura Vida Retreat & Spa

Take an Exotic Journey. Leave Transformed.

We invite you to breathe in ‘pure life’ during your stay with us and enjoy your journey of inner exploration and outward adventure.

Pura Vida Retreat & Spa spans more than 8 acres at 4,900 feet above sea level surrounded by coffee plantations overlooking Costa Rica’s Central Valley.

Allow us to impart the joy and vitality of our Costa Rican culture and people during your stay.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Costa Rica is a global go-to spot for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Volcanic hills, lakes and plummeting waterfalls shape the lush, vibrant landscape. Tropical jungles teem with hundreds of wildlife species that exist nowhere else on the planet. San José, located in the Central Valley, is Costa Rica’s bustling urban capital. Pura Vida Retreat & Spa is tucked serenely in the clouds, nearly a mile above the city. Pura Vida’s climate is spring-like year-round with warm days (70s-80s F) and mild nights (60s F). The sun rises at 5:30 and sets around 6 all year long. Costa Rica’s Green Season is full of splendor for those seeking peace and tranquility. Refreshing mountain temperatures, purifying and cleansing rains are an opportunity to enliven the senses as you enter the season of turning within.

Passports United States and Canadian citizens may enter Costa Rica with a valid passport. 

Entry/Departure Requirements: The Government of Costa Rica requires that all foreign visitors must present a passport valid through at least one day after your scheduled departure from the country. When in Costa Rica, always carry your passport information. If you should be stopped by officials, a photocopy with your photo, passport number, and entry stamp will usually suffice and is recommended when making local excursions. Citizens of countries outside the U.S and Canada, should check with the Costa Rican Consulate in your country for more recent requirements and rules governing entrance into Costa Rica. 

Currency:  Costa Rican currency is the Colon.  However, most places accept USD, except for local buses which require payment in colones.  Pura Vida accepts USD and all major credit cards.  They do not exchange dollars for colones and will only give change in USD.  Do Not Exchange Money at the Airport.  They take advantage of travelers with a lousy exchange rate. 

Protect Your Trip We HIGHLY recommend that you consider purchasing Travel Insurance. Travel insurance companies like Trawick offers the Safe Travels Voyager plan for US residents. Other international insurance companies that travelers have used include InsubuyTravel Guard Preferred, and Seven Corners. Seven Corners offers coverage for residents of almost every country, with some exclusions.  You will most likely want to add CANCEL for ANY  REASON COVERAGE.  This rider is time sensitive. Please review policies carefully to choose the coverage you need. 

Vaccination Requirements Individuals entering Costa Rica from or through the following countries will require a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate: SOUTH AMERICA: Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Peru, Venezuela (San Andres is an exception), Providence, Santa Catalina. AFRICA: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leona, Sudan. 

What to Pack

  • Casual clothing- layers for temps as low as 62 degrees and as high as 90 degrees if planning to adventure out on certain excursions.
  • Sweater, light fleece or light jacket.
  • Swimsuits.
  • Light Rain Gear – poncho, raincoat.
  • Hat(s) with visor – for rain and sun protection.
  • Chargers for all electronic devices.
  • Personal Toiletries.
  • Zipper bag(s) for toiletries.
  • Prescription glasses – our guides say people lose and break their reading glasses often.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Prescription medication, in marked bottles.
  • Copy of prescription suggested.
  • Plastic bag(s) for wet items that have not had time to dry.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Insect Repellent (typically not needed but just in case).
  • Binoculars (if desired).
  • Refillable water bottle.

Cell Phone If you want to use your phone in Costa Rica, please check with your carrier to make sure you have international use activated. It will be cheaper and easier if you download WhatsApp on your phone and have your family and friends do the same.

Our shuttle service from Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) included in packages

Pura Vida Retreat & Spa offers shuttle service to and from the SJO airport only.
Shuttle service is included with our Mind + Body + Spirit packages and with most group retreats. Otherwise, round trip shuttle service is available for $35/per person round trip or $17.50/per person one-way.
Taxis are also available for hire at the airport.

Reserving a Shuttle

Shuttle service should be reserved at least 3 days prior to your arrival.

If your package or retreat includes shuttle service, please make your reservation using this online form this online form. You will receive confirmation by email.

If your package does not include shuttle service, please contact the Reservations Office 888-767-7375 or reservations@puravidaspa.com to make your reservation.

Finding Your Shuttle

Once you’ve cleared immigration, customs and collected your luggage proceed toward the exit. You’ll find our shuttle driver holding a sign reading “Pura Vida Retreat & Spa” + your last name (or your group’s name). Please do not accept help from anyone who is not properly identified as Pura Vida Staff or holding a sign with your name (or group’s name) on it.

If you are delayed, please alert Pura Vida Retreat & Spa in Costa Rica as soon as possible.

Dialing  Pura Vida within Costa Rica: 2-483-0033
Dialing Pura Vida from the US or Canada 678-661-2140.


Costa Rica’s second largest city is a quick car ride from Pura Vida Retreat & Spa where you can find ATMs, dining, and shopping.

Car Service

We can usually have a car for you in 15 minutes or less.

Car services in Costa Rica charge by the trip and not per person. Generally, a car service can accommodate up to four people. A trip to downtown Alajuela is about $15 each way, to the airport is $25 each way, to downtown San José is around $35 each way, and to Jacó (the nearest beach) is about $110 each way.

Car Rental & Public Transportation

If you’d prefer to rent a car, our staff will gladly help you with your reservation upon arrival. You’ll need a valid driver’s license, passport, and credit card. There is also a public bus route that picks up near Pura Vida and goes to downtown Alajuela once per hour. The cost is less than 50 cents per person, but only colones (Costa Rican currency) are accepted.

Driving directions from SJO Airport (approximately 25 minutes)

  1. As you exit the SJO airport, make a right.
  2. Immediately after exiting the airport you will go under the Pan-American Highway and take the ramp to the right following the sign for Alajuela. This ramp will loop around and merge onto the main highway. Make your way immediately to the right lane and take the first off ramp to your right, again following the sign for Alajuela.
  3. Take this road about 2 kilometers past the Mall Internacional on your left.
  4. Go to the second traffic light and make a right.
  5. Continue straight through several traffic lights. You will pass a McDonald’s on your right.
  6. Two blocks after the McDonald’s, follow the flow of traffic which will be making a left turn (there is a Martinizing dry cleaning store on the corner.)
  7. After this turn, continue straight about 6 blocks.
  8. At a traffic light you will see a building on the right with Coca-Cola signs painted on it.
  9. Take a right at this corner.
  10. Just after the turn you will see a large red structure on your left, which is a soccer stadium.

Start here if you are traveling from within the province of Alajuela

  1. Starting from “el stadio”, the soccer stadium in Alajuela: Start measuring!
  2. Exactly 7 kilometers from here, toward Carrizal, you will find a cantina (Bar) on the left called the “Apolo 15”.
  3. Make a sharp left turn that is almost a U-turn and go 700 meters.
  4. Stay to the left on the paved road until you come to a huge stone wall on your left.
  5. Stop at the first cream-colored gate where a guard is posted. The guard will check in with our reception desk and direct you where to go.

Pura Vida Retreat & Spa Contact Information:

    • WhatsApp Pura Vida Front Desk:  +506 8701 4031
    • Dialing the retreat center from Costa Rica: 2483-0033
    • Dialing the retreat center from the US or Canada 678-661-2140
    • Dialing US reservations (888) 767-7375

Mailing Address:

R & R Resorts LLC 250 E Jarrard ST STE C, Box 106 Cleveland, GA  30528

Physical Address:

800 Mts SW From Minisuper Pavas Pavas, Carrizal, Alajuela, 020103 Costa Rica Phone: 011-506-2-483-0033. Fax: 011-506-2-483-0041.

Cancellation Policy:  You may cancel your reservation and receive a refund less a $75 USD p/p cancellation fee up to 30 days prior to arrival date.  For cancellations made within 30 days of arrival date, all monies collected will be place on hold in a gift certificate for up to one year from the date of cancellation and may be used towards another vacation at Pura Vida Retreat & Spa.  You may only rebook once.  A second cancellation made after reb-booking will forfeit all monies collected.  You will be responsible for the full cost of your reservation if you choose to depart early or arrive late.

Check in/Check Out:  Check in time is 2pm and consists of some brief paperwork and a welcome orientation. Check out time is 10:00am. During check out, we’ll settle any remaining balance due from expenses incurred during your stay. Pura Vida Retreat & Spa accepts cash, and all major credit cards on site.  You will not incur foreign transaction fees at Pura Vida if you are using a US credit card.   Reminder: your balance should be paid 2 weeks prior to your arrival by credit card or Pay Pal.

Composting:   We have a food compost on the property. You will find labeled recycling bins for food and other disposable items in the dining hall and elsewhere. Please be mindful about what you put in each bin.

Creepy Crawlies:  Being one of the most bio-diverse countries on the planet, insect life is abundant in Costa Rica. Luckily, the elevation at Pura Vida keeps our retreat center remarkably mosquito-free. However, if you happen to have the innate ability to attract them, please pack your biodegradable bug spray.

Front Desk/Guest Services:  Pura Vida staff is available to assist guests at the reception from 7am to 10pm each day, and staff is on-call around the clock in case of emergencies. Everyone in the office, the yoga teachers and the massage therapists all speak English.

Gratuities:   Our prices do not include tips. Tipping is discretionary. If a guest would like to leave a gratuity, we suggest at least $50 per week. Our general staff of approximately 26 people (kitchen, housekeeping, gardeners, maintenance crew, drivers, yoga, and office) all take great pride in their work and are honored to serve you. Staff tips are pooled together weekly and distributed equally among the hospitality team. We ask that you please tip your massage therapist separately – the U.S. standard of 15% to 20% — preferably in cash at the time of treatment or added to the treatment service receipt. It is customary to tip tour guides as a token of your gratitude for their service as well.

In-room Amenities Liquid soap, shampoo and conditioner are provided in all rooms. Hair dryers are available at the front desk.

Kids: Children and infants are welcome at Pura Vida. Children must always be accompanied by an adult. While here, kids can use our pool and hot tub. There is also a guest lounge with board games, magazines, and books. Children really enjoy our eco-excursions, too (although some have age minimums).

Laundry: Laundry service is available to our guests at a charge of $8 per load to wash, dry and fold.

Safety:  Our retreat center is very secure. If it gives you greater peace of mind, a safe deposit box is also available for each guest at the front desk.  Please inquire. The surrounding neighborhood and coffee fields are also safe for a walk or jog with a companion.  We do not recommend venturing out for a walk or a jog after sunset.  By all means, go offer property in an uber or taxi!  Generally, Costa Rica is quite safe. Like any place, normal precautions and care should be taken depending upon where you are visiting. Violent crime is rare in Costa Rica while theft of personal property (from automobiles and hotel rooms) is more common. Big cities, beach areas and any place with a concentration of tourists require more caution.

Septic System: We ask that you kindly discard used tissue, toilet paper and feminine hygiene products into the bins provided, not into the toilets. The bins are emptied daily, and we are happy to send housekeeping to freshen them sooner if needed.

Sustainability and conservation As proud leaders of the green movement we are always looking for new ways to support this ongoing mission. We avoid single-use plastic as much as possible.  Therefore, you will not find plastic water bottles on property.

Technology: Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property, although some areas may be less strong than others.  You can expect to have 10 MB’s or less. Ethernet cables for a more reliable connection are available for guest computers near the reception area. Most cell phones work in Costa Rica, but we highly recommend that you contact your service provider before traveling for assistance in selecting the appropriate package for you. Or, better yet, download WhatsApp to communicated with your friends and family while in Costa Rica.  They must also download the program.   A phone is available for use in our guest lounge at the reception area.  Free calls to the US or Canada.

Water We have glass bottled water in your room and at the bar, as well as bottled water stations throughout the property to refill personal bottles. Water at Pura Vida is safe to drink from every faucet on the property. We filter our water on the premises with both a 1-micron filter and a UV filter. Countrywide, water quality standards in Costa Rica are generally quite high and visitors normally do not have any problems. Alkaline water is available in the restaurant at no additional cost.

Water & Energy Conservation Your rooms are turned over each day. If you choose to re-use your towels leave them hanging on the towel rack. If you require new towels, simply place your used towels on the floor. The fresh bed linens in your room are not changed again unless you request this be done.

Dining Hall

Delicious dishes are lovingly prepared from fresh local produce and regional purveyors. Served buffet-style in our inviting dining hall, all meals feature both North American and Costa Rican vegetarian, fish and chicken dishes to tempt your taste buds and nourish your body and soul. We also can accommodate specialty diets with advance notice.

Meal times are:

Breakfast  – 7:30am-9:00am

Lunch – 12:30pm-2:30pm

Dinner – 6:30pm-8:00pm

Complimentary coffee, tea, alkaline water and filtered water are available throughout the day. The wine and juice bar in the dining hall stocks sulfite-free, organic wines, Costa Rican and Central American beers, and bottled water for an additional fee. It is also the place for fresh smoothies, and custom-blended chai and turmeric elixirs.


Our boutique is adjacent to the dining hall. Discover a lovely selection of Costa Rican arts and crafts as well as essential travel items like toiletries, sun block, sunglasses and yoga gear. Open Sunday – Friday 11am – 7pm (closed Saturday).

Our Pool, Jacuzzi and Aquatic Treatments Tub

Enjoy lazy laps and floating on the mountaintop in our solar heated pool or just soaking in the sun poolside. Our property also offers a hot tub and Aquatic Treatments pool for therapeutic wellness treatments.

Holistic Garden, Flora and Fauna

Over 1,400 species of orchid grow wild in Costa Rica. Our natural flower is under siege in some areas because of deforestation, so we are taking an active role to conserve and celebrate this exotic plant. Our grounds hold dozens of species of orchids.

We take great pride in our exuberant, lush gardens that attract a variety of fauna for our guests viewing pleasure.

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