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Guanacaste BLUE ZONE...

Longer & happier lives.       

By / Por:  
Andrés Benavente
Photos courtesy of Dan Buettner and Sigrid Schneider

Have you ever heard of a Blue Zone?

This is the name given to a few special areas of the planet where people live much longer than average.

Only 5 such areas have been identified so far in the world:  The Province of Okinawa in Japan, the Loma Linda area in California, the Italian isle of Sardinia, New Scotia in Canada and the largest of them all, the Nicoya Peninsula in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. This Peninsula, in addition to being the largest of these zones, also contains the largest number of people over the age of 100.

However, this is not just a matter of a longer lifespan.  These areas are unique due to the greater quality of life one enjoys in their later years.  Here, elderly people enjoy extraordinarily good health, fewer limitations, a much lower frequency of geriatric illnesses, a low obesity index, and they are generally happy with their lives and have notable physical mobility. 

In summary, it isn’t only a matter of a longer lifespan, but of existence that is long, healthy and happy.

Blue Zones are places where the elderly breathe life with fulfillment and enjoyment…

While these 5 Blue Zones embody very different lifestyles, there are some common factors found.  Such factors include a diet abundant in vegetables, fruits and cereals with little to no meat; having enough time for rest and recreation and quite importantly,  living in harmony and with strong relationships with family members. 

The old people of Sardinia are also quick to include in the recipe for longevity, drinking two glasses of wine a day.  In Loma Linda they recommend as a basic requirement, a life free of excesses, while for the octogenarians of Okinawa, it’s crucial to have meaning and purpose in one’s life.

In Costa Rica, the key to the unusual Guanacastecan longevity, along with the relaxed lifestyle of Ticos, is thought to be that the drinking water of some areas. It could be an elixir of health, due to the heavy content of minerals beneficial to the human body.

Dan Buettner, author of ‘The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest’, point that Costa Rica also benefits from having guaranteed access to good medical services and also by being a country with its own philosophy of life which has not fallen into the grasp of the crushing race for status nor of an exaggerated consumerism.


Per example, a 60 year old person in Costa Rica has four times the chance of reaching their 90’s than a sexagenarian in the United States.  In an  incredible paradox, Costa Ricans spend 15 times less in health care per person than  North Americans.

Guanacaste, a place to live a longer and happier life...

If we add the fact that the Guanacaste Blue Zone is located within the “Happiest Country in the Planet” (First place in the World Happiness Index), then we can conclude that Guanacaste is a great place for those who are seeking a longer, more satisfying live.

And the best part is that this is a hospitable, friendly country where everyone is welcome.

However, keep in mind…There is one requirement: To be able to partake in all the benefits that Costa Rica has to offer and to be able to fully enjoy this country, one must discard some of the traditional concepts of success, well-being and efficiency. 

Here, those values are appraised within different parameters, being more closely linked to the social and familiar aspects than to material achievement.

Once you understand this, you will be ready to really ‘get into’ the  special and sometimes misunderstood philosophy of  Pura Vida, the Tico secret for both a long and happy life…

If you like this, we recommend to read this book (Available in Ebay or Amazon) and also looking up these other related articles:      

-Understanding the Philosophy of Pura Vida..
- Costa Rica, the happiest country in the world.



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What else would you like to see in Utopia Magazine? 

Things to do in Costa Rica

Golf in Guanacaste 

Tico Glossary Catalinas island 

Barra Honda Caves

Rincón de la Vieja

Diving in Guanacaste


Marina Papagayo Medical tourism

What does Pura Vida means? 

MAPS Ecology   Culture   

Hotels in Costa Rica Birds

watching guide MarineTurtles 

Playas del Coco NationalParks 

Transportation guide 

Humpback Whales 


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