What is a Blue Zone?

World explorer, New York Times best-selling author, and founder of The Blue Zone, Dan Buettner, defines Blue Zones as geographical regions in the world where the local residents live longer than in other areas – termed “longevity hotspots.” These areas have more centenarians (people over 100-years old) than anywhere else.

Among the (only) five world blue zones Buettner identifies is Costa Rica. On the Nicoya Peninsula, to be precise. In 2005, Buettner’s widely acclaimed “The Secrets of Living Longer” article was published in National Geographic followed by his book “The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from People who Lived the Longest.”

According to his research, among the world’s longevity hotspots are Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Ikaria, Greece; Loma Linda, California; and the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. What makes each of these locations unique is a combination of lifestyle traits and daily habits that result in residents living longer, healthier lives than average. 

Visit the Nicoya Peninsula Blue Zone with Adobe Rent a Car 

Why do people live longer in Costa Rica? Buettner’s studies on the Nicoya Peninsula revealed eight key factors that affect people’s life expectancy. Surprisingly, happiness and keeping a focus on family are two of the main components.

Physical activity, diet, good mineral-rich water, friends, a satisfying job, eating light in the evening, and a “plan de vida” are the other aspects. A “plan de vida” translates loosely to having a sense of purpose. The more a person feels like their life has meaning, the better. 

The Nicoya Peninsula is also one of the country’s most prominent tourist destinations. Nicknamed, the Gold Coast by travel aficionados, the warm golden sands and stunning beaches draw visitors from around the world. Nowadays, the Nicoya Blue Zone is adding to the area’s attractive attributes. 

Surfers and nature lovers are especially lured to the area’s numerous surf schools, national parks, and quiet mangroves and estuaries that are perfect for kayaking and birding.  

Witnessing sea turtles come to the shores to lay their eggs is another must-see when visiting the peninsula. Playa Ostional beach and the Santa Rosa National Park are two of the most important nesting sites for species of Pacific sea turtles. 

Nosara, Costa Rica – welcoming ex-pats to the “Zone” 

Nosara is located in one of the 5 blue zones of the world. The quaint beach town and agricultural community is an excellent example of a Latin American blue zone. Not only are the local Costa Rican’s affected, however, the ex-pats living in Nosara and the nearby beaches such as Ostional, Samara, and Guiones are embracing the concept of a healthy and meaningful life wholeheartedly.

Residential retreat communities like Blue Spirit in Nosara have a yoga, spa, and longevity center dedicated to helping visitors create an atmosphere of purpose, health, vitality, and resilience in their own lives. Stephan Rechtschaffen MD, founder of Blue Spirit, eventeaches seminars on longevity and holistic wellness, and patrons can practice yoga and receive rejuvenating treatments and other health boosters. 

The blue zone diet is another important factor that is incorporated into Blue Spirit and many of Nosara’s other wellness centers. Several cookbooks are available that offer a wide variety of healthy recipes using simple, naturally sourced, fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and proteins. 

According to Buettner, one of Costa Rica’s secrets to living to 100 is the traditional diet consumed by rural communities. Whole grain rice, black beans, squash, and corn together provide a full range of minerals, vitamins, and proteins that contribute to excellent health. Drinking hard water rich in calcium also helps maintain strong and resistant teeth and bones.   

 Live longer in Costa Rica’s Blue Zone

There’s no doubt that going on vacation is beneficial, and most of us will agree that it contributes to living a long healthy life. Nosara’s beaches, laid-back beach communities, and beautiful coastal forests alive with bird and animal life charm travelers year after year. It’s no surprise that so many foreigners decide to call the area home and move to Costa Rica permanently. 

Getting to the Nicoya Peninsula with Adobe 

Getting to Nicoya’s northwest Pacific beach towns is a breeze. Visitors arriving at both the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in the Central Valley and the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport (LIR) in Liberia will find the drive is scenic and fun on well-paved roads. 

Adobe Rent a Car has two main-branch offices serving both international airports. To make your reservation with the SJO airport office go to;  Phone: +(506) 2442-2422;

US & CAN Toll-Free: 1-855-861-1250 (8 am-5 pm Central Time); Whatsapp: +(506) 8494-5956 (Monday to Friday, 8 am-5 pm Central Time); email:

For the Liberia office go to: Phone: +(506) 2667-0608; US & CAN Toll-Free: 1-855-861-1250 (8 am-5 pm Central Time); Whatsapp: (506) 8494-5956 (Monday to Friday, 8 am-5 pm Central Time); email:

We also have full-services in Puntarenas and Playa Conchal – both of which connect with the Nicoya Peninsula beaches and their communities. 

Secrets to the Nicoya long life

So, why do people live long in Costa Rica? The best way to find out is to come and see for yourself. 


Fotografía principal: GOPLAYA.CR