NicoyaBlueZonePPWhat are Blue Zones and what do these regions, where people can live for more than 100 years, have in common?

There are five places in the world where happiness and a high quality of life are a reality. The people who live in these places aren’t stuck at the gym lifting weights, or obsessively counting calories every time they eat a meal. They have life goals, and faith, family, and friendships are of the utmost importance to them. The homes of these populations are known as “Blue Zones”, and Nicoya, Costa Rica is on this list of amazing places.

Also among the Blue Zones, which are characterized by having the highest life expectancies, are: Okinawa, Japan; Icaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; and Loma Linda, California.

The list of Blue Zones was created through a research process carried out by American writer Dan Buettner, along with a team of scientists from National Geographic. They traveled to the above-mentioned destinations in order to write a book about the habits and customs of people in these regions, where people simply don’t think about dying because they’re so happy and they are in great health.

The key to longevity can be found in these five destinations throughout the world which, despite their very different cultures, share a series of factors that can help to understand why people there live better, longer lives. Some reasons that stand out are: a simple way of life, not rushing, walking rather than driving, people growing their own food, and having a clear life purpose.

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Nicoya: Longer, high quality lives

The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province is a special area, having been distinguished as one the world’s Blue Zones. This region also stands out for being a popular tourist destination where you can find everything from wonderful nature reserves and world-class hotels, to tourist centers on the beach and picturesque rural towns. 

This Costa Rican region spans close to 4,100 kilometres and has a population of nearly 132,000 people, with more than 5,000 inhabitants over 75 years of age, according to the Central American Population Center (CCP, in Spanish).

Furthermore, men in the Nicoya Blue Zone have the highest life expectancy in the world. A man who turns 80 years old will live on average 8.2 years longer, and a man who turns 90 can be expected to lives 4.4 years longer, surpassing the life expectancies in countries like Japan, Iceland, and the United States.

Why do people live longer in Nicoya?

The inhabitants of the Nicoya Peninsula, one of the world’s Blue Zones, have healthy lifestyles and enjoy their paradisiacal home. Other important factors related to the area’s long life expectancy are characteristic of Costa Rica, where the population has one of the highest levels of wellbeing in the world.

Also read: Why choose Costa Rica for an Incentive Trip?

The following is a list of the main reasons why Nicoya is one of the Blue Zones:

Senior citizens in Nicoya receive medical attention any time they aren’t feeling well. The healthiest among them get together to dance and exercise, which keeps them lively. In this region, the focus on health isn’t only physical, but also mental and emotional.


Traditionally, the diet in Nicoya has included corn-based foods, such as tortillas, pastries, and cornbread. Many people also grow their own food, which helps to permanently maintain a healthy life.


The warm weather in Nicoya is favourable for those with bone or joint ailments. The sun’s warmth also produces positive hormonal effects; that is to say, the human brain absorbs vitamins that promote feelings of wellbeing. In addition, the scenic beauty of nature helps those living in Nicoya to lead more peaceful lives.


Remaining close to loved ones is one of the longevity secrets of Nicoya’s senior citizens. The majority of centenarians live with their families, participating in home activities and harmonious relationships. This doesn’t mean that people don’t experience difficulties, but it helps them to see life optimistically.


Those living in regions with the highest life expectancies in the world are part of religious or spiritual communities. This includes those who live in Nicoya, who are devoted to God, which gives them emotional strength based on spiritual strength. It’s less likely for a happy, optimistic person to get sick, than for a person who’s constantly feeling down.


Having a reason to get out of bed every morning increases vitality for young and old people alike. For this reason, people living in Nicoya have “life plans” and often get involved in new projects at work, at home, and with family.


These are the reasons why the inhabitants of the Nicoya Peninsula, one of the world’s Blue Zones, live for more than 100 years while maintaining an excellent quality of life. Costa Rica has become a great place to come and live, as it’s a country where you can live under the best of conditions and growing old here doesn’t mean simply waiting for the end to come.