Blue Zones of Costa Rica

March 19, 2014

Just across the Taiwan Friendship Bridge, which spans the alligator-infested Tempisque River, lies an 80-mile-long finger of land, the Nicoyan Peninsula. The tropical sun dominates this area, located just south of the Nicaraguan border, along the Pacific coast. Nicoya’s unique longevity profile begins with its calcium and magnesium rich water.


Like Sardinia and Okinawa, Nicoya is an isolated region, accessible only by ferry until 2003, when the Taiwan Friendship bridge was constructed. A Costa Rican man at age 60 has about twice the chance of reaching age 90 as does a man living in the United States, France, or even Japan. Costa Rica spends only 15 percent of what America does on health care, yet its people appear to be living longer, seemingly healthier lives than people in any other country on Earth. Nicoya has the lowest rates of cancer in the country. How do people living in this region of the world live healthy and long?