Jaco Beach, Costa Rica
Jaco Beach, Costa Rica
Jaco Beach, Costa Rica

Pros and Cons of Living in Playa Jaco

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 24, 2021

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about the pros and cons of living in Playa Jaco, Cost Rica. For most people, the pros list is much longer than the cons. They love it for its laid-back lifestyle, surfer vibe, affordable beachfront property, multicultural population (people move here from all over the world) and vibrant restaurant scene.

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What are the pros and cons of living in Playa Jaco?

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Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Playa Jaco responded:

"love the climate, people are helpful and friendly - beach sand is too hot in the summer sun," remarked another expat in Playa Jaco.

"The positive aspect of living in Playa Jaco and Playa Hermosa far outweigh the negative aspects. The area has excellent services for it's residents (locals and expats alike). The infrastructure is good with availability of internet, excellent water, paved roads, and reliable power sources. The police force is present but not overbearing and very helpful. Restaurants, bistros, bars and coffee shops are plentiful and reasonably priced. The community is very multi-national with expats from all over the world. The incredible variety of restaurants of the area boast this desirable quality with cuisine offerings from authentic French, Spanish, Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean, American style steak houses and of course, local Costa Rican cuisine. Due to our proximity to the ocean, seafood is affordable and plentiful. The area has many butchers, bakers, vegetable/fruit stands, along with large chain grocery stores. The area has a good expat community that are friendly, helpful and will assist with helping other expats offering excellent advice and/or encouragement. The beach is the lifeline of the community with many aquatic activities, family beach/surf events, a strong art and culture following, and volunteering opportunities. As the area is popular with local Costa Rican families from the Central Valley, the beach is a big draw and does get busy during holidays and long weekends. The local businessed really rely on tourism outside the area so although the traffic can get busy, it's important for those in the tourism business especially after the pandemic affected the area," explained one expat in Playa Jaco.

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What do expats in Playa Jaco appreciate most about the local culture?

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"There are many things I appreciate about my new culture in Costa Rica! Family ties, friendships and a slower pace of life is key here. Costa Rica is not a consumer-based society. There is less pressure on acquiring objects of status, impressing others and "keeping up with the Jones's!" How refreshing! Community life of home, family and close friendships emphasize what truly is important in life! I believe it is important to remember such a simple aspect of life in Costa Rica. You will be admired for your goodness, kindness and willingness to learn and adapt. Monetary riches and displays of wealth and superiority have little value in a culture based on family and country," added another person living in Playa Jaco .

What do expats find most challenging?

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"The most challenging aspects in Costa Rica is learning to leave the mentality of "how things are done" back home. Costa Ricans are proud of their independence! You may have an idea on how to get things done or how it should be done. Leave that thinking behind. You may make a casual commment or suggestion and this is encouraged. However, it is important not to humiliate or act superior. Costa Ricans want to keep their culture alive and wherein there are interested in other cultures, they are very proud and independent of their own. It is important to adapt and not try to control or change your new homeland. Remember as an expat you are still a guest," explained one expat.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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GeoBlue International Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Costa Rica from our partner, GeoBlue.
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Get a Quote Call  

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