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

Retire in Playa Jaco, Costa Rica

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 05, 2022

Summary: What is it like to retire in Playa Jaco, Costa Rica? DATASENTENCE Retirees share their experiences living in Playa Jaco.

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William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance

What is it like to retire in Playa Jaco?

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"We are thankful there is an active expat community. Many expats meet others at the local church which helps to organize funding for in-need local families. Additionally, there are environmental clubs for turtle preservation and dogs/cat in need of assistance from street life. The beach is the center of the community and you will find family beach/surf day or family fun activities. Expats gather to play cards, play horseshoes, sponsor children from other areas to experience the beach, It is very much all about giving back to the community and the country that adopted For the expats in the area, community service is key. For those enjoying nightlife, Jaco and Hermosa often have live music. The public community park hosts festivals several times a year focusing on art, culture, music, dance, crafts and local/international food," commented one retiree living in Playa Hermosa de Jaco, Costa Rica.

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

What advice do overseas retirees have for others considering retiring abroad?

Live in Playa Jaco? Answer this Question

"When retiring abroad, you need to ask yourself what is important for a successful and fulfilling retirement. The change of lifestyle can be difficult for some so don't expect to adapt immediately. One of the most important aspects is that you will have many challenges and it's a large learning experience on a daily basis. Adopt the lifestyle of your host country. Find humor in the differences and embrace the struggles you will have from time to time. Living abroad is the greatest gift I gave myself and the most fulfilling experience of a lifetime. I would not change a thing," said a retiree who moved to Playa Hermosa de Jaco, Costa Rica.

What are the most challenging aspects of retiring in Playa Jaco?

Live in Playa Jaco? Answer this Question

"There are many challenges to being retired abroad and initially it is the aspect of not having the 9-5 pm routine with all it's familiarity. Add in you are now in a new environment, new culture, new surroundings, language issues to name a few. Leaving everything behind, including the familiarity of friends, family, work continuity can be very unsettling. Just getting out of the "comfort zone" is difficult for many people. However, you can look at this aspect as a negative or positive challenge. The manner in which you handle this change has a large impact on your success as a retiree abroad," said another retiree in Playa Hermosa de Jaco.

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What are the most rewarding aspects of retiring in Playa Jaco?

Live in Playa Jaco? Answer this Question

"The most rewarding aspect is initially the most unsettling. Learning a new language, making new friends and challenging yourself to learn and get out of your comfort zone brings great achievement and enlightenment. The rewards come from know you CAN do this! After years in a business environment or as a busy Mom, discovering what you truly can achieve during your retirement is astounding. Rediscovering what you enjoy in life (ah, perhaps you had totally forgotten who YOU really are?) and one of the best aspects is you feel like you are on vacation doing so," remarked another retiree in Playa Hermosa de Jaco.

What are healthcare services like in Playa Jaco?

Live in Playa Jaco? Answer this Question

We asked retirees if they have access to good medical care in Playa Jaco. They wrote:

"The area has several local physicians which offer quality care. Additionally, specialized physicians in the area of dermatology, dental, obstetrics, psychology visit the area once a month from the Central Valley. Excellent medical care is available in the Central Valley 90 minutes from Hermosa and Jaco," said a retiree who moved to Playa Hermosa de Jaco, Costa Rica.

How do I meet people in Playa Jaco?

Live in Playa Jaco? Answer this Question

When we asked people living in Playa Jaco about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"The Jaco area has several ladies groups, brunch groups for expats and locals alike. Family surf day in Jaco, painting classes, surf competitions, or relaxing at the beach for sunset all draws expats anxious to meet up with others and speak with locals on a social level," remarked another retiree in Playa Hermosa de Jaco.

What is life like in Playa Jaco?

Live in Playa Jaco? Answer this Question

When we asked people living in Playa Jaco what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Tourism in the area is very high so work takes a strong priority to keep everyone happy and returning to the area. However, family is a very strong factor. Many Costa Ricans from the Central Valley visit on weekends and holidays. It is not uncommon to see families and friends relaxing at the beach with a picnic and hammock, enjoying the breeze and socializing. Surfing is a major sport in the area so surf lessons are high on the list for a fun activity. Hiking Miro Mountain is a popular activity which includes wildlife spotting, camera opportunities, and general fitness," added another person in Playa Hermosa de Jaco.

"It is a beach town. Most people are retired from North America. The beach is beautiful. All people go to the beach for walking, socializing, etc," remarked another retiree in Playa Hermosa de Jaco.

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

What do I need to know before retiring in Playa Jaco?

Live in Playa Jaco? Answer this Question

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Playa Jaco, they said:

"Relax, enjoy and slow down. Life at the beach is carefree, easy going and free of many stresses. Take in a sunset, have a fresh cup of local coffee and chat with a Costa Rican local and/or expat. Visit the feria (public farmers market) on Friday morning. Watch a local futbol match or take in many of the Artify Jaco murals and local art galleries. Enjoy the great restaurants which the area offers, visit the beaches and national parks within an hour of the area for day trips," said another retiree in Playa Hermosa de Jaco.

"Be ready to live, love and relax. This is a beautiful country and we live in paradise," commented one retiree living in Playa Hermosa de Jaco, Costa Rica.

What type of recreational activities are there in Playa Jaco?

Live in Playa Jaco? Answer this Question

"Recreational activities include surfing on all levels from beginning to highly advanced. Playa Jaco has no shortage of surf schools due to the outstanding conditions in the area. Hiking is common in the area. Miro Mountain is one of the most popular hiking activities as the trail wanders through jungles with a great opportunity for wildlife spotting. The Miro Trail climbs to an elevation of 1,100 feet with spectacular vistas of the Pacific. Miro Mountain Trail is also popular with mountain bike enthusiasts. The area has many mountainous trails so ATV is very popular to reach the higher elevation views and local restaurants. Yoga is popular in the area with many studios and profesional instructors. Art classes are popular in a new facility in Jaco. Golfing at a top course in Playa Herradura is just ten minutes north of Playa Jaco. Playa Herradura Los Suenos Marina boasts one of the best in the area for excellent sport fishing known world wide. Bird watching and nature loves enjoy the Carara National Park just 20 minutes north of Jaco and the Manuel Antonio National Park just one hour south of Playa Jaco," said another retiree in living in Playa Jaco, Costa Rica.

Where will I buy groceries and do other shopping in Playa Jaco?

Live in Playa Jaco? Answer this Question

"Playa Jaco has two large "big box" stores Mas x Menos and Maxi Pali. These stores are affiliates of Wal=Mart Corporation. Jaco also has many carnicerias, pescaderias, panaderias, (butcher shop, fish shop, bread/pastry/cake shop) There is a feria (farmers market) in Playa Jaco on Friday morning. There is also an organic market on Wednesday at a local restaurant. A visitor or tourist will find everything needed in Playa Jaco! Other stores feature souvenirs, clothing, surfing supplies, art/crafts and larger appliances stores," explained one retiree living in Playa Jaco.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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