Love Letter to Jacó, Costa Rica

Why do I love living in Jacó, Costa Rica?

It’s a feeling, a sensation more than anything.

I feel it really strongly whenever I return home to Jacó from traveling in North America. I am just more at peace here. There is a serenity in the air. I do yoga and the breeze brings inspiration. Everywhere nature reminds you how to be humble. How small and relatively insignificant you are. That beautiful big wave in Playa Hermosa crashes and whooooosh you are reminded. That gorgeous Passion flower blooms exquisitely, and you are reminded of how sacred every moment is.

I love being surrounded by lush green hills. The town has the feel of being hugged on all sides by the lomas, or foothills of Jacó, those which frame the beautiful horseshoe beach. This lush green primary forest has been part of the reason I’ve loved Jacó since the start. I lived in the hills for the last 7 years. From my perch above the town I could hear, see and feel a lot of what was going on, like a turkey vulture riding the airwaves and cruising the clouds, looking down at everything. I have a special place in my heart for the vultures. They do so much to clean up other people’s messes, but I digress….

I love the smell of the humid air just before it rains. I love the forest. Some of my favorite memories of Jacó are days I’ve just gone for a local hike on the mountain to reconnect with the trees… and myself. How many times has that mountain hike given me a fresh perspective, a new idea or some solace when I’ve been sad? There is some green earth magic that lives on the mountain bewtween Jacó and Playa Hermosa. And it is powerful over the people who live here and know its value. It is a source.

I love the animals. I am always making new friends, though they may be of different species. The stealthy iguana, who looks to the side and back and front, suddenly deciding to hide on me in a flash, he is gone. The multicolored toucan who serenades me in the afternoon while I take a dip and daydream. The leaf cutter ants, who amaze everybody with their determination and cooperation. The curious Capuchin monkeys who are so much like us in so many ways. The poison dart frogs, who I never tire of finding on my path. These, and so many more animals are touchstones to the magic of this place, this bio-diverse Mecca.

I love the ocean. The sea is a place I can go to be reborn again and again. The waves put me into an instant meditation. Every time I put my bare feet on the volcanic black sand, I inhale the grounding energy of the ocean and exhale anything that no longer serves me. Being on the beach is amazing for all the senses: See the beautiful waves, the horizon, the reflection of the clouds in the sky: Hear the crash of the surf; Taste the salt on your lips; Touch the sand with your toes; Smell the lovely sea - beautifully alive.

I’ve found my place here. I love Jacó.

When people visit Costa Rica, they often come for the volacnoes of Arenal, the cloud forest of Monteverde the beaches of Manuel Antonio, the surf of Nosara and Tamarindo. But for me, the beaches of Jacó, Hermosa, Esterillos and Punta Leona are some of the best in the country, the surf contest in Hermosa each weekend, the forests of Miro’s mountain and the friendliness and laid-back attitude of the people in Jacó that does it for me.

Juliana Vegh