Discovering Truth in Jaco, Costa Rica

This past year, I was thrown into searching for truth. Some of it was my own doing, but much of it was due to circumstances outside of my control. Last December I had an opportunity to take a quick getaway to Jaco, Costa Rica. It seemed like the perfect venue to transition from my old life that had been stripped down to the very basics, into exploring the possibilities of a new one. I not only found a beautiful destination, I discovered truth.

Jaco is honest. It’s gritty. It’s real. It might be labeled a tourist town with streets that are full of ex-patriots. But that is not why it feels so familiar and comfortable: it’s the locals and the land. Nothing is overdone or even done—it just “is.” Locals greet you or stop you on the beach to talk about life, not the weather, and it’s genuine. They want to share their love of their land, their way of life, and their passion for surfing.

Sunset at Playa Jaco (photo by Phoebe Miller)
A residential street in Jaco (photo by Phoebe Miller)
Graffiti art by local Jaco artist, Nomad (photo by Phoebe Miller)
Everyone enjoys sunset (photo by Phoebe Miller)
Produce vendor (photo by Kelsey Marie Bell)


The beach is perfect in its ruggedness—it doesn’t need turquoise waters or shimmery white sand to shine. Instead, it’s an open, simple, beautiful, peaceful space that allows breathtaking sunsets to take the main stage as Ticos and tourists flock to observe the moment from a driftwood bench or while waiting to catch a wave.

As you walk along the main street, you will see the typical strip of souvenir shops and touristy restaurants. But local spots that offer casado, fish tacos, smoothies, and other local favorites are also among them, inviting everyone to partake instead of hiding off the beaten paths. Wandering down residential roads, you will find locals hanging outside their modest homes greeting you with “Buenos” along with the neighborhood chickens, cats, and dogs who will sometimes accompany you on part of your journey. Living is simple in Jaco and I’m told the entire country lives this “pura vida.”

It’s the simple life that I have always tried to accomplish for myself. What I’m finding is that there is no need to accomplish or strive for it—it just is. That is the truth.

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About the Author

Phoebe MillerPhoebe is a yoga teacher who is exploring the world and living each day in the present. She is the former Director of Yoga for the boutique hotel, The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls, in the Hudson Valley of New York. Currently, she resides in Jaco, Costa Rica and is traveling and searching out interesting places to practice and teach yoga. Forever a student of movement, Phoebe has taught yoga, Pilates, and dance for over 15 years. She will be leading a yoga retreat March 29-April 5, 2014 at Hotel DoceLunas in Jaco. For more information about Phoebe or attending her retreat, visit her Facebook page @PhoebeMillerYoga.

Where is your favorite place to experience simplicity or pureness? Leave your comments in the reply section below.

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