Jaco is one of Costa Rica’s top beaches for surfers who come from all over the world to enjoy big waves and wild night life. The beach itself is over 2.5 miles long, and is among the most visited coastal locations in the country. Like other metropolitan areas Jaco offers most major services such as a post office, banks, a health center etc.. Jaco is a bustling town with a busy night life and has a reputation of being a party beach.

Generally the people of Jaco are laid back, friendly, and cater to a large number of foreign tourists who are here to enjoy a more relaxed life style. Just south of Jaco you will find Playa Hermosa. This is a more quiet area with a six mile stretch of beach. This black sand beach is a favorite for surfers as well as beach goers. Every August, Playa Hermosa is home to the International Quicksilver Surfing Championships.

Just ten miles north of Jaco, is the Carara Biological Reserve. This park has miles of trails and is a great area to view the countries wildlife. The early morning hours or around sunset are great times to see the scarlet macaws while they rest among the mangroves. You will also want to look for white-faced monkeys and a wide variety of other animals and birds. From here you may want to head over to the Tarcoles River which borders the park. This river, which flows into the Pacific Ocean, is a great place to observe the American crocodile. The best way to do this is to either view them from above on the Tarcoles Bridge or take a boat tour where you will see these animals as well as others close up. Another must see, within driving distance of Jaco is the Manuel Antonio National Park. This park, established in 1972, is one of the most beautiful areas in the world. Although the smallest in the country, it is the most bio-diverse and beautiful. Also nearby is the Playa Herradura Wildlife Refuge were every year you can witness sea turtles that come ashore to nest.

Jaco is easily accessible at only a 2 hour drive to the International Airport in San Jose. The GPS coordinates are approximately 9.617°N 84.633°W.

The dry season in the Jaco area runs from December through April. The rain season covers the remainder of the year, with September and October receiving the most.

It goes without saying, in Costa Rica, no matter what time of year, pack your rain gear! Also pack long pants as well as short, hiking boots, sneakers, and maybe some sandals. Don’t forget your camera, binoculars, and batteries.

A word of precaution- Rip tides are common along the beach; if you are planning to swim here, do so with the utmost caution! If you’re new to surfing, book a lesson or two there are plenty of schools. Remember, always plan properly for, not only an enjoyable vacation, but a safe one as well.

Related posts: