Jaco: Costa Rica’s Booming Beach Town

Last Updated: September 2, 2019

Many people come to Costa Rica to turn everything off and just relax. Others are looking to do a lot of activities, get out on the town, and of course take in the country’s famous beaches and lush jungle. If the latter sounds like you, then Jaco may just be the perfect fit. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this popular central Pacific coast destination, including our picks for activities, beaches, restaurants, and hotels.

Jaco Pacific Coast Destination | Two Weeks in Costa Rica

About Jaco

Located less than 1.5 hours from Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), Jaco is the closest major beachside destination to the capital city of San Jose. With rolling green hills of jungle and farm pasture in the distance, Jaco sits in a wide cove with rocky points on each end. The beach is a long gray arc that has a backdrop of palm trees, surfside hotels, souvenir and boutique shops, a huge selection of restaurants and bars, and the occasional mid-to-high-rise condo complex.

Jaco Beach | Two Weeks in Costa Rica

Jaco is considered to be one of Costa Rica’s most developed beach towns, and the main strip, which runs adjacent to the sand, is bustling, both day and night. The town has developed a reputation over the years for its party atmosphere (mostly in the bars) and adult-only nighttime activities, but in recent years has put a lot of effort into making it an attractive place to visit for everyone, including families. There are some parks, childrens’ play and activity centers, and lots of restaurants with kid-friendly menus around town. Many of the families visiting Jaco are locals who live near San Jose and flock to the beach on weekends, vacations, and holidays, injecting a nice mixture of local culture into the otherwise touristy town.

Activities in Jaco

One of the main draws of Jaco is the seemingly endless list of activities available. Everything from ATV and zip-line tours to catamaran cruises, surf lessons, and sport fishing can be booked from one of the area’s tour operators. Out of the many things to do, here are a few of our picks. 

Sunset Cocktails at Villa Caletas

North of Jaco on a tall ridge overlooking the scenic Gulf of Nicoya and Pacific Ocean is an amazing spot to take in the sunset over a tropical drink. Hotel Villa Caletas has built a dramatic outdoor amphitheater into the side of the cliff that makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. You don’t have to be a guest to experience this unique setting; just tell the staff you’re there for sunset and grab a drink from the bar.

Sunset at Villa Caletas | Two Weeks in Costa Rica
The amphitheater at Villa Caletas

Surfing

Costa Rica is well known for its great surf, and the Jaco area is definitely one of the country’s hot spots. Surf shops are scattered all around town so it is easy and affordable to rent a board or take a lesson. At Playa Jaco, the smaller waves are perfect for learning or shaking off the rust if you haven’t been out in a while. For the more advanced, there’s Playa Hermosa just to the south. This world-class surfing beach is known for having the most consistent waves in the country. It’s not uncommon to see surfing professionals practicing or even competing in one of the many tournaments held at Hermosa.

Carara National Park

You would not expect it so close to a highly developed town like Jaco, but just north and stretching into the mountains is a vast expanse of pristine rainforest. Carara National Park has a small network of trails that lead through primary and secondary forest. They even have a newly renovated loop that is handicap accessible. Along any of the trails, you can see wildlife like monkeys, leaf-cutter ants, and lots of birds. In fact, Carara is considered to be one of the best birding spots in Costa Rica with over 400 different species identified.

We work with a company with excellent naturalist guides that can help you see some of Carara’s many wonderful birds and animals. Guided tours are around $85 per person for 4 hours and include lunch. Contact us through our Tour Booking Service page or at bookings(at)twoweeksincostarica(dot)com for more information or to book a tour.

Carara National Park | Two Weeks in Costa Rica
Thick rainforest at Carara National Park

Tarcoles River Boat Crocodile Tour

On your way to Jaco, you will pass a bridge with crowds of people leaning over and looking down. Basking along the banks of the Tarcoles River below, you’ll find huge crocodiles. While the bridge is a decent spot to watch the crocs, even better is taking a boat tour up the river. We really enjoyed this tour because not only do you get very close to the crocs, but there are amazing views and you get to see a lot of birds and other wildlife too.

Read more about our trip along the Tarcoles River and learn how to book a tour here.

Neo Fauna Costa Rica

Just outside downtown Jaco is a wildlife center that is worth a visit, especially if you have kids. Neo Fauna takes in animals that have been injured or held as pets and helps to rehabilitate them. On a tour ($25 pp), a guide will take you around the rustic facility to show you the different creatures they are currently caring for. On our visit, we saw many snakes, turtles, some cool tree frogs, a feisty baby racoon, a monkey who was kicked out of his troop, and many butterflies in the butterfly enclosure. Our guide, David, was extremely knowledgeable and taught us a lot about what we were seeing. The tour is interactive and there’s even the opportunity to hold some of the animals.

Jaco Destination Guide - NeoFauna Wildlife Center
A Red-eyed Tree Frog posing for us at Neo Fauna

Jaco Farmers Market

If you’re staying in town for a while, you might want to consider hitting up the weekly farmers market. Here, you can get the freshest fruits and vegetables as well as artisanal breads, cheeses, and other goodies. The farmers market, or feria as it is called locally, is held every Thursday afternoon and Friday morning off the south end of the main way, Avenue Pastor Diaz. If you’re coming from the center of town, turn right at the Palacio Municipal, then take another right near the Post Office.

Jaco Farmers Market | Two Weeks in Costa Rica
Jaco Farmers Market

Beaches

The main beach in town isn’t one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful, but its convenient location makes up for it. Located just a couple of blocks from the souvenir shops and restaurants lining the main strip is the gray sand Playa Jaco. This beach fills up fast with people sunbathing, strolling, people watching, or simply hanging out. Jaco Beach isn’t the best for swimming, but luckily there are plenty more beautiful beaches in the area to explore.

Playa Herradura

Just 8 km (5 miles) north of Jaco is a sheltered cove that is known for the nearby marina and resort, Los Suenos. Playa Herradura is a little rocky but a great spot for families because of its calm waves and playground. Parking is available right off the sand for a small fee and there are also a few local restaurants where you can grab a simple meal.

Playa Mantas and Playa Blanca

If you’re planning a full beach day, head to Playa Mantas and Playa Blanca. Located north of Playa Herradura, these beaches are well known to locals but not to tourists as they’re not clearly marked. To get there, head north along the Costanera highway, then take a left onto the road shortly before the Punta Leona Hotel. Follow it to the end, passing through the resort, to a parking area. From there, you can walk out onto Playa Mantas, a picturesque cove with gray sand.

At lower tides, you can keep walking south, crossing some rocks and a point to access the beautiful white sands of Playa Blanca. In our opinion, Playa Blanca is the most beautiful beach in the area with clear water, fluffy sand, and lots of trees for shade. These beaches are very popular with the locals so get there early (and avoid weekends) to get a parking spot; it fills up fast! There are no restaurants or amenities for the public so be sure to bring everything you need for the day.

For more information about visiting Playa Mantas and Playa Blanca, check out our post all about them.

Playa Blanca | Two Weeks in Costa Rica
The gorgeous Playa Blanca

Playa Hermosa

Eight kilometers (5 miles) south of Jaco is the famous surfing beach, Playa Hermosa. Even if you aren’t a surfer, it’s worth a visit to this 7 km (4 mile) long stretch of dark gray sand. The majority of Playa Hermosa is empty with no development, but there is a small community with some restaurants, surf shops, and hotels on the northern end.

Playa Esterillos Oeste

If you’re looking for a secluded beach, keep heading south past Playa Hermosa about 15 km (9 miles) and you will come to Esterillos. There are multiple entrances off the main highway, but the one for Esterillos Oeste is a good place to find some peace and quiet, nice waves if you’re into surfing, and cool tidepools. This area is not very developed but has a well-stocked mini-supermarket and a few great restaurants a short walk from the sand.

Jaco Destination Guide - The nearby Playa Esterillos Oeste
The tidepools at Playa Esterillos Oeste

Jaco Restaurants

The restaurant scene in Jaco has really taken off. Expert chefs are moving into town, and craft beer bars, vegan restaurants, and kosher eateries are springing up. The Jaco area has over 100 different restaurants serving everything from typical Costa Rican fare and bar basics, to gourmet cuts of beef and other gastronomic delicacies.

Here’s a selection of what we have enjoyed to get you started. Note: Many of the directions below mention the POPS building. We use this as a point of reference because like most towns in Costa Rica, Jaco doesn’t use standard addresses. POPS is an ice-cream shop near the center of the strip. You can’t miss it.  

Graffiti Restro Cafe + Wine Bar

Our pick for a nice dinner out, Graffiti has a cool, contemporary atmosphere that will make you forget that you’re in Costa Rica. They specialize in “slow food,” meaning that they use only local ingredients and their dishes take a little extra time to prepare. Not to worry, their innovative apps and selection of signature martinis (the cucumber and basil is great) will help tide you over. Chalkboard dinner specials include lots of choices for surf and turf, and the standard menu has burgers and lighter options like tapas, fish tacos, and a poke bowl. $10-30. Dinner only. Closed Sundays. Call ahead for reservations. Located in Jaco Walk, on the southern end of town past Mas X Menos grocery store.

Mahi Mahi at Graffiti Restaurant
Blackened Mahi Mahi with coconut rice and pineapple chutney at Graffiti

Zona K Bistro

This small bistro owned by a Costa Rican chef serves up innovative fare with a Latin and Asian influence. Everything at Zona K is made fresh, from scratch and a lot of love. Some of our favorite dishes are the Cajun Tuna with Sesame and Breakfast Skillet for brunch. Also has a nice assortment of pastries and desserts. Open for all three meals. Closed Mondays. Located on the northern end of town, across the street from Best Brands shoes.

Restaurant Recommendations Jaco - Zona K Bistro
Cajun Sesame Tuna at Zona K Bistro

Rustico

For an authentic taste of Costa Rica, head to Rustico. This simple soda (typical Costa Rican restaurant) serves up tasty plates of rice, beans, meats, and sides in a casual buffet style. If you like beef, definitely try their Carne en Salsa. This place is popular with locals and hungry surfers so don’t be surprised if you see a line. $5-8 for most plates, includes a drink. On a side street off Ave. Pastor Diaz going to the beach (look for a billboard for Hicaco Restaurant).

The Pizza Shop

Good pizza is surprisingly hard to find in Costa Rica, but the Pizza Shop knows how to make a great pie. Crispy thin crust and a well-balanced sauce are the highlight, but the toppings are what knock it out of the park. Homemade items like sausage, ricotta, and a balsamic reduction are just a few of the choices. $8-30. Check out their website for the menu. On the northern end of Ave. Pastor Diaz, a block up from the small yellow bridge.

Restaurant Recommendations Jaco - Pizza Shop
A pie with pepperoni and house-made sausage at Pizza Shop

Green Room Cafe

What we like most about the Green Room is the atmosphere. As soon as you walk in the door, you feel comfortable. Grab a seat outside in the terrace garden if you can. The Green Room focuses on local and organic ingredients and has delicious locally made craft beer. This hip spot has live music every night; check out their Facebook page for details. $8-20. Open for brunch/lunch and dinner. Ave. Pastor Diaz, across the street from POPS.

Green Room Cafe in Jaco | Two Weeks in Costa Rica
Outdoor space at Green Room

Lemon Zest

Lemon Zest has been around for more than 10 years and is known for having exquisite international cuisine and top notch service. They have daily specials, but everyone raves about the chef’s specialty, the duck with blackberry sauce. They have a nice wine list too. $11-30. Ave. Pastor Diaz. Just south of the Mas x Menos Supermarket. Upstairs in El Jardin Plaza.

El Hicaco

El Hicaco is one of the few restaurants in Jaco right on the beach. From the contemporary patio, you can enjoy an upscale meal with an oceanview. The menu is a little pricey, but the food is well done and they have nice touches like complimentary bread. Seafood is the house specialty. Also has a small playground for kids. Located on the southern end of town, about a block from Mas X Menos grocery store.

Restaurant Guide Jaco, Costa Rica - El Hicaco Beachfront Restaurant
The patio at El Hicaco

Heladeria el Barco

For dessert or a mid-day treat, stop by Heladeria el Barco for really good homemade gelato and ice-cream. Flavors are constantly rotating but there are at least 20 to choose from. They also have a ton of fun toppings to add. Ave. Pastor Diaz, a few doors south of POPS.

Panaderia Artesanal

This isn’t your ordinary Costa Rican panaderia. With a lot more than just pastries, this artisanal bakery makes fresh bagels, breads, and of course lots of yummy desserts. They also serve coffee and espresso, a traditional Costa Rican breakfast, and have a lunch menu with a selection of sandwiches and wraps. $5-10. Northern end of Ave. Pastor Diaz in the Palm Plaza. Across from Economy Rent a Car.

Jaco Hotels

Like restaurants, there are a ton of hotel options to choose from in the Jaco area. You can find everything from shared-room hostels for $20 dollars a night to luxurious suites for upwards of $400. Below are some of our recommendations in the different price ranges.

High-end Hotels ($200+)

Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort

Spread out on 1,100 acres, Los Suenos is one of the only all-inclusive resorts on this stretch of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. This sprawling complex has several restaurants and lounges, easy access to the beach, a grand pool, an 18-hole golf course, a marina, a small grocer, and even some shops. With everything you need on-site, there’s really no reason to leave the immaculate grounds. The Marriott Los Sueños is located in the beach community of Playa Herradura, just north of Jacó. Starting at $200/night. Check Availability and Prices Here.

Marriott Los Suenos near Jaco
The pool area at Marriott Los Suenos

Hotel Villa Caletas

Villas Caletas is a luxury boutique hotel located high on a bluff and built in traditional Victorian style with a tropical spin. Surrounded by lush rainforest, the property is secluded and private. When we have been for sunset cocktails, hotel guests looked quite pleased with the infinity pool overlooking the Gulf of Nicoya. Some suites have their own plunge pools and access to a private beach is also available. Rooms have ocean, pool, or jungle views, and the property is spread out so be sure to inquire when booking. Villas Caletas is located north of Playa Herradura and about a 10-minute drive off the highway. Consider renting a car if you want to explore the area. Starting at $200/night. Check Availability and Prices Here.

Mid-range Hotels ($100-200)

Hotel Club del Mar

These beachfront apartment-style units are located on the southern end of Jaco Beach, away from the hustle and bustle. The style of this property carries a contemporary feeling with nice finishes. It also does a good job of incorporating some local art and wood throughout. There is a big pool area, spa, and Tiki bar overlooking the ocean where you can enjoy the beautiful sunset. Good on-site restaurant that offers local cuisine. Rooms range from traditional hotel rooms to more spacious condos, and all have A/C. $160-360/night. Check Availability and Prices Here.

Jaco Hotel Guide - Hotel Club del Mar
The grand pool overlooking the beach at Hotel Club del Mar

Oceano Boutique Hotel

This mid-size hotel in the center of Jaco will get you steps away from the beach and nearby restaurants. The 60-room property offers boutique-style modern condos with high-end finishes. Each unit has a full kitchen and living area, making it a good option for families. The property has an outdoor pool and spa. Look for weekly events with live music like paella night on Saturdays and BBQ Sundays. $100-400/night, depending on the unit size and amenities. Check Availability and Prices Here.

Budget Hotels ($100-125)

Hotel Tuanis

This hotel on the southern end of the beach is a great value for the Jaco area. It is located on a side street right off the main way in Jaco, making it within walking distance to the beach, restaurants, and shopping, but far enough from the hustle and bustle of Avenue Pastor Diaz. Hotel Tuanis is a small, family-run place with accommodating, helpful staff. It’s eco-friendly with solar panels and dual flush toilets, but also offers A/C, good for those steamy days. All rooms have a refrigerator and some have kitchenettes. $60-130/night. Check Availability and Prices Here.

Hotel Perico Azul

Located about 15 minutes outside town, Hotel Perico Azul offers simple, clean rooms for an affordable price. Ideal for surfers, this cozy aparthotel is within walking distance to the beach. Surf lessons can be easily arranged as the owners also run Tortuga Surfing. One bedroom studios and standard rooms are available. Some have A/C and a kitchenette; there is also a well-equipped common kitchen. $45-65/night. Check Availability and Prices Here.

Hotel Perico Azul, Jaco, Costa Rica
Photo Credit: Hotel Perico Azul

Room2Board Hostel and Surf School

The nicest hostel in the area is probably Room2Board. This boutique hostel and surf camp is at the southern end of the main drag. It has hotel-like amenities, including a movie-theater room and rooftop bar with hammocks, and is less than a 5 minute walk to the main area of town and right on the beach. Private and shared rooms are available as well as less expensive dorm rooms. Surf and SUP packages available. $14-90/night. Check Availability and Prices Here.

 *     *     *

As you can see, Jaco, Costa Rica is a booming destination with tons of things to see and do. Good for foodies, adventure seekers, surfers, shopping enthusiasts, and those who just want to sit on the beach and relax, Jaco is a place where you can easily spend a week or more. If you do want to explore, another great thing about Jaco is how close it is to other destinations. In about an hour, you can be on the beautiful beaches of Manuel Antonio, and in another hour more, the rainforest-covered Costa Ballena. But with so much going on in Jaco, we doubt you will stray far.

Last Updated: September 2, 2019

Have you been to Jaco? What did you think?

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you book a hotel using one of the links, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read our Privacy Policy for more information.

Looking for more information to help plan your trip to Costa Rica? Check out these posts:

  • Tamarindo: Where Paradise Meets Convenience – If Jaco appeals to you, you might also like Tamarindo on the northern Pacific coast. This surfer town has a similar feel, with a huge selection of restaurants and accommodations.
  • SJO Airport Hotels: Chances are you have an overnight in San Jose at either end of your trip. Check out our hotel guide for the best places to stay and a promo code to save some money.
  • Packing for Costa Rica: Start your packing list for what to bring with this post.

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97 Comments

  1. We visited Jaco in 2010 it was our most disliked city on that trip. It wasn’t a pretty beach town at all, and you are right about the parties. Costa Rica is changing oh so fast. We returned last year (not to Jaco) and it is surprising the prices here compared to it’s neighbors Panama & Nicaragua.

    1. Hi Hannah, Yeah, Jaco isn’t best known for its beach, but there are some really beautiful beaches in the area if you do some exploring. Costa Rica is definitely getting expensive, you’re right, but if you check out the smaller towns, you can still find some great deals. Thanks for reading.

      1. Enjoying your information. I am planning a one week trip to Costa Rica. We will arrive in San Jose but want to go to the volcano and a couple of the parks. Is it reasonable to drive yourself? If not can you hire drivers? What is the best way to get around the country?

    2. We just returned from Jaco Beach in January 2017 for my Dad’s 92nd birthday and we absolutely loved it there. Yes, we did not find it to be inexpensive but the people, the beauty of the ocean front condos, and the great restaurants made up for the costs. There are several beautiful beaches if you explore all the different areas so easily accessible if you are staying in Jaco. I want to move there and look forward to the day I can leave California. We had a wonderful time and can’t wait to return. Pura Vida!

    3. This comment should be removed. Jaco is a beautiful beach town family friendly in every possible way. Ten year old memories still doing harm today. Disgusting.

  2. Amancios located under lemon zest is the best restaurant in jaco.
    Italian food pizza is better than the pizza shop.Reasonable prices indoor and outdoor seating.

    1. To clarify my other comment
      The pizza shop has excellent pizza I stop for a slice every trip.
      IMHO both Pizza shop and Amancios should be included in best of jaco

      1. Thanks for the tip, Michael. We’ll definitely have to check out Amancios next time we’re in town. We’re actually planning to head there for Jungle Jam in March so we’ll hit it up then.

    2. I BELIEVE THE BEST IS GRAFFITI, THEIR COFFEE CRUSTED FILET IS TO DIE FOR! I CAN NOT WAIT TO GO BACK. WE LEFT IN 2012 TO COME BACK TO THE STATES. LOOKING FORWARD TO A RETURN SOMETIME NEXT YEAR.

  3. Guys, my excitement and intention to visit Costa Rica has already been on a high for the past year since meeting other travellers to the country, but the informative post you’ve put together here has tipped my excitement into overdrive.

    A great collection of things to do, now I just need to get there to do them.

  4. Hi guys, I love your blog and just subscribed to your list. But reading the restaurant list I missed Caliche’s Wishbone – a major part of surfing with true locals frequenting, one of the best establishments in Jaco and this for the last TWENTY YEARS! I understand that you cannot include all establishments but one which exists for over 20 years and is so successful as Wishbone shouldn’t be ignored.
    I hope you can fix it.
    Thanks so much for your time.
    Katja Bader

    1. Hi Katja, Yikes! Sorry we missed Caliche’s Wishbone. Looks like we have another place to add to our list for when we’re back in Jaco. Thanks for the tip. It’s definitely fixable 🙂

  5. Costa Rica is a very expensive country..and no quality service at all..properties and cars are way over priced…they said because of taxes…but you see all roads and sidewalks and infrastructure are very very bad…also its not safe at all,, people live like they are on a jail house, bars, alarm, electric security wires and fence,, yes the beach is no big deal…dirty most of the times…restaurants are all rip off..condos and old houses that are mostly bad quality construction are very expensive..if you buy a condo..be ready to pay for a monthly condo fee maintenance for as high as $300 going up….drivers are so uneducated and not respectful…you can have your vacation and retirement much happier and cheaper in Panama, nicaragua or any other neighboring countries…costaricans believe that they are the best in central america,,, but they are only freindly if they see that they could get something from you..lots of scammers.. people are very unreliable and always have excuses for being late…..they hate Nicaraguans and colombians or any other countries who do the works for them by saying they are stealing fro them,,,but ticos are so damn lazy…thesecountry is very very expensive for no reason…the capital san jose is one of the ugliest city and dangerous city in the world……they said its the switzerland of central america…but not in beauty …but in high price……but europe has quality of what you are paying for…notlike here..its a shitty service.

    1. I wonder what happened to you here 🙁 I can understand some people having a bad experience but what actually happened that left you with such a bad impression?

      A smart traveler will always find the ways to work around high prices and bad service… and sure, we all know those “high-end” restaurants with awful service, but that is not the case in most.

      1. I don’t know where you went in Costa Rica…..been going there for 6 months of the year for 7 years now..You are wrong on a lot of things you wrote!.

        1. Brenda – Hello from Colorado! Where is your favorite city to stay when visiting Costa Rica the 6 months annually? We’re planning our 1st trip this Fall.

    2. Please stay in the U.S. We don’t need people like you representing the rest of us out in the world. Some people are just not meant to travel.

    3. My third trip to Costa Rica in ten years. Additionally, I have traveled extensively thru Mexico, Central America, South American, and Asia. I am shocked at how expensive it is in Costa Rica relative to it’s neighbors and the rest of the world. Food at the grocery store and restaurants is double the cost in the USA. I don’t understand how the locals survive. I want to love Costa Rica….

    4. Wow! what a horrible experience you seem to have had. What did you do to deserve it? I’ve been going for 18 years now and yes, I have had some bad experiences, but they have never taken away from the overall experience I’ve enjoyed. I have many great Ticos that I call friends, so it is no longer like I am there on vacation, but more like I’m visiting great friends.

  6. Hi Matt, enjoyed your review on Jaco. Was actually having lunch at Kokomo’s when I got the email announcing the blog post. Thanks for the dining suggestions, I have tried a few and found them to be as you described. I might add the taco bar behind Los Amegos is also excellent. It’s open air and has a nice menu and a comp salad bar with entrees. Also for those visiting Playa Herradura the beach side Pelican Restaurant is a great place to grab a reasonable meal with a great view. I look forward to your next entry. Good luck on your relocation.

    1. Hi Bill, great to hear from you. We’ve heard great things about both those restaurants, so thanks for bringing them up. It’s awesome that there are so many options. Glad that you are enjoying your time in the Jaco area and hope to see you again sometime soon. Pura Vida!

  7. Check out Forest Hills Suites near Playa Herradura. It is absolutely beautiful and a bargain. They people who run it are really helpful, too. Our kids loved it.

  8. I am 63 and I am considering relocating out of the country once I retire, perhaps in November. So, I’ve been spending time online checking out various countries. The things I must have in my life to make it fulfilling include good health care that includes at least hydrocodone, soma and xanax to daily treat fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and neuropathy; places to perform as the professional musician I’ve been since I was a boy, excellent internet access, ease in sending and receiving through the mail as I am an online seller and buyer (whatever sells such as books and music materials), cheaply priced residences, good water, ease of movement and ability to acquire and drive a vehicle as I cannot move my music equipment on a bus, and a hospitable and intelligent community.

    1. Hi David,
      You might find what you’re looking for in Costa Rica, maybe even in Jaco, which has a thriving night life, good for a musician. A lot of people pick CR for retirement because of the decent, cheap medical care, relatively high standard of living, and laid back lifestyle. Costa Rica is a little more expensive than other places in Central America so keep that in mind. It does have most things on your list though, as long as you do your research. If the mail thing is a deal breaker, you’ll want to figure that out in advance because mailing things is not the easiest here due to customs. Check out our article, FAQs About Moving to Costa Rica, for more info. Good luck!

  9. Hey guys,
    From Jaco, what is recomended to do?
    I am planning a 1 week trip, alone, I am 23 years old… and not interested in renting a car
    thanks!

  10. Great job as always. I plan on doing some surfing and boogie boarding. Any suggestions? All I see on the Internet are touristy somewhat high priced rentals. Was wondering if there are locally owned places (here or any of the surf areas in CR)? Thanks. Your info has proven invaluable.

    1. Hi Trent, What you find online for prices is almost always inflated. Your best bet is to do some legwork when you get here and price them out at the different shops. The big surfing destinations like Jaco, Tamarindo, Santa Teresa have a lot of surf shops so there’s competition, which helps keep prices low. We don’t have any specific recommendations for Jaco, but if you happen to be in the Tamarindo area, board rentals at Banana Surf are only $10 a day and we’ve also heard great things about Mini Mop Surf Shop near Playa Grande (just north of Tamarindo).

  11. Hi Matt and Jenn,
    I found your blog because I am trying to do some research on Jaco. We are scheduled to arrive next Saturday, May 28th and are staying at Morgan’s Cove. We are slightly concerned because we were unaware (shame on us) that we are arriving at the beginning of the rainy season. All weather reports are showing rain every day we are there and most of it appears to be heavy. Can you share with me any information you may have on the weather at the end of May/beginning of June? Also, I loved reading the things you wrote about Jaco however the post on 3/16/15 was a little disconcerting. Yikes. Thank you for any help you can give me.

    1. Hi Lisa, We have a post all about the weather in Costa Rica that will give you info on general trends but since you get here tomorrow, I can tell you what it has been like at least where we live. Keep in mind that we’re about 1.5 hours south and it rains a lot more here so Jaco will be drier. Lately we’ve been having mostly dry days (some sun, some clouds) with rain in the late afternoon and evening. Today has been off and on rain for most of the day but in general it has been really nice. Those weather reports are never right so don’t go by that. The weather should be fine for your trip. Don’t worry about that comment. Costa Rica is more expensive than other places in Central America and of course there are scammers like anywhere in the world, but I think most people would agree that it’s a pretty nice place to visit. Otherwise we wouldn’t live and decide to have a baby here 🙂 I think some of the comment was about safety too. If you’re worried about that, read our post about safety tips. Have an awesome trip!

  12. Hello Jenn and Matt,

    I am visiting Jaco next week and would like to make the trip up to playa Blanca. I plan on using a taxi to get around while in CR. My concern is when it comes time to leave the beach will I be able to walk back into town and get a taxi back to Jaco? Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Hi Josh, There isn’t much in the area around Playa Blanca other than the resort so you would want to arrange your taxi in advance if you won’t have a cell phone. You could just set up a pickup time with the driver who drops you off so that it’s all set for when you’re ready to leave.

  13. Spent the day at Playa Jaco yesterday. Got a front row parking spot. Rented a couple boogie boards. Had a great day. Stopped at the crocodile bridge on the way there. Stopped for about 45 minutes. Well worth the stop.

  14. Great info all the away around. So many people like different things in life. For example, I came out here in 2013 and was not impressed. I was asked to come out again in March 2015 and moved here permanently in June and have really learned to enjoy it.
    As far as people saying it is expensive, yes it can be in some areas but if you eat at Houston’s or Ruth Chris Steak House it is expensive too. There are SOOO many places to eat and stay that are of great quality and not for high prices.
    As far as the “night life” well that is everywhere in the world. At least it is not in your face like it was years ago. The town is VERY family friendly and has some of the kindest people in the world.

    1. Thanks for chiming in, Kevin. It’s always great to hear a local’s perspective. We totally agree. Jaco isn’t for everyone but a lot of people (us included) really enjoy it. Where we live in Costa Rica, it’s a lot quieter so it’s nice to go somewhere with more going on, great restaurants, etc. Pura vida!

    2. Hello Kevin, I’m thinking about moving there when I retire, can you give me some advice in finding a place to rent short term 0-6 months. Any info will help. Thanks John

  15. We just booked our flight for March next year! Staying st Bahia Encantada. Any recommendations on things close by such as a super market to get groceries when we get there etc. Also who do you use for booking most your excursions. Our travel people are lostbeaches but just looking for the best deals too!

    1. Hi April, Bahia Encantada is on the northern end of town close to the main road. There’s quite a bit up there. Just one block south is a small supermarket that will have all the basics and you can walk there. A little farther, near the highway is Maxi Pali, Costa Rica’s Walmart. And if you keep heading down the main road there are a few other grocery stores too. The farmers market on Fridays is cheapest for produce.

      For tours, we are actually helping people with bookings now so if you would like us to help, let us know. We don’t charge any markup and can help you find the best tour operators. Our email for that is bookings(at)twoweeksincostarica(dot)com. Have a great trip!

  16. Thank you for all of the information. I have never come across such a helpful blog in all of our travel. We are going to CR in a week and will be staying in Herradura. Do you have any recommendations of a local guide we should go with for adventure tours? We really prefer smaller, not as commercial vendors. Also, any low key, local restaurants closer to Herradura and outside of town? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Heather, We recently started booking tours for people so if you let us know which types of adventure tours you’re interested in, we can help you find some smaller tour operators. Just reply to this message if you’re interested and we can send you an email with more details.

      The Pelican restaurant on the beach in Herradura serves good local food. It’s a little farther but Los Congos on Route 34 shortly after you get off Route 27 is really good too.

      1. so do you recommend renting a car then? A lot of your rec’s (which sound fantastic!) are miles away …. is driving there safe? if flying into Liberia, is it safe/easy to drive from there to Jaco?
        thanks!

        1. Hi Becky, Yes, renting a car is the easiest way to get around, in our opinion, especially if you want to see more off-the-beaten-path places, like Playa Blanca in this post. Driving is safe as long as you know what to expect and follow the dos and don’ts. Here is a link to our Driving post with lots of detailed information. The drive from Liberia Airport to Jaco is all highway that is paved and in good condition so not a bad drive at all. You do have to be careful of unsafe passing, but as long as you are cautious, you should be fine. Be sure to check out our Rental Car Discount if you decide to get a car.

    1. Hi Eileen, We would be happy to help book some tours for your visit to Jaco. We don’t know of any reputable tour operators that do beach-horseback riding, but we do know of some great ones that take you through the jungle, to rivers and waterfalls, etc. For water sports, the Jaco area has a lot of choices, including SUP, kayaking, whitewater rafting, jet skiing, catamaran tours, and snorkeling. Just send us an email to bookings(at)twoweeksincostarica(dot)com with the activities you’re interested in and we can get started. And for restaurants, all our recommendations are in this post. Thanks!

      1. We will be in CR in April (3 nights at La Fortuna -> 1 night at Rio Celeste -> 1 night near Jaco -> 3 nights in Quepas area). My 9 year old daughter would be thrilled to go on a horse back ride through the jungle. Can you recommend a place/tour? what is a typical price range for horse back riding? Thank you.

        1. Hi Natalie, Out of the places you’re going, La Fortuna is the best for a jungle horseback riding experience. We know of a great company there that does tours. It’s a local guy – he takes you to La Fortuna Waterfall as part of it and his horses are well cared for and trained. I think it’s $80 pp and includes lunch after. Let us know if you would like any help with the booking. Happy to help!

  17. Hi there! I have been planning a trip to Costa Rica and your blog has been a saving grace! Thanks for you all your amazing tips and recommendations. I wanted your advice on a few things:

    1. We are a group of four 24 year olds arriving at SJO on a Saturday and lfying out the following Thursday. I know our trip is short but we would love to do as much as we can. Thus far we had planned to skip San Jose and drive straight out in a rental car to Samara on Saturday and spend two nights there, then drive down to Santa Teresa and Malpais, and then finish in Montezuma. Are we being over ambitious?
    2. Should we just stick to the Jaco area because of time and fit in other things in that area? Can we still find beaches as beautiful and isolated as the Nicoya region? We would love to do some surfing, horseback riding, jungle tours etc.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    1. Hi Cam, Three destinations is too ambitious with five days due to drive times. But if beautiful, isolated beaches are important, I would still do Samara and the Nicoya instead of Jaco, which is much more developed. From SJO you could take the ferry over to Paquera to save time driving (it’s very scenic too) and then go to Montezuma. Afterwards, you could head up to Samara, which isn’t too bad of a drive from Montezuma, and then fly out after your time in Samara. If you really wanted to see Santa Teresa, you could always go for the day from Montezuma, but I think you will find that Montezuma will keep you plenty busy. Hope that helps!

  18. Hi guys, LOVE your articles! Heading to Esterillos Oeste, by Canada Hill. We are a group of 25 year olds going for 8 nights. We will do a few quiet days on the beach in Esterillos Oeste and maybe a night or two in Jaco to go to a few bars. Thinking about two or three excursions that are not too far from us. So far, we were considering the Arenal Volcanoe and Manuel Antonio Park. Any other suggestions?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Kevin, La Fortuna is far to do on a day trip (around 4 hrs) so you wouldn’t have much time to enjoy the area once you got there, unfortunately. The Monteverde Cloud Forest is still a decent drive (around 2.5 hrs) but not quite as bad so that is an option. Manuel Antonio is definitely doable from that area. It has the park or you guys might like a catamaran cruise. These are really fun, kind of like a booze cruise, and the views of the bay are amazing. Hope that gives you some ideas. Have fun in Esterillos!

  19. Your posts have been very helpful….We are planning a family reunion trip with 11 people ages 8-75 for a week. Would like some surfing for moderate skill level. We need a wide range of activities as we have adventure seekers and low activity people in the group. The plan is different groups going different activities for the day and meeting back in the evening. Some favorites include zipline through rainforest, also saw your review on Diamante falls that sounded awesome, and sport fishing. Thinking of Dominical or Jaco area. Do you think these areas would be best or do you suggest something else? Will get with you when we are ready to book tours!!

    1. Hi Lori, Either Jaco or Dominical would be great for your group. Jaco probably has more to do, but Dominical still has a lot to choose from (see our 7 Things to Do in Dominical post for ideas). We would recommend picking one over the other based on the type of destination you want – i.e., more developed with a lot going on (Jaco) or quieter and more jungle-filled (Dominical). You can do surfing, zip lining, sportfishing, and low key activities out of both locations, you just may have to drive a little more if you’re in Dominical. Dominical does have Diamante, though, and other local waterfalls. Definitely let us know when you’re ready to book things. We work with many different tour operators and can often get discounts for groups.

  20. Hi guys! Your post have been incredibly helpful! Thank you so much for posting them.

    Need some advice for a bachelor party I’m planning. A group of 15-20 guys, all in our late 20’s, are going to CR in August (which appears to be the rainy season). Which would you recommend: Jaco or Tamarindo?

    We are flying through San Jose so I know Jaco is much closer. But forgetting the driving distance to the airport, which town would you recommend? We are definitely looking for a mix of “outdoorsy” activities to balance out the partying.

    Thanks so much!

    P.S. I’m from Boston also!

    1. Hi Matt, Both are good choices and similar in many ways. Both have a lot of adventure activities but Jaco has a little bit more selection close by. Many day trips from Tamarindo are several hours away. Jaco has more hiking too and is close to Manuel Antonio if you wanted to visit on a day trip to see the rainforest (Tamarindo will be green in August but is tropical dry forest – different than rainforest. Jaco is actually a mix since it’s in a transition zone). You can’t really go wrong with either place, whatever you decide.

      Let us know if you want any help booking tours when you’re at that stage. We can usually get group rates to save you some money. Good luck with the planning!

      1. Jenn & Matt,

        Tanks for the email back in February! Our group of 7 ended up deciding on Playa Hermosa for our trip in 3 weeks. Had a couple questions that didn’t know if you’d be able to help me out.

        1. Do you have a personal driver or company that you recommend? I was able to book transportation to and from the airport but was interested in renting a driver for the 7 us instead of having to do cabs every time.

        2. Wanted to see if you had a company you recommended for group surf lessons/zip lines/atvs/deep sea fishing?

        Also any general advice you have for our trip!

        Thanks so much, Matt

  21. Thanks so much for all of the great information in this post! A friend and I are visiting Jaco at the end of the month. We’re a little hesitant to rent a car. If we want to take trips to the beaches, or even Manuel Antonio, would you recommend using the buses? Or for shorter distances taxi’s?

    We will also need transportation to our hotel from SJO. I read something about Uber being an option, but unsure if this is safe/reliable as compared to other methods. What would you recommend?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Heather, The buses can work well as long as you time it right and don’t mind squeezing in. They run several times per day from Jaco to places like Quepos/Manuel Antonio but can get crowded since the locals use them to get around too. For shorter trips, a taxi is a great option and you can usually ask them to come back to pick you up at a set time (if going to a beach away from town where there aren’t other taxis to get back).

      For the shuttle from SJO to your hotel in Jaco, we don’t have any experience with Uber but think it would be much cheaper to use a shared shuttle, which is also a very reliable option. They only run at certain times, though, so you have to see if it would work with your flight times. We work with Interbus and offer a discount if you do round-trip transfers. You can check out our Discounts Page for details.

  22. Hi – I’m stopping at CR on the way to see a friend in Nicaragua. Flying in Sat night to SJO and flying out Tuesday evening (I know, so little time – shame). Beaches are a must, nightlife would be good too. Would Jaco be my best option given proximity to SJO and no car rental? Or is Manuel Antonio a good option too? Transport to the airport would be good too. Sounds like the best bet would be a private shuttle or flying?

    1. Hi Josue, Your best option for beaches and nightlife is probably Jaco, and you could take a shuttle back to the airport (you can’t fly out of Jaco). A private shuttle would give you the most flexibility to stay at the beach the longest because they leave at whatever time you want. If you need a recommendation for a reliable company, let us know and we can help you with the booking.

      Manuel Antonio does have really pretty beaches, but doesn’t have much for nightlife so Jaco’s a better choice.

  23. Hi!
    Arriving SJO 7/10/17 and staying for a week. Day 2 planned to see Irazu Volcano instead of Poas coz I read its closed. Day 3 planning to drive to Jaco, Manuel Antonio and/or Uvita. My wife, daughter and I love beach and nature. I don’t have plans yet what to do or where to stay. Planned to drive back to SJO Sunday since leaving early Mon. Hows drive to Irazu and to Jaco/ Manuel A./Uvita? Is it true that Poas is closed? Have lots of questions. Do you have a toll free number I can you?
    Thanks
    Jun

    1. Hi Jun, Yes, it’s true that Poas Volcano is currently closed due to recent volcanic activity. The area outside the immediate vicinity of the volcano is open, though. Irazu is another option for a volcano near San Jose. It’s nice, but the crater lake is dried up now and it sometimes gets fogged in so just keep that in mind.

      For the drive, it depends on where you are going. To get from Irazu to Jaco, you would go back through San Jose, then connect to Route 27 and the coastal highway, 34. This is a fairly easy drive, aside from some traffic, especially around San Jose. For Manuel Antonio or Uvita, you have the choice of taking either that or the road over the mountains (Highway 2). The latter is a very curvy, narrow, high altitude, but beautiful drive. It is best done only during day light hours as it often gets fogged in and isn’t well lit. You can read our Road Conditions post for more detailed information.

      Except for our itinerary clients, we only take questions through comments or on our forum. Thanks!

  24. Hi!

    My fiance and I have planned our honeymoon in Jaco. My only concern with the trip is transportation; do you think it would be difficult or wildly expensive to get a taxi or shuttle from the LIB airport to Jaco?

    1. Hi Geo, You should arrange a shuttle in advance, as that will be much less expensive than a taxi. Jaco is a good distance from Liberia. You could also rent a car from the airport and drive yourselves, which may be cheaper. Here is a link to our rental car discount page.

  25. HI! I want to do a day trip to a volcano. We will be in Jaco for four days. We’ve decided to only do one location. Do you know what the best/closest volcano would be to visit? We will have a toddler with us.

    Also aside from visiting Manuel Antonio and Playa Blanca, do you have any family friendly suggestions? Lastly, is it worth it to die to Manuel Antonio or should we just visit Carrara national park?

    1. Hi Jasmine, There aren’t any volcanoes close to Jaco, unfortunately. The closest is Arenal, about 3.5-4 hrs away each way so not really possible in a day trip. Poas Volcano near San José is closed right now due to activity. So it’s probably better to spend your time doing something else unless you can do an overnight in the Arenal area.

      Other toddler-friendly activities are the Isla Damas boat tour to see monkeys, a crocodile tour on the Tarcoles River, and hiking. Carara National Park is a great option and it’s close. It is easier to see wildlife at Manuel Antonio National Park but you can still see a lot at Carara especially if you have a guide.

      Also be sure to check out the park in Jaco right on the Main Street and Jaco Walk. We love Jaco Walk for our son who is a toddler. It’s set back from the road so really safe for running around, and has a bunch of good restaurants, a play set, and a new kids’ play center just opened up if you want a kid-free meal or something 🙂

  26. Hi everyone, my wife and I are planning our 5th trip this winter 2018 to Costa Rica, however after reading some of the comments we are surprised to learn that costs have risen so much. Comments regarding the locals as being friendly only if they see an opportunity is somewhat disturbing. I want to believe that Costa Rica stands out over other destinations? Our experiences in Costa Rica were the best and we always felt safe. I want to belief that this country remains one of the best destinations to visit.

    1. Hi Bronko, Cost is really a matter of perspective. Costa Rica is more expensive than some other destinations (read our Cost of Travel post), but we don’t think that prices have risen much over the past 10 years. I don’t that is true about the locals being friendly only if they see an opportunity. Some people you will encounter are like that, of course, but that has not been our experience living here at all. Most of the locals are genuinely kind and helpful. You seem to have spent quite a bit of time here so go with your instincts based on your past experiences and don’t worry too much about the naysayers. Hope you and your wife have another great visit!

  27. I am writing this from my room # 82 at villa Caletas in Costa Rica. We are half way through an 8 day stay. I cannot say enough about this hotel. Our view is quite breathtaking. This morning we spotted Macaws. We were visited by what I think was an anteater climbing a tree , just off our balcony. Last night during an amazing dinner at sunset, I looked to my side where a Racoon had settled next to my seat. The staff shooed him back to the rainforest. He is a local named Antonio!, and frequents the restaurant . We have been to Jaco and found it colorful and bustling with life. Many restaurants, shops and hotel. People seem both laid back and very. Friendly. There are many Americans living here. It is a third world country though, with much poverty. Most homes are cinder block with tin roofs. If you are used to american comforts than you may have a hard time adjusting. If you are into a simpler life with sandals , swimsuits and backpacks with an incredible amount of nature to enjoy than this place is for you. I have traveled the world and have to say that this one beautiful and romantic places.

  28. Thinking of visiting Jaco for 10 days with my wife. The ‘party atmosphere’ is of a concern as a lot of posts seem to be about group of guys partying. I come from London, England, so i’m used to it, but it would also be nice to get away from it. How much of a party town is it?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Ross, Jaco is a party town but only if you want it to be. If you stay outside the main area and just go there for the restaurants and shops, it isn’t bad. The party atmosphere is at night, mostly in the bars. A couple of good options for places to stay where it is quieter are Hotel Club del Mar, which is on the southern end of the beach, and Pumilio, in the hills well outside town.

  29. Hi Jenn and Matt – came across your website by searching google for Costa Rica language tips… I’m so glad I did – love it! I am going to Jaco next week for a Yoga Retreat. Seems like a little busy for Yoga Retreat area, but happy not to have to travel too far from airport to begin the week.

    Thanks for all the wonderful tips and stories about your life. You are an inspiration. I have thought about going to Costa Rica as a retirement option – As a Yoga teacher I am interested in all the possibilities for Yoga Retreats and training.
    Muchas Gracias!
    Andrea

    1. Hi Andrea, Hope you are enjoying the yoga retreat. There are some quiet areas outside Jaco that make great spots for retreats like that. If you do decide on Costa Rica for retirement, we have a lot of information about living here in our Life in Costa Rica section. Pura vida!

  30. We’re considering a four-day golf trip for a fairly large group, perhaps two dozen. We are undecided between playing at Cariari Country Club in San Jose or at La Iguana near Jaco. Can you give me the pros and cons of both the capital city and Jaco when it comes to groups like this?

    1. Hi Mark, The beach (Jaco) is more appealing in that it’s more scenic and there’s less traffic/congestion. Cariari is right in the heart of the city. San Jose is nice for a couple of days, but with four days, you have time to get down to Jaco since it’s only about 1.5 hours from the airport. As you can see from this post, Jaco still has lot of restaurants, shops, and things to do, but doesn’t have the city feel of San Jose. In short, Jaco will feel more like a vacation.

  31. Jaco is a bit over developed but a fun place to stop as you are driving along the cost highway. We love going to the Marea Alta soda for breakfast or lunch. Great “typical” Costa Rican food. Just love their ceviche. We had a very enjoyable dinner at the Lemon Zest. I had a steak which was said to be imported from an organic farm in Nicaragua. It was one of the best pieces of beef I have ever had (and I live in Houston, TX). This is in sharp contrast to my experience with steak elsewhere in Costa Rica. Often times it was as tough as shoe leather and average quality at best. I was told by a Canadian expat who has been living there for over a decade that Costa Rican beef tends to be tough because of the way it is slaughtered and processed.

  32. Hi Jenn and Matt, great to see how well maintained and updated your blog is. Fascinating to read some of the other comments as well.

    I am coming down in two weeks on my own for some R and R. To avoid boredom in the evenings, I am more interested in the nightlife. Are there good bars where older guys can hang out? I don’t mind some live music and entertainment, but I am not into crazy partying. I am assuming there are plenty of bars on the main drag, but what can you recommend where I can have a conversation with other patrons?

    1. Hi John, Glad our website has been helpful. Jaco has a lot of bars and restaurants, all with a different feel. For something more casual, you could check out Puddlefish, which is a small brewery/restaurant in Jaco Walk. Another idea is Los Amigos, a sports bar/restaurant right in the middle of town where a lot of gringos hang out.

  33. Hi Jenn and Matt,
    Thank you so much for all the wonderful information about Costa Rice- your blog has been amazing in answering so many of my questions! I am planning a dual -family trip to Costa Rica in December and am struggling deciding between staying in Jaco or Manuel Antonio. I have read some things online about Jaco that are slightly worrisome. For that reason I am definitely leaning towards changing our trip to MA as it seems so much more beautiful and more family friendly. We are interested in doing zip lining, relaxing at the beach and swimming, visiting the national park, and zip-lining. Would you guys recommend Jaco or Manuel Antonio? Thank you so much in advance!

    1. Hi Jordan, Jaco isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be. During the day, it’s a great place. Lots of families around. We go with our son when we’re looking for something different to do. It has the park and Jaco Walk, where a lot of restaurants are, has a kids’ area. We love Manuel Antonio, though, and personally think it is much more beautiful because of the rainforest and all the wildlife. Both are great options and have a lot to do so it depends on the feel you’re looking for. Jaco is more developed, less forest right around town and wildlife, but a lot of excellent restaurants and activities. Manuel Antonio is developed too but everything is set in the rainforest. It also has excellent restaurants and activities.

  34. I am planning trip to CR in December. I was planning on staying in San Jose for approx4 days on the recommendation of a friend? Would you recommend San Jose, and how is it there?

    1. Hi JR, We do recommend San Jose but maybe not for 4 days, unless you’re really interested in seeing the museums and other cultural attractions (see our post How to Spend 1 or 2 Days in San Jose). Most people come to CR to experience the rainforest and beaches but of course this differs for everyone. Personally, we like San Jose because of the city vibe/good restaurants and because it’s where most Ticos live, but we’ve found that we’ve had enough of the traffic and busyness after a couple of nights.

  35. It’s been a few years since I stayed in Jaco for any length of time (2013) but we must have visited nearly 20 times since 1993. It has really developed since then. We settled in a nice place at the south end of the beach (much nicer) I bought a cheap bike and shopped at the Mas por Menos grocery store and joined the Platinum gym for $30.00 a month. It was a great winter get away and we loved it.

  36. Hello Jenn and Matt,
    We were so glad that we discovered your blog about Costa Rica, all your posts and replies filled with great love for the country.
    We are planning to go Jaco in April and like to spend the majority of our time snorkeling. I wasn’t able to find much information about that so I would like to get your opinion about it.
    Is ocean calm in Jaco or there are big waves? Is there a lot of fish or other sea life that we can see during snorkeling?
    Sincerely,
    Jesse

    1. Hi Jesse, The main beach in Jaco is known for surfing so it has bigger waves. But there are some smaller coves in the area where you might be able to get some snorkeling in depending on conditions. We’ve seen people snorkeling at Playa Blanca before but aren’t sure how much there is to actually see in terms of fish. You could also do a boat tour to Tortuga Island for something more reliable. This is a white sand island in the Gulf of Nicoya. Let us know if you’d like us to send you more info about this by email.

  37. Hey, planning a girls trip in June for my 30th birthday staying in a condo nearby – any tips for party girls who want to have fun but really want to stay safe and avoid any crazy things happening to us? Thanks in advance ?

    1. Jaco has a ton of great restaurants and some chill bars that have live music and other events. Definitely check out the Green Room and Graffiti restaurant for a nice dinner out. Puddle Fish is a local brewery that often has events too. You could check out their Facebook pages closer to your travel dates to see what will be going on. Hope you have a fun birthday trip!

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