Hi, Our family and I are traveling to Jaco this Thursday 2-15 and we read somewhere that the beach opposite our rental house (3mils outside Jaco) has dangerous rip tides. We have two young children under 10 years old and where can we find out if the beach is safe once we get there?
Unfortunately very few beaches in Costa Rica have lifeguards but there are some beaches that have them. If you see a lifeguard, you can ask them first. Otherwise you will probably be on your own at determining the safety of the water. Lots of beaches in Costa Rica have intense waves (this is what attracts a lot of surfers to the country). You can try to look for calmer water in certain coves or sometimes near rivers. It also helps to know how to identify a riptide. Here is a good article on how to read the waves: http://thevane.gawker.com/learn-how-to-identify-rip-currents-so-you-dont-die-on-s-1692434160
If you don’t mind driving, a little north of Jaco is a beautiful beach for swimming called Playa Blanca. It is set in a calmer cove so the waves are less intense.