- Summary: Beach town known for its nightlife and good surf; perfect for young or solo travelers.
- Landscape: Beaches, Transitional Forest
- Attractions: Carara National Park, Nightlife, Surf
- Activities: Adventure Tours, Dancing and Nightlife, Sport Fishing, Surfing
- Caters to: Budget Travelers, Couples/Honeymooners, Independent Travelers, Surfers
- Quick Facts: 73 miles southwest of San Jose ; Sea level ; Hot days with cool sea breezes at night ; 71-90°F
Jaco's dark chocolate sands, lively surf and sunshine fill the days, but it's the bars, restaurants and nightclubs that keep the candle burning long after the sunset. A weekend escape to Jaco is the daydream of every 9 to 5er in San Jose and a likely first stop for any traveler exploring Costa Rica's Pacific coastline.read more close
Only an hour and a half outside San Jose, Jaco's famous two mile-stretch of surf and sand attracts surfers and sunbathers alike. For those interested in riding the waves, Jaco offers a variety of beach breaks: the south-end offers easy, spilling waves perfect for beginners while the north-end offers fast and hollow waves for riders looking for something a little more challenging.
Besides the surf, Jaco quenches the thirst for adventure with canopy, ATV, horseback riding, sport fishing, diving and kayaking tours. It's also the best jumping off point for excursions to Carara National Park (famous for its flocks of scarlet macaws) and the Tarcoles River (filled with more than 2,000 crocodiles).
Jaco's creative restaurants, cheap drinks and nightly events make it a must-see destination for foodies and partiers looking to indulge their palate with tasty creations from talented chefs on Jaco's main streets or at the Los Suenos marina. For bars, walk down the Jaco's main strip at night to see the illuminations of casual surfer bars, chic techno-blaring tapas restaurants, pubs, nightclubs and casinos where there's a party every night of the week; just follow the specials.
The Jaco area is actually made of the central town of Jaco and the satellite beaches:Herradura, Hermosa, Esterillos and Bejuco. Herradura Beach is a big draw for the weekend crowd from San Jose. Hermosa Beach attracts surfers from around the world to ride the barreling waves of its beach and point breaks while Playa Esterillos and Bejuco offer a combination of seclusion, relaxation and surfing.
Comfortable lodging abounds in Jaco from $200 luxury hotels to $10 casitas by the beach. Most of the hotels in the city are within a block of Jaco's main street and only a block from the beach.