Jaco, Costa Rica

Jaco Map

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Jaco is located in the northern portion of the Puntarenas province and is less than two hours from San Jose. This central Pacific town is one of the most popular beaches in Costa Rica and has a reputation as a party beach with a bustling nightlife.

To the north and south of Jaco, you'll find beautiful remote beaches with picturesque views. Be sure to use care when swimming in the ocean here as riptides are common along the shore. These tides do make for excellent surfing, one of the major attractions to the region.

History & Culture

The atmosphere in Jaco is fun, casual, and relaxed with friendly locals. The town features plenty of restaurants and shops, not to mention local bars and clubs. The area caters to the tourist crowd but maintains a tranquil atmosphere.

For a change in scenery, the town is close to both Playa Hermosa and Playa Herradura - both excellent surfing locations in their own right.

Lodging & Dining

These peaceful resorts will provide the perfect endings to the perfect beachside day. The villas and bungalows of Club del Mar, and offer privacy and spacious comfort while the rooms at Marriott Los Sueños will have you feeling right at home.

If you prefer privacy and seclusion, look south of Jaco to Xandari by the Pacific on Playa Esterillos.

As a popular tourist destination, Jaco features a number of delicious restaurants at all price ranges. For a top-notch dinner, try Club del Mar which features international cuisine and seafood. This is also a great place to have your catch of the day cooked up to perfection. El Hicaco is another great choice with a fantastic ambiance to match its tasty food.

Caliche's Wishbone is said to have fantastic margaritas, in addition to seafood and Mexican cuisine. This is also a good place to try some of the local pizza. If you must have your American-style omelette at least once during your vacation, then try Sunrise Breakfast Place which offers filling breakfasts and strong coffee.


This locale is heaven for the adventurous; options abound for day tours and/or independent exploration whether you prefer land or sea.

Both the Manuel Antonio National Park and the Carara National park are great places to explore and look for exotic local wildlife and plant life. You can spot colorful birds, reptiles, sloths, monkeys, and more. Why not try a crocodile safari - journey upriver into the heart of crocodile country, enjoying the rainforest surroundings along the way. Hiking and horseback riding tours are also fantastic ways to see more of the rainforests and jungles in the region. Canopy tours are thrilling adventures and take you to the tops of the trees where many of the indigenous species live.

If you came to Costa Rica to experience the ocean, then you won't be disappointed in Jaco and the surrounding areas. The region is probably best known for fantastic surfing. Rent a board and take lessons to improve your skills or help you get started. Sea kayaking and other boat tours are peaceful ways to explore routes only accessible by boat. The region also features exciting white water rapid tours on either the Savegre or Naranjo Rivers. Finally, you can test your skill (and luck) with a deep sea fishing expedition and try to catch marlin, roosterfish, tuna, wahoo, and more.

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