Whether you’re looking to unwind on the sand or burn some energy swimming or riding the waves, Jaco Beach offers the best of both worlds. Inexperienced surfers can sign up for a private or group lesson in the clear ocean waters just south of Jaco Beach. Travelers wanting to take in the diversity of Costa Rica’s ecological landscapes can tour nearby Manuel Antonio National Park, the Carara biological reserve, or the Damas Island Estuary.
Other options for outdoor adventurers include rain forest all-terrain vehicle excursions, hiking trips, ziplining, and beachside horseback rides.
Things to Know Before You Go
Jaco Beach has a strong riptide—swimmers should be cautious.
For a more relaxed atmosphere than Jaco’s, head to Playa Herradura, a 15-minute drive north.
How to Get There
Jaco Beach is around an hour and 45 minutes from San José by car. Shuttle buses regularly depart the airport for Jaco Beach; taxis are also available. Alternatively, take a bus, but the journey lasts about three and a half hours.
When to Get There
For fewer crowds, visit Jaco Beach on a weekday morning. If you’re looking for nightlife, the town of Jaco is the place to be after dark.
After soaking up the sun and surf, make your way behind the beach to Jaco Walk, an open-air shopping center where you’ll find most of the town’s top eateries. Serving everything from sushi to pizza, the majority of restaurants offer outdoor seating with views of the concerts and other performances that often take place.
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