Just over two hours from San José, Jacó sits in a hot coastal plain behind the broad Playa Jacó, the closest beach to the capital. An established seaside attraction, the resort draws a mix of surfers, package tourists, holidaying Ticos and retired North American baby-boomers, along with a less savoury selection of drug dealers and prostitutes. Jacó has seen some of the most excessive development along the Pacific, but the partying crowd don’t seem to mind too much. And as a base from which to explore the surf beaches along this stretch of coast, its multitude of amenities takes some beating.
Jaco Beach, Costa Rica © Jodi Jacobson / iStock
Things to do in Jacó
Being a popular tourist town, Jaco is not short of things to do. Activities include surfing, horse-back riding, fishing, kayaking, rafting and ATV tours. For an activity that is not as action-packed but just as rewarding take a tour around the coast on a catamaran whilst sipping wine and enjoying the sunset.
Nature and Wildlife
Nearby Jaco is Manuel Antonio National Park, which offers a range of wildlife in the form of plant and bird species, and Carara Biological Reserve which is home to macaws, monkeys and jaguars. When visiting Carara there is also the option to stop off at a 2,000-year-old pre-Colombian archaeological site for a dose of history amongst your wildlife adventure.
Squirrel Monkeys, Costa Rica © Camp Photo / iStock
Nightlife in Jacó
Jaco is well-known as being a traveller friendly town with a thriving party atmosphere. The nightlife is active, with many bars staying open until the early hours of the morning.
Featured Image, Jaco, Costa Rica © Jodi Jacobson / iStock