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.

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