Jaco, with its central location, just a short trip from the capital of San Jose, is probably Costa Rica’s most visited beach town. Without being a final destination it is very often a passing through point or short-stay visit location. This applies to the weekend traveler, both foreign and domestic, and the Cruising tourist who sets port in Puntarenas. So, the question is, with only one day to spend in Jaco, what shouldn’t you miss?? Here are my suggestions to get the most out of your time in Jaco if you only have one day.
Breakfast in town at Tacobar. A popular open air restaurant, complete with swing chairs, surf videos and reasonably priced fresh food, it is a great place to start your exciting day in the lively town of Jaco. Amazing smoothies and specialty coffees will satisfy every morning craving.
From breakfast, I would recommend a walk on the beach. You stand a good chance of seeing dolphins if you get out there early. You also miss the crowds and have the beach to yourself! After a couple hours relaxing to the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach (and hopefully playing in them), it is time for something a little more intense.
An Adventure Tour (or two):
Put on your raggedy-est clothes, but keep your bathing suit on and plan your adrenaline packed afternoon. I recommend Adventure Tours in Jaco, located just behind Subway on Jaco’s main drag, to set up your 4HR ATV and Canopy Zipline Adventure combo. They have a great package price which includes a delicious typical lunch and swimming at a waterfall. The four hour tour into the mountains takes you through lush jungle, adorable small pueblos and to breathtaking vistas thousands of feet above the ocean. It is an amazing tour which lets you take in nature and really get a feel of the real Costa Rica. Upon arrival back in Jaco, you are whisked away to your canopy tour just a short five minute drive away, where you will zip through the tree tops at breakneck speeds for the next couple hours.
A trip to the west coast of Costa Rica isn’t complete without taking in one of its famous sunsets. Probably the prettiest spot is at Villa Caletas located back towards Puntarenas, fifteen minutes north of Jaco. Pamper yourself in this beautiful boutique hotel setting with a tropical mango mojitio in their Greek styled amphitheater as you watch the sun set for the day. If you are thinking dinner, you couldn’t choose a nicer spot.
So, though you can’t do everything in one day, you can certainly pack it full of amazing experiences and memories that will keep Jaco forever in your heart. Shuttles can be arranged easily to bring you and your group to Jaco from Puntarenas (and back again) in less than an hour. Pura vida!