Finding Adventure in Jaco: What to do and How Long to Stay
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Finding Adventure in Jaco: What to do and How Long to Stay

Date Published:
May 18, 2023
Finding Adventure in Jaco: What to do and How Long to Stay

With its lush jungles, stunning beaches, and rich culture, there's no shortage of things to do and see in Costa Rica. Among the many popular destinations is Jaco, a coastal town known for its surfing, nightlife, and adventure activities. If you're planning a trip to Jaco Beach, you might be wondering how long to stay and what exactly to do. In this article, we'll explore the best things to do in Jaco, how long you should stay, and how to make the most of your time in this vibrant and exciting town.

How long to stay in Jaco


Travelers should plan to stay in Jaco Costa Rica for a minimum of three days, but up to a week or longer is advisable in order to fully experience all the activities and attractions the area has to offer. From surfing and water sports to ATV riding and zipline tours, Jaco has a wide range of exciting outdoor activities to experience. Additionally, there are plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops in the town center to enjoy on Jaco’s spectacular tropical evenings. If vacationers want to hike through the rainforest jungle, there are two national parks within a short drive of Jaco. There is so much to see and do in Jaco that visitors should plan for a longer stay whenever possible to make the most of their experience.

Things to do in and around Jaco

Learn to surf 🏄🏾‍♂️🏖️

Learning to surf in Jaco Costa Rica is an incredible experience. With its long, sandy beach and consistent waves, it's the perfect place for beginners to get started. Surfing lessons usually last around two hours and include both on-shore and in-water instruction. Lifeguard certified instructors are experienced, friendly, and bilingual, making it easy to learn. With plenty of practice, you'll soon be riding the waves like a pro!

Ride ATVs 🌄🏍️

The rugged mountains surrounding Jaco are home to hidden waterfalls, stunning views of the coast, and abundant wildlife. ATV tours allow visitors to explore the rainforest in a unique and thrilling way. The tours usually last between two and six hours and include a guide who will lead you through the jungle and over rocky terrain. Along the way, you'll stop at scenic viewpoints, take a dip in a waterfall, and maybe even spot some monkeys or toucans.


Go Fishing 🐟🎣

Deep sea fishing on a private charter boat out of nearby Los Suenos Marina is an unforgettable experience. These charters take you on an adventure in the Pacific Ocean to some of the most abundant big-game fishing spots in the world. You will be able to target a variety of species in these offshore waters, including marlin, sailfish, tuna, dorado, and wahoo. Los Suenos Marina is especially well-known for its deep sea fishing, as it is situated in one of the most fertile fishing grounds in the world. Charters are led by experienced captains who will ensure that you have the best possible trip. With a drive time of only 15 minutes from Jaco Beach, a private charter boat in Los Suenos Marina is the perfect way to spend a day or two while you’re in the area.

Visit a Pirate Island 🏴‍☠️🦜🏝️

If you want to experience time on the Pacific ocean but would rather kick back and relax, a catamaran tour to Tortuga Island might be just the adventure you’re looking for. Departing from Los Suenos Marina, catamaran tours offer a spectacular beach day filled with relaxation, fun and adventure, bookended by cruising on the Ocean as you travel to and from the island. Spend your day snorkeling the Tortuga’s crystal-clear waters or lounging on its pristine beach. Go on an organized hike through the island’s lush jungle or take a wet and wild ride on a banana boat. Famous pirates including Henry Morgan and Blackbeard are rumored to have visited Tortuga Island. With its unforgettable scenery, unique rock formations and beautiful coastline, you’ll quickly understand why.

Go Ziplining 😆💯

Canopy ziplining is a must-do in Costa Rica and Jaco Beach offers close proximity to several excellent options. From the Los Suenos Canopy Zipline, which rests 15 minutes from Jaco and offers stunning views of Herradura Bay and the Gulf of Nicoya, to the Manuel Antonio Canopy Zipline about an hour from Jaco offering spectacular mountain and wildlife views, you’re sure to find the perfect zipline experience. Zipline tours typically last up to two hours and include multiple ziplines of varying lengths and heights. Whether you're an adrenaline junkie or just looking for a unique way to experience Costa Rica's natural beauty, ziplining is a must-try activity that is sure to leave you breathless.

Hike a national park 🏞️🐒🦥

If you are staying in Jaco and you love hiking, you’re in luck. Both Carara and Manuel Antonio National Parks are located within a short drive from Jaco, making it easy to take a day trip to explore these beautiful parks. Carara National Park is known for its incredible biodiversity, boasting an array of flora and fauna, including the scarlet macaw, crocodiles, and anteaters. The park has several hiking trails, ranging from easy to more challenging, providing an opportunity to experience the park's beauty at your pace. Manuel Antonio National Park provides an excellent opportunity to see some of the country's most stunning beaches, as well as incredible wildlife such as sloths and monkeys. With hiking trails winding through the lush, jungle-covered hillsides, you can truly immerse yourself in the natural world. Both parks offer an incredible way to get up close and personal with the country's flora and fauna and are must-visit destinations for any nature lover visiting Jaco.

    stand up paddle boarding jaco costa rica

    Jaco is an excellent vacation destination for those seeking adventure and excitement. With an abundance of activities from surfing to hiking, there is never a dull moment in Jaco. Whether you spend a few days or a few weeks in this beautiful beach town, you are sure to have a memorable experience. From stunning sunsets to delicious cuisine, Jaco is brimming with new experiences and gorgeous scenery that you won’t soon forget.