Jaco Beach is a beautiful destination in Costa Rica that has become famous for its nightlife. The beach is stunning, with warm tropical sands, clear-blue waters, and palm trees swaying in the breeze. But when the sun sets, Jaco Beach comes to life with an array of bars, clubs, and restaurants that cater to all tastes.
While there's no denying that the party atmosphere can be a lot of fun, it's important to know the drinking rules in Jaco Beach to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time. In this post, we'll cover everything you need to know about drinking in Jaco.
In Costa Rica, the legal drinking age is 18 years old. This means that anyone under the age of 18 is not allowed to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages in public places such as bars, clubs, and restaurants. You will need to carry a picture ID with you when drinking. Bars, clubs, restaurants, and any other establishment that offers on or off site alcohol for sale in Costa Rica reserves the right to ask for proof of your age and you must be able to comply in order to proceed with your purchase.
Costa Rica has an open container law designed to keep public spaces clean and safe for everyone. In Jaco Beach, it is technically prohibited to consume alcoholic beverages on public roads or beaches. If you're caught violating these laws, you could face hefty fines or even arrest by local authorities. With that said, under a revision of the law that took place in 2012, it was determined that each canton within Costa Rica can choose how strictly they enforce open container laws. Generally speaking, the local authorities in Jaco are rather lenient.
Yes and no. While flexible enforcement is the rule of thumb in Jaco, the decision to enforce open container laws is solely at the discretion of the local authorities. To avoid any potential issues, it is always safest to abstain from drinking in areas that haven’t been specifically designated as adult-beverage friendly. Many hotels and condos have beachfront access, with swim up bars and sunchair seating where you may legally enjoy your alcoholic beverages while you relax at the beach. There are also a number of beachfront bars to choose from in Jaco, where you can enjoy the smell of salt air, spectacular sunsets over the Pacific ocean, and gentle, tropical breezes while you sip a fruity cocktail or a refreshing, ice cold beer.
If you decide to drink in undesignated public areas, it’s important to maintain a low profile and refrain from any drunken or obnoxious behaviors. It’s best to remember that the authorities in Costa Rica aren’t trying to prevent you from having a good time, they're trying to assure that everyone stays safe and is able to enjoy their time equally, without being disrupted by others. If you are loud, unruly, or behaving erratically, the chances of police intervention greatly increase.
It is illegal to operate a motorized vehicle of any kind while under the influence of alcohol in Costa Rica. The maximum permissible limit for blood alcohol concentration while driving is 0.05%. Driving while over the limit can lead to fines and penalties of $500 or more, and in some cases, may even result in jail time. If you plan on consuming alcohol, hire an Uber, catch a cab, or appoint a designated driver for your night out in order to prevent potential harm to yourself or others.
Tours leaving from Jaco like the Jungle Booze Cruise and the Tortuga Island Party Tour take the responsibility of operating a vehicle off your shoulders, so that you can sit back and enjoy your drinks responsibly. In addition, most of the bars, casinos, restaurants, and clubs in Jaco are within walking distance to the area’s hotels and condos. You can hire a taxi for around $2-$3 US dollars to get you anywhere within the town’s limits. The fact that Jaco’s nightlife is so centrally located and easily accessible is another reason why operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol shouldn’t be a factor during your vacation.
Visiting Jaco Beach can be an unforgettable experience filled with fun, excitement, relaxation and adventure. In order to make the most of this vibrant town and its incredible culture, it's important to keep in mind the local drinking rules and customs. With a little mindfulness and a lot of good vibes, you’ll find Jaco welcoming and friendly. So crack open a cold one, soak up the sun, have fun and stay safe on your upcoming Jaco vacation!