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Jaco, Costa Rica: A Destination Worth Visiting

Looking for the perfect getaway? Jaco, Costa Rica is the optimal choice for an adventure-filled vacation in paradise. Visitors to Costa Rica love the easy, hour-and-a-half drive from San José International Airport (SJO) to the small, stunning city located on Central America’s breathtaking Pacific Coast. Jaco is packed with local charm, fun and exotic adventures, and a thriving nightlife.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or an action-packed adventure, Jaco has it all. But before you go, there are a few things you should know about exploring the beaches of Jaco. Here is the lowdown on what to expect when visiting this beautiful beach town. From where to stay and what to do, to the best beach spots and safety tips, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make your trip to Jaco a success.

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What is Jaco Beach Known For?

Jaco - pronounced like “ha-CO” - is a beautiful and popular beach town known for a variety of features. It curves slightly along the Pacific Ocean, providing 7 kilometers of sandy beach to enjoy. A world-renowned surf spot because of its waves, Jaco attracts countless athletes looking for the perfect swell to its beaches all year long.

For swimmers, there’s a marked swimming area at Jaco Beach to keep everyone safe. The waters are best and safest for swimming on the south end, or at neighboring Playa Herradura

Exploring the Unique Nightlife of Jaco, Costa Rica

Jaco, Costa Rica is known for its vibrant nightlife. With plenty of bars, clubs, and restaurants, there is something for everyone. The town is full of energy and the nightlife scene is always bustling. Whether you are looking for a lively bar to grab a few drinks with friends or a club to dance the night away, Jaco has it all. There are numerous bars and clubs that offer live music and entertainment, as well as a variety of restaurants and cafes. The town also hosts a range of cultural events such as art exhibitions, concerts, and festivals, ranging from beachfront bars to rooftop lounges. The atmosphere is always friendly and inviting, so you can be sure to have a great time. Jaco's nightlife is the perfect way to let loose and make some unforgettable memories.

Exploring Jaco Costa Rica: Unforgettable Activities to Try Out on Your Trip

Jaco, Costa Rica is a great destination for those looking for adventure. From tours of the local mountains, to visiting breathtaking waterfalls, there's something for everyone. ATV tours are a popular way to explore the region, and there are plenty of zipline canopy tours available for those who prefer to stay off the ground. Keep your eyes peeled for monkeys in the trees and be sure to take in the stunning overviews. From such points of interest, you can see the lush rainforest and the beautiful beaches. You can also explore the local culture by visiting the markets, restaurants, and shops. For those wanting to relax, Jaco has plenty of spas, yoga classes, and beachfront resorts to choose from.

What Are Some Other Things to Do in Jaco?

Costa Rica Full Day Waterfall Tour

Jaco, Costa Rica has lots of things to do. From quaint boutiques to delicious dining, you don’t have to go far from the shoreline to find something fun to do. Along the main street you’ll find a plethora of souvenir stores and places to grab coffee, or bars to grab a drink and a game of pool. Visitors traveling in from all around the world enjoy the eclectic mix of activities and experiences Jaco, Costa Rica has to offer.

If you’re hoping for the adventure of a lifetime, Adventure Tours Costa Rica has dozens of options in Jaco for you. Animal lovers can find crocodiles, monkeys, or opportunities for horseback riding on wildlife excursions.

For a bigger thrill, try flying through the rainforest canopy on a zipline or sailing down the Savegre River on a white-water rafting adventure. From repelling down canyons to a catamaran trip to Tortuga Island, Jaco has something for everyone!

Wondering what to do in Jaco, Costa Rica after your day of outdoor adventures? Not to worry! Jaco is one of the best places to enjoy Costa Rican nightlife. Whether you want to dance, listen to live music, try your luck at one of the town’s casinos, or simply enjoy a great dinner—nighttime fun is always just minutes away! There are exciting things to do around town every night of your vacation.

What Airport is Nearest to Jaco, Costa Rica?

This town is great to visit because of the easy access to and from Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in San José.

How far is Jaco from San José? As you can see on a map,it’s just an hour and a half drive from Costa Rica’s capital city, where SJO - the country’s largest airport - is located. Savvy travelers to Costa Rica book their transportation from the airport to their condo or hotel in advance of their trip to ensure the safest ride to where they are staying.

Where is Jaco Located on a Map in Costa Rica?

Jaco Beach View

Situated on the Pacific Coast of the country at the southern mouth of the Gulf of Nicoya, Jaco is part of the Puntarenas province. The city lies between several mountains and is neighbored by the beaches of Herradura Bay to the North, and Playa Hermosa to the South (not to be confused with another beach by the same name in Guanacaste). About 35 kilometers north lies Carara National Park, recognized for its exuberant wildlife and dense rainforest. Carara is home to one of the largest remaining populations of wild scarlet macaws in the country. Manuel Antonio National Park is located 75 kilometers south of Jaco.

Jaco’s elevation is 7 meters (about 23 feet) above sea level. In the mountains, you can reach up to 3,000 feet or 914 meters. Its mountains are geologically formed by volcanic rocks, providing a beautifully diverse landscape throughout the region.

Where Should I Stay in Jaco?

Jaco Condo Beachfront

Jaco is a favorite spot for tourists and Ticos (Costa Rican nationals) alike, so there are plenty of great options for lodging in the area. Many vacationers choose to rent a condominium in one of the gated communities here that have beachfront access with private pools and all the comforts of home. Rental units are usually well-maintained and updated with modern amenities.

Condos aren’t the only places to stay! There is no shortage of other private vacation rentals or hotels in this stunning town. Enjoy a Costa Rica beachfront rental, a tranquil resort, or one of the large casino hotels Jaco, Costa Rica has to offer. If you’re looking for a luxury experience, check out the Los Sueños Resort, just a ten-minute drive from downtown Jaco.

What’s the Weather Like in Jaco and the Garabito District?

The average temperatures in Jaco, Costa Rica are between 85-90°F during the day and 75-80°F at night. Monthly average temperatures in Jaco are lower in the months around October and are higher closer to March. Downtown Jaco is hottest from mid-morning until late afternoon. The dry season is from December to August and the wet season from September to November.

With relatively warm and pleasant weather year-round, anytime is the best time to go to Jaco, Costa Rica.

Is Jaco Worth Visiting During the Rainy Season?

Los Suenos Marina Charter Boat

Even in the rainy or “green season,” Jaco, Costa Rica is an excellent vacation spot. The green season runs from September through November, during which time you can expect some rain that typically comes after dusk or during the nighttime. This weather pattern leaves vacationers plenty of time during the day to enjoy all that the town and the surrounding area have to offer.

Many guests prefer traveling to Costa Rica during the green season because the temperature is more moderate, and the overcast days provide relief from the hot sun. It’s also a time favored by sportfishing enthusiasts who prefer more open seas and active billfish. Fewer vacationers are traveling during this time, so the town is not as busy, and airfare can be much cheaper, making it worth the visit!

What is Living in Jaco, Costa Rica Like?

Villa Caletas hotel view

Throughout Costa Rica, Jaco is one of the fastest growing tourist regions. It draws in explorers from all over the world due to its solid infrastructure, modern amenities, and a plethora of options for adventure.

The town of Jaco is home to right around 11,000 residents. It is the capital of the Garabito district, which has about 20,000 residents. The resident population as well as the “floating population” have increased immensely in this area over the past few decades because of the booming tourist industry here.

Thanks to this significant growth, many new businesses, modern services, and schools have popped up throughout the district of Garabito. A large percentage of those living in the region are expatriates, drawn to the beauty of Jaco by the majestic shores of the Pacific Ocean and lush wonder of the mountainous rainforest.

From adventurous things to do, fascinating wildlife, and comfortable accommodations, Jaco is worth visiting. So come and join us for a Costa Rican vacation you will never forget, filled with all the exhilarating new experiences Jaco, Costa Rica has to offer.
4-Hour ATV Tour

Tour de 7 Pueblos

  • Jaco, Los Sueños, Costa Rica
  • ATV
  • Half Day Starting From $129
  • Moderate

Per Driver

Los Suenos Canopy Tour

Los Suenos Canopy

  • Jaco, Los Sueños, Costa Rica
  • Canopy
  • 2 Hours Starting From $69
  • Moderate

Per Person

Tortuga Catamaran - Party Tour

Tortuga Island Party

  • Carara, Jaco, Los Sueños, Costa Rica
  • Tortuga Island
  • Full Day Starting From $159
  • Easy

Per Person

Naranjo Rafting Class IV

Naranjo Rafting

  • Manuel Antonio, Jaco, Los Sueños, Costa Rica
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Half Day Starting From $89
  • Challenging

Per Person (2 person minimum)

Villa Caletas Hotel

Villa Caletas Hotel

  • Jaco, Costa Rica
  • Hotels
  • Starting From $230

Per Night/ 2 people (+ sales tax)

Three Treasures

Three Treasures

  • Jaco, Costa Rica
  • Condos
  • Starting From $249

Per Night (Prices do not include sales tax)

Riviera Condominiums

The Riviera Condos

  • Jaco, Costa Rica
  • Condos
  • Starting From $189

Contact Us With Requested Dates For Price & Availability

Riviera Penthouse

Riviera Penthouse

  • Jaco, Costa Rica
  • Condos
  • Starting From $599

Contact Us With Requested Dates For Price & Availability

Los Suenos Costa Rica Marina

Los Suenos Marina

With hundreds of glistening white charter boats anchored in the blue Pacific Waters of Los Suenos Costa Rica, this is easily one of the most unforgettable locations to relax and enjoy your Costa Rica vacation.
South Jaco Beach

South Jaco Beach

As any local will tell you, if you’re looking to get away from the throngs of tourists and bustling activities in the mid and northern sections of Jaco Costa Rica, hike down to the south end of the beach for a relaxing afternoon in the sun.
Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa

Along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, the beach directly south of Jaco Costa Rica is the famous surfing Mecca, Playa Hermosa. The beach front here is clean and beautiful with large crashing waves that bring advanced and professional surfers from around the world.

Is Jaco Costa Rica Safe?

Jaco Costa Rica is generally considered a safe place to visit. Although it has a reputation as a party town, there is generally low crime and violence reported in the area. Jaco is well patrolled by local police who have a presence in the streets. (View Full Blog Post)


Does Jaco have nice beaches?

Yes, Jaco has some of the best beaches in Costa Rica. The beaches in Jaco are known for their beautiful white sand and turquoise waters. There are also many fun activities to do on the beach such as surfing, swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing.


How much is a massage in Jaco?

Massage prices in Jaco typically range from $45 to $70 per hour.


Can you drink on the beach in Jaco?

Yes, you can drink on the beach in Jaco. The beach in Jaco is a great place to relax and enjoy a few drinks. There are many bars and restaurants along the beachfront that offer a variety of alcoholic beverages. You can also purchase alcoholic beverages at convenience stores and bring them to the beach. However, it is important to remember that public intoxication is illegal in Jaco, so you should be mindful of your consumption and always drink responsibly. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the local laws and regulations regarding drinking alcohol in public, as they can vary from place to place. All in all, drinking on the beach in Jaco can be a great way to enjoy the local atmosphere and the beautiful scenery. ( View Full Blog Post )


Is Jaco too touristy?

Many people find Jaco to be a great tourist destination due to its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and many available activities and tours. It has a great infrastructure with plenty of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, but it can also be quite crowded. It also may not be the most authentic experience of Costa Rica, since it has heavily shifted toward catering to tourists. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide if Jaco is too touristy for them. (View Full Blog Post)


How much is a beer in Jaco?

The price of a beer in Jaco can vary depending on the type of beer and where it is purchased. Generally, an imported beer can cost between $2 - $4 USD, while a local beer will cost around $1 - $2 USD. ( View Full Blog Post )


What should I wear in Jaco?

Jaco is a beach town, so it is important to wear clothes that are appropriate for a beach destination. As a general rule, light and airy clothing made from breathable fabrics is ideal for a hot and humid climate. A tank top and shorts are a great option for a casual day, and a sundress or a skirt and blouse can be more suitable for a night out. Women should also bring a scarf to use as a beach cover up, since some beaches may require modest dress. In addition, it's always a good idea to bring a hat or sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. You should also pack sandals or flip flops to wear while exploring the town or going to the beach. ( View Full Blog Post )


Do you need a rental car in Jaco?

It is not necessary to have a rental car in Jaco. Public transportation such as Uber, taxis and buses are widely available. Additionally, there are many rental car companies located in the area if you would prefer to have your own vehicle. However, if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing or if you are looking for a convenient way to get around town, a car would definitely be an asset. If you plan to stay mostly within walking distance of downtown Jaco, you may not need a car.

If you do plan to rent a car, it is important to keep in mind that parking can be difficult in Jaco, especially near the beach and downtown areas. Make sure that your hotel or condo has space for your vehicle.


How long should I stay in Jaco Costa Rica?

The amount of time you should stay in Jaco depends on what you want to do while you are here. Jaco is a popular beach town in Costa Rica that offers activities ranging from ATV tours, to surfing, to zip-lining, to hiking. It can be a great destination for a beach vacation, a weekend getaway, or a longer stay. If you plan to stay for a week or longer, you should be able to take part in a variety of activities and explore the local culture. Jaco is a great destination for any length of stay - we’ve been here since 2001!


Can you drink the water in Jaco Costa Rica?

Yes, in general, it is safe to drink the water in Jaco, Costa Rica. The water in the town is treated with chlorine and other chemicals to make it safe for drinking. However, some visitors may experience some gastrointestinal issues due to the change in water mineral content, so it is recommended to drink bottled water or filtered water instead.


Can you swim in the ocean at Jaco Beach?

Yes, you can swim at Jaco Beach. The beach is very popular for swimming, surfing, and other beach activities. The warm water temperatures and good waves make it a great spot for swimming. Swimming is allowed in designated areas, and there are lifeguards on duty during the day. The South end of the beach has much calmer currents than the North end. So, if you’re an intermediate swimmer, stick to the South end of the beach. Also, as conditions can vary depending on the time of day/tides, wave conditions, and weather. (View Full Blog Post)


How far is Jaco from the Juan Santamaria Airport near San Jose?

Jaco, Costa Rica is approximately 94 kilometers (58 miles) from the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose, Costa Rica. The drive by car usually takes about 90 minutes.


Is Jaco Costa Rica a cheap place to visit?

Jaco, Costa Rica is generally considered to be a budget-friendly destination. The cost of living is lower than in many other tourist hot spots and hotel, restaurant, and recreation prices are typically quite affordable. That being said, prices can vary depending on the time of year and the quality of the location. Therefore, one could say that Jaco is generally a cheap place to visit, but it can depend on individual preferences and budget.


Is Jaco Costa Rica worth visiting?

Yes, Jaco is definitely worth visiting while in Costa Rica. It is one of the most popular beach towns in the Central Pacific Region and is known for its surfing beaches, thriving nightlife, and laid-back atmosphere. It's also close to a few national parks, tropical forests, and several waterfalls, making it an ideal spot for adventure and nature lovers. Additionally, it has a variety of activities and adventures including incredible tours, excellent fishing, golfing, and beach sports. Jaco is also home to many of the country’s best restaurants and bars. ( View Full Blog Post )


Is there good snorkeling at Jaco Beach?

No. Snorkeling is not possible at Jaco Beach due to waves, visibility and lack of coral.


How far is it from Jaco to Arenal / La Fortuna?

Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna are approximately 3.5-4 hours from Jaco.


Are there hot springs in the Jaco/Los Suenos area?

The short answer is ‘no.’ Hot springs are formed when rocks and other matter deep within the Earth’s surface become heated. These heated elements force water below the surface up, creating hot springs. In order for this phenomena to happen, there has to be a suitable heat source. In the case of hot springs in Costa Rica, more often than not, that heat source is volcanic activity. Since there are no active volcanoes in or around the Jaco / Los Suenos area, we do not have hot springs available here. The closest volcanic source for hot springs is Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna, which is approximately 3.5-4 hours from Jaco.


How far is Jaco Beach/ Adventure Tours’ Costa Rica Central Office from the International Airport (SJO)?

The trip from Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose is a beautiful 1 1/2 hour drive that makes us the closest beach resort community from the International Airport.