How about going to a vacation spot that is known to have some of the best and most popular beaches in Costa Rica? If you have always wanted to vacation in Costa Rica, check out Jaco.
About a two hour drive from San Jose, this bustling town sits on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. For many years, it has been one the most popular beaches in Costa Rica, in large part because of its nightlife. Its reputation as a fantastic “party beach” is now well known.
It wasn’t too many years ago that Jaco was a sleepy little Pacific beach community. Surfers discovered one great surfing beach after another nearby, a laid-back lifestyle, and cheap places to sleep. But, secrets are hard to keep and as word got out, more tourists started flocking to Jaco, looking for great relaxation, peace, and fun. Within the last half dozen years, Jaco has boomed. Where, not long ago, there was a single, quiet (except at night) little road through town, now there are towering high rises, nearby resorts, and lots and lots of restaurants and bars.
Fortunately, Jaco isn’t just a great location for people who have lots of money. Indeed, it caters to any budget. There are hotels and accommodations ranging from luxurious to, well, basic (think hostels with dorms and cold water—but cheap). Restaurants of every kind have sprung up here as well, not to mention tropical bars and taverns.
Though Jaco Beach (directly in front of Jaco) has been one of the most popular beaches for many, many years, nearby beaches (literally just a couple of miles/kilometers away), are much better. You’ll find far fewer people and some of the most ecologically pure water on the planet which have been awarded Blue Flag certifications for cleanliness. If you visit Jaco, I strongly recommend spectacular Hermosa Beach. It is only a couple of miles from Jaco. Though it is not recommended for swimming (due to its currents) it is pristine with some of the best surfing on the planet. Indeed, this July it will host professional surfers from more than 35 countries who are going to take part in world surfing championships (and party at night in Jaco).
There are dozens of different things to do and innumerable places to visit close at hand. Costa Rica is tiny but filled with interesting places and activities. Go whitewater rafting or learn to sea kayak. Take a horseback ride along the beach or through the mountains (if you’re into extreme riding, you can literally ride across Costa Rica from the Pacific to the Caribbean). Visit volcanoes, sit in volcanic hot springs, try rappelling in tropical mountains, go ballooning. Or just sit back and enjoy the great ocean views and beautiful, romantic sunsets. But, take care when swimming. Some of the beaches, wonderful for surfing, can be dangerous for swimming because of riptides. There are no lifeguards—and no warning signs—so ask if it is safe to swim before jumping in.
And, if you exhaust all the other activities (probably pretty difficult), don’t forget that you can also experience great off shore fishing. The warm, tropical waters are alive with marlin, tuna, sailfish, porpoises, dozens of other varieties, and often whales. But, whatever your tastes, Jaco is definitely a wonderful place to take your vacation.
Though it is easy to reach by air, Costa Rica remains to be discovered. Columbus was the first to find it and, indeed, gave it its name “Rich Coast.” It remains a spectacular haven with one-fifth of every species of plant and animal on the planet residing together in a tiny little country. So, don’t limit yourself to the beaches of Jaco. There’s lots more waiting.