"Playa Jaco is a small beach town that is located 1.5 hours away from San Jose. As you make your way down to the coast you drop 3850 feet, each foot becomes more humid and the temperature rises. Reflectively, the scenery becomes lusher by the minute. The town is now known as the closest beach town to San Jose since the new highway opened in 2009. This once sleepy dirt road surfer town has made quite the transition to a bustling little community. Tourism is what drives Jaco and much of Costa Rica for good reasons, the rich bio-diverse land is truly spectacular. This list will help you better experience Jaco, Costa Rica. See you in paradise.
Wine and Dine: Because Jaco is fueled by tourism there are many mid- to high- class dining options to choose from.
Eat Cheap: Costa Rica is not known for the low cost of food, especially in the tourism areas, but if you eat where the locals eat you can get a good bargain for your dollar. Rustico and Marea Baja are two favourite locations for the locals. This type of restaurant is called a “soda” and consists of pre-made food. Marea Baja has a salad bar and unlimited drinks and you will spend around $5-$6 for a hefty meal.
Eat Healthy: Not only are the fruits and vegetables fair priced, they are mostly organic, but you have to buy at a local “fruteria” and not the Walmart owned supermarkets across the country. There are so many delicious exotic fruits to try, such as Starfruit and granadilla.
Take a Tour: Whether you like to sit back and relax on a monkey tour, crocodile tour, horseback tour, aerial tram, kayak tour, Neo Fauna, or try one of the adventure tours - such as Jaco Ropes, canopy zip-line, ATV, rappelling, canyoning and jet skiing - there is a tour for everyone in the group.
Surf South Beach: The waves coming in on the south side of Jaco Beach are sheltered and the safe bet for people learning how to surf. It won’t be hard to find a surf school to help you get your feet up on the board.
Surf North Beach: The farther you travel to the north the more extreme the waves become. The waves in Jaco are known to be hard to ride because they close out very fast.
Explore: Go for a hike up to Miro Mountain. Up the mountain from the very south end of the beach you can explore the road across from the gas station to find an abandoned restaurant/hotel with some amazing views and radical graffiti. The story is that the owner paid off the wrong government official and the “permits” got pulled. The land owner died shortly after.
Mountain Bike: Up on the same mountain there a company named Trillos Colorada that has single track trails for mountain biking and running.
Suntan: It won’t take long to turn that tan in to a burn, whitey, so be sure to use sunscreen and coconut oil works great as a mild sunscreen keeping you sexy.
Take a Dip: Chances are the heat will keep you within throwing distance of the pool or the ocean. If you plan to swim in the ocean be aware that the rip currents can be strong. It is much safer at the south end of the beach for swimming.
Be entertained: Go check out Playa Hermosa, only 5-10 minutes to the south. The black sand beach is world famous for surfing. Go check out the surf competition every Saturday at Backyard Bar.
Party: Jaco is well-known for its party scene. Locals from the city pile in on the weekend, and the town is getting increasingly popular for a bachelor parties.
Go Fishing: A bad day fishing beats almost any other day, especially if you are fishing in Jaco. You can fish off the rocks, spear fish, or go deep sea fishing with one of the many charters. Try your luck at catching a Sailfish, Marlin, Wahoo, Dorado, Yellow Fin Tuna, Roosterfish, or Snapper.
Be Happy: Don’t worry, be happy… Costa Rica is rewarded the happiest country to live in the world, according to studies. The people here live a very care-free life.
Pura Vida: Everywhere you go you will hear Pura Vida in Costa Rica. It translates to pure life in English and the locals or “ticos” use the words for almost anything.
Learn Spanish: Although many locals speak English in Jaco because it is a tourist town, it is such a great opportunity to learn the basics of Spanish. Hola=Hello, Adios=Goodbye, Comida=Food, Izquierda=Left, Derecho=Right, Mae=Bro/Dude/Buddy, Vamos=Let’s Go, Dos Mas Cervesa=2 More Beers
Tranquilo: Take it easy! Remember you are here on vacation and don’t expect the service to be what you are used to. Typically, most Latin American countries are not known for good service and this place is no exception.
Take Lots of Pictures: The “West Coast is the best coast,” maybe because the sunsets will take your breath away. You won’t want to miss one.
Shop: Of course you will be able to find just the right souvenir to bring home to your friends or that bikini to show off at the beach.
Move Here: Every year Costa Rica captures vacation goers and turns them into expats. Jaco is the perfect place to live as an expat, and it has everything you need. The town is already filled with expats from all over the world. If you are looking to import a car to Costa Rica there is much to know, and you may want to consider buying locally, even though the prices are much higher."