Activities include surfing, swimming, deep sea fishing, ATV tours, bicycle rentals, horseback excursions, crocodile safari, national parks and reserves, boat and kayak excursions, white-water rafting, canopy tours and popular night life. With all there is to offer it is no wonder Jaco is as popular as ever.

In the surrounding areas, Playa Herradura, just 4.4 miles (7 km) north, provides a more tranquil environment than Playa de Jaco. Also, just south of Jaco is Playa Hermosa, a quieter 6 mile (10 km) section of black sand beach loved by beach goers and surfers alike. This is where the International Quicksilver Championships are held every year in August. The Playa Hermosa Wildlife Refuge (Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Playa Hermosa) is the beach of choice for the Olive Ridley sea turtles that come ashore to nest every year. If a hotel with an undisturbed location is what you desire, these surrounding beach towns are recommended.

The Carara Biological Reserve (Reserva Biologica Carara) is located just 9.3 miles (15 km) north of Jaco. With several miles of trails open to visitors (some only with a tour group), it is a great place to view much of Costa Rica's wildlife. Early morning or around sunset is often the best time to see the wealth of scarlet macaws that rest among the mangroves. It is also possible to see caiman, white-faced monkeys, peccaries, coatimundis and a wide variety of birds. The park opens at 7 am and closes at 5 pm. The entrance fee is $6.

The Tarcoles River (RioTarcoles), which borders the park and flows into the Pacific Ocean, is an amazing place to witness the American crocodile close up. Boat tours are available to see the crocodiles, many of which grow to be several meters in length! At the mouth of the Tarcoles, the Guacalillo mangrove plays a vital role for the survival of many species of wildlife that may be viewed here.

Manuel Antonio National Park is within driving distance of Jaco as it sits majestically, 43 miles (69 km) to the south. Punta Leona Wildlife Refuge (Refugio de Punta Leona) is another place visitors have a good chance of seeing wildlife, which is located along the drive north from Jaco towards the town of Tarcoles.

  • 1. Close to San Jose


    Jaco is the closest beach to , the capital city of Costa Rica, at about 1 ½ hours away. This location makes Jaco a very popular tourist spot, as well as a favorite local’s beach. It is close to airport, close the hospital, and close to all other amenities/restaurants in San Jose – yet you step outside of city life and feel the true Pura Vida vibes on the sand.

  • 2. Surf’s Up 


    Like many other beaches along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Jaco is a hot spot for surfers. The water’s waves are busy enough for a fun surf session, but they are not too intense that beginners cannot learn. The beach itself is 4km long (2.5 miles) of bliss.

  • 3. Activities Galore


    If you are interested in an outdoor activity, you will undoubtedly find it in Jaco. This includes zip-lining, ATV rides, catamaran tours, sports fishing charters/instruction, horseback riding, scuba diving, kayaking and more. You will never run out of things to do right in town.

  • 4. Party Hard


    Jaco is known for having a great nightlife. You can find a variety of great restaurants throughout the area to start off your evening; many offer local cuisine, but you can also get Indian food, Argentinian food, Italian food, sushi, and more. After dinner, the bars and nightclubs are plentiful. Even try your hand at a casino.

  • 5. Nearby Beaches


    If you want to take a day trip away from the bustling Jaco, you have plenty of great options. Playa Herradura is the perfect spot if you want a quieter afternoon. Playa Hermosa offers lovely black sand beaches. And Playa Blanca is one of the most gorgeous beaches in the area.

  • 6. Nearby Wildlife


    Jaco offers access to great wildlife spotting. The nearby  often allows for close glimpses of crocodiles by boat tour. And then there is , slightly above Jaco. There you can see varieties of wildlife including macaws