Jacó Travel Guide

  • Jacó
    by easterntrekker
  • The ubiquitous partiers
    The ubiquitous partiers
    by denckman
  • Jacó
    by Grootpiet

Jacó Highlights

  • Pro
    denckman profile photo

    denckman says…

     Kick ass for surfing and partying 

  • Con
    Johnzane profile photo

    Johnzane says…

     Scam artists, tacky shops, beach thieves, ugly drunks, drugs. 

  • In a nutshell
    shadowtill profile photo

    shadowtill says…

     i don't know that I'd spend my entire vacation there.. but a visit would do just fine!! 

Jacó Things to Do

  • Check out the Crocs

    About 10 miles outside of Jaco, on the road to San Jose, there is large bridge that spans a river. On the San Jose side, there are several restaurants and vendors selling fruit. About half span on the bridge there are anywhere from 10 to 20 crocodiles beneath.Be careful walking on the road here and crossing side to side!

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  • Love the Beaches

    Awesome surfing. Although we only had one really good day the beaches were great. The miscellaneous rain throughout the day was so refreshing and smelled great. It was neat to see black sand and beautiful water. We stayed just outside of Jaco and drank milkshakes at the local restaurant and made a lot of friends.

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  • Jungle Crocodile Safari

    A sunset cruise on the Rio Grande Tarcoles. An amazing encounter with the avifauna and large crocodile population of this impressive but calm river. The sunset sets the mood for the gorgeous colors and animation of the mangrove and banks. Really something to see and experience.2 hours boat ride (one guide, one driver, about 20 seated places,...

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Jacó Hotels

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Jacó Restaurants

  • The best Bar in Jaco

    Where you go with friends jaco beach? in jaco beach there are a variety of places to go, one of these places, the bar and restaurant, Surf Dogs which is a great option to have fun, hang out and try some delicious daiquiris, Jaco restaurants are an excellent choice and Surf Dogs is one of these, the bar is modeled and in the heart of the city, so it...

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  • French pasteries!

    Another location recommended by hotel staff. The locals know where to go. They open early around 7am. Nice selection of pastries and lunch items. Open air facility with colorful seating. I had a pastry filled with creme de leche and some type of cake which was very moist with chocolate swirled into the batter. Reasonbly priced.My new morning place...

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  • Great value!

    Recommended to me by our hotel staff. Rancho is off the main road and was a little difficult to find. It is big place, open air style with a dance floor. They easily accommodated my large group. Our waiter was very attentive and drinks and food came out quick.Their appetizer menu is small but they have a lunch/bar menu that we ordered from for...

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Jacó Nightlife

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  • Jaco Tabacon Restaurant

    Men this place is so expensive and the food is so bad Please i recommend to go some other place they charge like is Tokyo downtownLooks that the owner has a problem with the employs dont go thereThere are much better places more typical and more Costa Rican

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  • Want a proper Discotheque?

    Appropriately named due to the fact that it is located near the middle of the beach (yet not on the main strip. It's on a side street about a block down from the strip), the Discotheque La Central is probably the best dance club you will find. Nacho Daddys and Pancho Villa's are good, but La Central has a much bigger interior and has a proper...

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  • House Heads in Jaco

    Coming from the underground dance scene in San Francisco, Burning Man (Opulent Temple, Green Gorilla Lounge, Sunset parties, Deep End, House of Lotus, etc), and local turntable heroes Mark Farina, Miguel Migs, and Ellen Ferrato, I was pleasantly surprised to find Nacho Daddy's, especially after leaving the train-wrecked DJ at the Monkey Bar. I'd...

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Jacó Transportation

  • Do NOT use Easy Ride Costa Rica

    NEVER PICKED US UP AS ARRANGED – LEFT US AT THE AIRPORTDo NOT pay in advance for services from Easy Ride Costa Rica. I paid in advance and Javier Ortiz left us at the airport and never picked us up as arranged even though I confirmed with him via email the week before that he would be picking us up. The tourist officials at the airport tried to...

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  • Bus from Airport to San Jose, and Jaco

    deprt the terminal go left to the street. Cross the drive, and that is the bus stop(500 or so feet from exit door). Cabs are now $20 dollars to San Jose check price before getting in. Bus is less than 500 colones($1)Bus will probably not accept US$. It will be red and white (TUSA) or a cream and green color with a San Jose sign in the front left...

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  • Easy Ride Shuttle

    There are a few shuttle services around,,they take you from hotel to hotel , which is nice. Easy Ride has the same type of van as the others and have a better rate. $ 20.00 from San Jose to Jaco.( $29.99 for the other companies) We used the direct bus back as it's good too and alot less expensive, but if you want the convenience , this one was...

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Jacó Shopping

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  • Fun, Cool, Quality Costa Rican Art Shop...

    This shop seems to try hard to find unique items. Besides the wonder art (original and prints in a variety of mediums) it has Costa Rican made jewelry from many different artists. As well as indigenous masks & hand-woven purses from the Boruca Indians.Beautiful Costa Rican Leather wallets, purses and bags, hand made soaps and amazing wood bowls...

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  • A real experience!

    A great place to buy coffee. They sell coffees but let you try the different blends so you can take your favorite beans home. And Costa Rican Coffee is sooo good.They also have locally grown cashews. Free samples again - try the salt & lime.Costa Rican Licorice was a hit with the people in the office. Glad I bought 3 bags.The organic vanilla powder...

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  • Groceries etc

    This is a chain grocery store that is all over Costa Rica. It's their answer to Walmart. It has a good meat and fish counter and bakery too. You can but sunscreen and sandels here too!! It's open every day and evening. ...and they deliver!!

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Jacó Local Customs

  • Ceviche

    Ceviche is dearly loved in Costa Rica. It's tasty...made with lime , fish , and celantro. You can get it in almost every restaurant. I found a nice fruit variety made with mango. I loved it as well!! On the way to Jaco our shuttle driver stopped so we could sample it.

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  • After dinner

    Nobody loves ice cream as much as Costa Ricans and its no wonder...it is so good!!. There are a couple of place in Jaco and they carry lots of flavours . It's great on a hot evening to sit outside with the locals and sample a couple of types!!

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  • Costa Rican Dog

    WE got to really love these little friendly ginger dogs. You have to be careful not to pay too much attention to them or they'll adopt you. Everyone looks after them though so you don't have to worry about leaving them. It might break your heart to leave them though.

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Jacó Warnings and Dangers

  • Thief in Esterillos Oeste

    There is a known thief in Esterillos Oeste. His name is Marlo. He will distract you by offering to get coconuts from the highest palm tree. While he has your attention showing off his partner will come in the back and steal the first available thing. In our case it was my daughters brand new Ipad.The local police are well aware he is the thief and...

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  • Purse got stolen: EI Hicaco

    I had my rehearsal dinner with my family of over 40 people in EI Hicaco seafood restaurant on Feb. 13th, 2010. At the end of dinner, my husband and I were standing at the entrance, seeing everybody off to get on a taxi. When we walked back inside after 5 minutes, my purse on the chair was GONE!!!!There was only one last table of guests in the...

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  • Jaco much safer now - Police Take...

    Jaco has certainly developed in leaps and bounds over the last 4-5 years. You will read a lot of bad press and reviews about the most popular destination on all of Costa Rica.With it's rapid growth has come some very outstanding improvements. The local Police force has been tripled in size, with the addition of the new Municipality Police Force's...

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Jacó Tourist Traps

  • Esperanza Stak & Seafood Restaurant

    Traveler Beware - This restaurant is grossly over priced. While you may get lured in by it's central location and fancy decor, you ae certain to be dissapointed by the prices and food quality. The food is medicore at best, and for what you are charged, the portions are very small for their crazy high price.There are many other restaurants to choose...

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  • EASY RIDE COSTA RICA - DO NOT USE

    NEVER PICKED US UP AS ARRANGED – LEFT US AT THE AIRPORTDo NOT pay in advance for services from Easy Ride Costa Rica. I paid in advance and Javier Ortiz left us at the airport and never picked us up as arranged even though I confirmed with him via email the week before that he would be picking us up. The tourist officials at the airport tried to...

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  • you'll want to

    like many americans and Europeans, you'll get sucked into the idea of builidng a business and moving to Jaco.

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Jacó What to Pack

  • Little required

    one piece and carry on(unless you can fit in one carry on) little as possible, you can wash your clothes every day if possible. Bathing suit and shorts with a few tops. Nothing formal. Comfortable flip flops and a pair of tennis shoes for walking. No umberellas-too much trouble for the price. No jewerly-who do you know that you have to compete...

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  • Don't forget your bathing suit

    FLIP FLOPS are a must! Light-weight clothes, it gets really, really hot. Bring or purchase suntan lotion...I've never been so badly burnt in my life. I'm serious. Also, skin-so soft, mosquito repellant..everything that will prevent bites....I got about 37 bites. no joke. It's hard to bring a bulky camera bc there are so many 'active' things to...

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  • The sun can cause pain!

    Pack what ever you can carry. A rain jacket is a must along with shoes you don't mind getting wet. Normal common sense. Take plenty of sun screen. It dosen't take but just a couple of minutes to become a burnt piece of toast! Batteries and film cost a little more so bring plenty of each with you. There are tons of places for back packers to...

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Jacó Off The Beaten Path

  • Best Sunsets and drinks

    Head north from Jaco, go past the road to Los Suenos. Go up the mountain maybe a few miles and it should be the first left and there will be a sign for Villa Caletas hotel and restaurant. The drive up the "hill" to the place is LOCO!... and beautiful. Its incredible.

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  • Puntarenas

    About half way (2 1/2 hours) from San Jose to Jaco is Puntarenas. A nice place to stop and have a bite.

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  • Jacó Hotels

    57 Hotels in Jacó

    548 Reviews and Opinions

Jacó Sports & Outdoors

  • You can do everything from rafting to...

    My roommate and I decided to take surf lessons at Playa Hermosa, a nearby beach. It is geared towards girls, so it was even better...the waves are perfect for beginners. The sets are slow and they are good for long rides. Towel, bathing suit, and yourself. Might want to bring a rashguard.

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  • surfing...

    I have read Jacó is considered the surfing capital of Costa Rica and Playa Esterillos Este where I took this pic is said to be a surfers' off the beaten path relaxing spot and what about a more relaxing sort of big inner tube instead of a surfing board...? ;-) in Jacó more than one shop rents surfing boats but whatever you feel like doing on the...

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Jacó Favorites

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  • "Make Your Own Good Time"

    This was a phrase coined by one of my buddies on this trip and at some times almost was used as sort of a "battle cry.". If you do decide to go to Jaco with a group of friends, there is so much to see and do in Jaco that it might be a good possibility that you will find yourself splitting up and doing separate things, if not doing things on your...

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  • Jaco. Exceeding my expectations.

    The thing that I love most about Jaco is that it is big enough to have everything you could ever want in a tropical vacation, but is small enough that you'll never get lost. If you enjoy walking, there is nothing you can't reach in town without walking. And you have the option of either walking down the main street through downtown Jaco, or you can...

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  • gramophone...

    to this gramophone is connected another good memory: while waiting for the post office of Jacó to open after the lunch break why not a meal in the nearby Roberto's restaurant... the place itself it's already distinctive and when I noticed the waiter tinkering with this old gramophone, I think he felt my look and brought it to the table to show it...

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Map of Jacó

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