Jaco, Jaco, Jaco.
Jaco is a bachelor party paradise, a surfer's dream, a backpacker's base camp and much more. Jaco has something for everyone.
But don't just take my word for it- go find out!
The Playa Jaco Low Down
- How to Keep Busy
- Let's Talk Money
- Crash Pads
- Tips from Mary
- Related Articles
- Booking Resources
How to Keep Busy
- Beach Day: Nothing beats a day relaxing under an umbrella enjoying the white sand and blue waters of the pacific. You can usually rent an umbrella and two lounge chairs for the day for around $20 - $25 USD.
- Take surf lessons : Jaco is the ideal place to try out surfing, grab a lesson or simply rent a board and catch some waves. The easiest thing to do is walk to the beach and find one of the tents set up with boards and instructors waiting for you- they can also watch your things for you while you take the lesson or rent the board.
- Eat, Drink and Dance the Night Away: Jaco has a super active nightlife scene and in Jaco every night is ladies night. Check out my guide to nightlife in Jaco here.
Let's Talk Money
- Transportation Prices: Jaco is an easily walkable beach town with one main street hosting all the main restaurants and shops. There are taxis galore able to take you from one end of the main street to the other- just negotiate a price before hopping in! You can pay for rides in USD or CRC, up to you. Anything in town should be $10 or less for the whole cab.
- Food: Jaco is home to some of my favorite restaurants in Costa Rica. The cost of meals ranges quite a bit in Jaco, all depending on where you go and for what meal. Check out some of my favorites
- Green Room: While they serve meals all day, Green Room is always my go to brunch spot in Jaco. From the craft cocktails to the hangover curing sandwiches- I am addicted!
- Taco Joint: Great budget friendly lunch/dinner spot. The most authentic tacos I have had in CR. They also have a decent happy hour, if I recall correctly.
- Taco Bar: This is a Jaco classic. Best options for budget travelers and families alike. You order a taco or two and get a salad bar for FREE. The name makes sense now, right? This place is great if you are new to travel or are just a little cautious about eating out while traveling- the layout and food is super straightforward- no surprises here.
- Tsunami Sushi: My favorite Sushi spot in CR. They have multiple locations throughout the country and all the food is great quality! They often have lunch deals and specific deals each day of the week, so check the link to see what they a offering. Can't go wrong with anything on the menu.
- Jerah Thai: This is the best place to grab a nice dinner in Jaco. The food and the portions are SO worth the price tag. The owners of this restaurant are the best and really make you feel at home while dining with them. I eat here every time I am in Jaco. (This place is cash only- plan on at least $20 a person.)
- Crash Pads: There is a huge range of accommodations in Jaco. You can expect to spend between $8-15 USD for a bed in a hostel, low end hotels are about $50 USD a night, and modern/ new hotels are closer to $100 - $200 a night, especially in the fancier parts of the city. San Jo is also crawling with Airbnb listings and Couchsurfers!
- Hostels: So many hostels so little time! Below are my favorites!
- Hostel de Haan: An oldie but a goodie! One of the truest beach hostels in Jaco and my first vacay spot when I visited Jaco during my first trip to Costa. It is cheap, has a pool, great vibes and an awesome manager named Wilson who treats you like a friend from check in on. While other hostels may be a little cleaner or cuter, I love this hostel for the character it has and the good times that always ensue. Be warned, there is usually a rowdy crowd
- Room2Board: This hostel has also become one of my favorites for balling on a budget. A bed in a shared dorm is usually a bit more than some others- you totally get what you pay for. They have everything you need on-site- a bar, a restaurant, rooftop for sunset watching, a pool with waterslide, surf lessons, board rentals and clean beautiful rooms. See, totally worth the few extra bucks a night! Another plus is that it is located toward the end of the main drag, so you usually have a less crowded beach area directly in front of you!
- Hotels: Jaco is home to many many small family run beach hotels. To be honest- I have never stayed in a hotel in Jaco- I always go the Hostel or Airbnb Route. I will be adding some options here soon!
- Airbnb: In Jaco there are a ton of Airbnb's to choose from. I highly recommend using the map function to be sure you are getting a spot right on the beach! You can follow this link to get some cash money towards your first reservation with Airbnb!
Tips from Mary
1. Be a beach bum. That is truly what Jaco is all about. Soak it up and enjoy it!
2. Don't leave your bags on the beach alone. Sounds like a no brainer, but if you leave your stuff without a close eye- it will likely get taken while you are out swimming. So take turns jumping in or leave everything you have at the hotel.
3.Beach too crowded? Head to Playa Heradura or Playa Hermosa! Both are a short drive from Jaco and far less populated!
4. Wake up slow. Jaco is a sleepy beach town in the morning. Unless you are catching a sunrise surf session opt to stay in bed until the sun comes out!
5. Know your crowd. Jaco has a strong nightlife scene. It is fun and safe as long as you stay aware of your surroundings. Be smart about going to the beach at night, leave your cell phone at home (or keep a very close eye), and always watch your drink. :) No need for fear, just don't get too silly if you are on your own!