Jacó and its surf beaches

(continuer en français) – Last updated: December 20, 2022

On the Pacific coast, Jacó is the closest seaside resort to San José, the capital of Costa Rica, less than two hours away by car. Although it is one of the most advanced seaside resorts in the country, urbanisation remains modest, with a few high-rise buildings, but most of the houses are only one or two storeys high. Jacó is enjoying the development without it being too much of a burden, there is a little modern air to it, but still with many imperfections that are part of Costa Rica’s charm.

The long, west-facing beaches are covered with dark sand and offer a perfect place for a waterside holiday.

Costa Rica’s beaches attract many visitors, especially for surfing. The beaches of Jacó have a good reputation, starting with Playa Jacó, a long and wide sandy beach that bump into a rocky islet covered with lush vegetation.

The more experienced surfers will prefer to go to Playa Hermosa, just south of Playa Jacó, it offers slightly more powerful waves and it is where the competitions take place. The sandy beach is not so wide and steeper.

In addition to surfing, other activities are available for an active holiday, such as horseback riding in the surrounding area, which is common in Costa Rica. Horses are still used on the farms which allows the equestrian tradition to remain alive. In Jacó, it is even possible to ride horses on the beach.

Thanks to their westerly exposure, Jacó’s beaches present the daily sunset view, which many people come to watch simply sitting on the sand. This is the time to enjoy the sweetness of the end of the day after the sometimes too hot hours of the day. In addition, there is always the entertainment of the surfers who come to enjoy the last rays of light.

Jacó is also renowned for its nightlife. Due to the importance of the tourist activity, there is already a good choice of shops, focused on what visitors are interested in. These are the facilities for leisure activities or what to take back from the stay as souvenirs. Many of these shops are run by expats.

There is also a good choice of bars and restaurants, again their clientele being foreign visitors, the offer has adapted and tends to move away from the local cuisine. There is also a casino and nightclubs, as Jacó likes to highlight its nightlife activities.

Jacó can also serve as a base for a few days to explore the surrounding area. Following the coast to the south, for instance, the town is only an hour’s drive from the Manuel Antonio National Park. The most visited natural park in Costa Rica, both for its preserved primary forest with its fauna, but also for its beautiful beaches that have remained in their natural state without any construction.

Also nearby is the Carara National Park, renowned for its birds, especially parrots, and crocodiles.

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Articles about Costa Rica:

Teatro Nacional, San José, Costa Rica

San José: Top 10

Costa Rica is best known for its natural parks and beaches, but just as a capital does not reflect a country, to know a country, it is necessary to know its capital. San José replaced Cartago as the country’s capital in 1823.

Road trip in the Highlands

The Central American isthmus is built around a series of cordilleras to which the coastal plains cling. In the tropics, the humid heat of the plains is often difficult to bear away from the coastline, which benefits from the sea breeze. The hills in the centre of the country were therefore the first region to be colonised by the Spaniards due to their more suitable climate.

Highlands, Costa Rica
Playa Espedilla Sur, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio National Park

The beaches at Manuel Antonio National Park are often classified as the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica, which has no shortage of charming beaches on both its oceanic facades. Their ribbon of fine sand, set against a backdrop of lush greenery, rightly constitutes an image worth keeping to illustrate a successful stay in Costa Rica.

Jacó and its surf beaches

On the Pacific coast, Jacó is the closest seaside resort to San José, the capital of Costa Rica, less than two hours away by car. Jacó is enjoying the development without it being too much of a burden, there is a little modern air to it, but still with many imperfections that are part of Costa Rica’s charm.

Playa Jacó, Jacó, Costa Rica
Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Tamarindo or Tamagringo

Tamarindo beach on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica is probably the most frequented beach in the country by foreign tourists, especially beginner surfers attracted by the easier waves. To the point of earning the unappealing nickname of Tamagringo. So don’t expect to discover the lifestyle of the Ticos, the nickname of the Costa Ricans, and it’s difficult to see the pura vida here.

Sámara, the sleepy beach

Getting to Sámara is not always easy, as if it had to be a deserved treat. Most of the roads are still dirt roads, continually traveled by all kinds of vehicles, rutted after rain, and it often rains.

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    • You are brave! I have admiration for surfers, I guess it’s not easy. However, I have never been attracted to this type of activity, it’s like a hamster spinning in its wheel, I prefer to be on the move. In Costa Rica, I would recommend Tamarindo for beginner surfers.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pretty pics, way back while living in FL USA went to do work in the hotels been built by the Guanacaste area, the govt was building up the tourism there at the time, this was mid 1990’s. Thanks for the memories!!

    Liked by 1 person

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