Jaco, Costa Rica

Jaco is a small beach town on the Pacific Coast of Puntarenas, Costa Rica. It’s the perfect spot for surfers, but also for families and couples to enjoy the beaches, shopping, restaurants, and excursions. It’s only about an hour bus ride from San Jose, and the scenery along the way is breathtaking.

We stayed at this gem called Riva Hostel Jaco which was definitely one of our favourites. The property has outdoor huts, best suited for two people, with an outdoor and indoor common area, shared showers, washrooms, and kitchen. The owners were awesome and so were the other travellers staying there. I would 100% recommend checking out Riva Hostel Jaco if you’re heading down there.

Compared to Poas, the weather here was like we’d traveled across the world. It was well above 30°C with at least 80% humidity every day, and not a cloud in sight. But I’m not complaining, back at home in Toronto at this point we were getting 10-15cm of snow and I would choose humid sunshine over that any day.

The Playa Jaco Beach is perfect for anyone. The shallow shore goes out for what seems like forever before the water starts to get deep. Once you’re out far enough, the waves are perfect for surfing, even if you’re just learning. You can hang around the beach all day, and set up a spot to watch the beautiful sunsets. 

Aside from the beach, the strip along the water features tons of shops and unique restaurants. Our favourite restaurant by far was the Taco Joint (best tacos ever for super cheap!). You can also find different tour companies and outdoor activities to sign up for along the strip. Jaco is known for their rain forest adventures and great selection of wildlife excursions. We decided to go zip lining and waterfall rappelling, but some other options were horseback riding, ATV tours, whitewater rafting, and various wildlife tours of National Parks.

We booked through this company Jaco Canyoning and they picked us up at our hostel, drove us up to the rain forest, and guided us along with four other people through 5 zip lines and 3 waterfall rappels. The guides were hilarious and informative, speaking great English and making this day one of the highlights of our Costa Rica trip.

Jaco is a great place to visit in Costa Rica if you're kind of vacation involves adventure! The beach is amazing to relax at (not to mention beautiful), and adventure is just around every corner. We'd go back to Riva Hostel Jaco and explore again in a heartbeat. 

Kaitlyn Sydney