Best Place To Stay In Jaco Costa Rica – Jaco Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Costa Rica because of its excellent waves for surfing, nightlife and its proximity to San Jose. This Jaco accommodation guide requires special consideration for families with small children.
Jaco Beach (pronounced hacoh) is located approximately 90 kilometers southeast of San Jose Airport in Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica. Jaco is a thriving beach town with a big main strip.
Best Place To Stay In Jaco Costa Rica
The white sand beach itself is a gentle C-shaped curve about 4 kilometers long. At the far south end of the beach there is a beautiful view that includes the entire beach. Jaco is one of the most popular surfing beaches in Costa Rica.
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Jaco Beach is very popular with Costa Rican weekenders due to its proximity to the capital. The Ruta 27 highway that leads from San Jose to Jaco is a four-lane highway that is easy to drive.
On the way to Jaco Beach, you will pass the famous “Crocodile Bridge” over the Tarcoles River and Carara National Park.
Jaco is known for its parties – the bars and discotheques get rowdy all night, it’s common to see prostitutes (prostitution is legal in Costa Rica) and there’s a fairly developed drug scene.
It is also common to see school children in uniform walking around town on their way to school. Jaco has a busy weekend market, a nice shopping mall, many restaurants and daily services in the Catholic church. There is one for everything in Jaco.
Jaco Beach: The Surf Town That Has It All In Costa Rica
That’s why visiting Jaco is still one of our high points every time we go to Costa Rica. The southern end of the quiet beach, a well stocked grocery store and our absolute favorite condos (Paloma Blanca).
Jaco Beach is easily accessible by car, public transportation, shuttle, and even taxi and Uber from San Jose airport. It is located on the Costanera Highway about – an hour south of Puntarenas and about two hours north of Manuel Antonio National Park.
It’s easy to find out how to get to Jaco Beach using Waze or Google Maps – it’s one of those places you’ll never miss. If you fly to Juan Santamaria International Airport in the afternoon or even in the evening, you can travel to Manuel Antonio by heading to Jaco and spend the night before heading south.
Another great aspect of Jaco Beach is all the activities nearby. You can zip line, walk in the national park, go horseback riding, hiking, and ATV tours.
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Surfing lessons abound and you can take a day trip on the famous Crocodile River tour. Sport fishing is popular in the area and there are almost always flocks of scarlet macaws flying around if you keep your eyes peeled to the sky.
Still deciding which beach to visit? Check out our post 20 Beautiful Beaches on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica!
For our family, we usually want to be at the beach – I don’t want to pack all the kids and stuff to the beach, go to the beach and then realize we forgot. Plus, I’d love to be able to just run from the beach to the room for a beer.
To that end, make sure that when you look at vacation rentals in Jaco you can see where the property is on the map. Many places have a picture of a great sea view and it turns out in a tower two or more miles from the beach. Just double check.
Jacó Garabito, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Our family also loved the swimming pool nearby. The waves in Jaco can be very strong and the girls love to swim in the pool. When the sun is hot, it’s nice to have a poolside umbrella to sit on and still enjoy the hot weather.
Finally we want to have a kitchen. We don’t like spending time on the beach and activities sitting in restaurants and frankly the service in Costa Rica is slow. So we are happy to go to the grocery store to supply simple food and many drinks to store in the refrigerator.
This is my TOP PICK for Jaco and the kids and we absolutely love this place. Each condo is individually owned, but you can find vacation rentals at Vacasa and Lost Beach Vacations.
Each unit has air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen and a terrace with a pool and sea view. There are three swimming pools and a children’s pool, as well as a barbecue hut that you can reserve.
Is Jaco Costa Rica Worth Visiting?
You literally walk across the street to the beach and this beach area is not very busy and has a few surfers and a few rocks.
Most restaurants in Jaco will deliver to the condo and there are guards at all entrances to keep guests and others out. We almost always order pizza from Rioasis when we live here.
Choose a unit with a direct sea view – the sunsets are divine. There is a local man who does horseback riding tours leading his horse every morning and evening, and a surf school that has set up shop in the area. Mirador de Jaco is only 3 minutes away.
Expect to pay between $75 and $200 per night depending on the size of your apartment and whether it’s high or low season.
The 10 Best Hotels In Jaco For 2023 (from $46)
Located at the southern end of the beach, the hotel’s lush tropical grounds are beautiful. The whole place has a 50s beach vibe to me, and every time I walk by, everyone who lives there seems to be happy.
There is grass along the beach where visitors can rest on chairs and umbrellas and waiters bring drinks. The local restaurant seems very nice with a good selection of seafood. The room has a view of the ocean or rainforest, and the swimming pool is on the beach side.
This child-friendly hotel prides itself on friendly and efficient service that exceeds expectations. We haven’t stayed here because I love La Paloma Blanca, but this is our top choice for our stay.
Selina is a Colombian chain of hostels and hotels – there are other locations in Monteverde, La Fortuna, Manuel Antonio and San Jose. They offer private rooms, wifi, and shared workspaces, and the prices are usually low.
The Best Hotels To Book In Jacó, Costa Rica
Jaco’s property is beachfront, has a large pool and a shared kitchen. They even have a cylinder room for two people – it’s fun to get two and have parents and teenagers next to each other.
Hotel Selina tends to cater for 20 people but offers family rooms with reasonable rates. The location is great with lots of places to hang out outside your room. I think this is a great place for families and teenagers.
This hotel is within walking distance from the city of Jaco. There are several types of rooms, including rooms with private or shared bathrooms. You will love the room rates if you are traveling on a budget.
This beach hotel costs about $100 per night and includes breakfast. Although the price is cheap, it feels like a luxury boutique hotel on the beach.
Jacó Laguna Resort And Beach Club From $60. Jacó Hotel Deals & Reviews
Rooms and apartments are centered around a turquoise pool that wraps around the building. There are 8-10 apartments with 2-3 bedrooms.
The apartment has a kitchen, there is a children’s pool and the hotel is on the beach. It is located about 7 minutes north of Jaco by car in Playa Hermosa, so keep that in mind when booking.
There is a free shuttle around the area and it can be nice away from the hustle and bustle of Jaco. We haven’t stayed here yet, but this hotel is popular with ticos who come out of San Jose for the weekend.
About 15 minutes south of Jaco is the Punta Leona complex. Punta Leona is a long-standing private beach club for Costa Ricans and also has a great hotel with access to two of the most beautiful beaches in the country – Playa Mantas and Playa Blanca.
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Punta Leona room rentals include buffet meals with traditional Costa Rican dishes, and there is a convenience store right on the beach that sells cold drinks, beer and snacks. There are also all-inclusive options and a la carte dining.
There is a restaurant in the hotel that sells a la carte meals and the beach is easily accessible – just walk from the pool to the beach. The guest room is a bit of a walk. The property is located in the middle of a rainforest and has extensive tropical gardens.
Nature lovers will enjoy hiking trails, wide pools, tennis courts, butterfly gardens, and can literally walk anywhere you want. Small children play in the local playground. The rooms are basic but clean and have a mini fridge, coffee maker, flat screen TV, satellite channels, free Wi-Fi throughout the property.
From the hotel room, just a few minutes walk to the outdoor pool and restaurant. There is free parking
Best Things To Do In Jaco, Costa Rica
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