Information about Jaco Beach


By plane: To get to Playa Jaco, book an international flight to Costa Rica's main airport, Aeropuerto Internacional Juan Santamaría, located in capital city San José. From San José, it's just a short drive or bus ride to the sunny beaches of Playa Jaco.

By bus: You can literally get to anywhere from anywhere using Costa Rica's inexpensive and efficient bus system. If you are taking the bus from San José to Playa Jaco, the bus departs from the Coca Cola terminal in San José (address: Calle 16 / Avenida 3) and arrives at the Plaza Jaco shopping center in Playa Jaco.

There are 2 public bus lines that run every day between San José and Playa Jacó. The “San José - Playa Jacó bus line” and the “San José - Manuel Antonio bus line”.

Information about Jaco beach:

With a privileged location, Jaco Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations and a surf-lovers paradise. It is located on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, is famous for its wicked waves and spectacular surf scene. Playa Jaco is a straight-up beach town with shops, restaurants, ice cream stands, nightlife locales and accommodations all conveniently set up near the water.

It is located only 1.5 hour away from San José so its really close to an international airport making it of really easy access.

Jaco beach is about 3 km long and features a great marine landscape along with all things necessary to make your stay really comfortable. Playa Jaco has become adept at catering to tourists, offering the best infrastructure on the Pacific Coast. The town also hosts exciting international surf contests. The town was once the aarchetypal sleepy beach town but now it is fully equipped to receive international tourist in tons.

The town has also the reputation of being a ‘party beach’ with an excellent nightlife. However, the fun here is casual and relaxed, and the people are nice and friendly. Discos, nightclubs, casinos, and dive bars populate Jaco’s streets. Many outdoor lovers come here in search of adventure. Eco-tourists enjoy horseback treks, canopy tours, and hiking through the bordering jungles. If you’re interested in filling your free time with every imaginable aquatic or land activity like kayaking, horseback riding, biking, fishing, hiking, canopy tours and of course, surfing, all the while meeting new people from all over the world, then look no further.

The proximity to major national parks and reserves like Manuel Antonio and Carara Biological Reserve make it a special location for people interested in getting in touch with Costa Rican biodiversity. This beautiful town has literally everything! Come and explore it!


Population: 6,000 (approx.)
Geography: Costa Rica's central Pacific coast.
Climate: Playa Jaco has a tropical climate year round, with daytime temperatures that can hit the 90's at anytime during the year. Like the majority of Costa Rica, Playa Jaco essentially has two seasons - the dry season and the rainy season - both of which have hot temperatures averaging around 85º.
Local fare: High reliance on fresh fruits and vegetables; savory yet mild. Costa Rican staples: gallo pinto (dish of rice and black beans), casado (rice, beans, meat and salad), fried plantains, salsa lizano (condiment), coffee, corn tortillas, picadillos (meat and vegetable combinations).
Did you know?: The Carara National Park, located just a stone's throw from Playa Jaco, is home to one of the largest remaining populations of wild scarlet macaws. With its strikingly vibrant red, blue and yellow coloring, the scarlet macaw is widely considered to be one of the world's most beautiful birds.


- Great beach for surfing.

- Near San José (Costa Rica's Capital).

- Active nightlife.

- Many activities for outdoor lovers and those interested in eco-tourism.

- Extremely tourist-friendly destination.


It's only natural that Playa Jaco, which literally translates to "Jaco Beach", is an excellent destination for beach lovers. The town is set along 3 kilometers of beach, along which you can find all sorts of surf shops, restaurants, bars and ice cream shops. To both the north and south of Playa Jaco, you can find a wide range of other sandy nooks to soak up the sun and take a dip in the water, namely: Playa Blanca, Herradura, Playa Hermos and the Parque Nacional Manual Antonio (see below).

Parque Nacional Carara
This national park is located just 15 miles north of Playa Jaco and is a favorite stop for anyone interested in seeing and experiencing tropical biology first-hand. Its 4,700 hectares of tropical forest provide an excellent opportunity to spot all sorts of monkeys, sloths, crocodiles, frogs, birds and other critters. Long a popular destination for bird-watching enthusiasts, the park has one of largest remaining populations of wild scarlet macaws.

If you're looking for excellent nocturnal fun, Playa Jaco is a party beach with a lively yet relaxed nightlife with bars located throughout the town.

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio
Located south of Playa Jaco, the Manuel Antonio National Park is Costa Rica's smallest national park yet its second most-visited. Famous for its spectacular verdant landscapes, hiking trails and secluded beaches, it's also a wonderful place to spot all sorts of wildlife. Amongst its 109 species of mammals and 184 species of birds, you'll find sloths, monkeys, iguanas, toucans, hawks and much more.

Activities in Playa Jaco

With perfect surfing waves every day of the year, Playa Jaco and its neighboring towns compose the surfing heart of Costa Rica. Playa Jaco is ideal for beginner and intermediate surfers, while the nearby town of Playa Hermosa is for experienced surfers only. In fact, Playa Hermosa is home to an international surfing competition held every year.

Enjoy day trips
Playa Jaco is an ideal base for touring the treasures of Costa Rica's Pacific coast: pretty towns, top-notch surfing destinations, spectacular beaches, national parks, outdoor activities and much more.

Work on your tan
Life in this part of Costa Rica revolves around the beach. Needless to say, there are infinite options when it comes to soaking up the rays, ranging from huge sandy stretches to intimate coves and everything in between.

One of the most popular activities in Playa Jaco after surfing is shore sport fishing, especially amongst the locals. You can rent equipment and buy bait in numerous shops in town before heading down to the shore.

Take a hike 
Tie up your hiking boots and head up the Miros mountain trail, which winds through tropical forests and provides incredible panoramic vistas of Playa Jaco and neighboring Playa Hermosa.

If being strapped into a harness and swooping from tree-top to tree-top sounds like a good time to you, there are two respected canopy tour circuits near Playa Jaco: Canopy Adventure Jaco and Waterfalls Canopy Tour.

When to visit Playa Jaco?

In terms of weather, Playa Jaco has hot, tropical temperatures all year round. However, like the majority of Costa Rica, Playa Jaco has a rainy season and a dry season. The dry season lasts from December to April and the rainy season from May to November.

Note: If you - like many others - are planning to ride the waves during your time in Playa Jaco, local surfing gurus often say that the best season for surfing is the rainy season.

How to get Jaco Beach from San Jose?

You have 2 ways:
1.- There are 2 public bus lines that run every day between San José and Playa Jacó. The “San José - Playa Jacó bus line” and the “San José - Manuel Antonio bus line”.
If the student take Manuel Antonio bus have to get off in Playa Jacó, bus continues to the Quepos & Manuel Antonio area.

Bus line

San José - Playa Jaco

Every day 5:00, 7:00, 9:00, 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00, 18:00
2.5 hours
$5 one way
Playa Jacó - San José
Every day 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, 9:00, 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00, 18:00
2.5 hours
$5 one way
San José - Manuel Antonio "Express"
Every day 7:00, 9:00, 12:00, 14:30, 18:00, 19:30
1.5 hours to Playa Jaco
$6 one way
San José - Manuel Antonio "Regular"
Every day 7:00, 10:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00, 19:30
2 hours to Playa Jaco
$6 one way
Manuel Antonio to San José "Express"
Every day 4:00, 6:00, 9:30, 12:00, 14:30, 17:00
1.5 hours to Playa Jaco
$6 one way
Manuel Antonio to San José "Regular"
Every day 5:00, 10:00, 14:00, 16:45
2 hours to Playa Jaco
$6 one way

The students can take these buses at the Coca Cola bus station in San José (1st Ave & 16th Street).
Students who travel by public bus to Playa Jacó should get off at the bus stop in front of the “Típico Jacó” Restaurant.

2.- Private Shuttle Service:
Two shuttle services can be used to get to Playa Jacó. A local taxi will be needed in Playa Jacó to get to the host family, apartment or school:
Easy Ride:

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