Jaco is an energetic and fun beach side town located on the Pacific coast in Costa Rica. It is commonly known for its partying and clubbing but there is much more to it than meets the eye. In fact, while in the city we didn’t step foot into any bar and instead decided to explore the beach and jungle. After spending a week in Jaco we came to admire its Pura Vida lifestyle and soak in as much sun as we could. By the time, we had to leave we didn’t want to say goodbye to the town we fell in love with.
Here’s how to spend a week in Jaco:
Where to Stay
Check In: Best Western All-Inclusive
We travelled from La Fortuna to Jaco and first arrived at Best Western Jaco Beach All-Inclusive for two nights. To fully enjoy the all-inclusive benefits we quickly checked in, put our bags down and got a drink. We were lucky since this hotel is located close to the end of the north beach so its quieter and more peaceful. All we could think about was relaxing and sitting put so we did just that all day by the pool!
Check In: Buddha House Boutique Hostel
To save money and to connect with other travellers we checked into a boutique hostel located in downtown Jaco for a simple yet relaxing accommodation. By the end of our 5-night stay, we had so much fun we didn’t want to leave.
Where to Eat
We stumbled upon this vegan and gluten-free style cafe and totally fell in love with it. Decorated from head to toe with cool quotes and funky pillows making it the perfect lunch hideaway spot. I tried the vegan quesadilla and it was seriously the best thing I’ve had ever.
When we were in dire need of air conditioning Poseidon came to the rescue. Not only is it a great place with delicious options, but it was also cheap and close to the beach. Win win!
This adorable cafe is a must-see in Jaco. It has an inviting chill atmosphere that you can’t refuse. There are lots of vegetarian and vegan options as it is largely Indian and Mediterranean-based. What really caught my eye was the amount of smoothies to choose from. They are the perfect escape from the hot weather.
What to Do
If there’s one thing to do in Jaco it’s to surf. Grab a board and a rash guard and head out into the open waters. We surfed with Del Mal Surf Camp who taught us all the basics and gave us an introduction to surfing before we went out.
Go on a Waterfall Safari
Explore the hidden waterfalls of Jaco nestled in the depths of the jungle. Completely hidden from the public these waterfalls are not a sight to miss. We went waterfall jumping and climbing with Eco Guide Costa Rica and basically, it was the best thing ever.
Hit the Beach
Jaco Beach is quite large leaving you many places to sunbathe or relax in the water. You can stroll the 2 km long beach, bike your way across it or even go horseback riding, the choice is up to you.
There’s tons of souvenir stalls, small shops and kiosks along the main strip in Jaco with thousands of unique and handmade items. I made sure to snag some Costa Rican favourites (salsa and chocolate) before leaving to give to my family as a gift.
Take a Day Trip to Manuel Antonio National Park
While the beach in Jaco is pleasant it isn’t the white sandy beach I was dreaming of. So we took a day trip to Manuel Antonio National Park and got what we were looking for. Not only did we see an abundance of natural wildlife like howler monkeys but we were able to comfortably swim and scuba dive. It was well worth the hour bus ride out here.