Welcome To Jaco Beach
Jaco, in the province of Puntarenas in Costa Rica, can best be described as a town of contrasts. Through the years, it has developed into a favorite for foreign and local tourists, from surfers lured by its waves, to partygoers attracted to its bars and nightclubs, to families looking for a convenient getaway.
As you walk down the main street in the seaside town, parallel to the ocean, the contrasts continue. Cuisine ranges from fine dining options to fish taco stands. Visitors could be affluent golf enthusiasts or surfers seeking out budget friendly options.
The mix of locals and tourists make for a lively, bustling town, and the different options to choose from mean you can make it your own. Maximize your stay in Jaco, whether it´s a stop on your itinerary, or your final destination!
Jaco is located on the Central Pacific Coast, 61 miles (98 kilometers) south-west of the airport in capital city of San Jose, the Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO). It is also possible to arrive there from the international airport of Liberia (LIR) in the northern province of Guanacaste Costa Rica.
This airport actually receives a great amount of the flights to the country. From here the driving distance is approximately of 115 miles (185 kilometers) south-east. You can also check a Costa Rica map just to have a better idea of what we are saying.
How to get there
Jaco is easily accessible using the public transport as a local or by renting a car to be more comfortable. Transportation method you choose might be dictated by the time your flight comes in to the airport, whether you´re exploring different destinations during your visit, or if you´re traveling alone or as part of a group.
Public transportation bus
Taking the bus is an affordable way to get around and convenient if you’re not pressed for time. There are several transportation companies operating out of downtown San Jose, check their website for schedules and make sure you choose the direct service versus the one that makes several stops on the way.
But, if you want to be safer and experience a five star service during your ride, then we strongly recommend you to book a private transfer, or a shuttle if you look for a lower budget in terms of transportation.
These are only suggestions found on Google, JacoBeach.com does not have any business linked to these companies.
Renting a car
If you’re driving by your own, the best way to get there is by taking Route 27. You can find this highway by taking the road to Escazu/Santa Ana close to La Sabana Metropolitan Park, on the west side of the city.
You will be on this highway for about 30 miles depending on where you got on it, heading towards Jaco/Orotina. Right after the toll in Orotina, exit to the right when seeing the sign pointing towards Jaco, route 34. Route 34, known by locals as the “Costanera” (or road by the coast) will take you all the way to Jaco, about 20 more miles.
There are several tolls on the way so make sure you’ve exchanged a few colones, the Costa Rica currency, or have US Dollars in singles or small bills handy. The drive is quite pleasurable along a well-maintained road. If you’d like a couple of stops on the way you could buy fresh fruit and local goodies in the stalls along the road when passing the outskirts of the town of Orotina.
Another popular stop is the bridge over the Tarcoles River where you can observe crocodiles. The large bridge is difficult to miss, as there are always tourists and locals loo, looking over the edge and signs. Park your vehicle in a safe spot, ideally at restaurant parking area before crossing the bridge. Bring your camera, and remember, no feeding the wildlife.
The Central Pacific Coast of what is now this country was inhabited by the Huetar people is one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica. At the start of the Colonial era, their main chief was called Garabito, giving name to the district Jaco belongs to in modern times. The first European explorer to arrive in the area was the Spaniard Gil Gonzalez Davila, in the year 1522.
The town itself owes its name to Charles Elwood Jaco, an oil magnate who owned a company in Texas. He inherited the land and dreamt of developing it into a resort destination for his family and others to enjoy.
In the last few decades, Jaco has experienced one of the most accelerated demographic growths in recent Costa Rican history. International investments in Herradura beach, next to Jaco, at the end of the last century, such as the Los Sueños Marriott Hotel and its surrounding luxury condominiums and marina, required manpower in all fields.
People flocked to the area looking for job opportunities which generated growth in lodging and services for new residents. The population is now estimated at 10,000 people. The town is a mix of locals, tourists and foreign retirees of all walks of life, enjoying the “Pura Vida” lifestyle.
Why is Jaco so well known?
Its location near to the capital and main cities of the country, varied range of lodging and dining options, nightlife and activities in the area such as surfing and great sport fishing, have put Jaco on the map.
It is the closest beach town from the capital city of San Jose Costa Rica, and the modern Route 27 highway, inaugurated in 2010, made it an even more accessible road trip. This means that travelling there won’t take you a lot of time.