Jaco is the prime example of a beach town. The area is known for tourist and the main strip is filled with restaurants and shops of all types. Everything you need is in easy walking distance; we didn’t get on a bus or call an Uber during the stay. Surfing is one of the main reasons tourist visit Jaco. During our stay, the waves would get up-to 10ft tall. The language barrier was non-existent because most everyone there is fluent in English or knew enough to get by.
Our Jaco trip began by catching the bus from the 7-10 Bus Station in San Jose. The tickets were $5 per person and the trip was two hours long. We meet a passenger on the bus that spoke English and we had our first English speaking conversation while in Costa Rica. He was an older man and we were skeptical of his motives at first, he looked like he might’ve asked us for money or tried to sell us something at any moment. However, he turned out to be friendly and gave us some helpful tips about the area.
Our room was right on the main strip, one block away from the beach. Each morning we walked to the beach and found a different spot to hang the hammock. We never hung it in the same spot twice, but one of our favorite spots was on the north end of the beach, which was a more secluded area surrounded by large boulders in the water.
Lose dogs roamed all over the town and beach. They all seemed very friendly but kept a respectable distance. At first, we thought the all were strays, but they looked much healthier than normal strays. We finally learned that it is very common for pet owners to allow their dogs to roam free and the dogs would just come home when they were hungry. It seemed like a perfect life for a dog. Come and go as you please and spend the majority of the day on the roaming the beach.
There was no use looking at the weather app while in Jaco. Each day, and hour, it would say the same thing: high of 84, low of 81, and a 50% chance of rain. It rained at least once every day. Sometimes it was just a light sprinkle that lasted 3 hours or a heavy downpour lasting a couple minutes.
Although most days were pretty cloudy, we spent each sunset out on the beach. A couple nights we lucked out and had a beautiful view. We stayed near the north end of the beach and it wasn’t until our last night in Jaco that we discovered that the south side had a much prettier view of the sunset.
There were multiple tents set up on the beach advertising local surfing lessons. We decided to make the most of being tourists and took surfing lessons from one of the local guides. The best spot for surfing lessons was on the south side of the beach, the waves are much calmer and great for beginners. This was a great experience and lasting memory. Tim and I were both able to stand up as we rode the waves in. Tim did a much better job than me and stood up on almost every wave. I kept putting my font foot in the wrong spot making me lose balance and tumbling over. But regardless, we both had a great time.
While surfing, the guide pointed out a local lookout spot that you could see from the beach. It was an old abandon building, probably a restaurant or hotel but no one know for sure, that had a beautiful view of Jaco. The hike up the Mountain was paved for the most part and a lot easier than I expected. We felt completely immersed in the rain forest. Tim eagerly kept his eyes open for monkeys, but we had no luck. The building itself was very unique. It had three tiers and the top and second tire were completely open. The bottom tier was sectioned off into what looked like six individual rooms; each one had a spot for a balcony and bathroom.
One of Jaco’s main attractions, besides the beach itself, was the Jaco Walk. This was a brand new shopping plaza area filled will upper-class restaurants, stores, and coffee shops. We explored this plaza almost once every day mainly so Claire could use the bathroom. Our favorite trip to the Jaco Walk was when we went to the Puddle Fish Brewery. We struck up a conversation with one of the brewers and a couple at the bar from Settle, Washington. The wife was a Spanish teacher and had just ended a school trip in Costa Rica, she stayed an extra week after and her husband met her there. The beer, food, atmosphere, and company were great.
We really liked Jaco and would defiantly consider going back if we had the opportunity.