A laidback bustling town, Jaco is one of the most popular Costa Rican beaches.
Located in the North of the Puntarenas
province along the country’s central Pacific Coast less than 2 hours from San Jose
, Jaco has the reputation of being a ‘party beach’ with an excellent nightlife.
In Jaco you will find accommodations, vacation rentals and condo rentals to suit every budget, as well as good food, plenty of restaurants and a number of local stores.
Still, the number-one attraction here is the surf, and this is definitely a surfer-dominated
beach town. A yearly international surf contest is also held in the nearby Playa Hermosa
that attracts a huge number of surfers from all over the globe. To the south of Jaco, Playa Hermosa is a black-sand beach with a fast and steep beach break. This is a spot for serious surfers. However, be careful; this break can be fierce and is known to humble even experienced riders. At night most folks in Playa Hermosa find their way to the Backyard, a raucous surfer bar with a pool table, darts, and hearty food.
Just north of Jacó is Playa Herradura, a once-forgotten patch of brown sand that is home to the large Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort. North of Herradura, you'll find a few other small beaches
and accommodations, vacation rentals and condo rentals.
Known as one of Costa Rica
’s many beautiful national parks, the Parque Nacional Carara lies along the road between Puntarenas city and Playa Jaco
. 5,242-hectare park, the Carara National Park has an amazing diversity of flora and fauna, making it a must visit place if you are in the area. Named after the Huetar word for crocodile, this national park is home to several ecosystems. With a fantastic array of wildlife on display, visiting this park makes for a great family trip.
Monkeys, crocodiles, armadillos, peccaries, waterfowls, opossums, sloths, boas, aouti, kinkajou, tayra, margay cats, jaguars, white tail deer and ozelots can be found here, as well as a wide assortment of birds and other reptiles and amphibians.
Manuel Antonio is one of the most exclusive areas in Costa Rica, however budget accommodation, vacation rental and condo rental can be found. It started out as a tiny village that had a beautiful National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, next to it. Soon very exclusive lodging arrived, however budget accommodation, vacation rental and condo rental options can be found but most are found down near the beach. The National Park is small only 682 hectares however it epitomizes everything tourists flock to Costa Rica to see: stunning beaches, a magnificent setting with islands offshore, lush rainforest laced with a network of easy to walk trails, and wildlife galore.