Welcome to my official guide to Playa Jaco! On this page you’ll find all you need to know about where to stay, what to do, and how to get around this bustling beach town! This page is FULL of media, and many of the videos are promotional videos from the hotels in Jaco themselves. I did this because I always want to give fellow travelers the best information possible, full of pics, videos, and guides. If I can’t personally create that content, I’ll gladly give a tip of the cap to who can provide that, and include their content on my site. So here you’ll find various videos that are all related to this popular beach town that is very easy to get to from the San Jose airport. If you have questions, please leave them in the comments section below!
Hotels in Jaco, Costa Rica
Costa Rica has become a popular choice for many tourists to visit. The area is home to a stunning rainforest and views of the Pacific Ocean. The economic growth, and expansion of super highways that lead to Playa Jaco have led to a massive influx in capital to this growing beach town. Many people are attracted to this area for various reasons, including real estate, surfing, night life, and outdoor activities. Yet knowing just what to do and where to stay in Jaco may not always be so clear. Here are a few hotels and activities that you might want to consider checking out when you visit Jaco Costa Rica.
Playa Jaco Hotels and Where to Stay
When staying in Jaco, there are quite a few hotels to choose from. Some offer incredible benefits and luxurious amenities. Others may be closer to the beach or to other Natural Parks that may interest you. Here’s a couple of Jaco hotels that might interest you.
1. Best Western Jacó Beach All Inclusive Resort
Perhaps when you were first thinking about Jaco hotels, you might not have considered Best Western. A familiar name can be quite a comfort to tourists who are a long way from home. This Best Western resort offers the familiarity of home with the luxury of Costa Rica. Because it’s an all-inclusive resort, all of your food and drinks are unlimited. The hotel is also perfectly situated close to the bustling downtown area of San José.
Video Overview of the Jaco Best Western
With a convenient location to the city, it also still manages to offer you incredible ocean views. You can relax on the beach just a short walk from the resort or do most of your swimming at the resort’s pool. For those who love to play sports, the resort also has a tennis and volleyball court. While there are plenty of activities for the kids to enjoy, Best Western also wants to make sure that adults have just as much fun. As such, they have nightly activities held at the resort for adults only.
2. Oceano Boutique Hotel & Gallery
Situated at the heart of the famous Jaco Beach, the Oceano Boutique Hotel & Gallery offers a five-star hotel experience for all of their guests. Their luxury suites can come with a full kitchen, so you can buy some of the local cuisines and attempt to cook it yourself if you’re feeling daring enough. The hotel also offers a mini-market, spa, gym, and even an art gallery.
Oceano Boutique Hotel & Gallery takes pride in its Jaco real estate and can easily help you book trips on exciting adventures and tours that interest you. When it comes to their rooms, they offer an assortment of both luxury and affordable suites. The pool suite, for example, even offers a small and personal pool on the balcony that allows you to look at the stars at night or enjoy the incredible scenery from your balcony.
For those who may be looking into owning a bit of Jaco real estate themselves, Oceano Boutique Hotel & Gallery also offers condo sales. They’ll take care of it while you’re away. Considering its incredible location on Jaco beach, buying a condo with them could prove to be a great investment.
3. Croc’s Casino & Resort
This was erected in the last five years, and they are sort of still figuring out their model. At one point it was a standard hotel, and now I heard it’s an all-inclusive. It’s hard to keep up with all the changes, but from staying there in 2015 I can say it’s a nice property on the water, at the end of the beach, with decent enough food and amenities. It’s a bit of a walk, (a sweaty walk) to the center of town, but don’t let that scare you, taxi’s are cheap and available. They have a bustling Vegas style casino, a gorgeous, sprawling pool, and many bars. Again, it’s been a few years for me and I’ve read they are an all-inclusive, which isn’t really my thing, but if it’s yours, by all means, check them out as I had no complaints during my one stay there.
I’ll add this caveat. While it isn’t located in Jaco exactly, the Marriott Los Suenos is the place to stay, in my opinion. Whether you book the hotel, or rent a villa or condo from an owner otherwise, it’s the best place for activities, safety, and my favorite part – food and beverages!
Things To Do in Playa Jaco
Besides just the incredible activities and relaxing services that hotels in Jaco offer, the area has no shortage of fun things to do either. There are two aspects to consider: Jaco nightlife and Jaco day life.
Nightlife in Jaco
Jaco has rapidly become known as a party destination. While partygoers used to not get started until after 11 PM, these days the party is getting started earlier. One of the most exciting nightlife events of the year is known as Jungle Jam. This is a 3-day music festival that hosts both local musicians as well as international talents. With great music and drinks, there’s little not to love at this music festival. Make sure that you check to see when the festival is occurring so you can visit Jaco at the right time.
The Bruja Bar is the place to go if you love heavy metal. It’s located beneath a palm roof and has all the gothic decorations that a metalhead would love. You can get plenty of drinks at the bar and enjoy hard music that might make you feel like you’re home.
Le Loft is another club that requires a bit more of formal dress. This bar features an open roof with a velvet rope. It’s not a bad idea to make a local connection who can get you inside of the coveted Le Loft bar. Otherwise, you might find yourself waiting in a line to get inside. This is the late night spot you want to be, and it has been for many years. Highly recommend.
Finally, The Jungle Bar might interest you if you want to go somewhere where Costa Ricans typically visit. There are fewer tourists and the prices are more affordable. Music is played at this bar, too, and dancing is encouraged.
While the Jaco night life scene can change rapidly, with places opening and closing throughout the season, as well as going by different names, Le Loft has been a staple for many years and continues to be the night spot.
For those who aren’t in the know, this travel guide would be a complete failure if we didn’t tell you that Jaco Beach in general is a known area of prostitution in Costa Rica. You can read an in depth report about it on the proceeding link.
While most of it is confined to a hotel called “El Cocal,” which is basically adults only, when people meet, it does spill into the streets as “dates” go back to hotels for meet-ups. While you won’t likely be bothered by anyone in this interaction, it’s worth pointing out that if you are with a family or want to side with caution, Jaco is NOT a place for young children after dark. The possibility of drunk tourists yelling expletives or accompanying scantily-clad women of the night is a possibility and again, we wouldn’t be a proper travel blog if this wasn’t pointed out. If you are looking for complete separation from this “party scene,” I recommend you stay a few miles down the road in Playa Herradura, where I highly recommend Los Suenos Resort & Marina. (It’s where I stay, and you can visit Jaco for food and night life but be in the own safe confines of a world class resort without any riff-raff.)
Besides Jaco nightlife, you’ll need to find something to do to fill your days, too. Perhaps one of the most popular choices is hanging out at the beach. After all, Jaco Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Costa Rica. There are a ton of different things that you can do on the beach, too. Surfing is just one of them. You can be taught how to surf or just rent a board and try it yourself.
Be sure to try some of the local Jaco restaurants, too, for some delicious cuisine. Some of the Jaco restaurants that you might want to consider trying are Graffiti, Tsunami Sushi, and Green Room.
One of the coolest activities that you might want to consider is an ATV tour. There are a ton of them due to the muddy trails that run up and down the mountains. ATV riding is fun in itself. Riding through a tropical rainforest while you encounter thrilling wildlife is even better. Some of these tours even include a zip line tour at the end of the ride, so you can experience two thrills in one.
Finally, you might want to try your hand at Paddle Boarding. It is a great way to explore the ocean and other beautiful waterways that Jaco boasts.