Top 20 Things to Do in Jaco, Costa Rica You Want to Do

Many amazing places can be found in Costa Rica and Jaco is a beautiful beach town famous for its proximity to San Jose city. It is a paradise for travelers looking for some relaxation & luxury. There are tons of restaurants and hotels as well as some surf breaks. Looking for what to do in Jaco, Costa Rica? Here’s a huge list of the best things to do in Jaco.

Jaco, Costa Rica is a small town that has become one of the main touristic regions of Costa Rica. This is because of the beautiful beach, and the nearby natural beauties. It is a place where you can also spend a lot of time wandering around, shopping, and visiting restaurants and bars.

There are also tons of adventures to be had in the surrounding forest and off of the coast for adventurers, nature lovers, and people of all ages.

Related Read: 24 Hours in Jaco, Costa Rica: One Day of Beach Activities

Jaco, Costa Rica

Things to Do in Jaco, Costa Rica

1. ATV Tours

Exploring mountainous terrain on an all-terrain vehicle has never been this daring before. Half-day tours include a swimming pit stop in a cool waterfall.

2. Bird and Wildlife Viewing

One of the only two places in all of Costa Rica to see scarlet macaws is Carara National Park

Other amazing wildlife here is:

Monkeys at jaco beach costa rica

3. Canoeing & Sea Kayaking

Climb into an outrigger canoe (seating up to 8 people) or travel by sea kayak to deserted beaches. Tours depart daily with a trained guide, transportation, and equipment.

4. Canopy Tour

Variety is the spice of life, and in this case, you have a great choice to get your adrenaline fixed. With several canopy tours, you get your pick of the litter with all the combinations available: aerial tram rides, zip lines, suspension bridges, rappel lines, and Tarzan swings.

5. Day Spas

You have two options in Jaco to spoil yourself:

1. Go to the spas where you get a therapeutic hot stone massage, a ginger-lime body wrap, facials, pedicures, body scrubs, and all kinds of pampering packages.
2. Or, let the spa come to you.

6. Day trip to Tortuga Island

This island is between Jaco and Nicoya Peninsula with beautiful white sanded beaches and crystal clear waters. You can spot dolphins, whales, and turtles on your way over there.

7. Golfing

The award-winning golf course at Los Suenos Resort offers a fun day of golf.
Location: Playa Herradura, 5 minutes north of Jaco.

Swimming at Jaco, Costa Rica

8. Hiking

Carara National Park has easy-to-moderate trails with tons of wildlife watching opportunities. Sign up for a tour with naturalist guides, transport to the park, and beverages.

9. Horseback Riding

What better way to discover backcountry roads, hidden waterfalls, and deserted beaches than from the high seat of a mounted horse? Let the horses take you off the beaten track along beaches and through forested trails. Do something you don’t do every day!

10. Jet Skis

Take a 2.5-hour tour to isolated bays, beaches, and islands. Tours include a trained guide and jet skis.

11. Gambling

Or in this case Viva Jaco! You’ve got plenty of casinos all around the Jaco area to try your luck at.

12. Rafting

Rafters of all levels will love a full-day rafting trip down the Naranjo and Savegre rivers, classed from II to IV. Sign up for a single or multi-day adventure.

13. Safari Boat Ride

Wanna have a close encounter with an American crocodile measuring up to 12 feet in length? How about anhinga, herons, egrets, ibis, ducks, and kingfishers? Then sign up for a safari boat ride that takes you deep along the Tarcoles River and its mangrove estuaries. The two-hour boat tour includes transportation, a guide, and beverages.

14. Sail or Catamaran Tours

Sail from Jaco in a gorgeous sailboat or a catamaran. These specialty half-day cruises include snorkeling, dolphin watching, and lunch or dinner. Romantic Sunset tours.

15. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

Plenty of great snorkeling adventures once you board a sailboat or catamaran.

Jaco Beach in Costa Rica

16. Sport Fishing

Year-round sports fishing is available thanks to the warm waters of the Central Pacific Coast. Charters leaving from Los Suenos Marina in Herradura Bay focus on catching giant sailfish. Go out 15-30 miles and the anglers regularly pull in marlin, mahi mahi, wahoo, and tuna. Or do some inshore fishing near the reefs, river mouths, and estuaries where roosterfish, snapper, mackerel, and snook are common. You can get single or multi-day packages suiting all budgets.

17. Surf Jaco Beaches

Wanna surf like a pro and hit those hot surf spots with gusto? Well, you’re in the right place for instruction. Tons of surf shops, surf schools, and surf camps offer instruction for all levels with board rental.

Playa Jaco

Besides being a great beach break, Jaco is close to some of the most popular surf spots in the Central Pacific. Jaco is a fun surf spot itself but undependable, the waves close out when the surf runs over 1.5 m. (5 feet.) 3 Kilometers of sandy beach, this popular spot is great for both novice and connoisseur surfers. Its year-round beach breaks and accessibility to other nearby surf spots make it a great home base. With some serious riptides, lifeguards man the towers during high season, even so, take caution when swimming.

Boca Barranca

Here are some of the best waves in the country. They rise out of a river mouth located just south of Puntarenas. You know how it works. River comes out where surf wants in. As it happens with most conflicts, the bystander is the beneficiary, catching endless rides on the long, left-hand run. Access is easy from a paved road. Don’t be frightened by the dark water you see during the rainy season at Boca Barranca and neighboring beaches. The water’s not contaminated.

Playa Escondida

An excellent beach break, with great lefts and sometimes good rights. Unless you’re a member of the Escondida Beach Club, which gives you access to drive to the beach, you have to take a water taxi to a cove south of the point. No worries, we’ll set it all up for you.

Roca Loca

Walking distance from Jaco with a skip, jump and hop over the small hill you can catch some good waves at this rocky point with the rights breaking over submerged rocks.

Playa Hermosa

Not for the novice surfer, Playa Hermosa is well known amongst experienced surfers. With one of the biggest beach breaks (after Dominical) on the country’s Pacific Coast, you’ll always see some killer surf. There are seven distinct surf points along the ten-kilometer shore. Do you know what the hottest spot is called?

Playa Herradura

Playa Herradura is home to the only Marina (Los Suenos Marina) in Costa Rica (others are in development). Herradura means horse-shoe and that’s exactly what is so special about this beach. Due to its shape, the waters are calm and swimming friendly. The beach is dotted with excellent seafood restaurants, and you can get a full-service sport fishing charter boat for big game fish: billfish, marlin, mahi-mahi, and tuna. Contact us for tour info.
Also, book snorkeling and dive trips that leave from here to nearby reefs and islands.

Location: 10 minutes north of Jaco.

Playas Esterillos

Not even half an hour north of Jaco you’ll find Playas Esterillos. These three peaceful, palm-fringed beaches: Esterillos Este, Centro, and Oeste, have long stretches of coastline and pretty good waves for long rides. The strongest beach breaks of the 3 are: Esterillos Centro and Este. They can ALMOST compare to Playa Hermosa. Swimmers can have their fun too, the northern end of Esterillos Oeste, is a calm tidal pool offering shelter from the area’s dangerous riptides.

Location: 20 kms north of Jaco

Playa Bejuco

Going southbound towards Quepos is Playa Bejuco. Here you will find raw, untouched coastal beauty. Wanna walk for miles and not see another soul, come to Bejuco. Another surf spot with the swimmers remaining at bay due to super-strong riptides.

Location: 30 kms south of Jaco.

18. Visit a Park in Jaco

Carara National Park

With the increasing development in this region, Carara National Park has become a critical sanctuary for wildlife. A mix of the wet rainforest of the southern Pacific and the dry tropical forest of the northwest is home to over 2000 crocodiles, 450 scarlet macaws, and much more.

Playa Hermosa Wildlife Refuge

Ten minutes south of Jaco is Playa Hermosa which is part of this wildlife refuge. July and December months are worth a trip to see the female Olive Ridleys (locally known as Tortuga Lora) come ashore to lay their eggs.

Everybody Loves Butterflies

Have you seen a morpho butterfly flutter through the air? At the local butterfly farm and serpentarium you can see that and a lot more. (wishlist)

19. Visit The Tarcoles River

Do not miss this attraction! Rarely are you able to see firsthand one of the world’s largest populations of American crocodiles (over 2000!). This croc can grow as large as 12 feet from nose to tail. Make a pit stop at Tarcoles Bridge and check this creature out in the flesh when traveling from San Jose or Puntarenas. Another great way to see them is on boat tours of the river, which is also known for its rich avifauna, with over 120 birds living in its mangrove estuaries.

20. Visit Jaco Waterfalls

Bijagual Waterfall

One of the tallest waterfalls in Costa Rica (600 feet) is right here! Only 35 minutes north of Jaco.

Waterfall del Zorro

Not far from Jaco is a 35 ft.Waterfall de la Gloria In the hillside of Playa Hermosa.

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The Top 17 Things to Do in Jaco, Costa Rica | Travel Experta


Last Updated on May 11, 2023

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