Jaco Costa Rica

Central Pacific – Jaco Beach Costa Rica

Only two and a half hours by car from San José (Costa Rica’s capital) you will find the most popular beach locations, such as Jacó, Hermosa, Herradura, and Esterillos.
Traveling through this area offers the visitor an excellent picture of the Costa Rican countryside, as well as uncrowded beaches that offer perfect conditions for surfing, windsurfing, and boogie boarding.

You will pass through Carara Biological Reserve, a world-renowned testing ground for scarlet macaws. The Reserve offers trails through the rainforest and the opportunity to see caimans, coatimundis, armadillos, sloths, and many bird species.

Costa Rica Central Pacific, information by Explore Costa Rica

Jacó’s beach town offers souvenir shops, seafood and pizza restaurants, bars, and discotheques where you can have fun all night. Here you can find a wide range of hotels, from budget to 5-start international hotel franchises.

Heading south, toward Manuel Antonio National Park, long rows of African palm (oil palm) line the coastal road.

Jaco Beach

Located less than 2 hours from the international airport, Jaco is one of Costa Rica’s most popular beaches, both for foreigners and locals. Jaco is a small but extremely active town geared towards surfers, parties, and nightlife. As you browse the ‘Strip’ you will find countless surf shops, restaurants, Chef Services, bars, clubs, and a variety of accommodations. It’s a destination for surfers and young travelers who want to be in the heart of the action.

Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa is a small community just 5 minutes south of Jaco. It is famous for its big waves, its surf hotels, and its small restaurants. All accommodation is located by the sea with the surf right on your doorstep.

Because surfing in Playa Hermosa is more difficult than near Jaco, this area attracts a more experienced surfer. Although there are a few restaurants in the area, most choose to go to nearby Jaco for dining, nightlife, shopping, etc.

Playa Hermosa Jaco

The Carara Biological Reserve is also close to Jaco and Hermosa. Located on the banks of the Rio Grande de Tárcoles, it is one of the few remaining breeding areas of the Scarlet Macaw and includes several ecosystems such as swamps, lagoon, gallery forest, and secondary and primary forests.

Other Jaco / Hermosa activities include bird watching, fishing, canopy tours, horseback riding, kayaking, etc.

Your final destinations in the Central Pacific are Quepos and Manuel Antonio National Park.


Quepos is one of the country’s most popular sport fishing destinations. The road from Quepos to Manuel Antonio is lined with charming hotels, villas, small resorts, and restaurants hidden in the forest where you will enjoy the deep and infinite blue of the Pacific Ocean.