Palm shadow on the beach in Jaco
Palm shadow on the beach in Jaco

After landing at the San Jose Costa Rica airport, you may want to quickly take a dip in the crystal clear waters. Playa Jaco is the closest beach to San Jose, so you can imagine it is one of the most visited places in Costa Rica. Stretching 2.5 miles, the beach allows visitors to experience one-of-a-kind swimming, boating and of course surfing in Jaco. Most people come here for the sandy retreat, but the town of Jaco is something that's surely worth the experience. Even I enjoy hanging out here once in a while, and I'm not even a beach-loving amphibian!. Considered a party town, Jaco has outstanding nightlife and long stretches of beach side restaurants. Whether you're on a family adventure or you're looking for a Latin-fused experience - Jaco's late night scene has a little something to offer everyone.

Sunset at Jaco Beach, Costa Rica
Sunset at Jaco Beach, Costa Rica

Topes

The "topes" are elaborate parades and horse shows, and some of the country's finest shows can annually be seen in Jaco. This is a great thing cultural experience for families and couples alike, as it's unlike anything you'll see outside of the country - this isn't a rodeo! Experts hop on the saddle in elaborate and colorful attire, and perform high-stepped "dancing" - moves that have been developed over centuries of practice and careful breeding. These festivities can last for days, so it's a great tradition to catch while you're in town.

Go Dancing

Do you like dancing? Throw on your best pair of shoes and hit the floor, but just be warned that you may be the worst dancer in the joint - Costa Ricans, like most Latin Americans, are known for their dancing skills! I can't say I'm the best frog dancer, but I do have a few hops and skips up my sleeve! You can head to Monkey Bar or Plankton for some high-energy movement, but if you're looking for live music, venture to Tabacon Bar and Restaurant in Jaco.

Jaco Beach
Jaco Beach

Live the Costa Rican Way

When you're not exploring a club or bar at night, Jaco remains a laid-back beach town, as the number one attraction is the surfing in Jaco. Feel free to sink your toes into the sand for the long haul! You can also go shopping in the countless souvenir shops and boutiques, take a yoga class on the beach or dine at one of Jaco's many restaurants. This is a bustling town that has been compared to Miami, Daytona Beach and Melbourne in Florida - but it is still a small community. There are plenty of classes that you can take if you'd like to take a stab at the world-famous surfing, or if you'd prefer to stay on land, you can go on a tour through town.

Beautiful Jaco Beach from the sky
Beautiful Jaco Beach from the sky