After more than 4 weeks living and studying in Brava, San Jose we finally made it to the beach and to really start our adventure. Jaco is about 2 hours from San Jose and it is the closet beach to the city. Jaco is very popular with locals and tourists and is known for having a vibrant nightlife. Not everything we have heard about Jaco was positive but we still wanted to check it out.
The Bus from San Jose to Jaco takes about 2 hours (leaves from Terminal 7-10 downtown) and costs 2,380 Colonies (C) each. The bus can get busy so it is advisable to book in advance to grantee a seat. To book click here (website in Spanish)
For accommodation we stayed at Riva Jaco Hostel which is one block back from the main strip. Despite its easy access to the strip and the beach it is a small, quiet and well run hostel. We found the hosts to be very friendly and even joined us for some drinks in town. One of the advantages about staying at Riva Jaco Hostel was the free access to Blu Beach Club. The Blu Beach Club has a swimming pool, bar, restaurant and most importantly shade.
Our accommodation cost us about C8,150 each per night. We stayed in a four bed dorm which we were lucky to have to ourselves. You can book a private tent out the back which seemed really nice. We booked via Hostel World.
The beach at Jaco is long and can get very busy but not so busy that it feels crowded. The beach is a popular for surfers but is generally safe for swimming too, just watch out for rips and surfers.
Jaco is well known for its nightlife and can get very busy at the weekend. As its a tourist town prices can be expensive so have a look round to find cheap beer/food. We went out for meals twice (blowing the budget!) with both meals seeming like good value.
A beer can cost up too C2,500 but try not to pay more than C1,250. Our meals ranged between C2,900 and C3,500 depending on what you order. However, expect to pay much more if your tastes are finer.
Jaco is a nice place to spend a night or two but not somewhere to stay long term as a tourist (unless you like big nights out). From what we have seen Costa Rica has far nicer places to see.