Jacó: The Beach Town that Has It All

Synonymous with fun under the sun

Jacó is a beautiful and energetic beach town that is located less than 2 hours from the capital of Costa Rica and is known for its carefree party atmosphere and activities. Located on the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica, on the outskirts of the Gulf of Nicoya, 72 kilometers southeast of Puntarenas, and 97 kilometers southwest of San José.

It is the head of the canton of Garabito, in the province of Puntarenas. The town has a population of approximately 10,000 permanent inhabitants. 


Jacó is of recent foundation (mid-20th century), although the area was inhabited since pre-Columbian times by natives of the Huerta ethnic group, settled in dispersed villages. At the beginning of the Spanish Conquest, the chieftain was Garabito, who gave rise to the name of the canton. The European discoverer of the region was Don Gil González Dávila, in 1522, when he made the first expedition of the national territory coming from the southeast.

In 1915, on territorial division for administrative purposes of the country, the hamlets Las Agujas, Taracoles, Pigres, Las Mantas and Herradura were part of the first district of the canton of Puntarenas, without mentioning the existence of Jacó. It is not until 50 years later, on February 25, 1965, that Jaco was constituted as a hamlet becoming the ninth district of the canton of Puntarenas.

The national census of 2000, estimated the population of Jacó at 16,371 inhabitants, indicating an increase of almost double in 10 years, being one of the fastest-growing population areas in Costa Rica.

The community of Jacó, as well as the neighbors of Quebrada Ganado and Herradura, has experienced in recent years a strong migration product of multiple tourism projects, as well as the proliferation of new restaurants, shops, bars, condominiums, hotels, casinos, and centers commercial, all with the influence of the capital.

Due to its characteristic as a tourist locality, the traveling population has a very remarkable demographic weight. The permanent inhabitants of the city of Jacó add up to around 10,000, but it tends to double in holiday or summer seasons with national and international tourists that give its population a cosmopolitan appearance.

It does not matter if you travel alone, with children or with a large group of adventurers looking for adrenaline. Jacó has something for everyone and it becomes a popular travel destination for everyone who visits it. There is a wide variety of things to do in this pleasant town, which undoubtedly includes surfing, horseback riding, offshore fishing, quadricycle tours, kayaking tours, boating, rafting and much much more.

If you are looking for activities full of adventure for all kinds of needs, visiting this fun place is mandatory.

Lots of things to do

There are a variety of companies that offer different tourist options, all in one place, including horseback riding, waterfall descent, quad bike tours, and Canopy. You can even book an exotic nature boat ride or take a half-day or full-day sportfishing tour.

If you prefer to enjoy your vacation in Costa Rica without a single drop of sweat, book a catamaran excursion through the beautiful waters along the coast. You can also pass a
an afternoon watching the surfers from the beautiful calm of the beach.

National parks

Jacó is a great vacation destination that is close to some of the most beautiful national parks in Costa Rica.

Manuel Antonio National Park is just over an hour away by car, and it is definitely worth the trip. What Manuel Antonio National Park is lacking in size makes up for in beauty and diversity. You will see a wide variety of wildlife on the 126,000 acres of ocean and 1,700 acres of land that make up this well-preserved and protected park.

Once you visit it for the first time, you will instantly understand why this is the most popular national park in all of Costa Rica. The diving here is amazing, and several beaches offer ideal conditions for swimming and taking a refreshing dip. If you like the appearance of white sand, visit Manuel Antonio Beach, which is known as the prettiest beach in the park.

The Curara Biological Reserve is another national park that is close to Jacó. Here you will find magnificent wildlife, which includes scarlet macaws, monkeys, jaguars, and many others. You will also have the opportunity to visit a variety of pre-Columbian archaeological sites dating back more than 2,000 years.


Jacó is a traveler-friendly area known for its festive atmosphere and an active nightlife. If you love partying and a good atmosphere, visit some of the most popular sports in the town during the late hours instead of retiring early to bed in your room.


Many tourists choose Jacó as a holiday destination due to its beautiful and picturesque beaches. Some of the best options include Jacó Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Herradura Beach.

Jacó Beach is a very clean beach that almost always overflows with tourists. It is a very beautiful and popular destination, but it is important to swimmers realize that there are very strong tides on this beach. Swimming should always be done with much prudence especially minors.

Playa Hermosa is a famous surfing spot that is just south of Jacó. If you visit it at the right time of the year, you can attend the Quicksilver International Championship. 

Playa Herradura is a quieter beach, which is perfect if you need a break from the throbbing energy of the most populated areas. This beach is located about 7 kilometers north of Jacó and is a great place to relax near the end of your vacation. The cordiality of the locals, a variety of activities and kilometers of virgin beaches make Jacó the ideal holiday destination for families, couples and people traveling alone to Costa Rica.

ayahuasca, spirituality
SOURCEOsmary Torres
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