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  1. #1

    First CR trip.....need help please.

    My wife and I are going for our first trip to costa in november and are staying in Jaco. it seems after we booked the hotel room that everything Im reading about the town is that its super sketchy, and be careful at night??? I have been surfing for a long time but my wife is just starting so I figured Jaco was the best place to start......Am I choosing the right beach can I get a bus or shuttle from San Jose to jaco. Does anyone know anything about the hotel Canciones del mar? Thanks, Logic

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Lewes, DE
    I haven't been to Jaco in 6 or 7 years, but there is a fair amount of drugs and prostitution that is apparent at night. It is a cool town though, with lots of restaurants and conveniences close by and I never thought it was dangerous.

    There is smaller surf for learning at Jaco, and much better surf right down the street at Hermosa Beach, which has something to surf pretty much every day.

  3. Jaco

    Have been to Jaco numerous times. Not the nicest city, but I stay there because of convenience for dining/groceries/shopping. Surf at Jaco not as consistent, though can be good on high tide. Good place to learn and there are several schools/private instructors in Jaco. Consider that for your wife. Surf is much better/larger in Hermosa which is about a 5 minute drive. The further south you go on Hermosa waves tend to be larger as well. Prostitution is legal, but not an issue unless you want it to be. Bars can be a bit nasty late at night, but wouldn't consider Jaco dangerous. Would be happy to provide further info if you like.

  4. I just got back from my first trip, everyone super nice. its a safe town unless you are looking for trouble, just like anywhere else in the world. I surfed among the locals which were super cool and friendly. dont believe the hype. i was told not to bring jewlery or my watch, thats bs! costa ricans will try to sell you something, not rob you. their livelyhood depends alot on tourism. PURA VIDA!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    NMB, SC

    Don't sweat it man! My wife and I have a place at the north end of Jaco and have been travelling there for over 7 years. In fact, we're heading down Tuesday for two weeks. Don't be roaming the streets at 2 am and you'll be fine. When you leave the airport, you can snag a taxi or bus. Should only take you about an hour with the new highway. Jaco is good place for your wife, but it can get big. Jaco tends to close out on anything over 6 feet. If Jaco is small, head to Hermosa which gets REAL big...not for your wife though. They've had some pumping surf down there for the past few weeks and looks to continue. You can check out Esterellios Oeste which is about 10 minutes south of Hermosa. Look for the statue of the mermaid. This shows you where there is a rock reef. Easy wave to catch but it breaks WAY out. Places to eat...Dan's Sunrise Pancake house across from the plaza. Claritas at the north end of Jaco right on the beach. This is good for a beer and lunch and there's a couple of good sandbars right out in front too. For good, cheap local food check out the "sodas". My family of 4 can eat a boat load of food for $20. There's a soda next to the laundry mat down the street from Clarita's. For an great upscale dinner, take your wife to EL Hicaco restaurant in the center of town on the beach. Wednesday night is all you can drink and eat seafood buffet...awesome lobster many as you can eat. They have a website at
    Mother nature has been pissed off down there lately with two earthquakes, 6.1 & 6.2 off of Quepos, about 45 minutes south of Jaco. Jaco got rocked pretty good on Sunday. They also just had two bad tropical waves pass through on Tuesday and Wednesday knocking out power and water for 12 hours to people in Jaco...It is the rainy season. If you have any other questions let me know man. You and your wife will love it!

    Pura Vida

  6. #6
    I would recommend Tamarindo. It is a great place to learn to surf. The town has a lot going on and it is less sketchy than Jaco.

    If you want to know more about Tamarindo I would check this site out. It's got a lot of info on the local businesses, surf breaks, hotels and what not.

    Have fun!

  7. #7
    Thanks for all the help we have decided to go to Tamarindo.

  8. #8

    jaco - tamarindo

    i think bad decision jaco nice, not too expensive, easy to get to, tamarindo expensive , surfing not quite as good. can't remember name , but hotel on north side w/ surf in name decent for about 80-100 a nite. very surf orientated.

  9. #9
    Canciones del Mar is a nice place on the beach, and central to restaurants and nightlife in Jaco. The beachbreak behind it works best at higher tides, but can close out when it's over 1 foot overhead. You can check for a complete list of surf breaks and recommended hotels. It's what I do.. help surfers plan their trips to Costa Rica - since 1999.


  10. #10

    Costa Rica Surf Reports

    I hope your trip planning is coming along okay. These guys have given some great info on the Jaco area. Make sure you hit up Playa Hermosa right down the road when you are there....check out how surf is there today at:

    You can also see more photos and daily surf reports from Hermosa and 6 other breaks all over Costa Rica on

    Buena suerte y Pura vida!