Jaco Beach (Playa Jaco)
The somewhat unlikely name of “Jaco” that belongs to this seaside resort is in honour of American Charles Elwood Jaco. He envisioned the resort way back in 1925 and went on to develop it. This was thanks to the fortune he accumulated during the pioneering days of Texas oil discovery in the USA.
Located just a ninety-minute drive southwest of Costa Rica’s main airport in San Jose, Jaco Beach is a 2 mile (3Km) long stretch of lovely golden sand between the resort town and the fabulous Pacific Ocean. Here, the order of the day is to relax on this beautiful beach, or ride the majestic waves when the surf is up.
Playa Jaco in Golfo de Nicoya is a very open beach with little natural shade other than that offered by beach umbrellas. It does offer reliable surfing conditions when offshore winds sweep in from the northeast. Clean groundswells prevail and the best swell direction is from south / southwest. The beach break offers both left and right hand waves, which are good to test around the high tide mark.
If surfing is not your forte, then the beach area lends itself to relaxation in an idyllic setting, with bathing and sun worshipping offering viable alternatives to the more strenuous surfing option. Other pursuits offered in and around Jaco include paragliding and sea kayaking, as well as some of the most amazing deep sea fishing charters - these operate from nearby Playa Hermosa.
In holiday season, Playa Jaco is a popular destination for city-dwellers from San Jose, as well as many visitors from North America. Canadians and Americans choose Costa Rica for its ease of access, particularly when they are suffering the chills of winter up north. With its pristine beach, Jaco is a favourite destination. This picture-perfect stretch of sand is one of several in the area and all offer splendid sunsets. Bathers should be aware that with the excellent surf come potential rip-tide conditions. Ask locals where the monitored safe zones are, before taking to the water when surf’s up.
The town of Jaco offers a good spread of accommodation and restaurant facilities to please all budget constraints, and prices are competitive compared to other Central American destinations. Playa Jaco forms an integral part of the town, which means the amenities are all close and convenient.
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