Jacó Beach Babylon


Suppose you visit Costa Rica and want to get to a beach as fast as possible. Chances are good you’ll end up in Jacó. Puntarenas is slightly closer but not much, and it has a reputation of being a little seedier. Not that Jacó doesn’t have it’s seedy side, if that’s what you’re after, but all in all most Gringos tend to head for Jacó. Traffic permitting, it’s just a bit more than an hour away from San Jose.

So what can you expect from a trip to Jacó? Well, it’s pretty certain you won’t be COLD. If any temperature under 70F makes you shiver, you probably won’t do much (if any) shivering in Jaco. Once upon a time it was a rather quiet place popular mostly among surfers. Today it is a thriving tourist mecca/trap.

JacoWhether you are a high roller who can afford a luxury condo or a backpacker on a limited budget who is content to sleep almost anywhere, Jacó has a place for you. The beach itself is pretty drab. Don’t expect white sand and turquoise water. There are times when swimming is inadvisable due to dangerous ocean currents or contaminated water. The sun is usually out in the mornings even in the wet season, when afternoons tend to cloud up and drop a little H2O on the town.


If Jacó isn’t known for its stunning natural beauty, it IS known as a place you can have some fun. Bars, restaurants, discos, souvenir shops, surf shops and casinos are just some of your options in Jaco. By day, horseback riding, aerial trams, kayaking, snorkeling, surfing, ATV riding and sport fishing are all close available. At night you can party till the vacas come home, and beyond.

Jacó offers most every type of ‘amusement’ that is legal in Costa Rica, and many that aren’t. Try as they might, the local ‘powers that be’ haven’t been able to rid Jacó of drugs, prostitution and crime. All of these things can be found almost everywhere civilized man has set his fungal foot, and Jacó is no exception. Still, there is no confusing Jacó with Provo, Utah.

Tourist dollars have attracted a lot of shady characters to Jacó. I had a camera stolen there. Compared to some of the other stories I have heard, I got off easy. I don’t want to say that Jacó is a horrible place to visit, but be careful, be VERY careful.

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