Jaco, otherwise known as “Playa de Jacó,” is located in Costa Rica and is perhaps one of the most frequented coastal destinations in Coast Rica. Tourists from Canada, the US and all over the world enjoy traveling to this paradise. Known for its surfing, beach life and parties, this two and a half mile beach strip offers everything a tourist needs: shopping, hotels, restaurants, parties, affordable accommodations and luxury. The big question is how do you get there?
Driving from San Jose is fairly simple. Plus, if you fly in to San Jose, you can rent a car for as little as $35/day. From San Jose. From San Jose, you’ll take the Pan-American Highway past the Juan Santamaria Airport in Alujuela and exit off the highway onto what is called the “old road” to Jaco. This ride will take you through the mountains and down to the coast. Be wary of the pot holes as finding assistants for something as simple as a flat-tire may not be easy. From San Jose, Jaco is about 110km or 68 miles. The roads are not known to be safe or, by and stretch, an “easy” drive. Make sure your vehicle is equipped for such conditions as sharp turns and pot holes.
You might also try a Taxi from San Jose or while you’re in Jaco. Taxi’s are extremely affordable but make sure you use the official red taxis with yellow writing; the others may not be as safe or reputable as you would desire. You can barter with the taxi drivers – some will charge as much as a million colones while others will do the same trip for 500 colones.
Check out these tips for having an indie travel experience in San Jose.
Jaco itself does not have an official airport. The closest airport to Jaco is Quepos and Manuel Antonio and you can board a Nature Air or Sansa Air flight from these airports to get to Jaco. If you choose to fly from the US to Jaco, you may be best off flying to San Jose which will run you anywhere from $350 to $650 out of LAX depending on the time of year. The fastest way of getting to Jaco is to take a flight from the San Jose airport. At the airport, you may choose to use a taxi for transfer. Use the official orange airport taxis to Jaco. Prices will run you from $30-$80 American dollars, but sometimes if you use colones you can get a better deal.
To take a bus from San Jose to Jaco or from Jaco to San Jose the easiest way is to contact the San Jose airport for travel times. Usually bus rides take about three hours because of the stops they make. However, this is an inexpensive alternative because rates are extremely cheap depending on the service – anywhere from $1-$25 a person. Buses, though they make frequent stops, often take less time than shuttles. Buses fill up fast and get crowded, so be sure to secure your tickets ahead of time.
If you arrive in the San Jose airport and need a bus, exit the terminal and go left on to the street. You will be able to cross the street and see the bus stop. You will probably be able to get a bus for less than 500 colones if you come prepared with colones. That is equivalent to about $1. The buses are white and red or green and off white. Keep your valuables with you if they offer to Stowe your luggage.
For return tickets purchased in Jaco, visit the ticket office behind the Pizza Hut and across from the Best Western. Try the “easy ride shuttle” 524-0889, 812-4012