As I’m sure you’re able to tell from the title of this post, as well as the featured image, this is a surfing themed destination!
Jaco is one of the most popular surfing destinations in Costa Rica because it caters to both beginners and more advanced surfers, you technically have to go to Playa Hermosa for bigger waves but it is a short distance from Jaco.
Now Jaco is great! But be warned, if you aren’t looking to surf then you might become a tiny bit bored. They of course have the standard eco-tour and you can also find several places offering ATV tours through the rainforest, however, the main draw of Jaco is surfing. Oh and partying of course! But the latter didn’t really apply to us since we came directly after the weekend in Manuel Antonio, things don’t get crazy on a Monday and Tuesday night as one would hope!
Other draws of Jaco though are that there are two casinos, if you love to gamble, the foods in my opinion is really good and cheaper than Manuel Antonio, and there is more of a downtown area that you can spend time in. Plus, I found the most incredible acai bowl, which made me feel like I was back in NYC!
But now to surfing! So depending on how good you are, you can feel free to simply rent a board for the day and go hit the waves! But if you are a newbie or need some refresher lessons, like myself, then there are several surf schools that will give you 2 to 21 1/2 hour lessons for really reasonable prices!
We went with Tortuga Surf Camp, which is one of the most well-known surf camps in the area! They have classes throughout the day, but make sure to look at the tide schedule because depending on when you go the waves will be larger or smaller. Hence, if you’re new to this you might want to go when the waves are smaller to get the hang of things.
Now, you all know that I grew up in Guam, a tiny little island paradise in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. But that was so long ago, and I was never really into sports that involved water. Sure, I’d been surfing a few times, but I definitely would not call myself an expert. If anything I’d be in the very intermediate category. So the first few waves were definitely wipe outs!
But after a few your muscle memory begins to kick in and before you know it you’re standing up, riding waves, and having a blast!
We finished up our lesson with Tortuga after about 2 1/2 hours and they also have a photo service and GoPro’s available. So we got some of these photos from their GoPro and some of them from the photographer that they work with.
This was a ton of fun reliving my island days and getting back on a surfboard! I can definitively say that we saw major improvements over the 3 days that we spent in Jaco. Plus, there’s nothing quite like going out and surfing for a few hours, which is a major workout, and heading back in with your board to enjoy some of the fresh juice, or cocktails, that your hotel/hostel has to offer and then chowing down on some hearty Costa Rican food!
Jaco did us so good and we loved hanging here in this little surf town! There was a shocking number of expats, but honestly you can kind of understand why. The pace of life is just SO different than the US or Europe. But we were ready for a change of pace, so on our 3rd day we got in our shuttle and made our way to the mountains and rainforests of Costa Rica, specifically La Fortuna!