If you are traveling to Costa Rica for some well-deserved R&R, the picturesque beaches of Jacó will be your sanctuary. This is a roundup of the best beaches in the town and the unique features they offer:
Playa Jacó is one of the main beaches of the town, it is convenient to reach being just a few blocks away from restaurants and souvenir shops. Jacó is a well-known hotspot for surfers in Costa Rica. Affordable surf shops are located all over the town making it easily accessible to take a lesson or rent a surfboard. Smaller waves at Playa Jacó are perfect for beginners who wish to try their hands (feet) at the sport.
The more seasoned surfers can head to the world-class surfing beach, Playa Hermosa. You might even catch some professional surfers elegantly riding the waves or competing in tournaments at this black sand beach. The best time to visit this beach is from May through November.
For those who wish to avoid beach crowds, Playa Herradura is the ideal spot. It is more secluded and low-key as compared to the other beaches and has a relaxed vibe. With its calm waves, this beach is suitable for swimming and other activities like snorkeling and sport fishing. If you’re not into fishing, you can still enjoy the exotic nature boat rides at this beach.
For those willing to take the off-beaten path, these hidden beaches are perfect. Punta Leona is just a 15-minute drive away from Playa Jacó. Tucked in a beautiful cove with palm trees and serene waters, this beach is a white sand treasure.
Then, there is Playa Mantas, which requires some effort to get to, given the unpaved path you’ll have to take. Located 18 km to the northwest of the town, this beach offers breathtaking views of the turquoise waters and the grey sands.
Tip: Parking at this beach is scarce, so try to reach early and avoid weekends!
Another beach that is commonly frequented by the locals is Playa Blanca. It is a stunning white sand beach with fluffy sand and clear water. You can take in the tranquility of nature and lie down in the shade of the palms.
Tip: Make sure to carry all your essentials for the day since there aren’t any amenities or restaurants around this one.
Say, you don’t enjoy being all pruney after a swim, just sunbathe, and get a good tan out of a nap on the beach. Carry a nice blanket, a beach read, some cold drinks and snacks, and have yourself a merry picnic. Just don’t forget to apply sunscreen!
Lastly, there is Playa Esterillos Oeste, which is a peaceful and secluded beach devoid of swarming tourists. It attracts many surfers and local families who you might find barbecuing under the trees. This beach isn’t the best for swimming, but you can check out the tidepools here. Walking along the long stretch of this beach, look out for the mesmerizing statue of La Sirena (the mermaid) from the shore. The sculpture of the mermaid appears to be rising from the sea and facing the water. As the legend goes, a fisherman named Fernando Mora Jiménez saw a striking woman with a braid while fishing at the beach. As he turned back to look at her, he saw nothing but a tail. Years later, he commissioned sculptor Albino Valverde to make this statue in remembrance of his long-lost lady love.