Surfing in Jaco, Costa Rica
Many years ago, Jaco was mostly described as a sleepy, archetypal beach town on the central coast of Costa Rica. A lot has changed since then. It didn’t take long for the excellent waves that brush along the beaches of Jaco to start drawing in foreign tourists in droves. The locals were also not left behind as most of them took to surfing and enjoy the waves just as much. They are also a very hospitable and friendly populace.
Currently, Jaco beach is a buzzing sanctuary for surfers who are out to get an experience of a lifetime. Young surfers who are full of adrenalin, ready for adventure and out to have a good time, usually find the beach quite appropriate and they thus form a majority in terms of visitors frequenting the beach. In fact, in terms of numbers, Playa Jaco is one of the top ten beaches in Costa Rica.
Because Jaco is less than two hours drive from San Jose international airport via a well paved road, getting to the beach is quite easy and fast. Surfers who like to travel love this aspect a lot and are frequent visitors to the beach. Most surfers prefer renting a car and driving to Jaco, this is quite practical when you have surfboards in tow. One can also board a local bus from San Jose between Avenidas 1 and 3 on Calle 16.
There are numerous surf shops dotting the place, one can either buy or rent surfboards for use during his stay. There is also lots of affordable accommodation to fit every budget, from the 4 stars Playa Jaco Hotel DoceLunas to the relatively small but beautifully built 14 roomed Hotel Poseidon. It is worth noting that almost all hotels in Jaco allow you to book surf lessons or tours through their front desk.
Jaco offers relatively more consistent surf all year round than most surfing spots. It has steep beaches that are exposed to swells from virtually every direction and run for slightly over 3.5 miles; giving the surfer ample opportunity to feel and ride the oncoming waves. A typical day does consist of dangerous rips and large waves. The weekends are usually more crowded though and the best periods for visiting the beach are the nonrainy months of January through April. The months to avoid are September and October as it is very rainy then.
Even though Jaco waters are usually considered unsafe for swimmers, it is a surfer’s paradise as it has lots of interesting and very engaging breaks; combined with very warm waters to boot. Many surfers will admit to being drawn to Jaco mainly because of its Beach-brake wave. Its waves are also quite consistent and generally, there is always enough surf space for everyone to ride an oncoming wave. The north side of the beach is known to have bigger breaks and most people are usually advised to use the south side of the beach during those big days. The beach can accommodate all types of surfers, professionals, and beginners alike.
For beginners who are quite new to surfing, there are two main surf schools that offer training at affordable prices, namely; The Jaco Surf School and Surferfactory. They offer short one or two hour lessons to beginners. They normally provide you with Lycra, surfboards, and some complimentary beverages. The schools do have bilingual tutors and can offer these lessons either to individuals or groups. Those keen on advancing their surfing skills to the next level can also get private instruction from tutors of either college at a slightly higher fee.
After surfing the whole day, the nightlife of Jaco Beach is quite lively; for lack of a better word. There are several nightspots that dot the place and are always open till the wee hours. It has a very balanced mix of casinos, discos, dive bars, and nightclubs. Some of the good spots worth visiting include the Beatle Bar, Disco La Central, and La Hacienda. The beach parties are some of the wildest in Central America; they do get quite wild. And the place has lots of friendly, pretty girls too.
While surfing Jaco beach Costa Rica, you are bound to enjoy some sparkling clean beaches, beautiful sceneries, really gorgeous and out of this world sunsets, and also participate in a wide variety of other recreational activities like sport fishing, hikes, and eco-tours. Pay the place a visit and see for yourself what Costa Rica has to offer.