Menu

Free 200+ Page eBook

Top 57 Places to Live & Invest in the Tropics

Quickly find out which country is right for you.
No-hype updates & resource guides. No Spam. Ever.
Limited offer. Instant Download.

Join More than 58,187 people who are breaking free


we value your privacy

The Top 5 Jaco, Costa Rica, Newbie Blunders to Avoid

With its exotic beaches, incredible waves, and world-class amenities, Jaco, Costa Rica is one of the country’s hottest destinations for expats and tourists alike. In addition to its beautiful surroundings and ideal climate, its location also contributes to this destination’s appeal.

Jaco, Costa Rica, is located less than two hours from the capital city of San Jose, in the Central Pacific region, right smack in the middle of anything you could possibly want to do in Costa Rica. But when deciding whether Jaco is right for you, take into consideration these five common mistakes newcomers to this tropical hotspot make.

Jaco Costa Rica

Chris Goldberg

1. They never give surfing a try.

Of all the factors that attract expats and visitors to Jaco, none even come close to its impressive waves. It’s a surfer’s paradise, with shores to appeal to even the most advanced surfer.

Jaco’s beaches are lined with surfers of all skill levels, just waiting for the perfect wave. Many say it’s reminiscent of a California surf town in the 1970s, yet with all the usual modern day amenities.

Nearby Playa Hermosa, where the famed Quicksilver Competition is held each August, offers six miles of black sand beaches and consistently high waves. However, the waves in Jaco, particularly on the southern end, are much more manageable for less skilled surfers.

Even if you’ve never picked up a surfboard, you can get a private lesson and rent a board from one of the many surf schools along the beach and in town.

Jaco Costa Rica

Dan Grey

2. They assume Jaco, Costa Rica real estate is too expensive.

Jaco’s population has grown rapidly over the past decade, due to its unrivaled natural surroundings and top-notch amenities. As a result, it’s become one of the top destinations for expats relocating to Costa Rica.

Those looking to buy property in Jaco can choose from golf course condos, gated communities, and penthouses with panoramic ocean views. However, despite the fact that there are definitely some pricey high-end properties in Jaco, there are also still a number of affordable options.

Jaco may not be the best choice for an investor looking to sit on a property and hope it increases in value, as this town is already equipped with all the First World amenities and infrastructure needed for appreciation.

But someone looking for their own personal paradise or something to generate rental income can realistically find something to fit their budget in Jaco, Costa Rica.

Jaco Costa Rica

wytze

3. They don’t realize it’s not a swimming beach.

There are a lot of fun things to do in Pacific waters off the coast of Jaco, Costa Rica. (See #5.) Swimming isn’t one I’d recommend.

In fact, researchers at the National University of Costa Rica (abbreviated UNA) studied 150 beaches in Costa Rica, looking at factors like currents and wave force, and deemed Jaco’s coast to be one of the country’s top five most dangerous.

Due to strong, unpredictable rip currents and waves of substantial force, this stretch of shoreline has unfortunately claimed the lives of many tourists. And while these risks cannot be entirely predicted or avoided, there are precautions that can be taken.

For starters, beaches where large amounts of sea turtles nest tend to have stronger undertow conditions. This is likely because the turtles use the rip current to escape potential predators like jaguars and storks.

You can also sometimes spot rip currents by the sandy discoloration of the water where they disturb the ocean floor. However, if you’re this close it could be too late to avoid it.

If you do find yourself caught in a rip current, try swimming towards the shore at a 45 degree angle. If the current is too strong, swim parallel to the beach in the same direction as the lateral current until you’re free of the strong pull. Likewise, avoid giant waves by swimming down underneath it as far as you can until it passes.

4. They underestimate Jaco’s nightlife.

It’s not uncommon for most Costa Rica beach towns to have something of a party culture. But Jaco takes that characteristic to a whole new level. With nightclubs, discos, casinos, and dive bars lining the beach and the street, there’s an endless number of choices for evening excitement.

But it doesn’t necessarily stop there.

After 10 p.m. the town can get pretty loud and reckless. Drugs are readily available. Prostitution is legal. These, combined with the slight increase in crime that comes with them, might make the faint-hearted newcomer a bit uneasy.

The good news is that, while the party scene can’t entirely be avoided, your exposure to it can be limited. Stay away from the two or three bars where most of the prostitution is contained. Instead of crowded nightclubs, spend your evenings enjoying the cuisine at one of Jaco’s many exotic restaurants.

And take comfort in knowing that Jaco employs more police officers than any other Costa Rican beach town. Costa Rica values its tourists, and every possible measure is taken to ensure their safety and security.

Jaco Costa Rica

Scott Ableman

5. They think surfing is Jaco’s only draw.

While surfing is one of the most incredible and best known activities and attractions Jaco offers, it’s far from being the only one. Whether you’re a wildlife activist, adventure lover, sports enthusiast, or just a regular old beach bum, Jaco has something for everyone.

Despite the appeal of its shoreline, Jaco also offers a number of land adventures. You can hike amidst scarlet macaws nesting in the nearby Carara Biological Reserve or see Olive Ridley sea turtles laying their eggs at the Playa Hermosa Wildlife Refuge.

Also on land, there are short hikes to a number of breathtaking waterfalls. The nearby rivers and streams offer white water rafting and crocodile encounters. See the area via horseback or ATV, or even get a bird’s eye view when you soar through the forests on a zip line high in the canopy.

Golfers can play a round at the La Iguana Golf Course, designed by Ted Robinson. Don’t be surprised if a monkey or macaw strolls up to complete your foursome.

With deep sea fishing to round out the menu of adventures in and around Jaco, there’s never a reason to have a dull day. And by avoiding these five newbie blunders, you can guarantee that you’ll go into your Jaco visit armed with the facts you need to make your decision.

Up Next

Best Place to Live in the World: Power Rankings

The best place to live in the world? Our Power Rankings report will shed some light on how the Latin Tropics stack up against the competition. (Read It)

Central America's Best Real Estate Buy

Don't miss this up and commer. It has the tropical lifestyle, stunning beauty, and smokin appreciation potential. (Read It)

Start Using Your IRA to Invest Overseas

Disappointed in your IRAs past performance? Find out how you can invest in real estate to improve your returns and better your retirement prospects. (Read It)
6854222493_b00a3df91c_z

Surprising Expat Expenses-Pricing Paradise

There are surprising expat expenses whose prices are significantly higher abroad than “at home.” Identifying these items beforehand can help potential expats, particularly those who are living on a fixed income, to better prepare for …

(Read It)
expat-benefits-01

The "Soft Benefits" of Becoming an Expat

North Americans living abroad cite a number of reasons they love the expat lifestyle. There's the ability to experience another culture, the daily exposure to incredibly beautiful natural surroundings, and the drastically lower cost of …

(Read It)
panama city panama

Want to Escape the Threat of Terrorism? You Don't Have to Go Far.

It's a scary world we live in. The many recent acts of terrorism are proof enough of that. These days it seems many North Americans can't even do simple things like attend a concert, go to work, …

(Read It)
things-about-ecuador-01

9 Facts You Might Not Know About Ecuador

The country of Ecuador has many cultural and natural features that make it an attractive location for those seeking an alternative to more traditional tropic destinations. You may already know a few.For example, this increasingly popular …

(Read It)
things-about-Colombia-01

8 Unique Features that Set Colombia Apart

Colombia has the potential to become one of the fastest growing expat destinations in the Latin Tropics, with the city of Medellín leading the way. In fact, this city, once synonymous with crime and the infamous …

(Read It)
moving-overseas-01

Moving Overseas? There's an App for That!

Modern technology has made the prospect of moving overseas much less daunting than in the not-so-distant past. The growing popularity of smart devices places a wide variety of applications at a user’s fingertips that can make …

(Read It)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hot Real Estate Offer

Real Estate In The Area

Jaco
Costa Rica
Beautiful Resort Hotel located just a 2 minute walk to the beach.This outstanding property with all the amenities consists of 4 oversized studios apartments w...
4.0 beds
4.0 bath
Land Size:0 acres
Building Size:4,306 sq.ft.
$400,000
Jaco
Costa Rica
Enjoy the views and breezes from this 242 acres of gently rolling terrain located above Hermosa Beach along the central pacific coastline of Costa Rica.Hermos...
Land Size:159 acres
$2,158,000
Jaco
Costa Rica
Beautiful home with upscale luxury finishes & over 2600 sq. ft. in size. Open concept living areas with gourmet kitchen, top of the line appliances, and custom ...
3.0 beds
3.5 bath
Land Size:1 acres
Building Size:2,583 sq.ft.
$449,000
See All Listings In The Area
Free Tropical Toolkit
Free 200+ Page Report: Top 57 Places to Live & Invest
  • The only book in the world that ranks investment and lifestyle in one place.
  • Over 200 information packed pages with hundreds of beautiful photos.
  • Download the book instantly (for free!) with this limited time offer.
*We value your privacy. No spam. Period.