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Jacó is a firm favourite with backpackers, surfers and locals weary of city life. With its devil-may-care atmosphere, bustling streets, excellent restaurants and bars, this town is loved for its charm.
Playa Herradura — Translated into English, Playa Herradura means horseshoe beach - named because of the shape of its bay. If you are looking for activities like fishing and golf, then this is the area for you. It is a great place to escape with clear, tranquil waters making it an ideal place for swimming.
Playa Hermosa — Just south of Jacó is Playa Hermosa, a quiet stretch of black sand beach loved by sunbathers and surfers alike. The Playa Hermosa Wildlife Refuge is the beach of choice for the Olive Ridley sea turtles that come ashore to nest every year.
Playa Blanca – With clear water, fluffy sand and plenty of trees for shade, Playa Blanca is off the tourist track and extremely popular with locals.
Playa Esterillos Oeste – For tourists looking for a secluded beach, Playa Esterillos Oeste is a great choice. With the shade of palm trees, peace and quiet, this is the perfect place to chill out if surfing isn’t the top of your agenda.
There's more to Jacó than surf, sand and restaurants especially if you’re a nature lover. Visit the thick, transitional rainforests of the Carara National Park to see plant and animal life from both the dry and wet regions, including flocks of scarlet macaws. Next to Carara, some 2,000 crocodiles swim in the Tarcoles River. The Neo Fauna butterfly farm and frog garden is dedicated to the exhibition and reproduction of endangered species – it’s goal is to help repopulate the forests.
Activities in Jacó include swimming, deep sea fishing, cycling, horseback excursions and crocodile safaris. There are, of course, plenty of national parks and reserves, boat and kayak excursions and whitewater rafting and canopy tours. Beach surfing is another major draw for this recreational paradise. Jacó beach and nearby Hermosa Beach have hosted numerous international surfing championships and Jacó is frequented by professional surfers from around the globe. The beach here is also home to some first-class surf instructors, so if you want to learn from the best catch a lesson or two while you are in town. The nightlife is another reason tourists flock here. Many visitors will also take a cruise across the Gulf to Nicoya to spend the day on Tortuga Island. Once here you can explore the island by taking a nature hike or take to the crystal clear water with your mask and snorkel. With all there is to offer it is no wonder Jacó remains a top spot in Costa Rica.