Jaco has many restaurants that provide different events and entertainment; from live music, to art shows, to dancing through the night. One of the more popular free events is hosted at Senor Harry’s. They host a free salsa dancing experience every Sunday night. Experienced or not have a great night out with friends and meet new people.
If you are staying in Jaco, or enjoying the dive up the pacific coast of Costa Rica, make a stop in Puntarenas. The harbor has been hosting the largest traveling library/bookstore, Logos Hope. It has been here since October 26th and will be around until November 12th. Logos Hope is a ship operated by a charitable organization out of Germany. It’s purpose is to bring the world together through accessible literature for all ages. The ship’s library holds over 5,000 different titles. It’s vast volunteer crew represents 60 different countries. So whether you are a book lover, or seeking some adventure for the day make a trip, you will not be disappointed.
Photo by http://www.lovemycapetown.com
As Jaco continues to become a melting pot of locals and expats, trying to build a life in Costa Rica, the Jaco Blog wants to support efforts in connecting the community and sharing knowledge. Here is a great opportunity to connect with a welcoming community and hopefully grow your local and global network. Lee Manneberg facilitates these workshops that address topics that bring us together as parents, refocuses our emotional intelligence, and challenges us to walk in our children's shoes. Whether you live in Jaco, or are on a short stay seeking adventure, It is easy to jump in if you have missed a session. Come join us, we will be happy to have you!
Below you will see this weeks session Information along with future meeting dates. For more information contact Lee Manneberg.
Traveling is an all-encompassing emotional roller coaster with usually the first question being, How do I get from the airport to my destination? With it being the tropical paradise it is, Costa Rica has evolved rather quickly in the area of airport transfer and provides multiple options to getting to your relaxing stay. With Jaco Beach acting as the closest beach to the capital, San Jose, the options of where to go, what to do, and how to do it all, become a little easier to access than the rest of the country, but this post will provide support no matter where your final destination will be.
When you first arrive in Costa Rica you pass through the typical whirlwind of a process: leaving the plane, stamping your visa, getting your luggage, and moving through customs. After customs comes the exciting part. Once you reach those doors to exit the airport, you are not quite in relax-mode. You are instantly “greeted” with a mob of people. Some with signs, some shouting their transfer service in your direction, and, mostly, you are amongst a group of other travelers trying to figure out the system of transportation. Suffice it to say, it can be a little overwhelming. I will lay out three different approaches for transfering from the airport to your main Costa Rican destination with Jaco Beach being the example destination. Jaco Beach is a highly sought out Pacific beach town and provides a good baseline as you plan your travel. There are three options I suggest to you; I highly recommend Option Three but either will get you to your spot.
Option one, I call Taxi Roulette.
This option qualifies as your first chosen Costa Rican adventure. You will have your pick of drivers and their taxis. The vehicles vary in size; from standard car to a 6-to-8 person van. Most are colored red in Costa Rica but you will find orange as well. Do not drive yourself crazy (pun intended) and pick the first trusting looking driver you see and ask “How much?” This is where you begin your first negotiation experience in Costa Rica. A typical taxi ride should use a meter, but with a 75 minute drive to Jaco Beach the meter doesn't matter the cost should range from $80 and $120. I have friends that have negotiated down to as low as $60 and a few that have ended up paying $140. It all depends on how far you want to take the haggle, but in my experience and opinion if you are paying over $100, it’s a hustle. You may have more leverage with more than one traveler because the price per person should bring the cost down. Also, If you are concerned about luggage space, do not be. The driver will make it fit. Once you get in that taxi, which will most likely not be the most comfortable seat, my only advice is embrace the driving culture and try to enjoy the scenery. This ride, with no traffic, should be one hour and twenty minutes. At the beginning it will feel a little nutty and at times unsafe, but most of the drivers know what they are doing and will take great care of you.
Option two, I call Snail Mail.
This option is for the traveler who is comfortable going a little off schedule and savvy with bus commuting/traveling. The public transit system functions well here in Costa Rica, so it’s a matter of the value of your time. The main bus terminal sits a little deeper into San Jose (as the airport sits right on the outer edge). The bus schedule typically runs on time, is easily accessible, and keeps you on the budget travel track. When you exit the airport you can lug your bags to the bus stop which is about a ten minute walk. Hopefully you are lucky enough with timing and you catch the bus dropping off. At this point you can hop on and hopefully find a seat (tickets can be purchased ahead to secure a seat, but they allow more people on for standing room). This bus will head to the main bus terminal, Terminal 7-10. From here you are able to navigate the schedule. If you want to skip the step of taking the bus from the airport to Terminal 7-10 you can grab a taxi or an Uber. Uber will run you between 12 and 15 dollars and a taxi probably closer to 20 dollars. This is a 15 minute ride to terminal 7-10. The bus you catch to Jaco Beach will be two and a half hours, just enough time to nap or listen to your favorite podcasts. Again, this a perfectly viable option but before choosing, determine what your time is worth and and what kind of peace of mind you want as you travel the country.
Option three, I call The No Worries Route.
I highly recommend this as the way to go. The first step here is try to remember if you know anyone in Jaco. If yes and they have a car and are reliable maybe you can arrange through them, but, if not, you will quickly make a new friend through scheduling a reliable transfer service. This takes all the thinking out of the equation. The cost is predictable because you book it ahead and will range from $40 a person to $80 a person. Once you step out of the airport there will be a driver and a sign waiting for you. That’s really all the work you have to do, play the Where’s Waldo game and find your name. Usually the sign is like an old-school lemonade stand sign (paper or cardboard) with your name on it, and there is a small possibility that you see a tablet being used as a sign. Once you spot him in the crowd, take a deep breath and relax. They will insist on helping with the bags/luggage and you should take full advantage of that because its your vacation. The van is comfortable, spacious, and air conditioner is running. Most importantly, the driver will be friendly. If they speak a little English, they will be open to pointing out interesting things during the drive, almost as if you’re getting a mini tour as a bonus. This experience gives you all the peace and comfort you need to start your visit. Usually once you use transfer service you never go back.
No matter what mode you choose, the day drive will provide a little more traffic with more big rigs passing each other (definitely a sight to see), but, overall, it feels more safe because of the daylight. The night drive is what it is: dark. Drivers passing each other while flashing their high-beams on and off, all while taking the winding highway through the hills of the rainforest. Like I said… embrace and enjoy because you will soon be in paradise and feel like a transportation pro. If you you decide to rent a car from the airport, more power to you just make sure to have your GPS ready, and be patient as you go because the road laws/rules are more of a suggested guideline.
Pura Vida and Safe Travels!
If you have spent anytime in Central America recently you might have noticed the new chain of hostels that is quickly popping up everywhere. Selina, began with their first hostel in Panama a few years ago and has been branching out to popular tourist destinations throughout South and Central America. Last year Selina came to Jaco and it didn't take long for it to become one of the most popular spots in town. Long known to only cater to college kids and backpackers, the hostel industry has evolved now to become a place where all sorts of travelers are now considering. Selina's modern concept is hip and fresh, offering more than just a place to sleep but shared work space, actvities and a culture that targets the digital nomad and millennial generation. The Selina in Jaco is located right in the center of the beach, and includes what is now one of the most popular bars on the beach. It is one of the best places to Jaco to grab a drink and take in a sunset or just relax and watch the Jaco scene as surfers look to catch some Jaco's best waves just in front. Selina also features daily pick up volleyball games right on the sand in front. Selina and Jaco seem to be a perfect fit for each other, be sure to check it out the next time you visit Jaco!
Most travelers rely on tripadvisor when it comes to learning about an area's best restaurants. From my experience I've found that many times the top rated restaurants on tripadvisor can be a bit hit or miss, but when it comes to Jaco's current top ranked restaurant on tripadvisor, it sure seems to be pretty spot on. For the past few months Ohana Sushi has held the number one spot on trip advisor, and for good reason. While their amazing rolls and sashimi might be their staple, Ohana is much more than sushi so don't skip it just because your entire group might not be up for sushi. Ohana also features other dishes like salads, teriyaki chicken, skewers and rice bowls. My favorite is their Reef Salad and their No Regrets roll. Also be sure to try one of their popular Ginger Margaritas. The open air restaurant provides a great vibe and prices are more than fair. Located in the center of Jaco. Check their page for more details
Next time you visit Jaco make sure you add Ohana to your list of restaurants to eat at in Jaco!
We have a lot of people who live and visit the Central Pacific for various reasons. Fishing, golfing, biking, yoga retreats, or just some some sunshine at the pool, all our popular activities, but our real bread and butter and our staple continues to be our worldclass surf. The Central Pacific is home to some of the best surfing in Costa Rica. Consistent breaks, uncrowded beaches and warm waters make it a heaven for surfers. Here is a summary of just a few of the most popular surf areas in the Central Pacific. If you have never tried surfing you should really give it a try, lessons are available thoughout the area. And if you looking for a property near these perfect waves be sure to check out these properties for sale in the Central Pacific.
Jaco is a small beachbreak with fun left and right peaks, you can surf almost the entire beach. It tends to close out when the waves are over head-high, or during dead low tide. Great beginner wave, or for a warm-up surf before tackling Nearby Hermosa or Escondida.
Long stretch of beach offering some of the most consistent conditions on the Pacific Coast. A variety of sandbars have formed creating a pounding and tubular beachbreak.
Breaking over a sandbar on the inside and outside on a submerged reef. Generally outside breaks reforms on the inside for more beginner surfers. No crowds and best conditions at high tide on a south swell.
Beach break offering long waves breaking close to the shore. Best conditions at mid – high tide on a south/southwest swell.
This month National Geographic featured Costa Rica in a long article about how it is one country that seems to have it figured out when it comes to joy and happiness. It is a great read and encourage you to check it out here. Always a good reminder of what I think makes this country indeed so special and an even better reminder to make a trip to visit Costa Rica!
Costa Rica continues to grow as a popular tourist destination, but what is interesting is how diverse those tourists are becoming. Traditionally Costa Rica has focused on the United States and Canada for the majority of their tourists, but a concentrated marketing effort in Europe over the past couple years, along with the help of several new direct flights across the Atlantic have propelled the tourism market.. With direct flights to Spain, England, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, and France, we are seeing a strong increase in travelers from throughout Europe.
Another sector that continues to grow is local tourism. Now more than ever, Costa Ricans have more disposable income, along with more cars, leading to many Ticos making much more frequent trips to the beaches for a quick get away. Perhaps no market has benefited more than this than Jaco and moving forward expect to see Jaco and San Jose market merge closer together. Recently I helped launch a local campaign targeting locals and promoting the Jaco area. Take a look below.
Sometimes its easy to forget that tourism in Costa Rica is still relatively young, with both local and international travelers visiting the Central Pacific I feel Jaco is in a strong position to benefit over the long run.
For Costa Rica real estate sales and consulting in the Jaco area be sure to contact David Karr.