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City Guide

Meet Jaco

Welcome to Jaco! This picturesque tropical village is one of the most beautiful beach towns in Costa Rica, famed for its black sand beaches, volcanic formations, and verdant jungles.

Jaco (pronounced ha-KO) was officially founded in 1965, when it separated from the city of Puntarenas. Over the decade-and-a-half, it has become an increasingly popular tourist destination, especially among surfers, who flock to Jaco to ride the waves and enjoy the village’s beautiful black sand beaches. Jaco is also located near a number of incredible wildlife preserves, including Carara National Park, Rainforest Adventures, and Manuel Antonio National Park, all of which contain a stunning array of natural flora and fauna. Jaco is the perfect destination for people who love to get active—in addition to surfing, activities like ATV riding, horseback riding, snorkeling, hiking, and ziplining are all readily available!

Where to live in Jaco

Only about 11,500 people live in Jaco. It’s one of the larger beach communities in Costa Rica, but it’s still definitely not a major city. Although your options are slightly limited within Jaco itself, there are a number of incredible neighborhoods in close proximity to Jaco, if Jaco Beach isn’t quite your style!

Best Neighborhoods in Jaco

Because Jaco is a smaller community, there are not as many different neighborhoods to choose from as you might find in a larger city like Puntarenas or San Jose. That being said, if you’re looking for a relatively more city-like experience with close proximity to Jaco’s amazing nightlife scene, you should definitely settle in Jaco Beach. If you’re looking for a more luxurious, resort-style living experience, choose Herradura Bay. Finally, if you’re looking for a more rural, beachy environment, choose Hermosa Beach!

Quick Facts About Jaco

Jaco is one of Costa Rica’s premier beach destinations. Before you visit this beautiful village, here are some of the important things you need to know:

Work in Jaco

Jaco’s economy is definitely driven predominantly by tourism—the restaurant, hotel, and surfing industries are all huge in Jaco, employing many of its residents. However, there is also a pretty sizeable community of expats, freelancers, and remote workers in Jaco, offering a great support base for those who don’t work in the service and tourism industries.

How good is Jaco for Digital Nomads or Remote Work

Remote work is changing how the global workspace operates. In a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down, remote work is rapidly on the increase all around the world—especially in a place like Jaco. And about 25% of remote workers describe themselves as digital nomads—those who like to travel or stay in cities around the world while they work. So, how good is Jaco for both of these growing movements?

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Food and Drink in Jaco

There’s a surprisingly wide variety of different cuisines available in Jaco—although many restaurants serve seafood and/or Central American food, you can find anything from sushi to pasta to burgers to falafel in Jaco! For delicious Mexican food, definitely stop by El Chicano Mexican Food, Tacobar Jaco Beach, or Los Mahi Tacos de Cholo. If you’re craving Asian food, try Ohana Sushi Tapas Bar, Tsunami Sushi, or Jerah, which serves Thai cuisine. For some of the best burgers in town, stop by Ridiculous Burgers or Papas and Burgers. If you’re looking for Italian food, you can’t go wrong with The Pizza Shop, Pizza Pata, or Amanciano’s Pizza, Pasta, and Drinks. Finally, for an incredible fine dining experience, try Adventure Dining, Lemon Zest Restaurant, Amara’s, El Hicaco, or Adacus Restaurant.