Top 15 Things To Do In Jaco, Costa Rica - Updated 2024

things to do in jaco costa rica
| 8 min read

The town of Jaco is about one hour’s drive from San Jose – Costa Rica’s capital. It has a reputation of being the surfing Mecca of Costa Rica, but also, it is a great destination for adventurous folks in need of the perfect tropical getaway in this small central Pacific coastal town. With lush green mountains, sparkling expanses of fine sand beaches, and a plethora of outdoor activities, this is a destination you head to after leaving your high heels, makeup kit and ironed shirt behind, because they will stop you from having fun. If you are wondering what awaits you in this magical destination, then here is an overview of some of the things to do in Jaco, Costa Rica.

1. Enjoy an adventure canopy and high ropes course (from USD 65.0)

things to do in jaco costa rica | enjoy an adventure canopy and high ropes course

If you are ready for the mountains and would like to experience a real adrenaline rush, this two-hour tour will be a very exciting option for you. This is a course with a total of 13 obstacles designed to challenge you with varying difficulties, but they are fun, safe and easy for everyone. You begin by climbing a stairway to heaven which leads to a zipline adventure. After the zipline, you will go across two bridges designed to elevate your confidence level, then a tire pass, followed by a cargo net, a Swing Walk, Tarzan Swing, a log pass, before wrapping it up with a final zipline. It is designed for lots of fun, and if you are above the age of five years, you can complete all the challenges without any difficulty.

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Jaco: 2-hour Adventure Canopy and High Ropes Course

Duration: 1.5 hour

2. Go on an adventure at The Park At Ocean Ranch

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The Park at Ocean Ranch is a true heaven for the adventurous soul. It is the place to be if you need a decent adventure park with a plethora of fun and exciting activities. The park features an 850-acre (343-hectare) property with hiking trails, robust flora and fauna, 3 miles (4.8km) of river, and a total of six waterfalls. It is an incredible place if you don’t mind getting wet and muddy because there will be no escaping when the fun starts. You can be sure that you will get tired and hungry, but there is a rancho-style restaurant on site where you will find plenty of cold beverages as well as a variety of authentic Costa Rican delicacies.

The Park at Ocean Ranch

Address: Jaco, Provincia de Puntarenas, Quebrada Amarilla, Costa Rica

Website: The Park at Ocean Ranch

Opening hours: 7am - 7pm (daily)

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3. Tour the abandoned ruins of El Miro

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The abandoned ruins of El Miro is another great destination for nature and adventure lovers. There may not be so much to see here, but the experience of going up the hill along the tiny paths while immersed in a complete jungle is worth making the trip. If you are visiting with family or with a loved one, and you want a quiet hiking spot that is not frequented by the majority, then this will be a great choice. Once you reach the top, you will fall in love with the views down below, and you will most certainly love the views of the Pacific from the top.

El Miro

Address: Puntarenas Province, Jaco, Costa Rica

Website: El Miro

Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 12 USD

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4. Enjoy beach parties on Playa Jaco

Jaco Beach. Costa Rica
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sandra Cohen-Rose... used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Costa Rica is known for its strikingly beautiful beaches, and Playa Jaco is one such beach that you wouldn’t wish to leave. It is in a peaceful and serene environment, surrounded by lush green jungles, and full of soft fine sand. Not only this, but the beach is one of the wildest party beaches in the country and a top attraction for both land-lubbers and wave worshippers. This is actually the Las Vegas of Costa Rica!

Playa Jaco

Address: Jaco, Costa Rica

Website: Playa Jaco

Opening hours: Always open

Price: Free

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5. Enjoy an off-road thrill with Howling Monkey Adventure

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Howling Monkey Adventure is for the off-road enthusiasts who wish to experience an adventure like no other in TOMCARS. It features a thrilling ride on safe, high-level performance off-road units which were initially designed for use by the Israeli military. It will take you through winding trails towards a private waterfall, and along the way, you will be treated to magnificent sceneries as well as a few sightings of wild animals. There are water breaks as well as photo breaks to let you freshen up and make some memories through your camera lenses.

Howling Monkey Adventure

Address: Jaco, Costa Rica, Calle Jaco Sol, Puntarenas Province, Jaco, Costa Rica

Website: Howling Monkey Adventure

Opening hours: 7am - 8:30pm (daily)

Price: 125 USD

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6. Marvel at the beauty of the butterflies at Royal Butterfly Garden

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

There is no denying that butterflies are some of the most amazing insects in the world, and certain species are unique to a certain region. With the jungles of Costa Rica, you can expect to find a humongous variety of species, and instead of venturing out into the jungle to find them, all you need to do is simply visit Royal Butterfly Garden in Jaco. The garden exists with the main aim of conserving, reproducing, and protecting local butterfly species through education, research, and production. You will find a healthy population of various species, and also get to learn more about their life cycles, food, and threats to their existence.

Royal Butterflies

Address: 50m este del puente de Río Seco Puntarenas Quebrada Amarilla, Jaco, 61101, Costa Rica

Website: Royal Butterflies

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 8am - 1pm; (closed on Sun)

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7. Shop for souvenirs at Tico Pod Art House & Gifts

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

It is common to buy unique products as souvenirs from the places you travel to, and when in Jaco, Tico Pod Art House & Gifts shop is where you will find a variety of items made in Jaco and the surrounding areas. There is a huge selection of jewelry, handmade bags, Boruca masks, books, oils and balms, leather purses, and toys which will make very nice gifts for your loved ones back at home. All the items in the store are sourced from the best workshops and studios in Jaco, and this is to ensure that you get the very best.

Tico Pod Art House & Gifts

Address: Pastor Diaz Ave, Puntarenas Province, Jaco, Costa Rica

Website: Tico Pod Art House & Gifts

Opening hours: 9am - 9pm (daily)

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8. Buy a painting at Zukia Gallery

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Zukia Gallery is another place worth visiting if you are looking to carry back home a nice piece of art to remind you of your Jaco trip. The gallery majors mainly on paintings and other similar artwork from Jaco and the surrounding regions. The art comprises of a variety of themes, including nature, the ocean, plants, animals and a few abstract paintings. You may also find a few collections of handmade jewelry and toys, and you are always free to make your purchase, and the gallery will deliver it to your home address.

Zukia Gallery

Address: Puntarenas Province, Jaco, Costa Rica

Website: Zukia Gallery

Opening hours: 9am - 8pm (daily)

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9. Indulge in Costa Rican food at Graffiti Resto Café & Wine Bar

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

This is a funky, and comfortable bistro-style restaurant ideal for enjoying authentic Costa Rican flavors and sipping a cold drink after a day of exploration. The restaurant has a blackboard menu that changes daily based on what is being prepared for the day. This is where you come to when you want to indulge in the freshest products, seafood, meats, vegetables, and fruits in Jaco.

Graffiti Resto Café & Wine Bar

Address: Jaco Walk Open Air Shopping Center, Avenida Pastor Diaz, Provincia de Puntarenas, Jacó, 61101, Costa Rica

Website: Graffiti Resto Café & Wine Bar

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 5pm - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 5pm - 11pm

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10. Have a fun night out at The Back Room

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The Back Room is a sports bar that also doubles up as a club. It is a very popular joint among the locals as well as the visitors. If you want to have a glimpse of the nightlife in Jaco, then take some time and spend an evening in this cave, either alone or in the company of friends. Either way, the club is a very vibrant establishment known for great drinks and cool music.

The Back Room

Address: Pastor Diaz Ave, Puntarenas Province, Jaco, Costa Rica

Website: The Back Room

Opening hours: Wed: 9pm - 12:30am; Thu - Sun: 4pm - 12:30am (closed on Mon & Tue)

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11. Dance the night away at Le Loft

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Le Loft is another great joint for the night owls whose definition of partying features great company, nice music, ever-flowing drinks, and super sexy ladies. This is where most foreigners troop to when they want a night full of drinking and making merry. It is a popular joint, especially with the younger tourists, and those who would love to have passions of the flesh in Jaco. It opens up to 4 am, and if you walk in any time after 1 am, be sure to find a full house, with lots of hookers lined along the entrance.

Le Loft

Address: across from Pops, Puntarenas Province, Jaco, Costa Rica

Website: Le Loft

Opening hours: Thu - Sat: 10pm - 4am; Sun: 10pm - 12am (closed from Mon - Wed)

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12. Watch a movie at CCM Cinemas

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

¿Qué te parece el nuevo póster de #Eternals? Estreno noviembre 2021.

Posted by CCM Cinemas on Monday, May 24, 2021

Watching movies in new places comes with a different kind of feeling you will never have when you go to the movies in your hometown, and this is an experience worth having when you visit Jaco, Costa Rica. CCM Cinemas is right within downtown, and if you are tired from all the adventure and the explorations, it would be a nice idea to relax for a movie at the cinemas. You can check online to know what is scheduled so that you know what you will be watching and the time it will be airing.

CCM Cinemas

Address: Centro Comercial Plaza Coral, local#53 Jaco Puntarenas CR, Provincia de Puntarenas, 61101, Costa Rica

Website: CCM Cinemas

Opening hours: 2am - 9:30pm (daily)

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13. Tour the rain forest on an aerial tram (from USD 73.5)

things to do in jaco costa rica | tour the rain forest on an aerial tram

How about enjoying the magical views of giant treetops, a 40-foot (12-meter) waterfall, while taking in deep breaths of the cold forest air as you glide by on a tram? Well, you can expect this and a lot more with the Pacific Aerial Tram Rainforest Tour. The tour will take you to the heart of a mixed rainforest on a tram. You will not only enjoy the smooth rides and the nice views but also you will appreciate the diversity that exists among the tropical flora and the medicinal plants you will be hovering above. You will also get very close to wildlife when you pass by the snake exhibit, as you get a detailed explanation of everything you will be seeing.

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Jaco Beach: Pacific Aerial Tram at Rainforest Adventures

Duration: 2.5 hour

22 reviews

14. Get a bird’s view of the jungle on an aerial tram tour (from USD 95.0)

things to do in jaco costa rica | get a bird’s view of the jungle on an aerial tram tour

Go for an exciting canopy tour with an aerial tram and appreciate the full beauty of the Costa Rican jungles. This tour features a professional naturalist guide who will wow you with some secrets of both the primary and secondary rainforests you will be hovering above. However, the highlight of the tour is to peacefully observe the surrounding from an aerial perspective and appreciate the diversity that exists in the jungle. If it is your first time, this adrenalin-pumping action is bound to leave you with an unforgettable experience.

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Canopy Zip line & Aerial Tram Tour

Duration: 3.0 hour

4 reviews

15. Catch some fish with Jaco Tours Sport Fishing

Fishing is an endeavor you must strive for when you visit Jaco, Costa Rica. The region is blessed with a plethora of fishing spots, and whether or not you have ever fished before, this is something you have to try not just for the sake of it, but because an exciting experience awaits you, and you will also have access to professional guides and the right equipment to make you feel like a real pro. Besides, there is a variety of fish in the Jaco waters, including some seasonal species that you can catch only on certain times of the year. If you have a preference for the species you want to catch, be sure to ask the guide for the best advice.

Jaco Tours Sport Fishing

Address: Jaco, Costa Rica, Pastor Díaz Av. Plaza Coral, local # 20 61101 Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Website: Jaco Tours Sport Fishing

Opening hours: 9am - 10pm (daily)

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Los Suenos Sport Fishing Private Half- or Full-Day Tour

Duration: 9 hours

101 reviews

A memorable trip to Jaco

Jaco Beach
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Andidut used under CC BY-SA 3.0

You will always find a lot of things to do in Jaco, Costa Rica. All you need is a plan on how to get the most out of your visit. Irrespective of your preferences, Jaco will always be fun if you love tropical destinations. Take part in the things to do on our list above and enjoy a memorable trip to Jaco.

Frequently asked questions about best things to do in Jaco, Costa Rica

  • What are the top attractions to visit in Jaco?

    Tourists visiting Jaco for the first time should definitely add these top attractions to their itineraries: the ruins of El Miro, the stunning Playa Jaco, and Royal Butterfly Garden, to see some of the most stunning insects in the world up close.

  • What are the best outdoor activities in Jaco?

    Jaco offers countless adventures for outdoor lovers. From a canopy and a high ropes course with Jaco Ropes Adventure Tour and exploring the jungle on an aerial tram to meeting new friends at beach parties in Playa Jaco and going on an off-road trip with Howling Monkey Adventure.

  • What are the best day trips from Jaco?

    If you’re in Jaco, you can easily go on a day trip to the famous Carara National Park, which is just 20 minutes away. Else, take a 1.5-hour-long road trip to visit Costa Rica’s capital and its largest city, San Jose.

  • What are the most popular things to do in Jaco with kids?

    If you’re planning a family trip to Jaco, Costa Rica, some kid-friendly activities range from a relaxed movie-viewing experience at CCM Cinemas to a high-energy ropes course with Jaco Ropes Adventure Tour. The latter is great for the whole family, especially if your young ones have always wanted to swing like Tarzan!

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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