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Jaco / Playa Hermosa / Esterillos
The Jaco area It has every type of lodging, from $10 cabinas with the beach out back to the Los Suenos Marriot, with its own golf course "private beach". If you take your car surfing, never leave any valuables in it, but you should bring your passport and drivers license - since there are plenty of places where the police are waiting to bust you for speeding. What is nice is that from Isla Damas to Boca Barranca, it's well paved and wide open. The views are also fantastic so enjoy the ride. Jaco has plenty of shops for surfers and souvenier hunters, as well as a hefty nightlife. Get up early to catch some waves like these below, because by 9 a.m. the wind could be on it along with thirty other "friends"..
YouTube Video by SunSeekerProductions of Backyard Bar Surf Contest
September 4th, 2010 (good example of rainy season surf)
From the airport, Jaco is the closest surf town - a drive of one hour and 30 minutes through the mountains. There is now a toll road that cuts down on the time but is less scenic.
Upcoming Events: Fiesta de La Virgen del Mar (The Fiesta of the Virgin of the Sea) - This celebration is held on the Saturday closest to the 16th of July. The event is held in Puntarenas by a procession of decorated fishing boats carrying a statue of La Virgen del Monte Carmelo (the city's patron saint) and a special mass.
Check out the results and photos by TuaniX Surf Magazine of the recent Puerto Viejo Open Pro held in Jaco on June 21st. Maykol Torres won the event.
From Chuck at WOW Surf Shop in Jaco (5/16/14): Jaco is on fire with public works and we now have a our new CIVI CENTER open and operating with a new skatepark and public auditorium along with INA classrooms and our new Community Growth Association [I am a hard working part of the group] office will be open there starting June 1st. Goals are to help educate more of Jaco's citizens of all ages in both community activities and free classes in things like lifesaving, recycling, English, basic accounting and business operation skills along with many others. We also will be in charge of activities like our Art Festival, Concerts and of course the Annual TOPE JACO or Horse Parade.We are part of the force driving the growth and prosperity that comes with the remodeling and design of the NEW JACO! Take part and get involved if you'd like but best of all come visit us bring your family and HAPPY SURFING!
Shannon at the Bluegrass Cafe in Playa Hermosa de Jaco is having music jam sessions on Sunday afternoons. Bring your instrument and come join the group.
If you mention CRSURF at least 20% off on all new surfboards [even Hayden HYPTO KRYPTO] at WOW Surf Shop. Bring cash and say you saw it on CR SURF or our WOW SURF website!
The Bluegrass Cafe and American style bakery is now open in Playa HERMOSA south of Jaco, offering breads, cakes, sweet rolls, pies and other assorted goodies to locals and travelers alike. Stop on in and see what the fuss is all about.
Get a 15% discount (from 15th of April to November 30th) at La Dolce Vita hotel, just by mentioning CRSURF when making your reservation!
Hotel Poseidon in Jaco is offering rooms Sunday Through Thursday $65+tax, Fri/Sat $85+ for 2people. If you book 2 nights or more we will add an additional 25% discount. Restaurant – 2 for1 Dinner Entrees through October 31st.
When Boca Barranca is big, this peak is overhead too. It breaks past an old pier and a boulder sized rock jetty which has built up the sand to the south of it. To the north the wave jacks on the takeoff and then has a mushy wall for up to 100 meters. The water is dirty, the local bodyboarders on it, and there is only one peak to sit on.
Boca Barranca is one of the longest lefts in the world. It needs a good double overhead Southwest swell to get up in the Gulf of Nicoya and make it work. The walk over the crusty cobblestones and paddling through San Jose's runoff is irritating, but worth it when it is big. It can be packed with locals, longboarders, and day trippers from Jaco. Or if you catch it early when the swell is not too massive, the drift will spread 10-20 people out nicely. Major drift factor, waves can break all the way to the pier, and then you walk back. There is parking with a security guard and showers, but how secure is unknown.
Caldera has wedging barrels and pounding closeout sections. The rights are short and tubes dark with dirty water and sand dredged up from the swell. Breaks best at head high to two feet overhead. Lots of bodyboarders and mostly all locals so give respect.
This left hand point breaks off of big rocks that are exposed at lower tides. Long walls up to 200 meters can be found. The best angle is SSW, to much West and it closes out fast. The water here can be polluted, so disinfect after surfing. The road here is hard to follow so leave well before dark.
Little Fiji is a left that breaks off an rock ledge offering a 100 meter ride with a nice barrel on the takeoff. The inside is sketchy, especially at lower tides when it works better. Never a crowd since not many surfers want to take the risk if it is better at Playa Escondida. When the tide fills in, it goes flat
Escondida is a true A-frame with a short barreling right and a longer left that also throws out when it is big. Only access is my boat or through Los Suenos Resort. There is only 2 peaks, inside and outside, so it can be crowded with six people on it. Imagine 30 people trying to surf it when it's double overhead. The rock shelf sticks out at lower tides, so be careful.
Playa Jaco is a beachbreak that breaks smaller during southern swells since it is sheltered in a more west facing bay. Best size is chest high to a foot overhead, any bigger and it closes out. Best tides are two hours before high tide. There are a lot of peaks along the 3 kilometer beach, but a few better ones get crowded with tourists and locals on the weekend. The low tide whitewater reform is a great place for beginners to learn and lessons are usually given here.
Roca Loca (Crazy Rock) is a right that breaks off a big rock at the far south end of Jaco bay, and just north of Playa Hermosa. It starts working at overhead and will hold surf up to triple overhead, but often closes out at that size. Lots of theft so leave nothing in your car, and the hike down from the parking area to the narrow take off spot is tricky. It is rarely crowded and works best at midtide.
Playa Hermosa - Terrazas
Hotel Terraza del Pacifico sits in front of this beachbreak at the north end of Playa Hermosa. It works best 1-2 hours before high tide, at dead high breaks right on the shore (good for skimboarding) There are a couple of rocks that boil up at lower tides and provide a nice takeoff spot. Waves break both left and right. Crowds can be bad, but other peaks are located farther south that break the same.
Playa Hermosa - El Almendro
The Tree is a massive almond tree that sits on the dirt road running parallel to the beach in Playa Hermosa, about 400 meters south of the Backyard Hotel. Even though it is notorious for theft, many people park here and surf right out back where the drift tends to spread apart the crowds. Best best from head high to double overhead. Bigger surf closes out and at low tide it closes out. So get there between midtide and high tide. If you keep driving south down the dirt road, you may find other empty peaks.
Esterillos has three beaches, Oeste (West), Central, and Este (East). This one is the most popular with surfers since besides the beachbreak there is a rock shelf that extends several hundred meters off the beach. There is a big mermaid statue that sits above the water, marking where the shelf lies. At lower tides the waves can break waaaay far out, with big mushy walls for longboarders and funshapes. The inside wave is more hollow, offering a few barrels at the higher tides. Surfers arrive in mass from Jaco and Hermosa from June to August, and from January to March.
A 2 km. stretch of beachbreaks, with a rivermouth at both ends. It breaks best at higher tides with a South southwest swell to give it some angle. Best size is chest high to a foot overhead, when it is bigger it will close out.
This beach is the farthest east in Esterillos, and the most remote. Surfers rarely come here, since the beachbreak only works towards high tide and then others spots will break better. Works best from chest to overhead and a south southwest swell. The Xandari Resort and Spa is located here, great for a secluded honeymoon surf trip.
Bejuco is a dark sand south facing beachbreak like most others, but for some reason breaks a little harder and more hollow than other beaches. A rivermouth at the eastern end may be building up the sandbars, so come here if you empty lineups and the chance to get barreled. Be wary of the strong rips, too.
Palo Seco (Dry Branch) is a wide empty stretch of beach with lots of waves and nobody on them. It works best around high tide, and at all other times closes out. The water is a little dirty at times from Parrita pollution, and two big estuaries provide feeding grounds for crocs and sharks.
Description: The surf camp features three lovely guest bungalows, each with an unobstructed view of the ocean. Each of the bungalows has two individual rooms with private baths, air conditioning, two single beds or one queen-sized bed and large porches. The porches are ideal for relaxing in hammocks and watching the sun rise and set over the Pacific Ocean. Our bungalows are equipped with small safes for the storage of valuables. Guests of the camp can relax in our pool, hang out in hammocks on the porches, or wander around the camp gardens lined by fruit trees and flowers.
Description: Beginners: Learn to surf in the warm tropical waters of Costa Rica with the help of our friendly and experienced staff. You will learn the basics of paddling, standing, and turning, as well as wave selection and other fundamental skills. We have to warn you though: Surfing is addictive! Intermediate/Advanced Surfers: Surf students with previous surfing experience are taken on guided surf sessions in the Playa Jacó / Hermosa area. SURFING AND SPANISH This combo is one of our most popular programs. The Spanish class schedule is written with the tides and best surf times in mind so that you can learn the language and enjoy Jacó's favorite pastime.
Description: A boutique style hotel located in the middle of Jaco Beach Costa Rica. Amenities include a swimming pool, restaurant, 2 bars and swim up pool bar, 1/2 block from the beach, a/c rooms with large cable TV's and stocked mini-bars and American owned and operated. Surfing, sportfishing, canopy tours, horseback riding, rafting, scuba diving, snorkeling, ocean kayaking, jungle river cruise, birdwatching, rainforest hikes, waterfall hikes, Manuel Antonio National Park tours, Arenal Volcano tours and golfing are some of the activities in and around Jaco Beach, Costa Rica.
Description: The beach of Esterillos is known for its natural beauty, its surf waves that appeal surfers from all over the world and for the presence of wonderful tropical birds. The Hotel has seven apartments facing a wonderful garden and swimming pool. Each apartment has patio/deck, terrazzo-balcony and is smartly furnished, bathroom with hot water, air conditioning, fan, kitchen, fridge, a bedroom with double bed and a living room with a sofa-bed.
GUEST TESTIMONIALS: Some comments from our guests taken from Trip Advisor international traveler website
Description: Five different room types: Single Cabina, Deluxe Cabinas, Mountain View Suites, Pool View Suite, Suite w/livingroom, and Ocean View Suite. All of the rooms offer:
Hot Water, Cable Tv, Air Conditioning, Beach Front Pool, Kitchenette in room, Nightly Security Gaurd, In Room Safe, and Wireless Internet
Chris Karrer from Herradura Divers has returned from Italy to run the 2013 dive season. You dive local sites or spend a full day diving and snorkeling out at Isla Tortuga. Herradura Divers provides PADI Certifcation courses, the PADI Open Water Diver, and specialty courses like Deep, Wreck, Nitrox or Rescue Diver and certification as PADI Dive Master. Check out www.herraduradivers.com or call 2637-7123 for more.
Arnoldo Ramírez has established Cascada Salvaje, a new mountain bike and hike park in Playa Hermosa Garabito. It features 1.7 kilometers of basic single-track trails and 3 kilometers of intermediate trails. It offers mountain biking skills lessons, guided trips on the property and a rental fleet of bikes from children’s cruisers to front suspension bikes. Trail passes and use of the park cost $25 per day for those 13 and older. It is $15 for children under 12, and there are discounts for nationals with cédula cards. For more information, call Arnoldo at 8729-5555 or visit www.cascadasalvaje.com.
Ocean Ranch Eco Park, just South of Playa Hermosa, offers zip-lines, waterfall rappelling, horseback riding and low-impact quads. For more information, visit www.oceanranchpark.com or call 2643-2182. Michael Marino from Costa Rica Waterfall Tours is set up in Il Galeone in the center of town and can help you and your guests discover the magic of waterfalls throughout the zone. They offer an explorer, an extreme adventurer, a jungle trekker tour or canyoning in the waterfall. Vladimir or Joe can help you out at the information stand and can be reached at 2643-1834. For more information, visit www.costaricawaterfalltours.com.
In the village of Mata De Plátano, British husband and wife team Chris and Andrea Wady continue to deliver award-winning horseback tours. Whether you are an experienced rider or new to the saddle, their jungle spa horseback riding adventure is a special treat. They also offer rides out of their Esterillos farm, through the local village of Montilmar or tropical beach rides. Check their website for details, www.horseridecostarica. com or call 8838-7550.
Gordon Nichol’s ATV Adventure Tours is located next to Subway in Jacó. Paolo Castro can help you get your tour arranged with choices of two, three or four-hour tours that can include a trip to a waterfall or the tilapia farm. For more information, call 2643-5720 or visit www.adventuretourscostarica.com.
Enrique Fontaine from AXR Tours has three locations set up in Jacó: AXR in front of Pancho Villa (2643-3130); AXR on Bohío (2634-6463) and AXR next to Century 21 (2643-6465). For more information visit www.axrjaco.com.
Kayak Jacó is based in Playa Agujas and run by Neil and Yasmin Kahn. They not only feature kayak tours, but also a sailboat for private charter. You can sail, troll, snorkel, swim or just catch the Pacific coast sunsets. Kayak tours depart from their base in Playa Agujas at 8:05 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 1:40 p.m. For more information, see www.kayakjaco. com or call 2643-1233.
In Herradura Bay, Freddy Castro is running jet-skis, water boarding and floating rafts for rent. He will also offer tours to Escondida, Caletas and Punta Leona. For more information, contact Freddy by email or call 8540-8541.
Jacó Canopy Tour of Miro’s mountain on the south side of Jacó consists of 12 cables and 14 platforms. The total distance of the cables is 1,950 meters. The hours are 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, including holidays. The tours are held at 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. For reservations, call 2643-6428 or email.
Canopy Vista Los Sueños is located in Herradura and offers daily tours on the hour from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. The canopy tour includes 15 platforms and 14 cables, with a total cable distance of 3.5 kilometers, including the longest cable in the area (2,400 ft) and breathtaking views of the Gulf of Nicoya and the Pacific. For more information, call 8342-3683 or 8898-3741.
The Chiclets Tree Canopy Tour is located five minutes south of Jacó in Playa Hermosa, and consists of 14 suspended platforms connected by steel cables high above the forest floor. Chiclets offers tours at 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. For reservations, call 2643-1880. For all of these; it is best to have close-toed shoes, comfortable clothing, sunscreen, and your camera.
For Stand Up Paddle Boarding Tours: look up the seven-time national surf champion: Alvaro Solano from Vista Guapo Surf Camp at www.vistaguapa.com or call 2643-2830. He has boards available for large groups
Chuck’s Wow Surf in downtown Jacó 2643-3844 has surfboards to rent. There are many additional surf shops and lesson-providers along the main street.
Pacific Bungee is located south of the Red Cross in Jacó and open from 9 a.m-9 p.m. Your choices are a straight jump, a water touchdown or a nighttime bungee experience. For more information, visit www.pacificbungee.com or call 2643-6682.
Description: Sail the pacific coast of Costa Rica while stopping at coastal (and island) national parks and private reserves. Sail, swim, snorkel, fish, AND hike through rainforests while viewing the varied flora and fauna of Costa Rica. They offer itinerary choices of 3- or 6- days so you can make this the focus of your Costa Rica trip, or easily combine it with other adventures.
Chiclets Zip Line Canopy Tour
Description: The unique combination in between mountain and the beach offer spectacular breack taking views of the ocean from the platforms, our customers will glide thru the forest on thirteen platforms, eleven cables, and one suspension bridge that walk across. Video of tour on YouTube - LINK
Description: For those seeking the adrenaline rush. Try freefalling while attached to a dynamic rope off of an arm with a fully equipped diving platform into a twelve feet deep swimming pool. This is a free fall of 40 meters (120 feet). OR if you want more action, sign up for the Rocket Launcher or the Big Swing Option!
Description: Kayak Jaco has been providing guests with high quality kayak tours here in the Central Pacific zone for more than 10 years. Their Sea Kayaking and Snorkeling tour is a fun adventure thru the incredible scenery along the Central Pacific Coast leaving from Playa Agujas. The tour is ½ day affair with departures available at 8.15 am and 2.15 pm. Custom Fishing Kayak Tours can be arranged as well. Additionally, the Outrigger Canoe Tour can be used for groups of 7 persons.
Description: Experience the magic of Costa Rica Waterfalls here in the Central Pacific zone. Costa Rica Waterfall Tours has put together 4 different options for exploring waterfalls in our area. The Explorer, The Jumper, The Jungle Trekker and the Extreme Adventurer offer an option for everyone. Whether it is sitting in a natural pool, surrounded by trees and wildlife or experiencing the adrenaline rush of cliff jumping into waterfalls, you will find their options one of the best tours in the Central Pacific zone. They will pick you up at your rental and head South from Surf Inn to visit the waterfalls which seem like they are carved right out of the rainforest. Prices range from $69 to $139 per person depending on which tour you select. This tour operator has also won the "Certificate of Excellence" Award by Tripadvisor 2011.
Description: This tour offers a level of cruising luxury which makes it one of our tours highly recommended by our guests. Early in the day, the catamaran will pass thru the islands of San Lucas, Gypsy, Sugar Loaf, Guayabo; Jesusita, Cedros and Negritos with Tortuga Island as the final destination. Particularly enchanting for it's beauty, Tortuga Island is known for its immaculate white sand beach and turquoise waters, a perfect stop for safe swimming, snorkeling and Calypso's famous lunch which has been featured in Gourmet Magazine.
7/22 -Hermosa was quite fun today some 3-4ft and glassy a.m. with not too many people about!
Fun surf for sure, great morning tides and you can surf just about anywhere between here and there right now!
Got some great deals going on in the shop right now and if you are surf school /surf shop operator and need boards it’s a great time to get some new NSPs, a fresh arrival of 2014 on the books for Wednesday the 23rd! We will be offering some great buy here pay here deals out of our warehouse! Thanks for letting us help you do good business!
7/23 - New SSW showing for FUN waves this morning 3-5ft+ Overcast here in Playa Hermosa makes for a great day of surfing.
Outlook is good the next few days as more swell fills in.
Every Friday and Saturday- there are grassroots local surf contests being held in front of the Backyard around 4PM followed by live music. MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR THE FINALS OF THE NATIONAL SURF CIRCUIT TO BE HELD IN PLAYA HERMOSA JULY 25th, 26th & 27th!
Whether you are a local or a surfer from half-way around the world, WOW Surf is your destination for all your surfing needs while in Central America. This is where the locals come and go to share knowledge and get their gear. They pride ourselves on great service, knowledge and a laid back attitude. They strive to have the largest selection, newest equipment and best prices. Serving travelers and surfers in Costa Rica for over 20 years.
Located on the main road in Jaco, on the east side of the road just past Century 21 Realty.
De Carton: "En realidad es solo el amor por el mar y sus movimientos, la belleza de sus formas, la felicidad de sus colores, la paz de sus paisajes y el disfrute de poder reflejarlo en la gente por medio de mis tablas."
The shop is located at the south end of Jaco, about 50 meters towards the beach from the Costanera, just south of the gas station. Quality board rentals, repairs, and the newest shapes crafted with carino.
CR Surf Travel Co. is an independent agent of Dugan's Travels, which is certified by CLIA, IATAN, and Vacation.com. California Registered Seller 2054922-40 / Washington Registered Seller 602327942 / Fla. Seller of Travel Ref No. ST35992. Please refer to our travel policy page for all information on our travel services.