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View of airplane at SJO airport in San Jose Costa Rica with mountains in the background

Q&A about planning a Costa Rica Vacation.

Vacations to Costa Rica can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Costa Rica is a beautiful country with diverse landscapes: from stunning beaches to lush rainforests and epic mountain ranges. Below are some frequently asked questions with answers. By following these general tips, and booking with Jaco VIP, our vacation planning experts will guide you to an unforgettable vacation experience.

Do I Need Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is available and recommended to protect your travel investment. Many trips, such as accommodation deposits, tours and boat charters, involve non-refundable funds paid months in advance. Travel insurance protects you from losing this investment. Perhaps even more important is the ‘during travel’ coverage.

Trip interruption due to illness or unforeseen circumstances can be very expensive, and medical care abroad is often not covered by domestic insurance plans. JacoVIP is not a provider of travel insurance but a quick Google search for “cancel for any reason travel insurance” will provide you with several options.

How safe is Jaco Beach Costa Rica?

With some common sense, it can be said that Jaco Beach is very safe and can be enjoyed nearly everywhere at any time. Going to the beach at night is not recommended. It is dark and could be dangerous to swim in the ocean at night.

Is Jaco safe at night?

Yes. Generally speaking, most anyone would feel safe to walk along the main strip at night. There are police officers patrolling the main streets and private security guards at many private properties.

What is the weather in Jaco Beach Costa Rica?

Please ignore online weather forecast you may see prior to arriving here in Jaco Beach. The weather and temperature in Costa Rica varies dramatically by region. In Jaco, the weather is most often sunny with temperatures around 80-90°F (28-32°C) during the day, and a few degrees cooler at night.

There is not a weather station within one hour North or South of Jaco. Most of the forecasts you see online are refering to the capital city of San Jose or at the airport in Alajuela (next to San Jose). The weather down on the central Coast is nothing like up in San Jose. San Jose is located at a much higher elevation (4000') up in the highlands, while we are located down at sea level and enjoy much better weather.

"The digital weather reports of Jaco are not always accurate since they are generalized for a large area. There may be rain or even a thunderstorm in the next town or bay, while sunny and clear here in Jaco."

When is Costa Rica Rainy Season?

The rainy season in Costa Rica varies tremendously depending on region. In the Jaco Beach area, we tend see almost no rain from December to May, then some showers and occasional rain storms from May to September.

What is typicaly considered to be "winter" or "rainy season" is from mid September until late November but there are still many beautiful sunny days in this season. On some days, there can be heavy rain, either in the morning or late at night, but no monsoons. Even during the rainiest of days, we often see the sun come out. Temperatures during rainy season do not change very much, and are comfortable with daytime averages between 75-85°F (23-29°C) and a little cooler in the evenings and at night.

From December to May you rarely see any rain clouds here in this area. Obviously, we don't know what Mother Nature is going to do... From May to November the Pacific coast beach regions, rainy season does not mean each day will bring downpours. Some days it may not rain at all. For the most part, the mornings are bright and sunny, followed by an hour or two of rain in the afternoon.

Where should a bachelor party stay in Costa Rica?

Without any doubt or competition, Jaco Beach is the best place to stay in Costa Rica for a bachelor party or for any other group of friends coming to Costa Rica to vacation and party. There are many other beach towns in Costa Rica that are cute and have lovely beaches, but they are also sleepy and have very little party.

The main city in Costa Rica is San Jose, which has a couple of cool clubs, but everything is really spread out, a little sketchy, and there is not much else to do.

Where is the nightlife in Jaco?

If you're looking for the best straight up dance club then Republik Lounge is the hottest party spot in Jaco. It is a great place for a group of friends to get a VIP table with bottle service, or just to order a few beers at the bar. Other popular clubs in town include Orange Pub, Man Cave and Le Loft

The best casino in Jaco is at the Cocal Hotel which has a very popular Pool Bar and plenty of party there too.

There are also some good locals bars in town, and a few on the beach that are great for happy hour and sunset drinks. Your Jaco VIP Concierge will get you into whichever type of scene you are in the mood for.

What is Jaco's nightlife like?

Jaco used to be a sleepy surf town but has since grown to a large beach town now boasting stylish VIP Lounges with bottle service, Dance Clubs that are open until morning, Beach Bars and Rock Bars - some just feet from the beach with spectacular views, and many others that line up and down the main strip in Jaco center.

Most Clubs and Bars have popular nights and times that are most busy and full of fellow party mongers. When you book with JacoVIP, your concierge will help guide your specific party needs and desires.

House and Techno / Hip Hop / Classic Rock / Salsa / 80s Hits / Reggaeton / Funk and Disco / Live Music or DJ -- Whatever you’re into, there’s a spot in Jaco that is sure to please.

What kind of dining and restaurants are available?

Local Sodas (Costa Rican restaurant) - American Classics - Mexican Food - Sushi - Italian and others. Once again, Jaco has it all. There are a wide variety of restaurants in Jaco, as well as some fantastic alternatives in neighboring beach towns, and so it pays to know where to go. JacoVIP supplies you with everything you need to find your way around town.

Are there casinos in Jaco?

Gambling is legal in Costa Rica. The Jaco Beach area has a couple of good casinos for slot machines, roulette and poker.

Do I need a Passport or Visa to enter Costa Rica?

As a vacationing American, British, Canadian or European citizen, a valid passport (with at least six months remaining before expiry) is required to enter Costa Rica, but a visa is not necessary. For other nationalities please consult the Costa Rica government web site for the latest and most accurate information.

Is any vaccination or immunization required or suggested for travelling to Costa Rica?

No, not necessary.

What is the easiest and best way to arrive in Jaco from the airport?

Flying into San Jose Airport (SJO) and then having us pick you up and drive you to Jaco in the comfort of an air conditioned private bus.

How long is the drive from San Jose Airport to Jaco?

Depending on traffic, and how long we stop for on the way, between 1 hour 15 minutes and 2 hours.

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There are no addresses in Jaco Beach. Crazy but true!

If you want to know what to put on the customs forms, you can just put the name of the property that you will be staying at, and Playa Jaco.

What currency of money is most commonly used in Costa Rica?

US Dollars and Costa Rican Colones are both widely used and accepted. It is advantageous to have both on hand - depending on circumstances.

Do not exchange cash at the airport or you will get a horrible exchange rate. You can get your money exchanged at a bank in Jaco. Your ATM card is the best way for you to get money everyday. This way you will never have too much and can withdraw as needed.


Are ATM's available? Can I use Credit Cards?

There are several ATM machines located throughout Jaco but only a few of them dispense your choice of local colones or US dollars. Credit cards are widely accepted (but not everywhere). There are also a couple of exchange places and regular banks on the main strip.

You should always want to pay in local currency when in CR, except for grocery stores and tours. If you pay in dollars there is a good chance you will get a bad exchange rate so that is up to you.

Try to never pay with your credit card unless you are paying for groceries or something through Jaco VIP only. Never leave an open tab!

Are there more things to do in Jaco Costa Rica than going to the beach?

Hard Yes. There is a wide variety of fun things to do in Jaco during your vacation including exceptional adventure tours and excursions, incredible nightlife, a wide variety of restaurants and beach bars, beautiful rental villas with pools and more.

What are the beaches like?

Jaco's beach is nearly 3 miles long. Most of the beach is sandy with a few rocky patches that come and go with the tide. There are lots of palm and coconut trees as well as almond trees along the beach which sometimes attract dozens of Scarlet Macaws that are often flying and squawking overhead.

The surf and undertow are moderate most of the year. At high tide you will see many surfers riding the waves.

Other beaches in the area include Playa Herradura to the north which hosts Los Sueños Marina and La Iguana Golf Course, and Playa Hermosa to the south which is internationally known as a fantastic (advanced) surfing location, both of which are approximately a 15 minute drive away.

Do I need to speak Spanish to get by in Jaco?

Many locals have learned to speak some English, but of course some basic Spanish at your end would help... and then there may be some cases where hand signals and elaborate gestures are the only way to communicate.

Can I use my cell phone while in Costa Rica?

Some providers offer roaming features that work in Costa Rica, others do not. It is best to check with your cell phone company for rates and availability.

Can I use my laptop in Costa Rica? What kind of plugs and voltage are used?

Electrical outlets throughout Costa Rica are 110v just like in the U.S. or Canada.

Is WiFi available in Jaco’s Restaurants & Bars?

Free WiFi hot spots have become common in Jaco and is available in many bars and restaurants.

What should I pack?

It's hot in Jaco during the day. Be sure to pack flip flops (or open sandals), tennis shoes, shorts and loose clothing. Clothes that dry fast and wick away moisture are the best. You may also want sun block and insect repellant. Nights are slightly cooler. Most restaurants and clubs are casual - but some people like to dress up.

Other essentials include a camera, a copy of your driver's license and passport and sunglasses. Depending on the activities you are planning, you may want to bring hiking boots and a pair of jeans.

Although there are several pharmacies in the area we suggest packing all prescription meds you might need during your stay.

Is tap water safe to drink?

We recommend drinking bottled water instead of tap water. Most bars and restaurants use purified water for their ice cubes.