www.costaricatesol.com - ITA Costa Rica

Getting TEFL Certified in Costa Rica | Updated: 02/02/2023

Playa Jacó Day Trip

Written by International TEFL Academy Costa Rica

Don't have time to commit to a full weekend at the beach?  Take a day trip to Playa Jaco!  Playa Jaco, is a popular beach on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.  Check out grad Ben's (June 2016) recommendations!

Getting There

The bus leaves from Terminal 7/10 in San Jose. You can purchase your tickets at the terminal on the second floor, or ahead of time online.

It is always a good idea to buy them early in case the bus fills up, especially during peak tourist season; they can fill up fast! If you buy them online, you do not need to print out the ticket, just be sure to have the confirmation email handy to show the driver. He won’t let you on the bus without showing him the email.

From Heredia, take the LA400 bus to La Uruca (see map for location of bus stop). Allow at least an hour to get to the terminal by bus to be safe; the traffic can be bad on weekdays due to rush hour. The bus will stop right in front of the station, so it is hard to miss. If you are still unsure, feel free to ask the driver to let you know when you are there.

Once you arrive at the station, head to the back right corner to wait for your bus to be called. If you need to purchase tickets, you can do so on the second floor. There are also restaurants and shops throughout the terminal so if you arrive early, you can kill some time exploring those. The buses are very punctual, so be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes early to get settled. Once you are on the bus, sit back and relax. You should be in Jaco in about 1.5-2 hours, depending on traffic.


Playa Jacó

The driver will make multiple stops in Jacó, so get off wherever you want; the last stop will be at the terminal so it is impossible to miss your stop in Jacó. The terminal is located on the far north side of the beach, across the street from a Best Western Hotel. The bus will depart from this same spot. If you do not have a return ticket, you can purchase them at the window here.

I like to head to the far south side of the beach, there are typically fewer people there and the waves are great. Feel free to make camp wherever you want; there are no bad spots on the beach.

Jacó is a small town, so you can see most of it in one day. Enjoy cruising around and exploring all of the bars, restaurants, and shops.


Jacó is known for its great waves, so it is a perfect place to learn, and become a better surfer. There is no shortage of rental companies scattered throughout the beach where you can also receive lessons. Most companies rent out boards for 5,000 colones ($10) for the entire day.

My friends at Tortuga Surf Camp are located on the far south side of the beach; they have a wide variety of boards to rent, as well as a team of teachers if you want to take a surf class. There are plenty of companies to rent from, but I highly recommend these guys. They are camped with a white tent with their logo, and are always flying a Costa Rican flag out front.


If you decide you aren’t ready to head back to the city, there are a ton of hostels scattered throughout this little beach town, most of which are very cheap. The majority are located on the main strip, but they are all over town. It is always a good idea to book ahead of time to be safe, but you shouldn’t have a problem walking around and finding an open bed for the night. In my experience, the average price ranges from 5-10,000 colones ($10-20) per night. If you decide you want to treat yourself, you can always rent a private room for a few more colones.

This town is known for its nightlife, so it is definitely an experience to spend the night there. Come prepared to dance, and enjoy exploring the wide variety of bars. Overall, the town is very safe, but it is still important to be cautious at night and always keep track of your belongings while at the bars. Like in any city, pickpocketing can be an issue if you are not paying attention.

Below is a set of maps …Pura Vida!

Heredia Bus Stop

Terminal 7-10

Want to enjoy Jaco and all of the other beaches Costa Rica offers?  Join us for one of our 4-week, onsite TEFL courses to start your adventure of the pura vida!  

Costa Rica Excursions

Top Beaches in Costa Rica


Don't forget to share this post!