Surf Spot Guide – Jaco, Costa Rica

Surf Spot Guide

Jaco, Costa Rica

In our surf spot guide to Jaco, Costa Rica we will tell you about the location, the temperature, surf conditions, season, and even the pros and cons.


Jaco, Costa Rica is the unofficial surf city/tourist spot of Costa Rica. Not only does Jaco have the most nightlife, restaurants, and surf schools in Costa Rica, it also has some pretty good waves.


Compared to Pavones, getting to Jaco is easy as pie. From the San Jose Airport you can take an Uber, taxi, or shuttle to the bus terminal in the heart of San Jose. The buses down to Jaco are around $40 USD and the ride is only 2 hours. You can also rent a car but it’s pretty expensive to rent a vehicle in Costa Rica.

The plus side of having a car is you can visit other surf spots on the south coast. One beach you will want to visit when you’re in Jaco, if you’re an advanced surfer, is Playa Hermosa, just 15 minutes east. We also suggest visiting Playa Dominical, a low-key healthy hippie type of surf town less than an hour from Jaco.


Jaco has every kind of accommodation: 5 star hotels, motels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, long-term rentals, even campsites. No matter your style of travel Jaco has an option for you.


Costa Rica’s tropical climate means it’s warm all year with a wet and dry season. Being so close to the equator you’ll need all your protective Platinum Sun gear to stay safe from the sun’s strong rays.


There are plenty of surf spots in Jaco all of which are beach breaks. The best time to surf is early morning before the wind and the crowd arrive. Jaco has a fast breaking almost mushy wave when swell is small and the tide is low. When the tide goes up the wave is still fast but has some length. On a normal day the ride is about 150 ft, and on a good day the ride on a wave is long at 500 ft or more.

The best time to surf is high tide when swell is more than 5 feet. Be careful though, in Costa Rica 4 feet can actually be overhead and barrelling so always check the spot and look for surfers at the same level as you.


Surf Season in Jaco, Costa Rica is pretty consistent year round. As a beginner you can go anytime of year to learn to surf. March – November is considered the best time of year to surf in Jaco…which is pretty much the whole year.

Pros and Cons of Jaco, Costa Rica


  • Lots of friendly Locals
  • Easy to get to and go to other places from.
  • Great Nightlife
  • Lots of places to stay
  • Lefts and Rights
  • Meet lots of interesting wave-chasers
  • Other surf spots close by 


  • Touristy
  • Crocodiles
  • Kind of crowded, especially on weekends and Holidays
  • Expensive compared to other surf destinations

If you have been to Jaco, share the love with your fellow surfers and shout out your favorite hotel or hostel in the comments.

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

How to Choose Your Neoprene Wetsuit
You just learned your new favorite water-sport and you are now ready to check ...
Types of dry bags and it's purposes
Which Dry Bag is right for me? Dry bag backpacks have revolutioniz...
Limestone Neoprene: The Perfect Material for Your Next Kitesurfing Neoprene Wetsuit
  Neoprene wetsuits are a staple for any kitesurfer looking to stay warm and protected in the water. However, not all...
Watersports Clothing – 21st Century Options
In most of our minds, the classic image of a surfer features a guy wearing just board shorts, or a girl wearing a bik...
Why People Rave about Platinum’s Swim Leggings for Women
When you cross women’s favorite article of clothing: leggings, with expert design and style, what do you get? Hundred...
HOW TO SURF A WAVE IN ONE DAY: Common Beginner Mistakes and How to Fix Them
Getting the most out of surfing happens once you grasp and then master the basics. Confidence is key, so you won’t l...
Water Sports Activities you Must Try – A List of Fun Water Activities
From the high-flying excitement of flyboarding to the serene and calming exper...
Best public pools in the USA
Summertime is just around the corner and you might be wondering what to do or where to bring your kids for a refreshi...
Kiteboarding in La Boca, Dominican Republic
Sick and tired of riding at your usual spot? No worries because Cabarete literally has it all. I hope you are ready t...