Spanish school location: Jacó Beach, Costa Rica
Tropical beach, awesome waves, vibrant community, lush nature
Our second location
In 2006 we started looking for a beach location. We went around the country looking for the best spot for our new campus. Why Jacó? Easy: it has it all and everything within reach!
The town of Jacó Beach is a lively coastal community that has developed around the nice beach and it’s awesome year-round surf. It has attracted an international community and has been a tico favorite for vacationing. Nowadays, it’s also perfect for those who crave a bit of adventure and to get in touch with nature.
Jacó Beach’s main features
A good day in Jacó Beach will be epic! But the good thing is that you have lots of points to explore, from mild learning 2-footers to triple overhead next door at Hermosa beach (10 min by car). It’s the perfect place to learn and progress!
Surrounded by nature
Being in Costa Rica, nature is everywhere, but nowadays Jacó is recognized for it’s hills and forests too. It’s located in a strategic place, very close to premium wildlife spots like Carara (a must for birdwatching) and Manuel Antonio National Parks.
Lots to do and see
Start your day with a locally roasted coffee, head for Spanish class and try an adventure in the afternoon. Finish your day looking at the Jacó bay from the lookout point and afterwards a world-class dinner in any of the 100 or so places to eat!
A little oasis
Chill in our pool after class or enjoy the garden for study, the school campus is a little oasis of tranquility to study, relax and make new friends.
Traveling is easy
Hop on a bus to Manuel Antonio National Park, get a taxi boat to Nicoya Península beaches, use a shuttle bus to San José, Monteverde or Arenal… many of Costa Rica’s attractions are easily accessible from Jacó Beach, and our town is itself the closest beach town from the airport and San José city.
Attractions and activities
Around the water
A perfect spot for beach enthusiasts! Jacó’s sandy coastline extends over 3 km/2 miles and is surrounded by other beaches like Playa Hermosa, Playa Blanca and Playa Herradura, all well worth a visit to swim, work on your tan or do shore sport fishing. If you’re keen on surfing you’ll find both waves for absolute beginners as well as pros year-round. Pros should check out Playa Hermosa (5 min by car from Jacó Beach) which also hosts annual international and national surf contests.
We work with partner surf schools so you can practice Spanish while learning and practicing your wave riding abilities. Please check out our Surf and Spanish program. You can choose between surf and also stand up paddling lessons (SUP), also between standard and intensive modes.
If you still have enough energy after your day of surf or Spanish course, Jacó’s lively but still laid-back nightly atmosphere is worth checking out. Bars and clubs are spread throughout town.
Explore, bike run and hike
The opportunities of outdoor activities in the area seem endless. A hike up the Miro’s Mountain trail rewards you with stunning panoramic views over Jacó and Playa Hermosa. If you prefer some more adrenaline, give the two nearby tree-top canopy tours a go or try bungee jumping. To easily spot wildlife, pay a visit to the two nearby National Parks.
The best way to go everywhere in Jacó is a bike. The school offers bike rentals to make your life easier. If you’re into mountain biking or trail running, you can go to Trillos Colorada park for some fun.
Carara National Park
Just 25km/15 miles north of Jacó you’ll find this protected tropical rainforest, which has one of the biggest wild populations of colorful scarlet macaws. It is not just a heaven for bird lovers. The park is home to some of the country’s largest American crocodiles, sloths relaxing high up in the trees, different monkeys, frogs and birds.
Manuel Antonio National Park
One of the country’s most famous (and smallest) National Parks is located about 65 km/40 miles south of Playa Jacó. Exploring the lush green rainforest and remote beaches on the many trails, you will easily spot mammals like lazy sloths and cute squirrel monkeys as well as frogs, iguanas and many kinds of birds.
Restaurants and cafés
You’ll find a wide range of opportunities to eat out, for every taste and budget. Try some typical Costa Rican fare, cheap hamburgers, gigantic pizza, fresh seafood, all-you-can-eat sushi and a Taco Bar where you sit on swings instead of barstools or healthy organic at Pájara Pinta. Drinks are a must when the heat is up and you can find pleanty of fresh tropical fruit smoothies in various places. Remember that where you see regular tico’s eating at lunch, that is probably where best value meals are found, and there are a couple of our favorites in Jacó: Soda Garabito (right next to the school apartments), Marea Baja and Típico Jacó.
Rest with your feet on the sand
Jacó is your base for some sun-following expeditions. Apart from Jacó and Hermosa, there are many beautiful beaches close to Jacó. Try Punta Leona’s Playa Blanca (the name actually means: White Beach) or Playa Caletas for a “secret spot” type of beach with a fine hotel on top of the hill. There, you can enjoy some nice cocktails while the sun sets. Playa Guacalillo has a nice cliff view and why not hop on a taxi boat to visit the Nicoya Peninsula?
1. The beautiful Costa Rican pacific coast / 2. Run, walk or simply rest your feet in the sand / 3. Whale watching at Punta Uvita / 4. The well known tucan bird / 5. Amazing sunsets at Jacó Beach / 6. Worldwide renown surfing spots / 7. Jaco’s nightlife from Miro’s Mountain.
Learn about our other location! Our recommendation: try both and have a complete Costa-Rican experience!
How to get there
The lively beach town is just a 1.5 hour drive from the Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO)*. From San José downtown buses leave about every 2 hours from the Terminal 7-10 bus station and takes about 2 hours. You can see the schedule and book your tickets online here (we don’t recommend to take a bus if arriving late or carrying lots of luggage). Remember that you can ask for a school-organized private transfer to arrive timely and without stress for addresses or getting to an unknown location, the transfer will take you right to the door of your accommodation.
* Please note that the airport is located 30 minutes away from San José downtown.