Earlier this month, we decided we wanted a little beach time. With all the rain and clouds up in the mountains of Grecia, where we live, it’s been getting a little cold – yes, even sweater weather at times! We decided we wanted a little warmth and sun, and surf.
Jaco is the closest beach to us, about an hour and 45 minutes away, and we chose to spend a week there. Jaco has a bad reputation of being an ugly town. I’d also heard it wasn’t family friendly. But we had to see for ourselves, and I’m glad we did, because we absolutely loved it! The town’s got a great variety of restaurants, art galleries, and other shops. The beach is clean, warm, and beautiful (although a bit rocky at the south end). The weather was absolutely perfect, the sun was out most of the day except for a short afternoon or evening shower, and it wasn’t super hot like Manuel Antonio last February. It makes me think that the rainy season is really the best time to go to the beach in Costa Rica.
We stayed at a small condo complex called Club del Sol, within walking distance of the beach. We rented a nice 2-bedroom condo with lots of privacy and a full kitchen for about $135/night. They also had a nice pool, which the kids swam in every day. Emily is now doing great swimming across the pool all by herself, and Marie is getting more courageous as well. Jen and I swam a bit, too, but also used the time to catch up on work and e-mail.
Fun at the beach
One morning, we rented surfboards and boogie boards and went to the beach for some fun. Jen and I had a blast trying to get up on the waves. The boards were a little lighter than last time, so harder to balance on, but we did okay. Emily and Marie also enjoyed their first time boogie boarding. They didn’t venture very far from the shore, but had a good time nonetheless. There were a lot of rocks at this part of the beach, though, which slowed us down due to the pain in our feet.
Out on the town
We had some great food in Jaco, including sushi, pizza, and delicious Mexican food, which is hard to find in Costa Rica. We enjoyed the many shops and got the girls each a new dress (including Jen), and I got a new swimming suit because my other one was ripping. I also got a new pair of shorts because I actually found a size 28! It’s so hard to find my size anywhere, so I grabbed it while I had the chance.
We didn’t really do any excursions or tours (we’ve done most already), but we just enjoyed relaxing, being together, and “hanging out.” One night we watched “Home Alone” in Spanish, which was on TV. The kids loved that. We did take a drive to the nearby beaches of Esterillos and Heradura, just to see what they were like (my opinion: beautiful and not very developed). I also talked to a couple realtors to see what their opinions were on the value of investment properties in the area – turns out it’s probably not a good idea right now. There are some great bargains available, but it would be hard to make them turn a profit as a vacation rental.
On our way back from Jaco, we stopped at the Megafauna park (about an hour north of Puntarenas) where we took a nature walk dotted with life-size statues of dinosaurs and other pre-historic animals. It was pretty interesting to see the types of animals that used to exist, and also how big they were. The museum there was cool, too. In addition to all the bugs, butterflies, and bones displayed, we were also fascinated by the human brain in a jar, as well as the human heart, which our kids were disappointed to find out really wasn’t in the shape of a heart after all.
We’re really glad we could take this trip to Jaco, and would definitely go there again. Enjoy the pictures and videos below.