• Jaco
  • Playa Hermosa
  • Esterillos

Inside Scoop

The Jaco / Playa Hermosa area has every type of lodging, from $10 cabinas with the beach out back to the Los Suenos Marriot, with its own golf course "private beach". It's 45 minutes from Jaco to Boca Barranca, one of the longest left breaking waves in the world. And it takes 25 minutes to get to Playa Bejuco, with empty barreling beach breaks for miles. If you take your car surfing, never leave any valuables in it, but you should bring your passport and drivers license since there are plenty of places where the police are waiting to bust you for speeding. What is nice is that from Isla Damas to Boca Barranca, it's well paved and wide open. The views are also fantastic so enjoy the ride. Jaco has plenty of shops for surfers and souvenier hunters, as well as a hefty nightlife. Get up early to catch some waves like these below, because by 9 a.m. the wind could be on it along with thirty other "friends"..

YouTube Video by Cheech on Beach who does a weekly video report for Playa Hermosa

Getting There

From the airport, Jaco is the closest surf town - a drive of one hour and 30 minutes through the mountains. There is now a toll road that cuts down on the time but is less scenic. If you want to take the toll road, drive west from the airport about 6 kilometers and take the exit for 'El Coyol'. It is a quick turnoff so keep an eye out for it. Then you go around the roundabout until you are heading south on that road for about 3 kilometers. Then look for the tollroad entrance signs going towards 'Orotina'. Take a right (heading west) at the exit and from there you pay four toll, each from 400-700 colones. Get off at the exit after Pozon, looking for signs for Jaco and Quepos. Head south from there for about 20 kilometers and you will pass the Crocodile Bridge at Tarcoles (there are usually police at one end of the bridge), and from there it is another 17 kilometers to Jaco.

Bulletins - Anuncios

Christina at Surf Inn Hermosa - Local’s Corner: – Every Weekend don’t miss the Master’s Surf Series – 4PM on Fridays and the Saturday Surf Series on Saturdays – 4PM in front of the Backyard Bar.  

Mark your calendars for the Los Suenos Signature Triple Crown Fishing Tournament  - Dates:  Leg One Jan 16-19; Leg Two Feb 27- March 2; Leg Three March 27-30.  

The Bamboo Bass Festival 2019 is being held this year at the park at Ocean Ranch Feb 22-24th.  Among the artists who will perform in Costa Rica this February include Mr. Carmack, Craze, AC Slater, Stylust, Flava D, Truth, Stööki Sound and Zeke Beats.

Join the Karma Tribe to help make a difference in your community. They give away services to those in need and also ask for help with beach cleanups and other community projects. It's like a bulletin board for volunteering and is based in Playa Hermosa.

Surf Spots

Boca Barranca - Jetty

When Boca Barranca is big, this peak is overhead too. It breaks past an old pier and a boulder sized rock jetty which has built up the sand to the south of it. To the north the wave jacks on the takeoff and then has a mushy wall for up to 100 meters. The water is dirty, the local bodyboarders on it, and there is only one peak to sit on.

Boca Barranca

Boca Barranca is one of the longest lefts in the world. It needs a good double overhead Southwest swell to get up in the Gulf of Nicoya and make it work. The walk over the crusty cobblestones and paddling through San Jose's runoff is irritating, but worth it when it is big. It can be packed with locals, longboarders, and day trippers from Jaco. Or if you catch it early when the swell is not too massive, the drift will spread 10-20 people out nicely. Major drift factor, waves can break all the way to the pier, and then you walk back. There is parking with a security guard and showers, but how secure is unknown.


Caldera has wedging barrels and pounding closeout sections. The rights are short and tubes dark with dirty water and sand dredged up from the swell. Breaks best at head high to two feet overhead. Lots of bodyboarders and mostly all locals so give respect. 


This left hand point breaks off of big rocks that are exposed at lower tides. Long walls up to 200 meters can be found. The best angle is SSW, to much West and it closes out fast. The water here can be polluted, so disinfect after surfing. The road here is hard to follow so leave well before dark.

Little Fiji

Little Fiji is a left that breaks off an rock ledge offering a 100 meter ride with a nice barrel on the takeoff. The inside is sketchy, especially at lower tides when it works better. Never a crowd since not many surfers want to take the risk if it is better at Playa Escondida. When the tide fills in, it goes flat.

Playa Escondida

Escondida is a true A-frame with a short barreling right and a longer left that also throws out when it is big. Only access is my boat or through Los Suenos Resort. There is only 2 peaks, inside and outside, so it can be crowded with six people on it. Imagine 30 people trying to surf it when it's double overhead. The rock shelf sticks out at lower tides, so be careful. 


Playa Jaco is a beachbreak that breaks smaller during southern swells since it is sheltered in a more west facing bay. Best size is chest high to a foot overhead, any bigger and it closes out.  Best tides are two hours before high tide. There are a lot of peaks along the 3 kilometer beach, but a few better ones get crowded with tourists and locals on the weekend. The low tide whitewater reform is a great place for beginners to learn and lessons are usually given here.

Roca Loca

Roca Loca (Crazy Rock) is a right that breaks off a big rock at the far south end of Jaco bay, and just north of Playa Hermosa. It starts working at overhead and will hold surf up to triple overhead, but often closes out at that size. Lots of theft so leave nothing in your car, and the hike down from the parking area to the narrow take off spot is tricky. It is rarely crowded and works best at midtide. 

Playa Hermosa - Terrazas

Hotel Terraza del Pacifico sits in front of this beachbreak at the north end of Playa Hermosa. It works best 1-2 hours before high tide, at dead high breaks right on the shore (good for skimboarding) There are a couple of rocks that boil up at lower tides and provide a nice takeoff spot. Waves break both left and right. Crowds can be bad, but other peaks are located farther south that break the same.

Playa Hermosa - El Almendro

The Tree is a massive almond tree that sits on the dirt road running parallel to the beach in Playa Hermosa, about 400 meters south of the Backyard Hotel. Even though it is notorious for theft, many people park here and surf right out back where the drift tends to spread apart the crowds. Best best from head high to double overhead. Bigger surf closes out and at low tide it closes out. So get there between midtide and high tide. If you keep driving south down the dirt road, you may find other empty peaks.

Esterillos Oeste

Esterillos has three beaches, Oeste (West), Central, and Este (East). This one is the most popular with surfers since besides the beachbreak there is a rock shelf that extends several hundred meters off the beach. There is a big mermaid statue that sits above the water, marking where the shelf lies. At lower tides the waves can break waaaay far out, with big mushy walls for longboarders and funshapes. The inside wave is more hollow, offering a few barrels at the higher tides. Surfers arrive in mass from Jaco and Hermosa from June to August, and from January to March.


A 2 km. stretch of beachbreaks, with a rivermouth at both ends. It breaks best at higher tides with a South southwest swell to give it some angle. Best size is chest high to a foot overhead, when it is bigger it will close out. 

Esterillos Este

This beach is the farthest east in Esterillos, and the most remote. Surfers rarely come here, since the beachbreak only works towards high tide and then others spots will break better. Works best from chest to overhead and a south southwest swell. The Xandari Resort and Spa is located here, great for a secluded honeymoon surf trip.

Playa Bejuco

Bejuco is a dark sand south facing beachbreak like most others, but for some reason breaks a little harder and more hollow than other beaches. A rivermouth at the eastern end may be building up the sandbars, so come here if you empty lineups and the chance to get barreled. Be wary of the strong rips, too. 

Palo Seco

Palo Seco (Dry Branch) is a wide empty stretch of beach with lots of waves and nobody on them. It works best around high tide, and at all other times closes out. The water is a little dirty at times from Parrita pollution, and two big estuaries provide feeding grounds for crocs and sharks.  

Surf Camps

Description: The surf camp features three lovely guest bungalows, each with an unobstructed view of the ocean. Each of the bungalows has two individual rooms with private baths, air conditioning, two single beds or one queen-sized bed and large porches. The porches are ideal for relaxing in hammocks and watching the sun rise and set over the Pacific Ocean. Our bungalows are equipped with small safes for the storage of valuables. Guests of the camp can relax in our pool, hang out in hammocks on the porches, or wander around the camp gardens lined by fruit trees and flowers.

Certification: ISA
Jaco 2643-2830 or US (409)-599-1828

Description: Beginners: Learn to surf in the warm tropical waters of Costa Rica with the help of our friendly and experienced staff. You will learn the basics of paddling, standing, and turning, as well as wave selection and other fundamental skills. We have to warn you though: Surfing is addictive! Intermediate/Advanced Surfers: Surf students with previous surfing experience are taken on guided surf sessions in the Playa Jacó / Hermosa area. SURFING AND SPANISH This combo is one of our most popular programs. The Spanish class schedule is written with the tides and best surf times in mind so that you can learn the language and enjoy Jacó's favorite pastime.

Certification: n/a
Jaco 2643-2462

Surf Inn Hermosa Surf Camp

Surf Inn Hermosa Fitness Camp

Description: All Packages Include:

  • Airport transfers to and from San Jose “Juan Santamaria” Airport (SJO) * Transfers from Liberia for extra fee.
  • Shared accomodation for 6 Nights in one of our studio apartments.
    AC / Hot Water / Mini-Fridge / In room internet.
    You will be staying literally just steps from the beach!
    There is always the option to upgrade to private rooms.
  • 3 meals per day. They plan meals around the surf schedule to ensure you have energy for all the days activities.
  • Daily Guided Trips. There are a variety of area breaks based on tides, swell and local weather conditions. They will work to bring you to waves suitable to your own level of surfing.

Certification: ISA Certified, CPR, First Aid
Playa Hermosa (506) 8899-1520 or 1-866-304-3265

Del Mar Surf Camp

Certification: CPR, Water Rescue, First Aid, ISA
Playa Hermosa 2643-3197

Jaco Surf Lessons

Certification: ISA Certified Coach
Jaco 8829-4697

Hermosa Surf Vacations

Certification: n/a
Playa Hermosa 'The Tree' 714-464-3214

Surf Costa Tours

Certification: n/a
 Esterillos Oeste 732-610-8420

Tortuga Surf Camp

Certification: ISA certified
 Jaco 1-866-325-1528 [icon type="icon-email"

Jim Hogan's Surf Camp

Certification: n/a
 Playa Hermosa n/a

Recommend your favorites or book your trip!


Description: 4 studio apartments with AC / Hot Water / Mini-Fridge / In room internet. 2 two-bedroom apartments with a full kitchen, AC, and ocean view balconies steps away from the surf.
Playa Hermosa (506) 8899-1520 or 1-866-304-3265 Contact Us

Hermosa Beach House

Description: Five different room types: Single Cabina, Deluxe Cabinas, Mountain View Suites, Pool View Suite, Suite w/livingroom, and Ocean View Suite. All of the rooms offer: Hot Water, Cable Tv, Air Conditioning, Beach Front Pool, Kitchenette in room, Nightly Security Gaurd, In Room Safe, and Wireless Internet

Playa Hermosa 2643-7178 fax:
2643-7178  $54-$179

Hotel Fuego del Sol

Playa Hermosa 1-800-850-4532 or
C.R. 2643-7171  fax: 2288-0123 $67-$150

Hotel Tortuga del Mar

Playa Hermosa 2643-7132 fax: 506-2643-7131 $74+

Backyard Hotel

Playa Hermosa 2643-7011 

Club del Sol Luxury Condominiums

Review Jaco 1-877-679-7134  fax: 506-2643-0057 $85+

Hotel Poseidon

Jaco 1-888-643-1242 or
in C.R. 2643-1642  $75-$135

Cabinas Solmarena

Jaco 2643-1124 $35+

La Dolce Vita Resort

Description: The beach of Esterillos is known for its natural beauty, its surf waves that appeal surfers from all over the world and for the presence of wonderful tropical birds. The Hotel has seven apartments facing a wonderful garden and swimming pool. Each apartment has patio/deck, terrazzo-balcony and is smartly furnished, bathroom with hot water, air conditioning, fan, kitchen, fridge, a bedroom with double bed and a living room with a sofa-bed.

Esterillos Oeste 2778-7015 $47-$105

Los Suenos Marriott Ocean &
Golf Resort

Playa Herradura 506 2630 9000  fax: 506 2630 9090  $189+ 

Hotel Villas Caletas

Punta Leona 2637-0505 fax: 2637-0404 $145+ 

Hotel Boca Barranca

Boca Barranca 2663-6133 $40+ 

To recommend your favorite spot, or make a reservation today!

House Rentals

Hermosa Oceanfront Houses

Playa Hermosa  1-800-483-8426 fax: 1-954-493-6373

Recommended Restaurants

Caliche's Wishbone

Description: Mexican Jaco

Tsunami Sushi

Description:  Splendid Sushi Jaco

La Hacienda

Description: Affordable Breakfasts Jaco

Marea Alta

Description:  Delicious and Inexpensive Comida Tipica Playa Hermosa

Surf Shops

Description: Whether you are a local or a surfer from half-way around the world, WOW Surf is your destination for all your surfing needs while in Central America. This is where the locals come and go to share knowledge and get their gear. They pride ourselves on great service, knowledge and a laid back attitude. They strive to have the largest selection, newest equipment and best prices. Serving travelers and surfers in Costa Rica for over 20 years.

Located on the main road in Jaco, on the east side of the road just past Century 21 Realty.
Rentals: Y Lessons: Y 2643-3844

Description: De Carton: "En realidad es solo el amor por el mar y sus movimientos, la belleza de sus formas, la felicidad de sus colores, la paz de sus paisajes y el disfrute de poder reflejarlo en la gente por medio de mis tablas."

The shop is located at the south end of Jaco, about 50 meters towards the beach from the Costanera, just south of the gas station. Quality board rentals, repairs, and the newest shapes crafted with carino.
Rentals: Y Lessons: Y 2643-3762

El Pana Surf Shop

Rentals: Y Lessons: Y 2643-2125

Rentals: Y Lessons: Y 2643-1121

Mango Surf Shop

Rentals: Y Lessons: N 2643-1916

Jass Surf Shop

Rentals: Y Lessons: Y 2643-3549

Roka Loka Surf Shop

Rentals: Y Lessons: Y 2643-3106

Rentals: N Lessons: N 2640-1007

Walter Surf Shop

Rentals: N Lessons: N 2643-1056

Recommend your favorite spot.

Recommended Tours

Favorite tours from Christina at Hermosa Surf Inn:

Chris Karrer from Herradura Divers has returned from Italy to run the 2013 dive season. You dive local sites or spend a full day diving and snorkeling out at Isla Tortuga. Herradura Divers provides PADI Certifcation courses, the PADI Open Water Diver, and specialty courses like Deep, Wreck, Nitrox or Rescue Diver and certification as PADI Dive Master. Check out or call 2637-7123 for more.

Arnoldo Ramírez has established Cascada Salvaje, a new mountain bike and hike park in Playa Hermosa Garabito. It features 1.7 kilometers of basic single-track trails and 3 kilometers of intermediate trails. It offers mountain biking skills lessons, guided trips on the property and a rental fleet of bikes from children’s cruisers to front suspension bikes. Trail passes and use of the park cost $25 per day for those 13 and older. It is $15 for children under 12, and there are discounts for nationals with cédula cards. For more information, call Arnoldo at 8729-5555 or visit

Ocean Ranch Eco Park, just South of Playa Hermosa, offers zip-lines, waterfall rappelling, horseback riding and low-impact quads. For more information, visit or call 2643-2182. Michael Marino from Costa Rica Waterfall Tours is set up in Il Galeone in the center of town and can help you and your guests discover the magic of waterfalls throughout the zone. They offer an explorer, an extreme adventurer, a jungle trekker tour or canyoning in the waterfall. Vladimir or Joe can help you out at the information stand and can be reached at 2643-1834. For more information, visit

In the village of Mata De Plátano, British husband and wife team Chris and Andrea Wady continue to deliver award-winning horseback tours. Whether you are an experienced rider or new to the saddle, their jungle spa horseback riding adventure is a special treat. They also offer rides out of their Esterillos farm, through the local village of Montilmar or tropical beach rides. Check their website for details, www.horseridecostarica. com or call 8838-7550.

Gordon Nichol’s ATV Adventure Tours is located next to Subway in Jacó. Paolo Castro can help you get your tour arranged with choices of two, three or four-hour tours that can include a trip to a waterfall or the tilapia farm. For more information, call 2643-5720 or visit

Enrique Fontaine from AXR Tours has three locations set up in Jacó: AXR in front of Pancho Villa (2643-3130); AXR on Bohío (2634-6463) and AXR next to Century 21 (2643-6465). For more information visit

Kayak Jacó is based in Playa Agujas and run by Neil and Yasmin Kahn. They not only feature kayak tours, but also a sailboat for private charter. You can sail, troll, snorkel, swim or just catch the Pacific coast sunsets. Kayak tours depart from their base in Playa Agujas at 8:05 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 1:40 p.m. For more information, see www.kayakjaco. com or call 2643-1233.

In Herradura Bay, Freddy Castro is running jet-skis, water boarding and floating rafts for rent. He will also offer tours to Escondida, Caletas and Punta Leona. For more information, contact Freddy by email or call 8540-8541.

Jacó Canopy Tour of Miro’s mountain on the south side of Jacó consists of 12 cables and 14 platforms. The total distance of the cables is 1,950 meters. The hours are 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, including holidays. The tours are held at 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. For reservations, call 2643-6428 or email.

Canopy Vista Los Sueños is located in Herradura and offers daily tours on the hour from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. The canopy tour includes 15 platforms and 14 cables, with a total cable distance of 3.5 kilometers, including the longest cable in the area (2,400 ft) and breathtaking views of the Gulf of Nicoya and the Pacific. For more information, call 8342-3683 or 8898-3741.

The Chiclets Tree Canopy Tour is located five minutes south of Jacó in Playa Hermosa, and consists of 14 suspended platforms connected by steel cables high above the forest floor. Chiclets offers tours at 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. For reservations, call 2643-1880. For all of these; it is best to have close-toed shoes, comfortable clothing, sunscreen, and your camera.

For Stand Up Paddle Boarding Tours: look up the seven-time national surf champion: Alvaro Solano from Vista Guapo Surf Camp at or call 2643-2830. He has boards available for large groups

Chuck’s Wow Surf in downtown Jacó 2643-3844 has surfboards to rent. There are many additional surf shops and lesson-providers along the main street.

Pacific Bungee is located south of the Red Cross in Jacó and open from 9 a.m-9 p.m. Your choices are a straight jump, a water touchdown or a nighttime bungee experience. For more information, visit or call 2643-6682.

Description: If you are looking for things to do in Jaco Costa Rica then you came to the right place. Jaco Ropes is a tour located just minutes away from downtown Jaco. We offer adventure tours for most ages but are special for families, couples and big groups. Our adventure canopy is totally different from all regular zip lines because we give you objects to hit and collect points. Jaco Ropes course tour consists of 13 obstacles suspended through out the jungle trees. The most favorite are Surf in the Air, Tire Pass and Tarzan Swing. If you are looking for a more extreme option while visiting Jaco then check out our Quickjump or the giant Cieba Rappel. We offer tours for everyone visiting Jaco, Costa Rica.

Jaco +506. 2643-4820
Several Tours to choose from rates: $30 to $99

Chiclets Zip Line Canopy Tour

Description: The unique combination in between mountain and the beach offer spectacular breack taking views of the ocean from the platforms, our customers will glide thru the forest on thirteen platforms, eleven cables, and one suspension bridge that walk across. Video of tour on YouTube - LINK

Playa Hermosa 

Pacific Bungee

Description: For those seeking the adrenaline rush.  Try freefalling while attached to a dynamic rope off of an arm with a fully equipped diving platform into a twelve feet deep swimming pool.  This is a free fall of 40 meters (120 feet).  OR if you want more action, sign up for the Rocket Launcher or the Big Swing Option!

Description: Kayak Jaco has been providing guests with high quality kayak tours here in the Central Pacific zone for more than 10 years. Their Sea Kayaking and Snorkeling tour is a fun adventure thru the incredible scenery along the Central Pacific Coast leaving from Playa Agujas. The tour is ½ day affair with departures available at 8.15 am and 2.15 pm. Custom Fishing Kayak Tours can be arranged as well. Additionally, the Outrigger Canoe Tour can be used for groups of 7 persons.


Description: Experience the magic of Costa Rica Waterfalls here in the Central Pacific zone. Costa Rica Waterfall Tours has put together 4 different options for exploring waterfalls in our area. The Explorer, The Jumper, The Jungle Trekker and the Extreme Adventurer offer an option for everyone. Whether it is sitting in a natural pool, surrounded by trees and wildlife or experiencing the adrenaline rush of cliff jumping into waterfalls, you will find their options one of the best tours in the Central Pacific zone. They will pick you up at your rental and head South from Surf Inn to visit the waterfalls which seem like they are carved right out of the rainforest. Prices range from $69 to $139 per person depending on which tour you select. This tour operator has also won the "Certificate of Excellence" Award by Tripadvisor 2011.


Calypso Cruise

Description: This tour offers a level of cruising luxury which makes it one of our tours highly recommended by our guests. Early in the day, the catamaran will pass thru the islands of San Lucas, Gypsy, Sugar Loaf, Guayabo; Jesusita, Cedros and Negritos with Tortuga Island as the final destination. Particularly enchanting for it's beauty, Tortuga Island is known for its immaculate white sand beach and turquoise waters, a perfect stop for safe swimming, snorkeling and Calypso's famous lunch which has been featured in Gourmet Maga.

Isla Tortuga  $99+

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