The thriving beach resort of Jaco lies on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica approximately 100 kilometers west of San José. It’s the nearest beach from the Costa Rican capital and a popular surf and party destination for international travelers. There are abundant outdoor adventures to enjoy by day including kayaking, canopy zip line tours, dolphin and whale watching expeditions, scuba diving, and 4×4 adventures. By night Jaco comes to life with endless live music venues, beach bars, and buzzing nightclubs playing the latest music till dawn. Now that you’re sold, read our tips on how to get from San Jose to Jaco.
Private Shuttle from San José to Jaco
A stress-free and easy way to travel from San José to Jaco is via private shuttle transfer. Whether you’re staying in the capital for a couple of days before you retreat to the beach or plan to head straight for the Pacific Coast, this is a cost-effective, comfortable mode of transport for 2 or more passengers travelling together. Transportation can be arranged in advance and your driver will arrive at your accommodation or to meet your flight. Most companies use clean, well-kept carriers and many drivers offer a guided tour pointing out local areas of interest and even lunch stops en route.
Driving from San José to Jaco
Costa Rican roads have been known for being notoriously unkempt in previous years; however, drivers will be pleased to learn there’s a highway linking San José to Jaco. The traveling distance in total is around 100 kilometers which takes approximately 1.5 hours driving time. There’s a toll on this road which costs the equivalent of $5 USD. The journey is a relatively easy drive taking Route 27 out of the capital and following the highway through Alajuela Province until you transfer to Route 34 outside the small town of Coyolar. From there, follow the highway alongside River Tarcoles past Carara National Park until you reach the Pacific coast and Jaco.
Taxi from San José to Jaco
Taxis can cost almost the same as booking a private shuttle transfer from San José to Jaco. You can ask reception in your hotel to book one with a reputable company for you or simply jump in a regulated taxi outside the airport. It’s always advisable to check the exact price before you commit to the journey so there are no unpleasant surprises, plus if you’re traveling at night, fares can increase, so be prepared if you’re arriving into San José on a later flight.
Traveling by Bus from San Jose to Jaco
By far the cheapest, albeit not the easiest way to reach Jaco from San José is by bus. Terminal 7-10 in downtown San José operates buses every day from 7am to 7pm with two-hour intervals, although times are more frequent during weekends (almost hourly) with city dwellers heading to the beach. A single bus trip costs just $5 – $10 USD, but you need to arrive at least half an hour early to purchase your ticket (an hour in peak season). Please be advised, buses in Costa Rica are punctual, so early arrival is recommended. The journey time is approximately 2 hours from San José to Playa Jaco bus station in the heart of the resort.