Swimming

Jacó is generally safe for swimming, though you should avoid the areas near the estuaries, which are polluted. Be advised that the waves can get crowded with beginner surfers who don’t always know how to control their boards, so keep your wits about you and stay out of their way. Riptides occasionally occur, especially when the surf gets big, so inquire about local conditions and keep an eye out for red flags marking the paths of rips.

Surfing

Although the rainy season is considered best for Pacific-coast surfing, Jacó is blessed with consistent year-round breaks. Even though more advanced surfers head further south to Playa Hermosa, the waves at Jacó are strong, steady and a lot of fun for intermediate surfers. Jacó is also a great place to learn to surf or start a surf trip as many places offer lessons and it’s easy to buy and sell boards here.

If you’re looking to rent a board for the day, shop around as the better places will do 24 hours for US$15 to US$20.

Hiking

Nearby Mt Miros offers hiking opportunities.

Horseback Riding

Be wary of winging it here; readers have reported incidents of horse abuse in Jacó and visitors will see malnourished and mistreated animals on offer near the beach.