This is another guest post! I’m loving not having to write for a bit!
This comes from Rainman who I had the pleasure of meeting while I was in Costa Rica. Sadly he went down with an intestinal issue when he arrived in San Jose but he had spent time in Jaco having an adventure or two. He participated in both mongering and non-mongering activities and these are his observations and thoughts on Jaco.
As you guys know I was in Jaco for four days last May before heading over to San Jose to meet up with eSpanky (ED – The Spanish version of my name) and Lee for four days during the Paco Memorial Trip. I posted my impressions of Jaco then, but since this came up I will chime in again. Before I start, I would like to highly recommend using Steve and PVT for your transport over to Jaco. He is a very nice guy, extremely reliable, and a great source of info on Jaco if you have never been before.
As for Jaco, I would like to start with the cons first:
1) It is EXTREMELY HOT AND HUMID…and I was born, raised, and live in Texas If high heat and humidity are a problem, don’t go, believe me you will not enjoy your trip.
2) It is fairly small. Only one main road (two lanes) that runs through town (some small roads of course do branch off this main road) and I would guess it is about three miles or so from end to end. So you can pretty much see the town in a hour or so of walking…..be prepared to be sweating like mad after the first five minutes of the walk.
3) This is not a scenic beach town with clear blue waters and white sandy beaches. Think more like a little run down and a little on the dirty side with a pretty rocky beach and water that may be slightly polluted and you pretty much got it nailed 😆 After that first hour I was thinking….WTF have I gotten myself into for four days?
After being there though I have to admit, it kind of grows on you…..the pros…
1) The Cocal. How to describe it? As I stated on my last trip report the best way I can think of it is to recall how the Del Rey was back in 2005 before the recession hit. On the weekends, it was wall to wall hot Latinas. It completely blew away anything I saw back in San Jose. Also, the Cocal is a nice looking hotel. I didn’t stay there but the outside areas, restaurant, and bar/pool area was nice.
2) The clear blue waters and white sandy beaches are only about an hour or so away in Manual Antonio.
3) Gambling. I like to play a little and I have to say Crocs is probably the nicest casino I have seen in Costa Rica. The gambling area is a little on the small side, but this is one hotel/resort that you could literally take and plop down on the Vegas strip if you wanted to. The only negative thing is that the black jack rules are not good. Blackjack only pays 6 to 5, there is no surrender, and you can only double down on the first two cards…..pretty much the worst rules you will find. So I would only play small stakes and enjoy the view…..the view being that they only hire very hot Latina dealers on the blackjack tables and they have obviously been told to laugh and joke with the old gringo players 😀 They had one craps table and it was well run, the dealers knew what they were doing (some guy dealers here) and the game moved quickly. (3x4x5x odds). You could tell the mangers for this casino came from Vegas, it is a very well run place.
3) Side trips. As PVT mentioned there are a lot of trips you can take out of Jaco. I did the Manual Antonio trip and the ATV trip and liked them both very much. There were several others I wanted to do but did not have the time.
4) After you get used to the heat, it was actually kind of nice to hang out by the pool or go hang out at the bars along the beach and down a few beers, catch sports on the TV, and watch the waves come in. There is not really any action during the day (although it sounds like the Cocal is starting to get busy kind of early) but I kind of like to get out in the morning and do stuff anyway, as long as I am not recovering from a killer burrito…..
Well, this is getting little long. Suffice to say that if you kick back and accept Jaco for what it is, warts and all, you can have a pretty dam nice time.