Getting Around Jaco
Transportation in and around Jaco is quite simple. The city is small enough, that walking from one end to the other is not an impossible feat. But when it’s hot, or it’s dark, there are always plenty of taxis to take you down the strip wherever you might want to go. The taxis in Jaco are red. Don’t get in a taxi that does not look official. Often there are pirate taxis that are generally safe, but it’s best to stick with the official companies. There’s a taxi stand by the main grocery store, Mas por Menos, or you can always pick one up easily outside of Beatle Bar. All official taxis have meters and are clearly displayed. 1,500 colones is a standard price to go just about anywhere in the town, or to Herradura, unless it’s a short distance and then it’s usually 750. Ask a local if you are unsure of how much you should pay.
There are local buses that circulate from Herradura to Jaco every hour. The bus does not go through all of Jaco, it does not travel to the most Northern side, but it you can get off at any spot in central Jaco, along the strip. The main bus stop to go to Herradura is located across the street and down the road a short distance from the grocery store, Mas o Menos. There is a bus stop there, and usually a congregation of people waiting for the bus to come. If you take the bus from Herradura to Jaco you can pick it up at Herradura beach, at the crossways of the Costanera in Herradra, or down the road at the Herradura gas station, otherwise known as La Bomba. The Herradura/Jaco bus will take you to Central Jaco, and all the way to Herradura beach for less than it would cost to take a taxi. The price to ride the bus in 2004 was 85 colones.
At the Northern end of Jaco, across from the Best Western hotel is the official bus station. If you want to take the bus from Jaco or Herradura to San Jose, this is where you need to go to buy tickets. There is a ticket window where you can purchase tickets, and it’s recommended that you do so. Seats are assigned, but the Costa Ricans have no qualms about over-selling the bus. The trip from Jaco to San Jose generally takes 3-4 hours, and without a seat, you’re forced to stand the entre, perilous trip, until someone gets off and there’s an empty seat. This rarely happens. At this bus terminal you can also purchase tickets to other destinations such as Puntarenas and Quepos. Bus fare is inexpensive, and bus travel is always sure to be an adventure. If returning to San Jose by bus from Jaco, there are many places throughout Jaco that you can catch the bus: the bus terminal, of course, the bus stop in front of Mas o Menos, or various other locations along the Jaco strip. It’s also possible to pick up the San Jose bus on the Western side of the road at the crossway in Herradura. There are set times when the buses come and go, and for the most part they are usually on time. Be there a little early so you don’t miss it. As always, be cautious with your belonging on the bus. There is storage underneath the bus for heavier and larger items, but people have been known to take suitcases and bags, from under the bus, that did not belong to them. Always keep an eye on your belonging inside the bus as well.
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