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Old 12-11-2009   #1
Mesa, Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 11
Jaco Costa Rica Dec 27-30 ideas?

I will be in Jaco right after Christmas with my daughters (10 & 12) and parents. I tentatively have plans to kayak the Naranjo and have been in contact with Andres with Rios Tropicals in Quepos. I only have a one full day to get on the river so besides a little bit of kayaking I'd like to rent a small raft and take my daughters on a run, but I have no idea where I could rent a raft or if there are shuttle services. Better yet, if there was a group of locals I could meet up with to set something up. Any ideas or suggestions?

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Old 12-11-2009   #2
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Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1999
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Posts: 1,471
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Are you a creek boater? What kind of stuff are you looking to get at?

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Old 12-11-2009   #3
Mesa, Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 11
Creek boating is my favorite as long as it is within my skill level. I am pertty in solid class III and ok in class IV. I have only done a little kayak surfing, and was "ok" at best. I may try normal surfing down there if time permits. I am open to a day of river running or creek boating.
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Old 12-12-2009   #4
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 11
WARNING!!! Just be careful in Jaco...what used to be a sleepy little surf town is now an expensive sh!thole with nothing but hookers and drug dealers on every corner after place for kids! I was there for 8 days last spring on a fishing boat delivery and would not even think about going back...even the surfing isn't that great....divert to Quepos...or anywhere else...steer clear of Jaco!
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Old 12-12-2009   #5
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Seattle, Washington
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Check out the rivers around Turriabla (Pacuare and Reventezon rivers). It's like buena vista here in CO. Lots of class III/IV and rafting companies.

I second the warning about Jaco. Definitely the worst city in CR with the exception of San Jose.

If you're looking for touristy and easy for gringos, check out Tamarindo. Fewer hookers and drug dealers and a bit cheaper. Even better is Montezuma or Mal Pais, but they're both a fair bit smaller with less touristy jazz.

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Old 12-12-2009   #6
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Mountains on the river!!!, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 702
If your only in the Jaco area for 3 days, Turriabla is going to be too far to go. Stick with the Rios Tropicals in Quepos. However, just south of Jaco is a good section of beach for surf kayaking. I was there a couple years ago and it was great. The surfs are only a few feet high, plenty of play. I don't recal the name, buts its the area that has some of the best surf comps in central american are held (during a different part of the year). I would stay away from Jaco, expecially with your young daughters. I was scared to be in that town with guys in broad daylight. Don't even consider going out after dark.

If your flying into CR, get reservations here. Hotel Mi Tierra
They pick you up/drop off from the airport, the owner is a great guy. They have boats to rent, as much info as you want. I stayed there, even sold my boat and gear to him.
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Old 12-13-2009   #7
Mesa, Arizona
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 11
Thanks for the heads-up on Jaco, no nightlife plans for us. Just hanging out at the beach house most of the time. For any plans to a town we will keep clear of Jaco. I will hopefully check out the surf spot and for now stick with my plans in Quepos. Thanks.
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Old 12-13-2009   #8
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,879
Agree with what everyone says about Jaco. It's nothing you can't find at Myrtle Beach. Stay somewhere on the road to Manuel Antonio- way more kid-friendly, but watch the rips at the beach there.

I did the III section of the Naranjo one day- it's not all that special of a stretch of whitewater, but entertaining enough because you travel through this huge palm plantation to get there. If you get sick of Jaco, roll all the way down to Dominical (an hour south of Quepos). Great, chill surf town. You could also take a day trip up to the Rio General near San Isidro. I paddled a decent III stretch there.
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Old 12-15-2009   #9
Evergreen, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5
I have Property in Costa Rica, and i again echo the sentiments about Jaco. It is really gone to shit. It is also the one of the busiest times of the year. What are you looking for? I love Dominical but it is 3.5 hours from the Airport, so that may be rough for a weekend outing, unless you get a puddle jumper to Quepos or Palmar Norte. Check out Nature Air and Sansa for information. As far as whitewater, Turrialba is the capital, but it is hours in the wrong direction. If you head to Quepos or Dominical Hit the General in San Isidro Class IV and amazing, or the Guabo it is a really nice classe 3 float with a 5 thrown in for fun. There is lots of Whitwater down south so either pick up a copy of Chasing Jaguars by Lee Eudy or hook up with a guide. There is a good one in Dominical; its called Dominical Surf and Adventures, they are a great couple that are service forward.
So, post what you are looking for. I would love to help you out any way I can. I have a lot of good connections in Costa Rica. But there is a lot of Country to Explore. Remeber that it is a country the size of West Virgina that has 8 recognized climate Zones. It is also "summer" break for the kiddo's until Easter, so it will be busy on the beaches...
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Old 01-23-2010   #10
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 4
Jaco is no good place to stay in Costa Rica. Come to La Fortuna, visit the volcano Arenal, do a rafting, hotsprings or volcano tour with us and enjoy the beautiful nature that Costa Rica hast to offer.

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