Life’s a Beach, at least in Jaco!
This weekend we decided to go to Jaco beach, the only thing startling about this is that we’ve been in Costa Rica for a year and hadn’t yet gone to Jaco. I’m not sure why, maybe because we’re more mountain people than beach people so we head up when we have free time, but the kids love the beach and spending a day splashing in the waves is always a really fun, stress-free family outing. It’s hard for kids to bicker (and, consequently, grate on our nerves) when they’re giggling uncontrollably from having been knocked down by a wave or when they’re body surfing and exclaiming “BEST! WAVE! EVER!” Bonding as opposed to poking is a very good thing and we seize opportunities for our children to do this, Jaco was a winner!
We decided for our first trip there we would go to easy route and, rather than packing lunch and searching for parking, we went to the Club del Mar hotel. For twenty dollars a person we got a secure place to park our car, access to bathrooms, use of the pool, and lunch, a very good vegetarian casado–rice, beans, tortillas, fresh cheese, veggies, and plantains. So we parked, swam until the kids started turning into prune-like creatures, dried off, and ate a yummy lunch. After lunch the kids swam in the pool while my husband and I let our food settle and decided a stroll along the beach was in order. Cue the kids “Argh, a walk? But we’re at the beach! The beach is for swimming!” Five minutes into the walk “Oh man, this is SO BEAUTIFUL!! Let’s keep walking!” It goes like this every time we suggest a walk, you’d think they would remember that.
Part of the reason we very much enjoyed Jaco is because the hotel is on the outskirts of town so it was quiet, there weren’t a ton of people around, and we felt more isolated than I think we would have if we’d been on a beach in the center of it all. Jaco is our kind of place because it’s on the edge of the rainforest so you really get the best of both worlds and it just feels so tropical and exotic. We discovered a place to park for future visits on the edge of the beach so, should we not feel like dropping a chunk of cash for a day at the beach, we can pack a picnic and park where we can still see our car. Always nice to have options. The icing on the cake of this fun day out was a visit to the crocodile bridge outside of Jaco. This is a bridge where, for some reason, the crocs congregate. It’s a little scary to be that near to a large number of creatures who could kill you where you stand but they’re far enough away that, unless you fall from the bridge into the river (~shudder~) it’s perfectly safe and pretty cool to watch them hang out!