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where is the closest beach to San Jose

wash
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where is the closest beach to San Jose

I don't have too much time in San Jose, going for dental work but would like to spend a few days at the beach. Which is easiest to get to. thanks, Jan

Punta Uva, Costa...
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for Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
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1. Re: where is the closest beach to San Jose

You are about 2.5 hours from Puntarenas, but I would not call that a beach more like a port city, the nicest beaches are more likely about 4 to 5 hours away. Either Quepos/Manuel Antonio on the Pacific and Cahuita/Puerto Viejo/Manzanillo on the Caribbean side.

wash
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2. Re: where is the closest beach to San Jose

Hi, thanks very much. Will skip the first one. Which do you think is better, the Pacific or Caribbean side? Jan

Atlanta
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for Jaco, Bocas Town
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3. Re: where is the closest beach to San Jose

Jaco is 1.5 hour drive from San Jose and easy to get to.

Playa Conchal...
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4. Re: where is the closest beach to San Jose

You can also fly to Tamarindo in 50 minutes. Nature Air has good deals.

www.natureair.com

Punta Uva, Costa...
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5. Re: where is the closest beach to San Jose

Jaco in more like 2.5 hrs, but I would not recommend that beach, is more a party place. Both coast are beautiful as they are different, for me, the Caribbean is more lay back, less developed, less crowded, with more of a Caribbean feel to it.

Punta Uva is one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica, and you can stay in a nice bungalow style hotel in area for around $70 us with breakfast.

Atlanta
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for Jaco, Bocas Town
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6. Re: where is the closest beach to San Jose

I guess I am saying 1.5 hours from the airport with a private driver. Only takes us 1.5 hours.

Punta Uva, Costa...
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7. Re: where is the closest beach to San Jose

Fast driver!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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8. Re: where is the closest beach to San Jose

Jaco is the closest kind of nice beach from San Jose and at the Caribbean...Puerto Viejo...about 4 hours!

Just buckle up and enjoy the ride in PARADISE!

Antigua, Guatemala
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9. Re: where is the closest beach to San Jose

Hi Jan,

I'd go to Punta Leona, it's 2 hours away. An absolutely gorgeous beach, easy access and the resort it lovely and not crazy expensive at all.

It has actually 2 beautiful private beaches and pools and a great way to unwind after dental work!

Hope this helps,

Marina K. Villatoro

Tampa, FL
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for San Jose, Costa Rica
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10. Re: where is the closest beach to San Jose

Even from the SJO airport, that would have to be a VERY fast driver to make it to Jaco in just 1.5 hrs. And, if there is any traffic on the road down, it would have to be a very UNSAFE driver in order to pass all the slow moving trucks on all those blind curves. Plus Jan didn't say whether she'd be going to the beach directly from the airport or after she had her dental work done in San Jose.

The Caribbean side IS more laid back and underdeveloped. For some, that is exactly what they may be looking for. OTOH, the Pacific side has more tourist options and is more popular overall. IMHO, there are nice beaches (and some not so nice) on BOTH sides and there is a lot to be said for both.

I agree that the beach in Jaco is one of those that are not so nice, however I also think that the Jaco AREA doesn't always get a fair shot. There ARE some nice beaches NEAR Jaco including some that you get to before you even get to Jaco.

For example, the closest beach to SJO is probably Playa Tarcoles and not either Puntarenas or Jaco and it actually is only 1.5 hours from the airport. I'm not so sure how nice that beach is or even anything about accomodations near it, so you'd probably be better off going a little further towards Jaco than that. However there are a couple of really nice beaches with great hotel/resort accommodations before you get to Jaco (Punta Leona and Playa Herradura) and they are close enough to Jaco that you could go on to Jaco to enjoy the dining and nightlife that it has to offer.

On the Caribbean side, the closest beach to SJ would be near Limon and that is a port city that is not any nicer than Puntarenas. It is also roughly the same distance from SJ as Puntarenas but would take almost an hour longer to get to from the airport than Puntarenas. The nicer beaches on the Caribbean side are much further south (4 hours to Cahuita and 5 hours to Puerto Viejo from SJ plus 30 minutes more if you were starting from SJO).

IMHO, if you're going for a few days than the difference of 1-2 hours extra driving should not be your prime concern, but since you mentioned easiest to get to as one of your criteria, you'd be looking at a 4-5 hour drive each way to the better Carribean side beaches from SJ (again 30 minutes more from SJO) vs. <2.5hrs to the beaches before Jaco to 3.5hrs to Manuel Antonio from SJ (again 30 minutes less from SJO)