Playa Jaco Wedding Photography
Playa Jaco is a beautiful beach town on the pacific coast of Costa Rica, and it makes a fantastic destination for a wedding. Photography here is characterized by long strips of sandy beaches, gorgeous rain forests, and scarlet macaws, which will probably be flapping around in some of your photos since one of the largest populations of the bird lives in the nearby national park of Carara. You can learn a ton about Jaco over on Wikipedia and Wikitravel.
As you plan your wedding, know that Jaco has a rainy season from August to December, and a dry season that follows until April, just like the rest of Costa Rica. Thus, it’s a good idea to tie the knot down here around Christmas or shortly thereafter.
Getting to town is super easy, as it’s a mere 2 hour drive from the main airport in San Jose. You can rent a car or take a number of busses into the town.
Jaco has some of the most consistent surf in the country, and in all of Central America. If you or your wedding guests love to get in the water, consider this beautiful destination. The nearly 3 mile long beach is literally all breaks, so despite the town’s popularity, there are tons of uncrowded waves to catch.
These water antics make for great photography sessions, since our wedding packages come with two days of coverage. Thus, we generally hang out and shoot the day before the wedding as well as the day of the wedding.
The wedding requirements in Costa Rica are pretty easy to deal with. You’ll need your passports and two notarized copies, witnesses, a certificate stating that you’re not already married, and a small questionnaire filled out. You don’t need to be in Costa Rica for any time beforehand, nor does your stuff need to be translated into Spanish. Easy! Just show up, get married, and let’s go shoot some cool pictures!
Jaco Wedding Venues
There are lots of super cool places to get married in Playa Jaco. Here are a few favorites!
- http://www.hotelvillacaletas.com – one of the country’s leading hotels, perched up on a hilltop overlooking the beach, with amazing architecture and one of the best views of the sunset you can get.
- http://www.ramadajacobay.com – Jaco Bay has a cool place because it’s a mix of hotel and condo, so you have a little more independence. The rooms have great amenities, like full kitchenettes. Great for wedding guests.
- http://www.docelunas.com – Really fun hotel with many acres of adjacent jungles, a great pool, and regular yoga programs. Really picturesque grounds, great for making super pretty photos.
Jaco Adventure Guide
If you want to experience the fastest growing Surf town in Costa Rica like a true Jaco native, there are a few tips from our friends at AdventureToursCostaRica.com, who have generously provided this fun list of activities. Thanks to +Gordon, who’s either catching waves in the beautiful Jaco surf or ATV riding through the rain forest.Is there an art exhibit going on during your vacation? A surf competition? A fundraiser? If there is, be sure to attend if you can. Here is where you will experience the passion and energy that keeps the Jaco vibe alive. Familiarize yourself with photos of the Costa Rican National Surf Champions, because chances are you will run into at least one on your vacation. There are also a lot of artistic events and fundraisers throughout the year which not only showcase some incredible visual artists (great one of a kind souvenirs), but quite often have live music and dancing into the night.
Another thing to note is that every night is a lady’s night! Yes, it’s true — so pay attention if you’re getting married and have a wedding party or a bunch of bridesmaids in tow: girls drink free every night of the week somewhere in town. If you are standing at a bar and no one else is around, chances are you haven’t found the right spot. So make sure before you go spending your money buying $8 daiquiris and mojitos, you get yourself to the party. Mondays-Orange Pub, Tuesdays-Rioasis, Wednesday-Jaco Blu or Backyard Bar in Hermosa, Thursday-Claritas, Friday-Los Amigos & Le Loft, Saturday & Sunday-start early at Swell Bar.
We all like to look and feel good when we go out, especially when on vacation. But just remember that here in the land of Pura Vida, we like to keep it pretty casual; even the President is most often seen in a polo shirt! Unless you are in San Jose, the fave footwear of Ticos (aka Costa Ricans) and foreigners alike are Flip Flops. You’ll be hard pressed to find one night a year on the Pacific coast which requires the use of anything warmer than a T-Shirt, so don’t over pack! A quick list of what you’ll need is: flip flops, t-shirts, tank tops, bathing suits, sundresses (for the ladies) and a sun hat.A Costa Rican vacation, when done right, can get pretty pricey when you add up the transportation, tours and accommodation. To shave some costs we recommend eating fresh and delicious Costa Rican cuisine! You can’t go wrong with local favorites, which include fish or shrimp ceviche (try at Taco Bar or The Fish Market by the gym), or a typical casado, which is a ‘marriage’ of the most popular items in Costa Rica—rice & beans, plantain, your choice of meat or fish, salad and veggies (try at Rustico or Soda Garabito) and of course for breakfast; Gallo Pinto and eggs as you like ‘em (try at Marea Alta or Rustico).
If you are planning a trip to the Surf Mecca of Latin America make sure you set aside time to see what all the fuss is about! There are a number of surf schools in town which have ISA (International Surfing Association) certified instructors staff who will open up a whole new aquatic world to you.After your lessons, rent a board for $5-$10 per day, but be sure to remain conscious of the tides. It is best to surf in Jaco two hours before and after high tide. The south end of the beach is best for beginners and has consistently well shaped waves. Hermosa, the next beach south of Jaco is a hot spot for experienced and veteran surfers. Catch the weekly surf competition in front of Backyard Bar in Hermosa every Saturday afternoon at 4:00pm!
With these few tips in mind, you are set to enjoy your dream vacation in Costa Rica with some authentic local flavor. Hopefully this will allow you to experience Jaco through the eyes and experiences of a native.
Dreamtime Verdict: Playa Jaco
Jaco is one of the best places to get married in Costa Rica if you love surfing and want a mid-sized beach town with lots of nightlife. There are other awesome little villages scattered throughout the country that may be quieter, but the problem is they can be pretty dull at night. Larger towns might be more happening, but you will probably lose your wedding guests in the crowd. Jaco mixes it all together perfect, all in an easy-to-get-to destination that makes a beautiful backdrop for wedding pics.