Hola, buenos dias! With Bamboo Bass right around the corner, it’s time to do some research and start planning out your trip, if you haven’t already.
Personally, our attending staffer has never been south of Mexico and doesn’t want to get lost, so we figured why not do a little walkthrough to help anyone traveling to the festival, or Costa Rica, for the very first time. Or for those that may just need some reference points while we’re taking everything in.
From everything you need to know about Bamboo Bass, to the basics about traveling in Costa Rica, this guide will hopefully help your experience in paradise be the absolute best one it can be! So keep on reading to find out helpful tips during your visit to the Rich Coast. If you have any tips and tricks different from those in this article, please comment below!
Bamboo Bass takes place in the vicinity of Jacó, Costa Rica, a small resort town on the Pacific coast that offers a 2.5 mile (4km) long beach with some of the best surfing in the country.
The festival itself is being held at the Jacó Ropes Adventure Park, just minutes from downtown Jacó beach. Switching spots from last year’s inaugural festival, the new location is cradled by a canopy of Costa Rica’s breathtaking jungle flora and will truly help create the perfect atmosphere for one of the most unique festival experiences around.
Accessible by vehicle via the Costanera Sur Highway 34 (or Route 34), Jacó is roughly a 90-minute drive from the Juan Santamaría International Airport, and about two hours south west of the capital, San José. Your options for getting into Jacó include renting a car, taking a bus, or ideally booking yourself on the shuttle, which takes you from the airport directly to where you need to go within Jacó. The airport has a reputation of being hectic, so make sure you come prepared!
If you’re planning to rent a car, the internet or the airport can get you on your way. But keep in mind Costa Rica has one of the highest accident ratings of the Americas, and that you may also be a target for petty theft, which is common from vehicles; especially rentals. Lock your doors and keep your valuables hidden to help reduce the threat.
If you choose to take a bus, hail one of the red/burgundy coloured taxis, and pay the $25 USD cab ride to the 7-10 bus terminal, where you can catch a $5 USD bus that will take you to Jacó in about 3-4 hours. Should you choose this option, plan accordingly, because while the transit system in Costa Rica is generally safe, it is known to be unreliable at times.
Once in Jacó, the Jacó Ropes Adventure Park is short 20-30 minute walk from most places downtown. Taxis are also available for around $2-4 USD (look for the RED taxis, they use a meter), as well as single person modes of transportation, like bikes, should you want to save your legs for more dancing.
For anyone wanting to cross “Camping in a jungle” off their bucket list, Bamboo Bass will be providing the option for just $20. This includes a spot to setup camp, plus access to open air showers, which are basically the greatest thing ever.
For those like our Canadian attendee who find 4°C kind of hot, there are multiple options available around Jacó, which range from extremely affordable to more than most people are willing to spend. A quick search on any travel site will present you with a list of options available for rent, including hostels, resorts, private condos, and hotels. Hostels like the Buddha House offer many different options, like dorm rooms, private rooms, and group rooms, that won’t break your bank account.
What to do in Jaco
Even though we’re going down to bask in the bass, you’re inevitably going to find yourself with some down time at some point during your trip, so why not experience some of the unique things that Costa Rica has to offer?
A leading destination of ecotourism, Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse places on earth, covering just 0.1% of the earth’s landmass, yet accounting for 5% of the planets biodiversity. There are hundreds of flora and fauna that are unique to the country, and features a range of activities like white water rafting, rappelling waterfalls, climbing an active volcano, crocodile adventures, plus some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. You can even zipline at the venue during the day!
With some of the best waves on this side of the Pacific, the surfing in Jacó is nothing short of world class. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or you’ve never stepped foot on a board in your life, the water in February brings consistent waves of all sizes, meaning somewhere around Jacó, there’s a wave with your name on it. Lessons are cheap and boards are plentiful, so find one near you and hit the beach!
Costa Rican cuisine is definitely something to experience while you’re down for Bamboo Bass as well. Dishes like arroz con pollo, gallo pinto, and ceviche are the real deal, and use local ingredients to create some of the most mouth watering flavours you’ll ever taste.