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Jaco in Costa Rica or Popoyo Nicaragua? If You Had To Choose

 


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If you’re considering either Jaco or Popoyo for your real estate purchase, you’re probably a surfer or plan to rent your property to surfers as both locations have world-class surf.

Popoyo has a hollow, long left hand reef break breaking over rock that has been classified by the CNN as one of the top 10 breaks in the world. Other breaks in the area include Panga Drops, an intermediate left and right reef break breaking over sand/rock bottom that can hold a big swell, and the easier left and right beach breaks at Playa Rosada.

Jaco has a solid beach break in the bay itself, but if the swell is large, most surfers head to the southern headland for Roca Loca, a right point break with a rocky bottom. A little south of Jaco lies Playa Hermosa is a long stretch of beach with a number of surf breaks. The site is famous for its consistent waves and is the location for regular surf tournaments.

The primary differences between the real estate markets in the two locations are price, accessibility and proximity to amenities. Jaco is far more developed as a tourism and second home investment market than the Popoyo area. Hotels, cafés and restaurants line the main road and the town is accessible by paved road from San Jose the capital of Costa Rica. Jaco has a thumping nightlife and a strong vacation rental market. Most buyers looking at Jaco real estate concentrate on the beachfront and ocean view condo market.

Popoyo on the other had is only accessible by dirt road. The closest decent sized, well-stocked grocery store is about 1hr away in Rivas. There are smaller ‘pulperias’ close by but with limited selection of goods. While you wont find many condo buildings or large hotels in the immediate area (these are starting to emerge a little sough at Iguana and Rancho Santana) there are a range of surf camps set up locally.

It’s hard to find vacant beachfront land in Jaco as most of the land has been developed into condo projects. But if you’re researching real estate in Popoyo , you’ll find a range of serviced lots as well as ocean view acreage parcels for sale.

Two quite different spots but they do share one thing in common: Great surf.

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