I love a good lookout. A good viewpoint. Best way to get a lay of the land, beautiful panoramic view and a sunset. Throw in an abandoned hotel with some unique graffiti and that's just a bonus.
Philipe, my buddy I met from Quebec and I decided to take the vague directions from the locals to get there and headed out in the early evening. "Walk along the beach, near the end, when you walk over the second river, go up the road." These were the most in-depth directions we could extrapolate from asking multiple times for more details on how to get there, but once we headed back to the road from the beach, we asked a couple workers at a gas station and they pointed us in the right direction.
A steep, but short walk, that starts out on paved road, then to dirt, will lead you up to an arched lookout point over the town of Jaco, Costa Rica below, and the huge sweeping cove that the surf town lies in. From this point, you continue on, the same and only road, until it splits into 2 options off to your left. You can continue somewhat straight, with a slight bend to the left, or a sharper left which looks more like a path, than the other road. This sharp left is the option you want. Once you head up there, you will start to see the foundation of the hotel. Railings. Steps. Lobby?
We had been told it was an abandoned restaurant, but as you arrive, it is clear that is would have been a boutique hotel. This was confirmed when we spoke with a couple locals who come up here often, and apparently the developers ran out of money, quite early in the construction stages. An open lobby area, huge balcony, that may have functioned as a bar or restaurant. Below, there are what seem to be 3 or 4 rooms that face out to the overgrown jungle, but when trimmed would have provided a view to die for. Especially from your hotel room.
Little nooks in the corners of the rooms for where the bathroom would have been designed to be situated, are a clear giveaway this was a very boutique hotel by design. Now, incredibly talented graffiti artists have used the blank white concrete as a canvas to brighten up the place with some vibrant colours.
Definitely worth a visit in the afternoon to get a view of the sunset. The last minutes of sunshine before it recedes behind the horizon shine an orange, red glow off the thin water soaking into the sand and the town of Jaco, from up here looks as relaxed as ever.
To give you clearer directions that the ones we were given, at the south end of the town of Jaco, on the main road that leads south to Playa Hermosa, known as Costanera Sur, there is a gas station called 'Total.' When you arrive at this gas station, face across the road. There will be a small house, and to the right, a steep road bending up the hill to the right. Hop on this 'road' and continue until you reach the fork mentioned earlier in this blog post. It will take you there.
Enjoy Jaco, Costa Rica and if you know anyone headed there, share this blog so they can catch the view, and sunset of a lifetime!