Jaco - Puntarenas - Costa Rica. Jaco is a place that some people love and others hate. Perhaps it could be considered the "Las Vegas" of Costa Rica.
Jaco is possible the best example of Ying and Yang in the country. It has everything great about Costa Rica from great Sport Fishing, incredible surfing, reasonable accomodations, and good restaurants, but it also is home to many of the negatives in the country. Jaco has several problems with over development, lack of infrastructure to sustain the growth, prostitution, drugs, and an unfortunate beach that is littered beach with is simply disgraceful in such a beautiful country.
Being a straight shot from San Jose, created this popularity and notoriety. A new "superhighway" is being constructed to make access even easier and faster. A popular vacation spot for both inland Tico's and foreign tourists alike, the town grew very quickly. A little over a decade ago, the town became home skyscrapers, multiple restaurants and hotels, and a generally urban feel in a village sized area. This "gold rush" effect created a lot of problems that are hopefully simply growing pains in the growth to becoming a clean, yet urban beach Destination. Like Playa Herradura, many American investors sought "gold" here, speculating in real estate and buying up everything. And like Herradura, the global economy has greatly reduced the urban sprawl, which will hopefully give Jaco time to catch up to fill its shoes and turn into what could be an incredible Costa Rican destination.