Costa Rica

Hiking to the ruins of El Miro in Jaco

Hiking to the ruins of El Miro in Jaco, Costa Rica is a must do when visiting Jaco. El Miro is an ancient ruin with white arches, pillars, spectacular murals and graffiti. It offers a fantastic view of Playa Jaco. Read everything you need to know to have the best hike possible here.


  • Once the foundation for a mansion
  • Safe and well marked trail
  • Breath-taking panoramic view of the Playa Jaco
  • Beautiful murals and artwork
  • Great photo opportunities at the ruins

The story behind the ruins of El Miro in Jaco

It is said that a rich man wanted to build a house, hotel or restaurant on top of the hill, because of the great view of Jaco’s coastline. Unfortunately, the man died before the building was ever completed. Decades of abandonment and dereliction have made their marks on the building, which over the years became a wide-scale canvas for local artists. Now the 3-story  building with white pillars and huge balconies is used as an observation deck for curious hikers and travelers.

How to get to the ruins of El Miro in Jaco

To get to the ruins, take the highway past Jaco towards Quepos. Drive or walk to the Delta Jacó gas station, a gas station between Playa Jaco and Playa Hermosa, along the National Primary Route 34 (Carretera Costanera Sur). The entrance is in front of the gas station across the road. There are a few parking spots across the street on the highway.

You will find an abandoned hotel in the starting section of the trail ‘Villa Mariposa Bed and Breakfast’. The trailhead is a bit tricky to find. At the start of the trail you will find several signs.

Hiking to the ruins of El Miro in Jaco

It’s an easy 20 minutes to reach the first viewpoint. On the way up, we saw a lot of birds, butterflies, lizards, different types of flora and fauna and the walls along the trail/road were lined with mesmerizing Aztec-like artwork. Some people also spotted monkeys along the way.

We hung out at the first viewpoint for about 15 minutes and soaked in the breathtaking beauty. This viewpoint is crazy, it’s like a big balcony from where you can see the entire 4 km stretch of Playa Jaco.

On the way from the viewpoint to the ruins we saw a lot more paintings.


After another 25 minutes we reached the ruins. Decades of abandonment and dereliction have made their marks on the building, which over the years became a wide-scale canvas for local artists. Standing out particularly among the ruins is a series of murals across the building’s main staircase, depicting a hodgepodge of animals, plants and even aliens. The panoramic view and graffiti are astounding and well worth the steep walk.

Many hikers and travelers sit down on the balconies to watch the sunset. After the sunset, we hiked back down to the beach. Overall the hike was well maintained and not tedious. The trail for the most part was paved or pretty good. Somewhat maintained and plenty of trash and recycling bins along the trail.

Tips for hiking to the ruins of El Miro in Jaco

  • Take proper walking shoes and plenty of water
  • Make this a morning hike as it will be very hot around noon and in the afternoon
  • Even when dry it can be slippery, so be especially careful during the wet season. Water sometimes runs over part of the trail
  • Keep your dog on a leash if he’s not good with horses
  • Take a flashlight with you for the way back down

Watch the sunset at Playa Jaco

Once back down you have the option to head back into town or walk to the beach. We decided to walk to the beach and have a last glimpse of the sunset. Well worth the walk!

Where to stay in Jaco?

There are many accommodations in Jaco. Use an online platform like Cozycozy to compare prices for vacation homes and find a beautiful beach front hotel, all inclusive resort, jungle villa or apartment. There are plenty of options!

So if you are a lover of panoramic views, nature and magical sunsets the ruins of El Miro, Jaco are perfect for you, for sure it will become one of your favorite places in Costa Rica.

If you’re planning to visit the ruins of El Miro in Jaco and have any unanswered questions, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below!

Author: Daphne

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