The best snorkeling in Puntarenas is reduced to basically two points: Tortuga Islands and Caño Island. They are known for their abundant marine life and are especially visited for diving. However, Snorkeling in Costa Rica is not the main attraction and there are not many places suitable to enjoy it. The monkeys and sloths are right in your face but there is no longer a decent coral reef there. After a breathtakingly beautiful snorkeling adventure, spending the day on Isla Tortuga is a real treat and the perfect way to spend the rest of your day outdoors. In this article we want to share some of the best available places, some tips and useful information so you can enjoy de best of the snorkeling in Costa Rica. Along with the most common species of fish, you will also find some such as angelfish, starfish, maidens, and eels. Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula Snorkeling. This is safe and recommended. Jacó beach attracts thousands of tourists from around the world due its white sand, excellent surfing, and nightlife. One of the best snorkeling tours in Flamingo, perfect for families and friends! Snorkeling or scuba diving around Isla Tortuga is a marine adventure that they whole family will enjoy. And maybe we could take you to a fantastic snorkeling tour to Caño Island. From five stars resorts to cheap hostels, Jacó beach open an opportunity to all kind of tourists to enjoy a beautiful vacation time. During a snorkeling tour in Manuel Antonio it is possible to appreciate tropical fish. Weather Manzanillo, Costa Rica. Every year hundreds of humpback whales come to this place to feed and have their young. The Guanacaste region has some of Costa Rica’s most famous beaches. The Tortuga Islands are famous for their natural beauty. The Catalina Islands are another Pacific coast diving gem. Costa Rica has a tropical climate with a dry season from December to April, and with a rainy one from May to November. If you are lucky enough they will allow you to see a little of the beautiful marine life in the area. You will be able to experience the best snorkeling in Catalina Islands and Caño Island. Its waters are home of an astonishing diversity of marine life and the visibility is quite good throughout the year. The adventure begins with the boat trip. Conchal beach is a very famous one. It is also important that you know where you should not go for snorkeling. Snorkeling at Ocotal beach is not very good experience, since although the water is calm the visibility is not the best. They can even pick you up at the hotel. For us, one of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica for snorkeling and diving is Caño Island, located at 40km from Uvita. The beaches in Costa Rica are beautiful and widely known internationally. Snorkeling and diving are good all year, but are best during the dry season (Dec.-April). During the humpback whale season, it is common to find some whales jumping and dolphins accompanying their games. The beaches and coasts are not the best place for Snorkeling in Costa Rica. Answer 1 of 3: Sorry I posted in a separate forum but can't seem to move it . There are vibrant coral reefs, flourishing atolls, volcanic rock formations bursting with aquatic life, shark caves, and ship wrecks. The secrets hidden in the waters around them are just impressive. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK", Gondoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge. This is especially good for those travelers who prefer a little more adrenaline. The diving here is dreamy! Uvita 60504, Costa Rica Address: Uvita, Bahia Ballena 200 metros Norte de la entrada del Parque Nacional Marino Ballena, Sector Bahia Ballena. There are over 7000 marine species around Costa Rica. This is a good starting point if you are coming from San José. You’ll get to snorkel, see coastal wildlife, surf, and swim. They will be able to guide you to the most beautiful snorkeling spots, since a boat is required in order to get there. The spectacular display of biodiversity and natural wonder doesn’t stop on land in Costa Rica. This is a world renowned scuba diving spot and particularly famous for its populations of giant manta rays, devil manta rays, bat rays, string rays, spotted eagle rays, bullseye electric rays, and cow-nosed rays. A unique natural phenomenon worth seeing. However, many tourists often ask about the possibilities of snorkeling in some of the beaches in Costa Rica.Best beaches for snorkeling in costa rica. Explore more of the Costa Rican coastline than you could alone on this all-inclusive sunset cruise, complete with open bar and complimentary lunch. It extends from the Nicoya peninsula, in the north, to Punta Burica, in the south. Costa Rica Diving & Snorkeling Tours. On the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, it rains a lot, any moment, for long or short. In the water, the marine life is impressive. Most snorkeling tours combine sailing into the excursion experience with the option of booking in the morning or at sunset. Caño Island is an amazing marine biological reserve located at 53 km from the shore with virgin blue waters making it the perfect tropical paradise for snorkelers and divers. There are several companies in the area that operate tours from Tamarindo and Flamingo beaches to the islands area. The sand is made up of millions of tiny white shells. Costa Rica’s Best Snorkeling. Costa Rica is well known for being an incredible destination with many beachfront resorts. Day 316 - We're going snorkeling for the first time here in Cahuita, Costa Rica! While this is a great place to go snorkeling, it is even better if you can go scuba diving as there are deeper spots that contain some of the most impressive marine life variety. The Caño Island Biological Reserve has a number of exquisitely magical dive spots that are teeming with marine life and coral. The main snorkeling sites in the region are the Cahuita coral reef (located in Cahuita National Park, it can only be accessed by boat with a guide), Puerto Viejo rock pools, Punta Uva reef, and Playa Manzanillo. For your best snorkeling in Costa Rica, some great snorkeling spots are introduced to you, separately located along the … This lush, uninhabited island is located 340 miles off Costa Rica’s south Pacific coast. The best way to get to Caño Island is by hiring a Tour from Uvita. Address: Uvita, Bahia Ballena 200 metros Norte de la entrada del Parque Nacional Marino Ballena, Sector Bahia Ballena. You don’t want to plan your vacations with the expectation of a great snorkeling experience, to discover that once in the water you cannot see more than a meter away. Aside from the immaculate reefs surrounding the island, there is also a ship wreck dive spot. Sea turtles, white tip sharks, manta rays, moray eels, barracudas, tuna, snapper are some of the common animals in the area. Costa Rica has coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Is a snorkel/dive boat better than off shore DIY (do it yourself) snorkeling? However, we do not consider that Snorkeling in Playa Conchal is the best option. The pristine waters surrounding the tiny island off the coast of Drake Bay has been rated one of the best spots to go diving in Costa Rica. This beach is located at 40km from Liberia and is near Playas del Coco. The National Park protect the largest reefs in Central America. Uvita is like magical place. There are 35 different types of coral, over a 120 types of tropical fish, a staggering 120 types of mollusks, and 40 species of crustaceans. The Costa Rica mainland has lots of shoreline to choose from, but one snorkeling place usually tops the rest of the country on a consistent basis. This trip is cheaper because it is closer to the island, but it is ideal only when you are staying near the area. With that said, the Westin Playa Conchal is the best of your options with snorkeling at either end of Playa Conchal. These two reasons are enough to make the snorkeling in Costa Rica not recommended, specifically in the beaches and coasts, at least for those who are looking for a very good underwater experience. Once you put your face into the water an even more magical scene will unfold before your eyes. Islas Murciélagos is located at the very tip of the Santa Rosa National Park off the coast of Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. It is an ideal beach to spend the morning with friends and family. Isla del Coco was described by Jacques Cousteau as “the most beautiful island in the world.” This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located 483 kilometers/300 miles southwest of Cabo Blanco. Most of the really good locations are off-shore and in relatively deep water with strong currents. Costa Rica's waters are home to some 3.5 percent of the total aquatic life on Earth. However there are some limitations especially for beginners. The best months to visit the captivating Catalina Islands are between September and March, which is when the visibility is best. Some animals such as the bull shark and the manta ray are usually seen in these areas. Please make all reservations 24-48 hours in advance. Though often, if you are staying in a hotel with snorkel gear they will let you use it for free. Vibrantly colored sea anemone bring great color to the reef and adorable sea horse sightings are common if you look carefully. Caño Island is considered the “Cocos Island” in miniature, due to the great diversity of species and the importance of the ecosystem it protects. If you are looking for a good snorkeling experience in Guanacaste, you should explore the Catalina Islands or Isla Chora. The island was actually the first spot that Christopher Columbus landed in 1502. There have been whale shark, pilot whales, humpback whales, and dolphin sightingss around this area too. Costa Rica is a great destination if you are looking for Eco-tourism and Scuba Diving. Guanacaste is one of the most beautiful provinces in Costa Rica, located in the northwest of the country. Costa Rica is a country with rugged terrain, a scenic landscape and a beautiful coastline that is dotted with an amazing marine life with various spots that are best for snorkeling in Costa Rica, a once in a lifetime experience that will knock your brains out. None. The island is located about 40km from the coastline and can be reached in about 40 minutes by high-speed boats. However, when we talk about snorkeling, it is important to mention that not all places will offer the best experience. It is actually the only place in the world where two different beaches come together perfectly to form a “Whale Tail”. It’s important to remember that Manuel Antonio, even that is a beautiful beach, is also part of the coast. The consistency of the waves produces a lot of sedimentation that limits visibility on the coastline. Snorkeling & Scuba in Costa Rica. This means that you necessarily will need to rent a Tour or a boat to get to those places where it is worth snorkeling and enjoy marine life. Snorkeling in Costa Rica means swimming among sea turtles, whales, dolphins, manta rays, moray eels, sharks and brightly colored schools of tropical fish. However, Snorkeling in Costa Rica is not the main attraction and there are not many places suitable to enjoy it. Costa Rica has a lot of ocean front and as you’d expect some excellent diving. Some companies in Monctezuma have boats and kayaks for rent. The beach is beautiful, surrounded by tropical dry forest and rock formations. Therefore Costa Rica is considered one of the best destinations for Surfing. Reaching it by car is easy from Playa Flamingo (10min/3km), Tamarindo (35min/20km) but also Liberia, Guacanaste Province’s capital city (45 minutes to 1 hour). But there are better chances of lasting sunny weather between January and April, and in September to October. Admire the ocean from above and below, with time to snorkel among sea turtles, dolphins, and manta rays in a … Cocos Island. This reef is highly important for the marine ecosystem. This is because, like Guanacaste the islands offer the best opportunity to visualize marine life during a snorkeling tour. The best-recommended spot for offshore snorkeling in Costa Rica is the Island of Canos. Many tour operators offer hiking, canopy, and many outdoor activities. There is no other place in the country where the mountains and the sea are so close. For 40 minutes the traveler will be able to enjoy the beautiful view of the South Pacific coastline. Costa Rica has a system of big rivers with large mouths in the ocean. This is because the distance of the bottom is shorter, and the visibility is much better. Discover the vibrant world below the underground mountains of Cano Island, look for sea turtles and colorful fish, take pictures of pan-tropical spotted dolphins and whales with their babies (Jul.-Nov.) in the Pacific Ocean, watch birds and groups of monkeys as you float through a mangrove forest. Manuel Antonio is a beautiful National Park with two wonderful beaches that are in opposite direction, one almost in front of the other. It's funny but Belize is the opposite. If you decide to come to the South Pacific, send us a message. The amount of marine life is diverse. Therefore, it is very important that you get well informed. These remote islands host a fantastic array of marine life, including its most famous resident, the bull shark. Costa Rica is not a good choice if snorkeling from shore is at the top of your list of criteria. Some companies operate from the “Marina los sueños” in Herradura beach. There is 5.8 kilometers/ 3.6 miles of coastline to snorkel off in the Cahuita National Park. “Los Morteros” are ideal especially for those who have not practiced snorkeling before, due to its shallow depth and visibility. Jacó is also a good starting point to explore the surrounding jungle. Since we operate since more than 12 years, it is recommended to ask us before you come for a snorkeling Tour. The beaches in Costa Rica are initially divided into two groups according to which coast they are located on. SCUBA Diving. Here is a list of the best places and some, which although popular, may not be the best option available. Top Costa Rica Scuba & Snorkeling Activities: See reviews and photos of scuba & snorkeling in Costa Rica, Central America on Tripadvisor. Tamarindo is on the northwestern coast of Costa Rica where there are a some popular places to snorkel, like the beach in front of the Paradisus Conchal Hotel.I like to take a sailing boat for snorkeling and get out to the more private places, then return for a sunset snack and drink on the boat before returning to shore. The air temperatures are high year-round with 90F/32C maximum on the Pacific and 86F/30C maximum on the Caribbean coast. The swell of Playa Conchal can be quite strong, so it is always good to be cautious when entering the water. This means that Costa Rica if full of great snorkeling opportunities. It’s more common to find whiles in the Central Pacific area, near to Costa Ballena. Snorkeling in San Juanillo beach is not the best, for the reasons we mentioned. Costa Rica’s ocean territory is actually larger than its terrestrial territory and equally as awe-inspiring. Once in the island, you will be able to enjoy a small and beautiful white sand beach and also an area where the waves are a bit bigger. Just offshore from the Caribbean city of Limon, is Isla Uvita. Is East coast or West coast any better? Due to the strong seasonal Papagayo winds, the best months to dive these islands are between March and November. If you are a foreigner, it’s better to contact a local tour operator. Some operators organize Tours to the island. Most of the people who practiced snorkeling in Jaco mention that the conditions are not optimal and there is not much to see underwater. This island has recently gained the recognition that it deserves as a premier diving destination in Costa Rica. Here we mention some of the beaches, although we do not recommend them as the best snorkeling experience. We will be happy to advise you about the best places. The only way to access the island and its phenomenal dive sites is via a live aboard boat excursion. World-class scuba diving and snorkeling spots for all different levels can be found on both the Pacific and Caribbean coast. Rock formations are more common than corals on the Pacific side, but they are still full of life. During the dry season when the water is less cloudy, you may see colorful fishes and if you are lucky enough, some starfish and urchins. However, we recommend you keep your distance from these animals. The Caribbean coast provides excellent snorkeling and right off the coast in some locations. About 18 kilometers from Guines beach. While this is a great place to go snorkeling, it is even better if you can go scuba diving as there are deeper spots that contain some of the most impressive marine life variety. Puntarenas is the largest province on the Pacific side. Snorkeling in Cahuita Coral Reef. The first reason is that the waves in Costa Rica are very good and very consistent. Avid snorkelers and SCUBA divers who want to be blown right out of the water (pun intended) ought to plan a boat trip to one (or several) of Costa Rica… The park was established in 1978 and has continued to be the only national park in Costa Rica to rely solely on donations. The Catalina Islands are located about 10 km from Flamingo Beach, in Guanacaste. The best time to visit the island is during the dry season, between December and March. Any advice… The experience of snorkeling in Isla Chora is better during low tide. Answer 1 of 6: We loved Caneel Bay on St John because the snorkeling was terrific right off the beach-- actually the 7 beaches, each with its distinct pleasures. plenty of corals but the animals require a inland trip. The white sand and palm tree lined beaches that meet the turquoise crystal clear waters of the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge creates a scene right off a postcard. This is due to the swell, precipitation and sediment carried by the rivers. Chora Island is located around one kilometer from Samara Beach. San Juanillo beach is located near the towns of Marbella and Ostional. Costa Rica is a beautiful country, visited by millions of people every year to appreciate the biodiversity and relax on its incredible beaches. However, if you want to go for snorkeling in Uvita, you may be warned that the visibility may not be the best. The country’s coasts contain many rock formations, coral reefs, some shipwrecks, and are home to abundant marine life. The shallow coral reefs, little islands, and protected bays are ideal for snorkeling and host a colorful assortment of tropical fish and coral. Even that they are usually friendly, their huge size could easily cause you a serious injury. 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