This island has recently gained the recognition that it deserves as a premier diving destination in Costa Rica. The consistency of the waves produces a lot of sedimentation that limits visibility on the coastline. Most of the people who practiced snorkeling in Jaco mention that the conditions are not optimal and there is not much to see underwater. The best months to visit the captivating Catalina Islands are between September and March, which is when the visibility is best. Although is not very common in the area, some people have seen humpback whales, which mainly arrive during the months of January, December, August and July. Puntarenas is the largest province on the Pacific side. Is a snorkel/dive boat better than off shore DIY (do it yourself) snorkeling? To get to the Catalina Islands, it is better to hire a snorkeling or diving tour. Due to the strong seasonal Papagayo winds, the best months to dive these islands are between March and November. Some operators organize Tours to the island. They are made up of a series of twenty small islands. Address: Uvita, Bahia Ballena 200 metros Norte de la entrada del Parque Nacional Marino Ballena, Sector Bahia Ballena. The island doesn’t have any man-made infrastructure, so you will have to take a boat out there from Limon, which is only about a 20 minute ride. Weather Manzanillo, Costa Rica. Costa Rica’s Best Snorkeling. If you are lucky enough they will allow you to see a little of the beautiful marine life in the area. From five stars resorts to cheap hostels, Jacó beach open an opportunity to all kind of tourists to enjoy a beautiful vacation time. What all inclusive is good for snorkeling right in front of the resort ? Costa Rica snorkeling conditions. Admire the ocean from above and below, with time to snorkel among sea turtles, dolphins, and manta rays in a … Some companies operate from the “Marina los sueños” in Herradura beach. 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). Snorkeling in San Juanillo beach is not the best, for the reasons we mentioned. About 18 kilometers from Guines beach. This is mainly because the waters are rich in nutrients, have convergent currents and acceptable visibility during most of the year.Best places for Snorkeling in Costa Rica. A diving adventure to Isla del Coco is only for experienced scuba divers with a truly adventurous spirit. It is an ideal place to swim and enjoy the tranquility of the sea, because the tiny waves. Free-shore snorkeling, whilst still very good and genially convenient, ... Best Snorkeling on Costa Rica Islands. It is an ideal beach to spend the morning with friends and family. Manuel Antonio National Park is perhaps the only place where you can snorkel in the area, specifically in a shallow area. In general, they are beautiful beaches. Vibrantly colored sea anemone bring great color to the reef and adorable sea horse sightings are common if you look carefully. The diving here is dreamy! There are vibrant coral reefs, flourishing atolls, volcanic rock formations bursting with aquatic life, shark caves, and ship wrecks. The shallow waters and the crystal clear blue waters of the Caribbean coast provide an excellent opportunity to … plenty of corals but the animals require a inland trip. The best-recommended spot for offshore snorkeling in Costa Rica is the Island of Canos. Therefore Costa Rica is considered one of the best destinations for Surfing. While the Cahuita National Park isn’t far from the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge, the diving scene here is other worldly. This is because, like Guanacaste the islands offer the best opportunity to visualize marine life during a snorkeling tour. Costa Rica is a beautiful country, visited by millions of people every year to appreciate the biodiversity and relax on its incredible beaches. Both places offer a great experience, but we would like to recommend Caño Island as one of the best options. Costa Rica has a system of big rivers with large mouths in the ocean. Some rivers such as the Terraba, the Barú, and the Tempisque carry a lot of sediment during the rainy season, which reduces visibility on the coasts. Best Beaches on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Side. However, if you want to go for snorkeling in Uvita, you may be warned that the visibility may not be the best. For your best snorkeling in Costa Rica, some great snorkeling spots are introduced to you, separately located along the … The sharks don’t steal the whole show here though. 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. Costa Rica Snorkeling Caribbean Coast Snorkeling. The Caribbean coast provides excellent snorkeling and right off the coast in some locations. The Gondoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge is one of the best snorkeling spots on the Caribbean coast. One of the good things about Snorkel is that it does not require much preparation. Uvita 60504, Costa Rica Address: Uvita, Bahia Ballena 200 metros Norte de la entrada del Parque Nacional Marino Ballena, Sector Bahia Ballena. A Tale of Two Beaches: Costa Rica’s Caribbean & Pacific Coastlines. The beaches and coasts are not the best place for Snorkeling in Costa Rica. The island was actually the first spot that Christopher Columbus landed in 1502. The beaches in Costa Rica are beautiful and widely known internationally. If you decide to come to the South Pacific, send us a message. But St John was badly damaged by the hurricanes. Costa Rica is a beautiful country, visited by millions of people every year to appreciate the biodiversity and relax on its incredible beaches. Devil rays, white-tipped reef sharks, and sea turtles can be spotted on almost every dive! The second reason has to do with the rivers. Uvita is like magical place. Snorkeling & Scuba in Costa Rica. Snorkeling and diving are good all year, but are best during the dry season (Dec.-April). Playa Conchal is located at the extremity of Brasilito village, at the heart of the Pacific “gold coast”, Costa Rica’s main sun & beach destination. Isla del Coco is famous for his scalloped hammerhead populations, as well as multiple other types of sharks, whales, dolphins, rays, and tropical fish. Most of the really good locations are off-shore and in relatively deep water with strong currents. Snorkeling in Cahuita Coral Reef. This reef is highly important for the marine ecosystem. Is East coast or West coast any better? Costa Rica's waters are home to some 3.5 percent of the total aquatic life on Earth. 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. San Juanillo beach is located near the towns of Marbella and Ostional. Just offshore from the Caribbean city of Limon, is Isla Uvita. Many tour operators offer hiking, canopy, and many outdoor activities. Guanacaste is one of the most beautiful provinces in Costa Rica, located in the northwest of the country. Snorkeling or scuba diving around Isla Tortuga is a marine adventure that they whole family will enjoy. However, Snorkeling in Costa Rica is not the main attraction and there are not many places suitable to enjoy it. The Guanacaste region has some of Costa Rica’s most famous beaches. Cocos Island. Snorkeling in Tortuga Islands takes place in “Los morteros”. Once you put your face into the water an even more magical scene will unfold before your eyes. You can literally walk off Punta Cahuita and start snorkeling. The only way to access the island and its phenomenal dive sites is via a live aboard boat excursion. Costa Rica is not a good choice if snorkeling from shore is at the top of your list of criteria. This lush, uninhabited island is located 340 miles off Costa Rica’s south Pacific coast. The snorkeling tour is a great way to explore Cahuita’s coral reef surrounding the tip of the National Park referred to as Punta Cahuita. However, we recommend you keep your distance from these animals. There are some local operators that offer Snorkeling in Manuel Antonio and they will take you to the right place. This is especially good for those travelers who prefer a little more adrenaline. 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. It is also possible to get to the island from Sierpe, but for people who come from San José, Guanacaste or the north of the country it requires spending more hours driving. One of the world’s top ten scuba diving destinations, Cocos Island features an amazing display of biodiversity among ethereal underwater experiences. It’s more common to find whiles in the Central Pacific area, near to Costa Ballena. 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. Every year more than 2 million tourists come to Costa Rica to enjoy their vacations for this reason. Costa Rica is enriched with many beautiful places to visit and learn about the wonderful biodiversity. And maybe we could take you to a fantastic snorkeling tour to Caño Island. The amount of life that can be seen during a snorkeling tour in those places is impressive. Answer 1 of 3: Sorry I posted in a separate forum but can't seem to move it . 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. Other species that you can find while snorkeling in Manuel Antonio are wrasse fish, puffer fish, damsels, sergeants and other species. Many travelers looking for good snorkeling sites in Costa Rica prefer to stay on land and enjoy the beauty from the beach. There is 5.8 kilometers/ 3.6 miles of coastline to snorkel off in the Cahuita National Park. The Catalina Islands are another Pacific coast diving gem. The best snorkeling in Puntarenas is reduced to basically two points: Tortuga Islands and Caño Island. The crystal clear and calm waters are home to a stunning variation of tropical fish and marine species, such as parrotfish, porcupine fish, angelfish, moray eels, turtles, and eagle rays. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK", Gondoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge. As your Costa Rica Experts, we represent full service, PADI-certified dive shops to ensure a safe and amazing scuba diving and snorkeling experience. Even that they are usually friendly, their huge size could easily cause you a serious injury. 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. Chora Island is located around one kilometer from Samara Beach. If you go for snorkeling, in the months where the water has better visibility, it is possible to find colorful fishes. During a snorkeling tour in Caño Island it is possible to find many surprises. The experience of snorkeling in Isla Chora is better during low tide. This trip is cheaper because it is closer to the island, but it is ideal only when you are staying near the area. “Los Morteros” are ideal especially for those who have not practiced snorkeling before, due to its shallow depth and visibility. This is mainly because the best snorkeling sites in Costa Rica are accessible only by boat or kayak. Costa Rica has a variety of different types of fish and creatures to explore in this area. The monkeys and sloths are right in your face but there is no longer a decent coral reef there. This is because the heavy rains sometimes reduce the visibility inside the water. You’ll get to snorkel, see coastal wildlife, surf, and swim. Costa Rica has a tropical climate with a dry season from December to April, and with a rainy one from May to November. The air temperatures are high year-round with 90F/32C maximum on the Pacific and 86F/30C maximum on the Caribbean coast. 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 have been whale shark, pilot whales, humpback whales, and dolphin sightingss around this area too. A unique natural phenomenon worth seeing. The country’s coasts contain many rock formations, coral reefs, some shipwrecks, and are home to abundant marine life. Its Tropical dry forest is a perfect complement for its white sand beaches. It is also important that you know where you should not go for snorkeling. If you are a foreigner, it’s better to contact a local tour operator. But there are better chances of lasting sunny weather between January and April, and in September to October. The amount of marine life is diverse. On this snorkeling site you will find a large number of colorful fishes and some corals. Manatees, dolphins, and sea turtles also sometimes visit this beautiful refuge. The Catalina Islands are located about 10 km from Flamingo Beach, in Guanacaste. However, there are a few options of renting a boat or kayak to get there on your own. Experienced divers come from all over the world in search of the exhilarating experience of diving alongside these massive sharks. On the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, there are very few snorkeling locations, all located on a short twenty kilometers-long shore. Snorkeling in Costa Rica means swimming among sea turtles, whales, dolphins, manta rays, moray eels, sharks and brightly colored schools of tropical fish. They will be able to guide you to the most beautiful snorkeling spots, since a boat is required in order to get 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. The sand is made up of millions of tiny white shells. Therefore, it is very important that you get well informed. 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… Just off the coast of the island, dolphin, humpback whale, pilot whale, and manta ray sightings are common. The beaches and coasts are not the best place for Snorkeling in Costa Rica. It is actually the only place in the world where two different beaches come together perfectly to form a “Whale Tail”. 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. The secrets hidden in the waters around them are just impressive. Islas Murciélagos is located at the very tip of the Santa Rosa National Park off the coast of Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. This tour highlights some of the activities you might want to try while you’re near the shore. One of the best snorkeling tours in Flamingo, perfect for families and friends! We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. Costa Rica has coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. We will be happy to advise you about the best places. These are rock formations in shallow water. Explore more of the Costa Rican coastline than you could alone on this all-inclusive sunset cruise, complete with open bar and complimentary lunch. Sea turtles, white tip sharks, manta rays, moray eels, barracudas, tuna, snapper are some of the common animals in the area. Answer 1 of 3: Sorry I posted in a separate forum but can't seem to move it . 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. 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. It’s important to remember that Manuel Antonio, even that is a beautiful beach, is also part of the coast. What all inclusive is good for snorkeling right in front of the resort ? Every year hundreds of humpback whales come to this place to feed and have their young. These remote islands host a fantastic array of marine life, including its most famous resident, the bull shark. The province of Puntarenas is known by its beautiful beaches, National Parks and Protected Areas, such as the Corcovado National Park. This beach is located at 40km from Liberia and is near Playas del Coco. However, beaches are not the main attraction for snorkeling in Costa Rica, mainly for two reasons. This means that Costa Rica if full of great snorkeling opportunities. 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. There is no other place in the country where the mountains and the sea are so close. The Tours to Tortuga Islands depart from the dock. Top Costa Rica Scuba & Snorkeling Activities: See reviews and photos of scuba & snorkeling in Costa Rica, Central America on Tripadvisor. This is safe and recommended. If you are looking for a good snorkeling experience in Guanacaste, you should explore the Catalina Islands or Isla Chora. The Caño Island Biological Reserve has a number of exquisitely magical dive spots that are teeming with marine life and coral. 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. 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