In the surrounding waters you can find a ship wreck dive spot where colourful marine life love to hide out. Turtles nest from March to July and dolphins, manatees and crocodiles live in the area. Located close to the town if Quepos, there are several accommodation options, with lovely beaches close by. Located in Marino Ballena National Park, this is one of the finest spots to go snorkeling in Costa Rica. Whether it's fishing, or kayaking, scuba diving, or paddleboarding, there is an expert who has it covered! Jacó. Snorkeling in Cancun, Mexico: The 7 Best Snorkel Spots. 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. We thoroughly believe that the best places to snorkel in Costa Rica are worth exploring. Top Costa Rica Snorkeling. The Bull Shark is also native to these parts, and should equally be avoided. That, friends, is the largest coral reef on the Pacific coast of Central America. Let's take a look at the best surf breaks the country has to offer. When it comes to seeing the best of Costa Rica, your best bet is to go back to nature and camp, Costa Rica is filled with campsites that sit in some of the World’s most incredible landscape. Both plant and animal life. I am freelance writer with a passion for experiencing life in as many different countries as possible. Whilst there is not a lot of coral present here, you will find a wide variety of fish, including surgeonfish and the parrot fish, which is so integral to this tropical eco-system. There are so many islands to explore here, but the best for snorkeling tours are La Pared, Elefante and Peligrosa. These huge creatures can grow to around 23 foot in length. It is widely thought to be one of the best snorkeling and diving spots in the world! Additionally, there are a tonne of really great snorkel spots further from the shore. It is located near the Caribbean section of Costa Rica. Your best snorkeling in Costa Rica must be in Marino Ballena National Park. Well, this spot in the Pacific Ocean just off the coast of Las Catalinas has the most clear waters you can find. Want to experience the amazing diving world of Costa Rica? One thing to note, is that the best spots for snorkeling in Costa Rica hold the exact opposite conditions to what you would want for a great surfing experience. Pack a picnic and enjoy the sun and white sand between snorkeling expeditions. The Guanacaste region holds a range of beautiful snorkeling spots, each with their own stunning underwater world. Population of 4.5 million, of whom about a quarter live in the capital San Jose. You could even spot some Cortez rainbow wrasse and a few varieties of blowfish. Travelers to this site have reported seeing everything from the large and otherworldly barracuda, tuna, stingrays and manta ray, to sea turtles and white tipped reef sharks. Another off-shore excursion from the coast of Costa Rica is the Catalina Islands. If coral is your main drive, heading to Cahuita National Park will be a thrilling adventure! Wherever you go, be sure to pack an underwater camera. Travelers can of course book a tour if they choose, but it is just as easy to pay the entrance fee and go it alone. 4) Best places to snorkel As we mentioned before some of the best places to snorkel are Drake Bay, Manuel Antonio, and Bocas del Toro. 7 Reasons to Visit, Thailand Food Culture: Thai Cuisine’s 9 Best Dishes, 19 Basic Fijian Words and Phrases That You’ll Actually Use. And many golfing resorts located right by the beach. 22/09/2016 by Ann Oslo. Also known as ‘Bat Islands’, Islas Murciélagos is located at the tip of Santa Rosa National Park. When are you traveling? You don’t want to miss those candid moments. Near the Shore Line Snorkeling When exploring the nation of Costa Rica, it is obvious that it contains a lot of beach lines. For such a small country, Costa Rica packs quite a punch. Apply. Head here throughout the dry season of April to October to experience the drier season. It is best to avoid the school summer holidays between July and August, and travelers usually find September and October to be the cheapest months. And with Dominical just up the coast, you could easily combine a trip to Ballena with a trip to Dominical, and the Caño Island Biological Reserve. Is there any good Snorkeling in Costa Rica? Hi there! How to Live in Bali Permanently: Is It Possible? Snorkel in Gandoca and explore the many islands, coral reefs, bays and inlets! Best known as a world class scuba diving hot-spot, it is also one of the finest locations for snorkeling in Costa Rica as well. It is considered one of the top … But be warned, there are a limited number of people allowed into the park each day, so you will have to arrive early to avoid disappointment. If you are booking a snorkeling tour, however, prices will … Around these 20 islands, formed of volcanic rock, devil manta rays, white-tipped reef sharks, angel fish, swordfish, and even humpback whales convene. Reset. The Best places to live in Costa Rica including five top expat havens where you can live in your dream in this beautiful country and take advantage of all it. Known as the spot where Christopher Columbus first landed in 1502 , the Islands waters are home to immaculate reefs which are becoming more scarce around the world due to environmental factors. All at one place, the rain forest, the beaches, lagoons, mangroves and the coral reefs, you will find all of these at Manuel Antonio National Park. The name literally translates to ‘whale island’, and is so called because of its resemblance to a whale’s tail. The best time for snorkeling is the dry season, between December and April, late June and July. Dive a short way to the sea floor and watch for starfish and sea cucumbers. It is pretty cool to have a guide though, as they can give you more information on what you are discovering under the water. Is it worth going south to the Drake's Bay area just for snorkeling? They do tend to dwell further off the coast however, and are often found around Isla del Coco, a well know dive site in the Pacific Ocean. Outdoor Activities . Take a boat ride to Isla Ballena, the only underwater national park in Costa Rica where you’ll be able to snorkel. I created this site after struggling to find up-to-date, honest, and informative info on all things water sports. Sitting 20km from the shore of the Osa Peninsula, in the dazzling blue of the Pacific Ocean, is the Caño Island Biological Reserve. When snorkeling in Costa Rica, the cost of daily hire is likely to be between $5-$15 USD per day, depending on where you go. There are also many marine parks that take great care to preserve the natural beauty found in the underwater world. The turrets and tunnels of coral is also home to close to 250 species of marine animals. All without the danger! There is truth to this... Everybody at Water Sporting Adventure is passionate about everything water-sports! Here is a link with a video of the experience. Get more travel inspiration, tips and exclusive offers sent straight to your inbox with our weekly newsletter . Travel & Transportation Services . No, spotted eagle rays, bat rays, and bullseye electric rays (amongst others) all congregate here, making this one of the best areas on the coast for ray-spotting! Just off the coast of the Caribbean city Limon lies the famous Isla Uvita. This is a great place to spend the day if you love wildlife. This is a snorkeling spot in Costa Rica with unmatched beauty. These places are perfect for snorkeling for several reasons. A great location for snorkelers or if you are feeling brave then scuba diving down to deeper spots will give you the opportunity to see some amazing marine life of all different types. But we will focus on the sheer variety of marine life that can be found when diving and snorkeling. Don't miss the wild beauty and lush landscapes this untouched country has to offer. Diving enthusiasts flock to Cocos Island to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience with an almost guaranteed chance of seeing these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. 1. From capital city of San Jose to the Monteverde Cloud Reserve Forest, Pacuare River, Montezuma, and the Arenal Volcano - witness nature like never before on your holiday. Most snorkeling tours are done by kayak. WSA also participates in affiliate programs with Avantlink, and other sites. If you want a heady mix of marine life and coral reef variety, you have everything you need right here. Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast is one of its most beautiful regions. 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. The Caribbean coast provides excellent snorkeling and right off the coast in some locations. But due to their power and potentially massive size, it can be difficult to... Is Fishing Exercise? When you think of fishing, it is understandable if; you conjure mental pictures of a relaxing pastime where fishermen are in lazy mode leisurely idling hours away. It is one of the most visited park in Costa Rica. Reset. A Guide To Visiting Costa Rica On A Budget, The 9 Best All Inclusive Family Resorts In Costa Rica, The 7 Best Black Sand Beaches In Costa Rica, The 7 Best Hotels in Cabo San Lucas for Surfers, Is Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Worth Visiting? This wildlife refuge is a haven for all manner of protected species. Which is great if you are looking to save some money by avoiding peak travel times. But why is it so popular? These tours can be found all over the island, ensure you research your tour guide on Trip Advisor. I'm the founder of WSA. Costa Rica has many great dive and snorkel locations. Costa Rica's 10 best natural wonders Costa Rica's 10 best beaches 5 road trips in Costa Rica that aren't for the faint of heart This article was updated in November 2020. All Rights Reserved. Sadly, most of the coral reef you will find here is dead. Location: Snorkel Adventure Costa Rica, Puntarenas Province, Quepos, Costa Rica Timings: 9 am – 6 pm. The Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge is considered by... Cahuita National Park | Southern Caribbean Coast. - How It Impacts Health & Wellbeing, 10 Best Catfish Reels – Product Reviews & Guide, Is Fishing Exercise? If you are up for snorkeling in Costa Rica, without the hassle of booking a tour, Manuel Antonio National Park could be the one for you. Cocos Island National Park is located 550 km off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. are another world renowned area for diving and snorkelling. Generally, tours will have to be booked to embark on a trip to this area, and it is well worth your money! Once inside the national park, head to the bay side where you can see rocks emerging from the calm waters. Don’t be fooled by Costa Rica’s diminutive size – It is chockablock with places and activities you just wouldn’t want to miss. The warm waters is a breeding ground for many species and their prey, especially giant manta rays! Tours, Sightseeing & Cruises . Also known as ‘the Cats’, this is another top destination for underwater adventures! It is around this area, that you will find around 13,300 acres of coral reef. Though often, if you are staying in a hotel with snorkel gear they will let you use it for free. Playa Naranjo/Witch's Rock. The Caño Island Biological Reserve is home to a number of amazing dive spots you do not want to miss. 3. On land, and most certainly in the sea! If you are booking a snorkeling tour, however, prices will rise to around $60 USD per adult. Sitting just off Bahia Drake (Drake Bay), there is also lots of places to stay and a delightful beach to rest on when you’re done with all the fun! Seasonal & Special Occasions . Select Dates. If you’ve come for the marine life, rather than the coral, this one is for you. The Catalina Islands, which are just a short 25-30 minute trip from the northwest coast of Costa Rica, are another world renowned area for diving and snorkelling. This one is a little bit of adventure! Gandoca Manzanilla is also home to the only mangrove oyster beds found in Costa Rica. Costa Rica Snorkeling Caribbean Coast Snorkeling. Learning the snorkeling basics in Santa Teresa and Montezuma Costa Rica also includes getting comfortable with using your fins in order to be able to stay afloat vertically as well as to move while floating face down for exploring the underwater life. One of the recommended spots to snorkel is Manzanillo Beach. Fishing In The Rain – Is It Better To Fish In The Rain. Have a look at these 5 amazing places to visit in Costa Rica that not only offer the best of nature but also history and culture. Top 5 Places to Camp in Costa Rica. Tall mountains drop dramatically... 2. One of the finest things about this bay is that it is sheltered from the oceans currents, making it great for a family day trip. However, it is best to do your research, and ask the hotel to assist with booking if you are unsure. 10 Best Costa Rica Diving & Snorkeling Spots Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge | Southern Caribbean Coast. You’ll be going to the Catalina’s island and here you will have a chance to experience a close encounter with the beautiful manta rays, butterfly fish, angelfish and turtles. Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula Snorkeling. Water Sporting Adventure (WSA) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Snorkeling in Costa Rica can be super rewarding if you know where to go. If you’re lucky dolphins will swim right up close to the boat. Travelers will be astounded by the underwater landscape housed on the Caribbean coast. Harbored in the reefs along the coast, these are just one of the many wondrous features of this shoreline. The waters are so calm here you could even take on a bit of paddle boarding. Elefante is especially great for shark and ray sightings. Playa Blanca is also where you can find resorts like the four seasons. Look no further, here are the best places to snorkel in Costa Rica, as a bonus we’ll also mention the best dive spots in Costa Rica as well. Art & Culture . But for those of you who just want an easy family holiday with some aquatic entertainment for the kids, we have that too! The best months to visit are between March and November. It is a little way down the coast, but as such is a little less touristy. The best mountain towns, beach towns and cities in Costa Rica are detailed below. Small and rocky coral reefs here are home to a variety of tropical fish, as well as manta rays. The archipelago is around 3-24km away from the shore and scuba divers and snorkelers alike can book day tours via boat from the Tamarindo-Flamingo region. So, if you plan to do both, schedule them on different days. Stretching along the coast and further inland, many types of terrain offer a home for these species, including a vast and humid tropical rainforest. Whether you’re a snorkeler looking to see some great marine life or seasoned diver dying to see some of the most amazing creatures on the planet, if you’re in Costa Rica, you must take a trip to the Catalina Islands. The park's proximity to the country's main gateway means it is an easy way to see some of Costa Rica's unique plants and wildlife. The island is thought to have formed fifty-million years ago, and has since become home to a divine array of coral reefs and marine life. You might even see a curious dolphin or two. Crystal clear waters make visibility unparalleled, and this is very beneficial! One of the finest things about the Costa Rican coast is that, similar to snorkeling in Bali, so many coral gardens can be found close into the shoreline. These huge sharks are unbelievable creatures that any diver would be mesmerized by. I have lived and worked across 4 continents, and write about everything from travel and mental health to tech and politics. The best months to take a trip to these beautiful islands and dive right into the magnificent water is between September and March as the visibility is at its best. Though often, if you are staying in a hotel with snorkel gear they will let you use it for free. As well as a greater proportion of those illusive and beautiful species of fish and other marine mammals. Top Costa Rica Scuba & Snorkeling Activities: See reviews and photos of scuba & snorkeling in Costa Rica, Central America on Tripadvisor. Our Tamarindo snorkeling trip will take you to one of Costa Rica’s best snorkel spots with some of the world’s finest volcanic rock formations, which is very rich in marine life. Situated in Limon province, one of the top spots for natural beauty on Costa Rica’s coast, sits Gandoca Manzanillo. © 2021 Copyright WATER SPORTING ADVENTURE, link to 10 Best Catfish Reels - Product Reviews & Guide, link to Is Fishing Exercise? This is where you are likely to have tour guides with safety procedures in place. So again, planning a trip throughout April to October is your best bet for calmer waters and epic visibility. Made up of twenty small, rocky islands- the Catalina Islands are rich with Rays of all kind, shape and size as-well sharks, dolphins, turtles and many types of tropical fish. But there are a variety of dangerous animals in Costa Rica, and one of them does dwell in the surrounding oceans! Isla del Cano. Booking a day trip to see a new island is likely to pay dividends, with larger species and even the odd whale swimming by! But be warned, this area of the country can get fairly wet during the rainy months! Snorkeling in Costa Rica does not get much better than this! Once in the water, snorkelers will be astounded by the 18 varieties of coral. Though it can get quite busy with people! Good for avoiding crowds. Many different habitats exist in the park due to the variety in elevation, which ranges from the top of the Barva Volcano (2,906 meters) to less than 50 meters in the Caribbean lowlands. Top 5 Places to Visit in Costa Rica: Costa Rica Travel GuideCosta Rica is fast becoming one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Unique Experiences . Are you planning for Costa Rica vacation, here are our top 5 popular places to visit in Costa Rica for you: Manuel Antonio National Park. You can even spot (drumroll please) whales here! For American vacationers and travelers wanting something close to home but a little more exotic than the typical Mexican getaway, Costa Rica is undoubtedly the spot. If you are lucky you may also get to see dolphins, whale sharks, pilot whales, and humpback whales which have all been spotted in the waters surrounding ‘Bat Islands’. Stretching along 9km of coastal trail, the best spot to get up-close and personal to the reef is at Punta Cahuita. 10 Best Catfish Reels - Product Reviews & Guide. Species like the humpback and pilot whale have been known to swim through these waters, making an exciting day even more exhilarating if you are so lucky. And to further reduce the risk, head to the beaches of the Guanacaste coast, where many beaches offer some fabulous snorkeling opportunities. Wild and rocky, Costa Rica’s Pacific coast is full of small beaches suitable for snorkeling. April to October is best, avoiding the busier months of July and August when schools are on holiday. Answered: I know it's not top notch, but where are the best places to snorkel in Costra Rica? Yes, there are some great resorts in this area! To the north of Dominical, about 1.5 hours by car, is the central Pacific coast beach town of Jacó. When snorkeling in Costa Rica, the cost of daily hire is likely to be between $5-$15 USD per day, depending on where you go. Whilst great care is taken to ensure the safety of travelers on tours, not all companies follow the best guidelines. Costa Rica General. A whistle-stop tour is in nobody’s interests anyways. Rest assured that snorkelers have never had it so good. Bahía Junquillal National Wildlife Refuge, Guanacaste Province One of Costa Rica’s top birding destinations also happens to be a phenomenal place for snorkeling. Caribbean and Pacific oceans play host to a variety of marine life, and vast species of soft and hard coral. 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 … © 2021 Journeying The Globe. Tickets & Passes . Including the reef! Spend your time spotting moray eels, turtles, butterfly fish and red snapper. Due to Costa Rica’s climate, snorkeling is possible year round. Many diving and snorkeling tours are available along Coast Rica’s coasts, but you can also enjoy a DIY snorkeling adventure on any of these beaches: Conchal Beach in Guanacaste – the coral off this beach makes it … We signpost the best off-shore adventures to get really wild. However, the best months to embark on a snorkeling trip in Costa Rica is apt to be during the dry season. The waters around a tiny island named ‘Drake Bay’ are one of the top rated spots to go diving in Costa Rica, with waters full of marine life and coral. Tourists wanting to visit Cocos Island national park are welcome to take day trips which take around 36 hours on a live-aboard. Admire the ocean from above and below, with time to snorkel among sea turtles, dolphins, and manta rays in a hidden bay away from large tour groups. Playa Buena and Playa Hermosa are also great spots for some chilled out snorkel adventures with children. From jungles to beaches to volcanos and wildlife, Costa Rica has it all. My favorite hobbies include fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding - Although, I've dipped my toe into pretty much everything! On land and sea⁠—and up in the trees⁠—there will always be something to excite your interest! Gandoca Manzanillo is one of the most popular places to snorkel on the Caribbean coast. Our guide to the top surfing spots on the Costa Rican coast will steer you right! Reserve is home to close to the boat easy family holiday with some entertainment! Is generally to include transport and Guide, and requires little planning to do both, schedule them on days! Just off the... Islas Catalinas in these waters with a vast,... Lies the famous Isla Uvita so calm here you could alone on stretch... Your research, and other marine mammals as possible recommended if you are in... 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