Where Is the Best Snorkeling in Panama and Costa Rica?

By Carl

Where is the best snorkeling in Panama and Costa Rica? We are considering a vacation which includes those two countries, and are going primarily for the experience of navigating the Panama Canal. We are avid snorkelers. Any recommendations as to where the best marine life for snorkeling, in the months of January through March, would be appreciated.

We just returned from Raja Ampat and saw more marine life than we have ever seen, so we are not expecting that, but we are interested in experiencing the best snorkeling in Panama and Costa Rica. Any spots that stand out?

Thanks for your time.


    • We took a day trip to snorkel out at Caño Island off the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica in February and found it to be just okay. We left from Uvita using a company called Bahia Aventuras. Our expectations were pretty low and it was nothing compared to snorkel spots we’ve been in Thailand, for instance. The highlights for us were seeing some very cool sea turtles – I think four varieties. The visibility was so so and the coral is pretty much bleached out but a nice amount of fish. It was a nice boat ride and they took us out of the way to potentially see humpback whales on our return trip – alas we did not.

  1. Best snorkeling in Panama is Isla Coiba, on the Pacific side of Panama.It is affected by the Humbolt Current, the same as the Galapagos. We saw lots of beautiful fish, big schools. You can take a day trip from Santa Catalina.


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