Where to Snorkel in Costa Rica?

by RR – (Richmond, Virginia)
We are wondering where to snorkel in Costa Rica. Our family will be going there in August. I have read mixed reviews about snorkeling there. Is it better on the Pacific or Caribbean side? From shore or from a boat? Or from one of the islands nearby on a day trip?

If it is a day trip, what would be a good guide or tour group? I would rather spend more money on a private guide for six of us, two experienced and four needing equipment.

Thanks in advance!

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Roz – Feb 03, 2017 – Just Returned from Costa Rica

We just went on a catamaran snorkeling tour in Costa Rica that left from Tamarindo last week. We saw some nice fish, angelfish, parrotfish and one eel, but very little coral. When we were at the lagoon that is part of the national park at Manuel Antonio we did some shore snorkeling among the rocks and saw parrotfish and some others. No coral. We’ve snorkeled in many fantastic reefs throughout the Caribbean so our standards are kind of high.

GRicker – Feb 03, 2017 – Snorkel Locations in Costa Rica

We have been to Costa Rica two times, staying in the Playa Potrero area of Guanacaste. We traveled to many snorkel locations between Playa Hermosa and Playa Tamarindo.

We had great snorkeling on one trip and the other was not as good due to an undercurrent that was churning up all the silt and making underwater visibility poor to none at all.

One of our favorite beaches and snorkel locations is Playa Conchal. There are a lot of diverse schools of fish and the depth is minimal. Playa Negra and Playa Octol have some good snorkeling as well.

Finn – Jun 30, 2017 – Better Than Expected

We went to Belize in April of 2016 to snorkel, and then went to Costa Rica in July for a family trip and got to snorkel as well. I had no expectations of the quality of snorkeling in Costa Rica, but we were very pleasantly surprised by the quality.

We snorkeled right off of Playa Hermosa, both from a boat and from the shore, and while it was not Belize (almost nothing in the way of coral), we saw a lot of fish, rays, nurse sharks, etc.

While I would probably not plan a trip to Costa Rica just to snorkel, if you are going down there, bring your gear just in case.

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