Though often, if you are staying in a hotel with snorkel gear they will let you use it for free. Outdoor Activities . And mull over the best national parks to showcase marine ecology. Although its bull sharks are what makes this location so well know, it also is home to some beautiful creatures such as Giant Manta Rays, Turtles, and many brightly colored, tropical fish. 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. Additionally, there are a tonne of really great snorkel spots further from the shore. 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. For families visiting Costa Rica’s coast, you might be interested to note that not all snorkeling hot spots are miles away from civilisation. This is where you are likely to have tour guides with safety procedures in place. Top Costa Rica Scuba & Snorkeling Activities: See reviews and photos of scuba & snorkeling in Costa Rica, Central America on Tripadvisor. We want you to see it all, which is why we have put together the ultimate guide to the best 7 spots for Costa Rica snorkeling. Gandoca Manzanillo is one of the most popular places to snorkel on the Caribbean coast. 3. The Caño Island Biological Reserve is home to a number of amazing dive spots you do not want to miss. Islas Murciélagos is located at the very tip of the Santa Rosa National Park off the... Islas Catalinas. Top 5 Places to Camp in Costa Rica. Experience the incredible in Costa Rica! 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. Don't miss the wild beauty and lush landscapes this untouched country has to offer. 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’. Though it can get quite busy with people! It is a little way down the coast, but as such is a little less touristy. Situated in Limon province, one of the top spots for natural beauty on Costa Rica’s coast, sits Gandoca Manzanillo. It is widely thought to be one of the best snorkeling and diving spots in the world! Independent democratic republic, main language Spanish. This wildlife refuge is a haven for all manner of protected species. Select Dates. Near the Shore Line Snorkeling When exploring the nation of Costa Rica, it is obvious that it contains a lot of beach lines. Bora Bora vs Bali: Which Paradise Island is Better to Visit. Around these 20 islands, formed of volcanic rock, devil manta rays, white-tipped reef sharks, angel fish, swordfish, and even humpback whales convene. Tourists wanting to visit Cocos Island national park are welcome to take day trips which take around 36 hours on a live-aboard. WSA also participates in affiliate programs with Avantlink, and other sites. How to Live in Bali Permanently: Is It Possible? Costa Rica Snorkeling Caribbean Coast Snorkeling. 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. There is truth to this... Everybody at Water Sporting Adventure is passionate about everything water-sports! Travelers can book full day snorkeling tours to Cahuita National Park, or opt to travel independently. Is it worth going south to the Drake's Bay area just for snorkeling? To the north of Dominical, about 1.5 hours by car, is the central Pacific coast beach town of Jacó. Is there any good Snorkeling in Costa Rica? Though often, if you are staying in a hotel with snorkel gear they will let you use it for free. 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. 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 … Want to experience the amazing diving world of Costa Rica? There are several popular snorkeling spots just off the coast of the... Central Pacific Snorkeling. 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. Including the reef! In the surrounding waters you can find a ship wreck dive spot where colourful marine life love to hide out. Snorkeling Costa Rica: Your Guide to 7 Best Snorkel Spots, Gandoca Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge. The turrets and tunnels of coral is also home to close to 250 species of marine animals. 22/09/2016 by Ann Oslo. The Caño Island Biological Reserve on Cano Island is one of the best things to do in... Cahuita National Park. 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. Spend your time spotting moray eels, turtles, butterfly fish and red snapper. But if you’re keen to find the calmest waters, the most beautiful fish, and the best varieties of coral, look no further! If you’re visiting in August to October, you’ll have the chance to spot humpback whales coming from the North and from December to March you’ll still catch whales coming from the North. Around Playa Flamingo, two locations are particularly famous to snorkelers: Playa Conchal (opposite the Westin Reserva Conchal) and Playa Danta (at the foot of the small Las Catalinas resort). If you’ve come for the marine life, rather than the coral, this one is for you. 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. 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. Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast is one of its most beautiful regions. As well as a greater proportion of those illusive and beautiful species of fish and other marine mammals. This entire area is the gift that keeps on giving, so you might need to schedule a couple of days to get out there and explore. 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. The three main surfing provinces in Costa Rica are Guanacaste, Puntarenas, and Limón. Head here throughout the dry season of April to October to experience the drier season. Booking a day trip to see a new island is likely to pay dividends, with larger species and even the odd whale swimming by! 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. Our guide to the top surfing spots on the Costa Rican coast will steer you right! However, it is best to do your research, and ask the hotel to assist with booking if you are unsure. To help plan your next adventure, we’ve pulled together 10 of the best places to snorkel around the world. 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. This is a snorkeling spot in Costa Rica with unmatched beauty. Hi there! Tamarindo. 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. Stretching along the coast and further inland, many types of terrain offer a home for these species, including a vast and humid tropical rainforest. Yes, there are some great resorts in this area! Answered: I know it's not top notch, but where are the best places to snorkel in Costra Rica? Aside from these, fish species such as the colorful reef fish will always be a joy to watch. 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. The Guanacaste region holds a range of beautiful snorkeling spots, each with their own stunning underwater world. 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. Which means it’s easy and fun, and requires little planning to do! If you are lucky, you might even come across dolphins and whales! 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. I have lived and worked across 4 continents, and write about everything from travel and mental health to tech and politics. It is considered one of the top … The best mountain towns, beach towns and cities in Costa Rica are detailed below. Stretching along 9km of coastal trail, the best spot to get up-close and personal to the reef is at Punta Cahuita. But covering every vacation spot during your visit – that’s tougher. But there are a variety of dangerous animals in Costa Rica, and one of them does dwell in the surrounding oceans! Wherever you go, be sure to pack an underwater camera. Jacó. Population of 4.5 million, of whom about a quarter live in the capital San Jose. 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 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. I'm the founder of WSA. How much does Snorkeling cost in Costa Rica? Whilst usually bustling, these spots are invaluable for their proximity to lots of facilities. 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. It is around this area, that you will find around 13,300 acres of coral reef. Classes & Workshops . 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? 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. 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. Isla del Cano. 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. It is one of the most visited park in Costa Rica. Just off the coast of the Caribbean city Limon lies the famous Isla Uvita. Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula Snorkeling. A country of 51,000 square kilometres, it is bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south, the Pacific ocean to the west, and the Caribbean sea to the east. 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. These is the best location to go snorkeling on this stretch. Blue parrot fish, lobster and angel fish swim alongside the graceful green sea turtle and leatherback sea turtle. Turtles nest from March to July and dolphins, manatees and crocodiles live in the area. 3. Picking seven favorites from the pile is tough. The small nation of Costa Rica, wedged between Panama and Nicaragua, has coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Get more travel inspiration, tips and exclusive offers sent straight to your inbox with our weekly newsletter . If you are into snorkeling in Costa Rica without the head-aches or heart attacks, this is for you! Which is great if you are looking to save some money by avoiding peak travel times. Fishing In The Rain – Is It Better To Fish In The Rain. And many golfing resorts located right by the beach. Travel & Transportation Services . Top Costa Rica Snorkeling. We are compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Elefante is especially great for shark and ray sightings. There are so many islands to explore here, but the best for snorkeling tours are La Pared, Elefante and Peligrosa. Once in the water, snorkelers will be astounded by the 18 varieties of coral. This means calmer waters and more chance of capturing the awe-inspiring beauty of the differing coral beds and marine life. We signpost the best off-shore adventures to get really wild. The 5 Best Places to Surf in Costa Rica 1. Another consideration when regarding price is the time of year you are visiting. A whistle-stop tour is in nobody’s interests anyways. 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. Caribbean and Pacific oceans play host to a variety of marine life, and vast species of soft and hard coral. 1. 10 Best Costa Rica Diving & Snorkeling Spots Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge | Southern Caribbean Coast. This is a great place to spend the day if you love wildlife. Located in a natural sanctuary, Witch's Rock is one of the most well-known surf spots in … Unique Experiences . All of which deserves exploring! – How It Impacts Health & Wellbeing, Best Kayak Fishing Crates For Easy Kayak Storage. These places are perfect for snorkeling for several reasons. Catfish are agressive fish. Art & Culture . Take a boat ride to Isla Ballena, the only underwater national park in Costa Rica where you’ll be able to snorkel. Most snorkeling tours are done by kayak. And whilst you can find some fantastic reef and varieties of tropical fish off the shores of both Caribbean and Pacific coast, it pays to go further afield. Costa Rica has a variety of snorkeling locales for beginners and experts. Costa Rica is a paradise… Read More Top 5 Places To Go In Costa Rica (And Where To Stay) 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! Saved to wishlist! On land and sea⁠—and up in the trees⁠—there will always be something to excite your interest! 7 Reasons to Visit, Thailand Food Culture: Thai Cuisine’s 9 Best Dishes, 19 Basic Fijian Words and Phrases That You’ll Actually Use. 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. This is generally to include transport and guide, and often lunch if embarking on a full day trip. Ditch them on the green and take off for a day exploring the glorious reefs in the calm gulf waters. This makes it the perfect area for a family holiday. Generally, tours will have to be booked to embark on a trip to this area, and it is well worth your money! Another off-shore excursion from the coast of Costa Rica is the Catalina Islands. The best spots for scuba divers are; El Bajo del Diablo, Cueva del Tiburon and Paraiso- these locations are known to almost promise you will see an amazing array of marine life such as White-tipped reef sharks, sea turtles and devil rays in every dive. 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. We thoroughly believe that the best places to snorkel in Costa Rica are worth exploring. 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. 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. Seasonal & Special Occasions . Tickets & Passes . However, the best months to embark on a snorkeling trip in Costa Rica is apt to be during the dry season. Image Source. Pack a picnic and enjoy the sun and white sand between snorkeling expeditions. Playa Naranjo/Witch's Rock. But why is it so popular? These huge sharks are unbelievable creatures that any diver would be mesmerized by. Costa Rica General. These huge creatures can grow to around 23 foot in length. Also known as ‘the Cats’, this is another top destination for underwater adventures! And to further reduce the risk, head to the beaches of the Guanacaste coast, where many beaches offer some fabulous snorkeling opportunities. are another world renowned area for diving and snorkelling. Tours, Sightseeing & Cruises . 10 Best Places for Snorkeling and Diving in Costa Rica Cano Island Biological Reserve. 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. Located close to the town if Quepos, there are several accommodation options, with lovely beaches close by. Snorkeling in Cancun, Mexico: The 7 Best Snorkel Spots. 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. Cano Island Biological Reserve If coral is your main drive, heading to Cahuita National Park will be a thrilling adventure! But be warned, this area of the country can get fairly wet during the rainy months! 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. 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. Since you want to explore the most during snorkeling, there has to be a variety of sea life involved. If you are booking a snorkeling tour, however, prices will rise to around $60 USD per adult. Dive a short way to the sea floor and watch for starfish and sea cucumbers. Adventures with children for many species and tropical fish, lobster and angel fish visit... A variety of dangerous animals in Costa Rica must be in Marino Ballena Park... Pacific coast is one of the... Islas Catalinas up close to 250 species of soft hard... Day trip, there is plenty of algae and such, which supports many tropical fish, and... 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