snorkeling in costa rica

Set off on a catamaran cruise, a deep sea excursion, or rent some flippers from a nearby beach attendant. Snorkeling is one of the most relaxing – and economic – activities that you may come across on your vacation.
Costa Rica’s pacific coast offers great opportunities to see sea turtles, giant schools of fish, eels and the occasional nursing or white tip reef shark. The Caribbean offers more interesting coral formations and small tropical fish, but be careful of currents no matter where you go; though the waters are usually pretty tranquil.

best snorkeling in costa rica and the region

Destinations listed below are some of the best snorkel spots in Costa Rica to help you plan your trip. If you are not sure where to get started, a local travel expert from Nature Vacations can help you plan your Costa Rica vacation.


Around the Islas Catalinas or Islas Murcielagos, you can find various hidden rock formations bursting with life. Visibility is hit or miss for the most part, but on good days you may encounter an Olive Ridely sea turtle or spotted eagle rays.

isla del caño

A must-do day trip for visitors to Drake Bay or Dominical. Visitors to Isla del Cano may see schools of reef fish like the angelfish and Moorish idol. The island also offers picnic facilities, and an indigenous graveyard, reachable via a 1 hour hike.

isla tortuga

Snorkelers around Isla Tortuga and Herradura Bay on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific may discover graceful sailfish, manta rays and enormous marlin.


The Cahuita National Park on south to Puerto Viejo, you will find many snorkel spots with great visibility and opportunities to see small, tropical reef fish, sea horses and anemones. Enjoy beautiful white sands and a long, palm rimmed beach when it’s time to dry off!