Caribbean Coast Snorkeling
The Caribbean coast provides excellent snorkeling and right off the coast in some locations. The shallow waters in front of Manzanillo Beach are excellent for snorkeling. Snorkelers can easily swim out and observe the reefs, though a guide is always recommended.
Further north on the Caribbean coast, Cahuita National Park is another excellent location for snorkeling. Snorkeling within the park can only be done with a certified guide to ensure the habitat in not damaged. While the reefs are not as vibrant as they once were, this remains an amazing snorkeling experience.
Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula Snorkeling
There are several popular snorkeling spots just off the coast of the Papagayo Peninsula and Playa Hermosa. While coral is not common, there are rock reefs where small reef fish and star fish congregate to. These snorkeling locations are often accessed by small boat, kayak or catamaran cruises.
Tortuga Island, located on the Gulf of Nicoya is an excellent snorkeling location. The trip to this island is highlighted by the beautiful white sand beaches on the island which is used as a base of operations.
Isla Choro is worth mentioning as it is an excellent snorkeling location just off the coast of Samara Beach. Most tours take kayaks from the main beach area. This is an affordable snorkeling tour and always popular with tourists.
Central Pacific Snorkeling
The Central Pacific coast provides a few good locations for snorkeling such as Biesanz Beach in Manuel Antonio. Visibility can be a factor, particularly from
May through November, but if you are in the area and would like to snorkel, this is the place to go. Common sightings include a variety of reef fish including the beautiful parrot fish.
South Pacific and Osa Pensinsula Snorkeling
Marino Ballena National Park is an excellent location for snorkeling above rock reefs. The majority of tours that offer snorkeling within the park are done via kayak, though some boat tours are available. The best snorkeling is between December through April, though late June and July is possible as well.
Cano Island is a popular tour for snorkeling. Boats can be taken from Uvita, Sierpe or Drake Bay. The snorkeling is excellent when the conditions are right.