Any snorkeling recommendations that we can do from the beach? We’re staying near Conchal and will hopefully have a rental car to get to other locations. I have read that Gulf of Papagayo is good? I’m a freak about snorkeling; but am going with a friend who’s never done it. Any info on how far out we have to swim; locations, and any issues that you’ve heard of with sharks or strong currents to be concerned with? thanks so much! My first time coming to Costa Rica – we’re coming in November!
Playa Conchal has good snorkeling on the north side rocks only a few steps from shore and there is also a good spot on the south end, although I think it is farther out. Way out on the point (south side) there are some really nice coves and if you can rent a kayak or have a boat take you there, there is some coral and really clear water depending on conditions. A couple other good spots are Playa Ocotol, Playa Penca (see our post on Playa Hermosa), and like you said, some areas near the Papagayo Peninsula. Additionally, some of the catamaran cruises include a stop at some snorkeling spots. We haven’t heard on any incidents with sharks but rip currents are somewhat common on a lot of the beaches in Costa Rica. Not as much for these snorkeling beaches but still something to watch for. Hope you get to see a ton of fish!