08 Aug Explore Life Under the Sea in Papagayo, Costa Rica
A narrow peninsula on the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Papagayo is a slice of heaven on earth. It pairs the lush thickness of tropical jungle with the vast blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean. On land, visitors can see playful monkeys and black iguanas, but in the water, visitors can experience some of the best scuba diving in the country.
Both the Gulf of Papagayo and Culebra Bay offer excellent opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving. If you’re staying at one of the many Papagayo Costa Rica hotels, they might lend you snorkel gear or recommend local scuba adventure tours. Most visitors to the region spend at least some of their time near and in the water. Although there are other temptations inland such as the active volcano at the Rincon de la Vieja National Park and ATV tours into the interior.
The warm waters of the Pacific in the Guanacaste region are vibrant with underwater life, most of it gathering around the many reefs and rock formations that characterize the area. Visibility in these waters varies between 25 and 75 feet, and the waters are an ideal 80 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. Scuba divers will see their fair share of numerous schools of fish as well as white-tipped reef sharks, eels, sea turtles, eagle rays and parrotfish. The occasional glimpse of a giant manta ray or a killer whale is also a possibility.
Snorkeling is best done from a boat, as the most impressive areas of viewing are usually between the shore and the islands. For snorkeling or scuba diving, there are plenty of dive companies in Playas del Coco offering day trips to the best spots.
Other Things To Do in Papagayo
Playas del Coco – This laidback beach community offers impeccable beaches and a bit of shopping and nightlife. The central plaza has plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops and is the perfect place to start your visit.
Surfing – The surfing in this part of Costa Rica is somewhat legendary. Some of the best spots include Witch’s Rock, Playa Negra, Playa Junquillal, and Tamarindo. The months of December through March are a time of high winds, which improves the swells.
Sport Fishing – Tours to catch roosterfish, marlin and mahi-mahi leave daily from Playas del Coco for the Gulf of Papagayo and are open to every level of fishing skill.
Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo – A luxurious retreat amid outstanding beauty, this resort offers guests an excellent base for exploring the area. If you don’t want to leave the resort, there is still plenty of things to do. They feature a luxurious spa, complimentary kayaks and stand up paddleboards, and an 18 hole golf course that will make your time in Papagayo feel like a dream.
Hotel Sugar Beach – This boutique hotel is set right on a beach. It’s spread over 24 acres that are inhabited by exotic monkeys, iguanas, motmots, and tree sloths. You can stay in a well-appointed room or post up in one of the cottages with kitchenette.