I have been looking for information about snorkeling in Nosara and it was a bit difficult and inaccurate, so I decided to resume the information I can find on this article.
Around Nosara you can find 6 points of interest for Snorkeling, going south to north, here is the list.
- Isla Chora
- Bote Beach
- Tide Pools at Guiones Beach
- Sunken Ship
- Tide Pools at Pink Sand Beach
- San Juanillo Beach
Getting to these points, you can walk, go on a kayak, on an ATV, or even a boat, and some require good swimming skills.
Let me explain how to get to these points, your options for getting there, and what could you expect once you get there the gear need, and more.
Six snorkeling spots.
First of all, let’s make this clear. There is an Isla Chira on the Nicoya Gulf, the biggest island on the gulf. let’s not confuse them. Isla Chora is a little island on the south limit of Samara, around a mile from the coast. You can get there hiring a boat or on a kayak.
Isla Chora is a Rock that rises from the ocean. The rocky coast makes it ideal for clear water and gives fishes places to hide. On low tide, and on the protected side of the island, you will find crabs, seagrass, algae, and abundant colorful fishes.
Bote Beach o Playa Bote is a little beach located in the middle of Garza Beach and Guiones Beach. It is a rocky beach with a barrier in front, that makes it ideal for snorkeling. This barrier and the rocks in front of the beach make it calm, and clear, and full of life.
You can walk around Guiones Point, but it is probably a little dangerous. The best way is to hire a boat or going kayaking.
Tide Pools at Guiones
On the corner of Guiones, at low tide, there are several large pools, where life gets trapped. Naturally formed, these pools have crystal clear calm water, and makes it ideal for the activity. Additionally, the scenery is beautiful, and usually, tide coincides with a gorgeous sunset.
What makes this spot great, is that is located on a walking distance, so it is very easy to get here, depending on where you are staying at Guiones.
There is a large shipwreck off the shoreline of Guiones beach, not too deep, with abundant life, it makes a wonderful snorkeling spot, however, location is a bit harsh to set, and only the experienced tour guides will take you there. You need a boat and some swimming skills to enjoy it. It is better if you hire a tour that takes you there.
Tide Pools at Pink Sand Beach.
Let´s start saying that as the name shows, the beach is absolutely astonishing. In addition, it is a rocky small beach with low tide pools on both ends, which makes it wonderful for snorkeling. As the area is well protected and clean, life abounds, so it is easy to find a lot of life on those pools. At the north end, a rock in front of the beach protects an extra area, that makes it even better. I recommend wet shoes to walk around the rocks
So close to Guiones, it is easy to get here, and from the street end, you will find it on a walking distance. If that is not enough, at sunset you can have refreshments on La Luna, a beautiful restaurant strategically located on a hillside to enjoy the gorgeous sunset that offers Pelada Beach.
San Juanillo Beach
Probably the most important snorkeling spot on this side of Guanacaste. San Juanillo a white sand beach and a secluded cove with blue water with rocky ends, perfect for snorkeling. This place, full of marine life is absolutely the most beautiful beach on Guanacaste.
For getting here from Nosara you can combine an ATV with snorkeling, which makes the best one-day tour adventure I can recommend. Another way of getting there is on a private microbus. You can make a reservation on our website. Click here.
What Gear Do You Need For Snorkeling
For starter you absolutely need a mask and snorkel, depending on the spot, you may need fins. I will recommend it as a must, a long leave SPF 50+ U.V. rashguard or swimwear shirt, and water-resistant sunscreen.
Mask: The mask has to fit you perfectly for you to enjoy your experience. It has to airtight seal around your face, and fit comfortably over your nose. The new masks are made out of silicone, which fits better over the plastic ones. There are a variety of lenses, from the traditional one, up to four lenses, for a better peripheral view. If you have a visual condition, there are some expensive prescription lenses masks, but we highly recommend contact lenses over this.
Snorkel: The snorkel is how you breathe, it consists of a mouthpiece and a tube with an attachment for the mask, and has a couple of positions, commonly use for snorkeling. The important part is that the soft mouthpiece is comfortable for you.
Full Face Snorkel Mask: The new full face snorkel mask is great for beginners, it has more view angle and has a dry snorkel, which means, that water can not get in when a wave hits. It is more for casual snorkeling and is not design for exercise. You have to be sure to buy or use a good brand, because of issues with the CO2 disposal.
Fins: They are not crucial for snorkeling, but fins let you gain efficiency and speed on your swimming. There are two basic types, a traditional closed foot, and an open foot, that let you wear boots, that help you walk over rocky beaches. If you do not wear fins, at least have a good pair of water shoes.
Sun Protection: You absolutely need protection from the sun. You need a Rashguard or a swimwear shirt, preferably a long leave, that has UV protection, so you do not worry about being under the sun for long times. Additionally, you need waterproof sunscreen, but there is a big problem with traditional sunscreen and reefs, so be sure to use water and sweat proof reef safe zinc oxide sunscreen.
Snorkel Vest: A lifesaver is a useful tool, especially if you do not feel confident with your swimming skills, or if you go to a deeper spot. Whatever is your situation, it is always a good idea to have it.
Additional gear: You can add to this a snorkeling watch, a snorkeling belt for gear, a waterproof snorkeling bag, and of course a camera. Nowadays, you can find cameras to catch the moment and share your experience.
Frequently ask question
Where can I find in Nosara the Gear I need? I absolutely recommend you buy your own, this is rather personal gear, but off course, you can rent equipment at Guiones. If you book a tour, wherever you do it, they will have a variety of options so you can also rent the equipment.
This gear is not that expensive and it is easy to put on your suitcase, Once you do it the first time, especially if you do it in Nosara, I can assure you, you will do it again, so is money good spend, as this will give you hours of fun and entertainment.
What makes a good spot for Snorkeling? A great snorkeling point needs a somehow protected coral reef, shallow and crystal clear water, pristine environment and calm water with no waves, and with that conditions, you can be sure that life will emerge. The point is to capture colorful interesting fishes, right?
In addition, the place has to be easily reachable, that is why San Juanillo is the best snorkeling point for us. It is best to snorkeling in low tide, so you can be closer to the coral reef, and also snorkeling in the dry season since when it rains water becomes cloudiest.