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courtneyclv Jul 13th, 2010 11:26 AM

Caribbean side of costa rica- mananzillo?
I will be going to cr in September ( yes I know hurricanes) my husband went to the pacific side about 15 years ago and loved it. He is a surfer. I want to go to whatever side will be the most tropical, turquoise waters, excellent snorkeling, less touristy for part of our 9 days. I've heard to stat away from limon, but that more south, near panama is beautiful. I see some photos of beaches online abd it seems like some beaches aren't as tropical with blue waters like I imAgined.

What do u suggest? We will have a car


courtneyclv Jul 13th, 2010 12:08 PM

Puerto viejo I meant.

qwovadis Jul 13th, 2010 04:47 PM

Very rainy time to go... CR Climate guide

for less rain bump to Dec-Mar or head to for best Tortuga Island snorkeling

nearby for best surfing...

on Carib side...Punta Uva

best beach snorkel not bad surf not great...

Have fun,

shillmac Jul 13th, 2010 10:41 PM

Actually, September is the driest month of the year for the Caribbean side and an excellent time to go. It is beautiful there, although you won't encounter the kind of turquoise waters in Costa Rica that you do in the Caribbean. Still, it is an interesting area, certainly worth your time.

Hurricanes don't tend to track toward Costa Rica.

Check out the weather map for avg. rainfall in different areas, each month. cmerrell posted it in the thread entitled "Pacific vs. Caribbean Coast in August".


shillmac Jul 13th, 2010 10:42 PM

Jeff_Costa_Rica Jul 14th, 2010 01:42 PM

Look at it this way: The Caribbean side gets regular rain in varying amounts year round. The rest of Costa Rica has more distinct rainy and dry seasons. Oddly, September and October, which are the two rainiest months in most of the country, are the driest in the Caribbean, as Shillmac said. In December, when the dry season truly begins in most of the country, the Caribbean side gets pounded with rain.

Another oddity: When there's a hurricane out in the Caribbean, it's the Central Valley and the Pacific coast that get the most rain from it, something about wind patterns and placement of the mountains. The Caribbean side doesn't see as much hurricane-produced rain. It's exactly what happened with Hurricane Alex last month.

Costa Rica does not have the postcard-perfect beaches with white sand, swaying palm trees, and turquoise waters. That doesn't mean you can't have a good time on the beach. It just won't look like Bora Bora. :)

hipvirgochick Jul 15th, 2010 03:47 PM

That time of year go to the Caribbean side. Puerto Viejo is great and Playa Cocles good for surfing. Don't go for turquoise waters/snorkeling, but the beaches are still beautiful. Banana Azul is a great place to stay.

courtneyclv Aug 19th, 2010 12:43 AM

If the Caribbean side isn't good for snorkeling, where is? We may stay on the pacific side. Looking for beautiful beaches, surf, and places to snorkle


colibri Aug 19th, 2010 04:19 AM

Read the recent trip report posted by sbhask "11 Day Itinerary". She did a lot of snorkeling in Guanacaste. We took a catamaran trip to some islands from Flamingo Beach and went snorkeling. It was fun, but you just don't have the clarity that you do in the Caribbean islands or Great Barrier Reef.

Costa Rica just isn't known for great snorkeling. If that's a priority you might want to think Belize rather than CR.

moneymoo Aug 19th, 2010 06:15 AM

I agree with shillmac. I have been going to Costa Rica for 12 years and the Carribbean side is the dryest in September. It's hit or miss all over the country but I have only ever gone once in 12 years (probably 60 times) which was 2007 when it rained over in the Osa the entire time I was there except for one afternoon. Snorkeling is not really good anywhere in Costa Rica and I just came back from Belize and best snorkeling in the world I think. You can snorkel over near Manuel Antonio and I saw a few things there but again, this time of year isn't the greatest. Over near Puerto Jimenez there is good snorkeling but you would have to do that sometime in February or March. Guanacaste is a good place and the water at Playa Conchal is crystal clear most times.

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