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BillJ Jul 28th, 2012 11:59 AM

Costa Rica - Where best to snorkel?
DW and I, both age 70, will finish a cruise through the Panama Canal and up the Pacific coast, ending at Herradura. After the cruise, we would like to spend about 4 days doing nothing on a beach in a real nice hotel with a nice pool and bar on the central or northern coast. Don't think I want all inclusive; gladly take taxi to nearby towns for good restaurants.
We like to snorkel, so ideally, good snorkeling is right out the door, but realistically, I realize that's a lot to ask. A nice beach for relaxing, and nearby (walking) snorkeling is the goal. When I say nice hotel, like 4 or 5 star, chain or local is ok.
Thanks for any suggestions.

MichelleY Jul 28th, 2012 01:12 PM

Costa Rica is not known for it's snorkeling. Will not be like Hawaii or the Carribean. Close by to where you will disembark is Manuel Antonio. Plenty of choices in hotels price points and amenities. Look at Si Como No. Most places will not be right on the beach but uphill with views.

BillJ Jul 28th, 2012 07:04 PM

"Costa Rica not known for snorkeling." I am getting that feeling after doing some more research. Now thinking that down near Manual Antonio might be better. There are some good beaches there, and several nice hotels. Thanks, Si Como No looks real nice.
Being near Manual Antonio Park will give us some nature activities, which we are keen on, as well as some nice beaches to lounge around on.

MichelleY Jul 28th, 2012 08:51 PM

Bill - just do some research on the type of accommodations you would like. MA has all price points. We have not stayed at Si Como No, but it gets good feed back. We stayed at Costa Verde. Our first night was in the penthouse at CV2, which is the all adult part and Eco friendly (no A/C). It was great. The rest of our stay was in a plus unit at CV1. This was good, but not fancy. I would stay again though.

Are you flying home from San Jose? Then MA would probably work out well.

BillJ Jul 28th, 2012 10:25 PM

Thank you MichelleY. Looks really interesting in that area. Playa Biezans looks very tranquil. CV2 and Parador Hotel look good also. Ahah! Lots to choose from. Gotta decide now. Thanks.

volcanogirl Jul 29th, 2012 05:26 AM

Manuel Antonio has a beautiful beach inside the park and lots of fairly tame wildlife in the area. We had monkeys all over our hotel grounds. We stayed at Mango Moon. Tulemar Bungalows is very popular if you want to check that one too. If you go to Biezans, be sure the check the tide chart; we went at high tide, and there was no beach to speak of. We have yet to find good snorkeling in CR, but some people say the Carib. side is slightly better. Some good restaurants in MA are Ronny's Place, Cafe Agua Azul, Barba Roja, and Cafe Milagro.

mlgb Jul 29th, 2012 09:59 AM

If you can afford Arenas del Mar it has direct beach access as well as view rooms. You get around the property by golf cart. It's possible to walk along the beach toward the park (or take a taxi), but after one visit you'll probably prefer just to stay on=property.

BillJ Jul 31st, 2012 08:34 PM

Funny, I was just checking out Arenas del Mar, a Fodor's Choice. Looks really nice. Decisions, decisions. Thanks volcanogirl for your assessment of snorkeling in CR. My expectation level is lowered.

volcanogirl Jul 31st, 2012 08:58 PM

Yea, there tends to be a lot of sediment in the water which makes visibility difficult. Still very pretty though.

kayekaye Aug 2nd, 2012 03:22 PM

We are in Costa Rica now and just left Playa Conchal. We stayed at Hotel Conchal in Brasalito which was in my opinion one of the best hotels in Costa Rica. Only 10 rooms for $65 night. Excellent restaurant too. Has a real jungle vibe similar to Banana Azul but with better rooms. Howler monkeys right outside your room. From there it´s a 10 minute walk to Playa Conchal with the best snorkeling we´ve seen in Costa Rica. It´s right by the beach too so no need to take a boat trip and you can snorkle whenever you like for as long as you like. It´s right in front of the Westin if you want an AI.

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