Snorkeling in Playa Coco/Playa Hermosa – Guancaste Costa Rica

There’s nothing more that I love to do while on vacation than snorkeling. Being out on the water gives you a completely different perspective than being on land. For our trip to Playa Hermosa and Playa Coco, we booked a full day snorkeling excursion so we would have the most time possible both in the water and on the boat.

Initially, we booked our tour with Seabird Sailing Excursions. The plan was to have them pick up our group of 10 on the beach in Playa Hermosa, take us out snorkeling, and return on a sunset cruise. The day before our tour was scheduled, we heard from Heather at Seabird that their boat was having issues and they wouldn’t be able to take us out. However, she set up the exact tour for us with another company – Kuna Veila Sailing Tours. 

I was really impressed that she went out of her way to find us the same tour on such short notice. Finding a boat that would take our group of 10 on a private all day tour couldn’t have been easy at the last minute.

Heather from Seabird Sailing and a representative from Kuna Veila met us on the beach the morning of our excursion. They were both very helpful and friendly and answered all of our questions – even though most had nothing to do with the trip we were taking. Soon our sailboat arrived and a member of the crew picked us up in a dinghy for the short ride to the sailboat.

Once we all climbed aboard the captain gave us a run down of what to expect that day – he was going to take us to a few snorkeling spots, a private beach, and try and find some dolphins. Outside of that, it was our day and whatever we wanted to do, he would take us there.

Sail Boat tour in Costa Rica

We set sail and headed past Monkey Head Island, properly named based on the obvious shape. Soon enough we arrived at our first snorkeling destination.

This is the second snorkeling tour I’ve taken where they didn’t offer life jackets, only fun-noodles. Even without a life jacket, it wasn’t difficult to float on top of the water. I would assume the salt level in the water helps buoyancy.

Unfortunately, it was pretty windy that day so the water wasn’t as clear as I would have hoped, but we spotted a large variety of bright, tropical fish.

During our sail over to the next spot, the captain spotted a pod of dolphins so we followed along their path as they swam and jumped alongside the boat. It was easily one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had travelling – especially when the baby dolphins started jumping out of the water.

Soon we pulled up to a secluded beach for lunch. A few of us took off snorkeling around the side of the island. My husband Russ hit a spiky black sea urchin – ouch. Definitely something not to touch! We swam over to shore and walked back to the group (Russ limped) to have lunch. The captain and his first mate had built a fire on the beach and cooked up a delicious meal of shrimp, rice, vegetables, fruits and more. It was the perfect fuel we needed after a morning of snorkeling and exploring the ocean.

secluded beach in Costa Ricasecluded beach in Costa Rica

The captain told us about a cave on the other side of the beach. We hiked over and climbed down into the cave. The rocks were really slippery because during high tide I’m sure the cave becomes completely submerged. It was cool to do some (very) minor spelunking and exploring while on the island.


We set sail once again and hit up one last snorkeling destination before heading home, sailing along with the setting sun.

Snorkeling tours are always our favorite part of the trip and this one was no exception.







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