Snorkeling Hermosa

Let’s check out the beaches of Playa Penca and Playa Hermosa. Both of these beaches are very close to each other, and have clear water for snorkeling. The water is fairly calm which makes it a great activity for the family.

Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa is a well known tourism destination in Guanacaste Province. It’s under an hour drive to the Liberia Airport, and has an amazing beach. It’s a very quiet small town, as it’s about 10 minutes from the much busier Playas del Coco. Still, Hermosa has lots to do including snorkeling on the beach.

We’re snorkeling on the north end of the beach, as there’s lots of rocks where the fish will hang out during high tide. To get to the north end of the beach, you’ll turn right at the main intersection of the beach and continue along until you reach the end of the road. This is where you’ll find the entrance to the Condovac community. There’s on-street parking and some private lots.

Simply walk down to the beach with your gear and head out into the water. We’re using a Cressi Snorkeling Kit (Amazon), which is a very cost effective way to start in the water. The mask is very effective and provides great clarity, and the snorkel has a purge valve in the event water gets in the snorkel (which it always does). The fins are also long and provide great propulsion.

This video was filmed on a GoPro, which are incredible action cameras. These cameras feature excellent color and resolution options. The built in stabilization modes make your videos buttery-smooth. Add a GoPro to your vacation and capture your memories in high definition.

In The Water

On the north end, there’s a roped off area for easy swimming, which has no rocks. There’s generally a life guard on duty, however always be sure to have your own safety plan. 

The water in Hermosa is calm compared to many beaches on the Pacific Coast, however rip currents can form. Be sure to watch the water before entering and stay aware of your distance from the beach and other rocks. 

Weaker swimmers should consider using a pool noddle while they glide over the water, which are available to buy at the Luperon store in town. 

Playa Penca

Playa Penca is another great beach, but it’s off the main roads and generally requires a vehicle with high ground clearance to get to. Penca is on a ridgeline that separates Playas del Coco and Playa Hermosa, so although it’s not very far, it it less busy.

In addition to driving to Playa Penca, you can always find a small charter boat/water taxi to bring you to this beach. The captains for these boats are always hanging out on Coco beach, just ask around and you’ll get introduced to one.

Protect your gear with a waterproof fanny pack. These are great as you can be confident that nothing will get wet as you tour Costa Rica. You definitely don't want to leave important items on the beach, so with these packs you can explore the water without constantly watching your stuff!

Fish, Snakes, Eels

This video was taken in mid December, which is well into the summer in Costa Rica. The water is very clear, but the water does get affected by the increased winds. It was still an easeful swim and well worth the crystal clear water.

We found an array of different creatures, starting with a Sea Snake which has washed itself up on the beach. These snakes are poisonous so if you see them, keep a good distance so you don’t get bit. Generally when these snakes wash up on shore they’re sick or dying, but can still bite. 

In the water, there was all kinds of different coral fish, puffer fish and an eel as well. The eel in this video is a Tiger Snake Eel, which are not dangerous. This eel was just off the shoreline in some small rocks, so you don’t have to go very far to find some incredible creatures. 

Another unique thing was caught on video was a long, translucent worm like creature. I believe this was a “Salp”, which are a chain of organisms that attach to each other. I almost didn’t see it, until I saw the GoPro bump into a chain of small dots in the water. I had initially thought it was a string of plastic, until it started moving on its own and clearly had a clear biotic capsule on each segment.

All these great creatures we’re found within 50 meters of the shore, which makes Playa Penca well worth the trip for snorkeling. 

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