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Off the Beaten Path | Under the water

Don’t surf? Don’t worry. Not everybody comes to paradise in search of overhead waves with a good curl. There’s plenty you can do in the water in Tamarindo that doesn’t require balance or fighting riptides. You don’t even have to be certified to do any of it, but you should probably be a decent swimmer.

There is a whole ‘nother world in Tamarindo, one most folks fail to see when visiting Costa Rica. Depending on the time of year you visit, the experience can be anything from good to amazing. Here are four activities you can engage in, which get you on the other side of the surface.

off the beaten path - under waterSNORKELING

There are more outfits that propose snorkeling than any of these three. Reason being, snorkeling is the easiest of the three. You don’t even have to be a good swimmer. With a floatation device, a mask and your snorkel, you can see most of the undersea delights providing you can get to them.

Snorkeling off the beach in Playa Tamarindo won’t likely yield excellent results. The water tends to be murkier most times of the year. That said if you are a good swimmer, sometimes there is decent snorkeling out past the boats. Be careful though. Boats and rough water can make this a dangerous activity.

Instead, take a sunset cruise on one of the catamarans or single-hulled boats in the bay. They can be booked from any tour booking outfit. Alternatively, many of the charter boats will take you to a good spot for a fee. They can even help you find equipment to rent if you don’t have your own. Be sure to barter that price down if you can. It’s worth asking.

off the beaten path - under waterSNUBA

The lovechild of snorkeling and scuba diving, Snuba allows users to dive down twenty feet via a hose tethered to a small craft at the surface. Air is compressed at the surface by the same kind of tank scuba divers strap to their backs. Users draw air through a regulator, similar to what scuba diver uses.

Because the dive depth is only 20 feet, Snuba doesn’t require any technical knowhow. If you get freaked out, you can just ascend to the surface. If you can stay cool, then you can just hang out underwater with the fishes, getting as close as you like.

The local Snuba outfit is Snuba Costa Rica, run by Michael Wunderlich. You can book tours by navigating to their site, emailing or calling Mike. He’s very good about getting back to people.

off the beaten path - under waterSCUBA

You thought you had to go through certification to dive, but that’s not true. Anyone who is willing and able can take a resort dive, where the dive depth is limited, but uses all the same equipment.

Divers are taken through a short course, then taken to the water where they have to pass a practical test. Once they can demonstrate basic competency, they can enjoy nearly all the same delight of certified divers.

In Tamarindo, there are a couple of outfits: Tamarindo Diving, and Aqua Rica Dive Center.

off the beaten path - under waterFREE DIVING

Free Diving is basically an extended version of what snorkelers do to get down to the coral. You know, where you find the good stuff. Sometimes Free Diving is either done with weights to pull the diver down or just bodyweight.

Once you master Free Diving, you can swim like a dolphin, staying down for minutes at a time.

If you’re ten years or older, you can take a course with Free Diving Costa Rica or go on a $55 fun free dive tour. The training courses start at $125 and you get open water experience.

Of course, you’re free to stick to surface activities, like surfing. You won’t be hard-pressed to find someone to teach you how. You also won’t see as many fish, but maybe that’s not your thing.

You’d be totally missing out though… Just saying’.


Horizon Pacific Management & Rentals logoHorizon Pacific Management & Rentals is located in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Horizon Pacific offers vacation rentals, property management, long-term rentals, as well as a complete concierge service. Providing you with a local contact during your stay, Horizon Pacific is a company you can trust, with the experience you need.

Blog Info migrate Tips for Vacation Rentals in Tamarindo

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