We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

2019 diving/snorkeling vacation

amarillo, tx
Level Contributor
95 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
2019 diving/snorkeling vacation

we are starting to plan a diving/snorkeling vacation for next summer. Originally we were planning to go to Cozumel, but were told there are better reefs in Central America. There will be 6 adults - 1 experienced diver, 2 who want to get certified and 3 snorkelers. We want to rent a house or condo ($300 ish per night) on a beach. What are some locations we should consider?

5 replies to this topic
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
3,434 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 2019 diving/snorkeling vacation

If someone recommended Central America they were probably thinking of Belize. Costa Rica is a great country to visit but not for snorkeling and diving.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
Level Contributor
7,186 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 2019 diving/snorkeling vacation

Costa Rica is probably one of the worst locations you could chose in the area for that.

Best options would be:

1) Mainland Yucatan Peninsula--Riviera Maya and Costa Maya

2) Belize Cayes

3) Roatan/Bay Islands off the northern coast of Honduras

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
50,276 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: 2019 diving/snorkeling vacation

Agree no nice diving locations...at least not like some in Mexico or Beliza....around here maybe Cano Island...Las Ctalinas...

For great diving location in Central America...the Bay Islands in Honduras...ROATAN


Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
9,121 posts
66 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: 2019 diving/snorkeling vacation

Roatan - went there a couple of times - was the best off shore snorkeling in our travels.

[Stay away from Fantasy Island resort and check carefully if whatever other place you choose can get inundated with hords of cruise passengers, completely taking over the beach, property, and restaurants of the resort for a full day at a time, multiple days a week, different cruise ships, at the expense of the hotel's own guests. ]

Contadora Island in Panama had great snorkeling, but we were there quite a few yrs ago, so check on the current situation/reviews. A tiny island a short domestic flight away from Panama City. We spent a week there, snorkeling. Wknds were quite busy, but during the week it was great. Lots of tiny public beaches, most empty.

The 3rd for snorkeling for us (and diving for others in our hotel) was Jibacoa - between Holguin and Varadero in Cuba. There are only 2 resorts there.

We found snorkeling on the Pacific side of CR, Papagayo, disappointing, in comparison, or, on other trips to the Pacific side, impossible due to waves.

For our return trip to S. Caribbean side of CR we chose to leave our snorkeling equipment at home. It had not left our luggage once in the first 2 wks, due to waves, rip tides and poor water visibility, incl. in Cahuita NP. The water was so murky when we swam there - we could not see our hands under water, there was no point to try with a mask. So the next time we just left our snorkeling items at home.

Sudbury, Ontario
Level Contributor
882 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: 2019 diving/snorkeling vacation

Deb0...Yes try Roatan for your diving, snorkeling & certifications. We have been going there for 7 years now for diving and snorkeling...wonderful experience. Tons of places to rent & loads of places to eat. Go on and have a peek at Roatan here on TA and see what people have to say about it. Also it's the best pricing for diving you may ever find.

We are heading to CR for 3 weeks next Jan/Feb and will go out for a few dives but I'm not expecting anything like what I see in Roatan...not even close. And as the water is a somewhat murky in CR (at least where I am) snorkeling is even off the list while there.

Enjoy your vacation!

Mary Jane

Reply to: 2019 diving/snorkeling vacation
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted