Fishing In The Papagayo Region Of Guanacaste Costa Rica

Travel & Tourism

UPDATED: May, 2023

Fishing in the Papagayo Region of Guanacaste Costa Rica is an experience like no other. This beautiful area on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica is known for its rich marine life and offers some of the best fishing opportunities in the country and in the world!

Fishing in Guanacaste


The waters surrounding Playas del Coco and Playa Hermosa are home to a variety of fish. Inshore fishing is ideal for catching rooster fish, snapper, and grouper, among other species. One of the best times to go inshore fishing is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. During this time, the water is clear, and the weather is sunny, making it perfect for a day out on the water.

Offshore fishing, on the other hand, allows anglers to target billfish, including sailfish and marlin, as well as tuna, dorado, and wahoo. If you are planning on going offshore fishing, keep in mind that December through March the area is plagued by the Papagayo winds—trade winds blowing off Lake Nicaragua—that blow 15-25 miles per hour. This can make for difficult fishing conditions! June through October the seas are calm, the big fish are swarming, and it is the perfect time for offshore fishing.

Keep in mind that Costa Rica strongly protects its fishing resources. All sailfish, marlin, rooster fish or non-edible fish must be released. Billfish and tarpon may not be taken out of the water, so you will have to take a picture of the fish in the water alongside the boat. You will also need a fishing license to fish Costa Rican waters. If you are going out on a sport fishing charter, the boat captain will have obtained licenses for all on board. But if you are making your own arrangements or throwing your line out from shore, a fishing license can be purchased on the INCOPESCA (Costa Rican Fisheries Institute) website.

Fisherman pulling n a catch off of Guanacaste

There are many fishing charters in Playas del Coco that offer half-day or full-day trips. These charters are equipped with all the necessary fishing gear and equipment. The captains are experienced and knowledgeable about the local fishing spots, they know where the fish are biting! They will take you to the best spots for your chance at a big catch, whether you’re a seasoned angler or a first-time fisherman.

Don’t be wooed by the slick website of an online company or just any Tico who has a panga (an open hull center console boat about 25 ft long) to take you out. Consult local experts or people you may have met or know. Generally speaking, what you pay for is what you get in sport fishing. Don’t make a decision about your guide based solely on price. Sport fishing is expensive anywhere in the world. TripAdvisor lists several fishing charters in the Playa Hermosa / Playas del Coco/Playa Ocotal area that receive five stars from their reviewers.

Offshore fisherman showing his catch off the Papagayo coast

Fishing in the Papagayo region is a must-do experience for any fishing enthusiast. With the rich marine life and beautiful surroundings, this area offers some of the best fishing opportunities in Costa Rica. You may even spot some sea turtles, dolphins, or humpback whales during your trip, which is definitely an added bonus. Make sure you are prepared and in good shape too, so when you pull out that 40 pound snapper you don’t end up with a hernia like me! So, grab your fishing gear and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!

Interested in finding a property in Costa Rica? Check out our extensive listings here:

Want to keep up with everything that is happening here in Costa Rica? Join my email list!

Need more information about Costa Rica in general? Read our FAQS about Costa Rica page.

Interested in owning a property in Costa Rica, checkout some great options here

Have a comment or a question? Feel free to EMAIL ME

Like the article? Please share!

Other currencies
Pricing terms

The price is based on current exchange rates but is only an approximation. Please contact us for a final price