Calzon de Pobre

Calzon de Pobre is a small beach on Punta Cacique (the peninsula separating Playa del Coco and Playa Hermosa. With its luxuriant vegetation, white sand and translucent waters, it comes straight out of a picture postcard. Its seabed is exceptionally rich in fish, making it one of the best destinations for snorkeling in Guanacaste. You can combine an exploration of the area with La Penca, which lies just a few hundred yards away.
How to get there?

Like La Penca, Calzon de Pobre is a small beach on the peninsula separating Playa del Coco and Playa Hermosa, which are among the most sought-after resorts on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. From Liberia, you can get to Playa Hermosa in about 40 minutes (well signposted). Once you are at Playa Hermosa, continue on towards Playa del Coco for a few minutes. At the top of the hill, turn right along the dirt road serving the peninsula (a GPS application may come in handy since there are no signposts along the path). From Playa del Coco, head for Playa Hermosa and turn left on the track. Entry is controlled (a note is taken of your license plate), but free. Follow the track for five minutes as far as the intersection on your right (barrier across the road). Park and continue for around ten minutes on foot. You can drive along the track in a normal vehicle, but ask for more information at the entrance (a 45-minute walk approximately).

Water entrance

The two rocky areas enclosing the left and right sides of the beach are both worth visiting in terms of the quality of the seabed and underwater life. Enter the water from the beach on the side of your choice. We recommend exploring the two parts successively.

Aerial view


The sandy area lying opposite the central part of the beach is not very interesting (↕3-6ft/1-2m). Better to head for the rocky extremities situated on each side. On the areas nearest the beach (↕3-6ft/1-2m), the rocks are covered in colored seaweed. Hundreds of young wrasses take shelter around the rocks, and porcupinefish (several different species) and pufferfish (also several different species) are abundant.

Snorkeling Report Calzon de Pobre Guanacaste Costa Rica
School of blacknose butterflyfish at Calzon de Pobre

Move along the reef away from the beach. The water is deeper (↕6-12ft/2-4m) and you will soon come across spectacular shoals (with almost a thousand fish) of sergeant major and damselfish. Passer angelfish (timid) and Cortez angelfish (easier to approach), sometimes in groups of 3 or 4 individuals, swim across the slopes of the reef. Dozens of blacknose butterflyfish, easy to get close to and highly photogenic, stop to rest at the foot of the reef drop-off. There are few spots on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast with so many fish, and you will not tire of swimming back and forth along the reef.

The waters are particularly translucent here during the dry season, and underwater photography is a real pleasure. A few small boats are sometimes moored near the beach, so watch out for them.

Restaurants & accommodation

The site is completely natural. To make the most of this very nice site, take along a picnic.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Type of spot
  • Level of difficulty
    Intermediary level
  • Maximum depth
    12ft (4.5m)
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential Dangers
    Usual precautions
  • Lifeguard
  • Visitor numbers
  • Access costs
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Public toilets & showers

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

Species you may spot while snorkeling Calzon de Pobre

Common name Scientific name Abundance Fishbase Wikipedia
Passer angelfish
Holacanthus passer
Cortez angelfish
Pomacanthus zonipectus
Blacknosed butterflyfish
Johnrandallia nigrirostris
Threebanded butterflyfish
Chaetodon humeralis
Spot-fin porcupinefish
Diodon hystrix
Long-spine porcupinefish
Diodon holocanthus
Guineafowl puffer
Arothron meleagris
Blackspotted puffer
Arothron nigropunctatus
White-spotted puffer
Arothron hispidus
Spotted sharpnosed puffer
Canthigaster punctatissima
Bluebarred parrotfish
Scarus ghobban
Orangeside triggerfish
Sufflamen verres
Indo-Pacific sergeant
Abudefduf vaigiensis
Cortez rainbow wrasse
Thalassoma lucasanum
Show all species
You encountered a specie at this spot that is not listed here?