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).

King angelfish at Calzon de Pobre

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.

Calzon de Pobre snorkeling map, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Exploration

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.

Spotted sharpnosed puffer 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. King angelfish (timid) and Cortez angelfish (easier to approach), sometimes in groups of 3 or 4, swim across the reef slopes. 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.

Blacknosed butterflyfish at Calzon de Pobre

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.

Species you may spot while snorkeling Calzon de Pobre
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME ABUNDANCE FISHBASE WIKIPEDIA
King 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  
  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth12ft/4.5m
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersUsual precautions
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.