Spot

Playa Conchal


Playa Conchal is one of the nicest places in Guacanaste. This beautiful beach, where you’ll find tiny pieces of shells instead of sand, is the gateway to a gorgeous snorkeling spot located in its eastern end. Unlike many other places along the coastline, water is generally clear here since waves are stopped by rocks cutting the shore from the open sea. Underwater, everyone can admire dozens of fish species including moray eels, bright butterflyfish and friendly blowfish.
How to get there?

Playa Conchal is located at the extremity of Brasilito village, at the heart of the Pacific “gold coast”, Costa Rica’s main sun & beach destination. Reaching it by car is easy from Playa Flamingo (10 min / 3 km), Tamarindo (35 min / 20 km) but also Liberia, Guacanaste Province’s capital city (45 minutes to 1 hour). From Liberia airport, head towards the coast (road 21) and follow Playa Tamarindo direction until Huacas. Follow Brasilito directions from there, and park close to the earthen road fringing the beach. You will have to walk westwards along the beach (on your left when facing the sea) for about 20 minutes before reaching Playa Conchal. The beach is located behind the rocky point marking Playa Brasilito’s western end.

Water entrance

The snorkeling area starts at the very beginning of the beach when arriving from Brasilito. This shaded part of the beach is particularly liked by visitors. You will also be able to rent snorkeling gear here, if you didn’t bring your own. Enter the water facing the emerging rocks.

Aerial view

Exploration

You will explore the area surrounding the rocks emerging from the water, close to the rocky point separating Playa Conchal from Playa Brasilito (see map above). As often, aquatic life gathers around rocks whereas the surrounding sandy seabed is of less interest. Rocks also shelter the area from waves and create perfect conditions for snorkeling. If waves still sometimes overcome the rocks up to the inner side, you will be able to explore even the open sea side of the rocks when the sea is calm.

Dozens of species typical from the region inhabit the rocky seabed. Schools of sergeant-majors usually dwell in shallow areas, above the rocks, just like Cortez wrasse with its three odd blue, yellow and purple stripes. Peer into rocky cracks and look for young moray eels hiding. Golden puffers, white-spotted puffers and blacknose butterflyfish are photogenic species easy to spot here.

Restaurants and accommodation

Hiding in the greenery behind the beach, the luxurious Westin Golf Resort & Spa Playa Conchal is the only accommodation next to the spot. If you don’t want to pay the price for it, head to Brasilito village, just a 20 minutes’ walk from the spot. You will find there accommodation options fitting all budgets, along with many amenities.

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
    Medium
  • Maximum depth
    20ft/6m
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential Dangers
    Waves
  • Lifeguard
    No
  • Visitor numbers
    Medium
  • Access costs
    Free
  • Restaurants nearby
    Barbecues on the beach during the week-ends
  • Public toilets & showers
    No

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

Species you may spot while snorkeling Playa Conchal

Common name Scientific name Abundance Fishbase Wikipedia
Indo-Pacific sergeant
Abudefduf vaigiensis
Threebanded butterflyfish
Chaetodon humeralis
Razor surgeonfish
Prionurus laticlavius
Acapulco gregory
Stegastes acapulcoensis
Beaubrummel
Stegastes flavilatus
White-spotted puffer
Arothron hispidus
Guineafowl puffer
Arothron meleagris
Long-spine porcupinefish
Diodon holocanthus
Jewel moray
Muraena lentiginosa
Cortez rainbow wrasse
Thalassoma lucasanum
Show all species
You encountered a specie at this spot that is not listed here?
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