Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Located a little bit away from the main Guanacaste resorts, Playa Bassey is a great location if you are looking for off-the-beaten-track snorkeling. Angelfish, butterflyfish and wrasse are easy to spot around the small bay’s rocky beds, and the underwater visibility is generally excellent.
Playa Bassey is a small beach located in the Gulf of Santa Elena, on the north coast of Guanacaste. From Liberia (about 1 hour by car), take the Inter-American road towards La Cruz/Peñas Blancas for 44 km, then turn left towards Cuajiniquil.
After about 10km, turn right just after the Super Compro supermarket. Continue on this road for 2.5 km, and take the small dirt road that goes down to the left (intersection here). Park and walk to the seaside.
The spot is a 25 minutes drive from the Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica, and 5 minutes from Playa Junquillal campsite.
The spot extends to the left of the small “islet” (linked to the coast by a sandbank) that you see when you arrive by the small path. Enter the water from the beach.
The snorkeling area covers the small bay extending to the left of the islet. The underwater landscape is varied, with many rocks and beautiful stretches of sand. In some places, the rocks are covered with different varieties of algae, small sponges and sea urchins.
This rather secluded spot allows you to observe a great diversity of fish. Around the rocks, you will see sergeants majors, several species of puffers and porcupinefish, cornetfish, and the very colorful Cortez rainbow wrasse.
Cortez angelfish is also common near the small caves in the reef. In places you may come across huge schools of yellowspotted grunt and scissortail chromis.
Playa Bassey is a completely natural site. There are several restaurants in the village of Cuajiniquil and around Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica. The Playa Junquillal campsite is just 5 minutes by car from the spot.
These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.
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.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Rock and coral reef with colorful fish, rays and turtles
Free shore access
Rocky shore with colorful fish
Free shore access
Small islands bordered by reefs with turtles, sea horses and colorful fish
Small rocky and sandy bay with colorful fish
Rocky areas with fish, stingrays and sea turtles