Costa Rica Catamaran Tours: How to Arrange a Trip

Are you looking for a fun-filled day tour that people of all ages will love, while in Costa Rica? We suggest checking out a Costa Rica catamaran tour.

These tours are usually several hours long, include food and drinks, offer snorkeling, and sometimes visit unique remote beaches.

We have taken a few different catamaran tours in Costa Rica and have always had such a fun time. We’ve gone on trips as just the two of us and also taken trips with groups of friends or family. It is truly something everyone can enjoy!

Here is everything you should know before booking a Costa Rica catamaran tour…

Popular Catamaran Destinations

sail boat pacific

Jaco/ Herradura

Jaco and Herradura are located on the Central Pacific coast of the country. Herradura is known for its large resort called Los Suenos.

We don’t suggest spending a ton of time in Jaco, but it is a good place to stop for a night or two on your way to other destinations. 

Here are a few great catamaran tour options in the area:

Tortuga Island Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  8 hours | ✅ Book it!

This catamaran day trip departs from Los Suenos resort in Herradura.

It includes a light breakfast, lunch, snorkeling, drinks (including alcohol), a professional guide and boat captain, as well as a fun day on Isla Tortuga.

Isla Tortuga is a remote white sand beach island with calm turquoise waters. On the island, you can go for a hike, rent kayaks, ride on a banana boat, or just relax. 

Sunset Tour to Playa Fantasia

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4 hours 30 minutes | ✅ Book it!

This tour departs from Herradura at 1:30pm (but if you need pickup from your hotel in Jaco they can arrange that).

It includes a fun trip to the remote Playa Fantasia, a delicious lunch prepared on the beach, and drinks.

Lounge chairs, hammocks, boogie boards, paddle boards, and snorkel equipment are all included in the cost of booking and are available to use.

Day Tour to Playa Fantasia

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4 hours 30 minutes | ✅ Book it!

This daytime tour is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Jaco and enjoy some time on a fully equipped catamaran.

Snorkeling, tropical cocktails, a delicious lunch, and a remote white sand beach are all parts of this boat trip that your will love. 

Private Day Tour to Playa Fantasia

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  5 to 6 hours | ✅ Book it!

This is your opportunity to book a private catamaran for five hours with up to 15 guests.

You’ll have the boat all to yourselves with the crew, a private chef, an open bar, snorkel equipment, and more! 

Manuel Antonio / Quepos

Manuel Antonio is a Pacific coast beach town that is known for being home to the most popular national park in the country.

Here you can enjoy nice beaches, see tons of wildlife, and enjoy plenty of fun day trips. 

The trips we suggest are:

Catamaran Ocean King

⭐️ RATING: 4/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  3 hours 30 minutes | ✅ Book it!

This tour lasts for about 3.5 hours and includes transportation from your Manuel Antonio area hotel.

On this catamaran trip, you can relax in the on-boat Jacuzzi, sit out on the tanning mesh, enjoy free alcoholic and non-alcholic beverages, snacks, and visit some remote beaches.

All Inclusive Catamaran Eco Adventure

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  3 t0 4 hours | ✅ Book it!

On this tour, transportation is included from the Manuel Antonio area hotels.

You will enjoy lunch with cocktails, snorkeling with snorkel gear, and water sliding off the boat.

Yeap, this boat has a waterslide you can go down. How fun is that?

Sunset Sails Tours

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4 hours | ✅ Book it!

This is a half-day tour that runs in the morning or afternoon.

On this tour, you will sail along the protected beaches and rain forests of Manuel Antonio National Park, see marine life such as dolphins, whales, and sea turtles, snorkel at Biesanz Beach.

Enjoy unlimited soft drinks and cocktails from an open bar and eat plenty of snacks and a fresh lunch prepared on board.

Tamarindo

Tamarindo is a popular surf town located in Guanacaste Province near Liberia International Airport.

We like this area for the tons of amazing restaurants, clear waters for surfing and diving, and plenty of day trip options.

For catamaran tours in Tamarindo we suggest:

​​Sunset Sailing Tour on Ti Marouba

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  5 hours | ✅ Book it!

This fun trip on a sailboat includes an open bar, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and snorkel equipment.

It is possible to book this tour during the day or for sunset time.

Private Sailing Tour on Catamaran All Inclusive

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  5 hours | ✅ Book it!

This private trip on a 38-foot boat can hold up to 22 guests. It’s awesome!

It includes:

  • A mix of beach time and ocean time
  • The chance to go swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and snorkeling
  • Lunch and snacks will also be provided
  • An open bar on board is all included

Playa Flamingo

Playa Flamingo is often considered one of the nicest beaches in the country due to its turquoise calm waters and white sand beaches. The town is home to several resorts and condo-style high-rise accommodation options. 

Our two go-to trips here are:

Sunset Catamaran in Playa Flamingo

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4 hours | ✅ Book it!

This all-inclusive trip includes transportation from Flamingo, Tamarindo, and Potrero area hotels.

It is a four-hour trip that includes drinks (including alcohol), snacks, and snorkeling. It is also possible to use kayaks or stand up paddle boards while others are snorkeling.

Private Sunset Catamaran

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4 hours | ✅ Book it!

This private sunset tour can host up to 15 guests.

During your tour, you will enjoy unlimited drinks and snacks, snorkeling gear, and amazing views.

Playas del Coco/ Hermosa

Playas del Coco and Playa Hermosa are beach towns located just a short drive from the Liberia International Airport.

We think Hermosa is the perfect beach for families due to the calm waters, blocked-off swimming area, and many nearby activities. 

Our go-to catamaran trip is:

Catamaran Snorkeling & Sunset Sailing Tour

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars on Viator | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4 hours 30 minutes | ✅ Book it!

On board this catamaran, you’ll have the chance to spot local sea life such as whales, dolphins, turtles, rays, and seabirds.

The tour also includes time to swim, snorkel and relax on the boat.

Pool noodles and snorkel equipment are provided.

Lunch with an open bar is also included.

What To Know Before Booking a Catamaran Tour

costa rica sailboat

What to Bring

We suggest bringing:

A towel – We like microfiber because it rolls up small and dries fast

A full bottle of water – Almost all tours include unlimited drinks, but it is always nice to have an extra bottle just in case

A dry bag – We always pack our stuff in a waterproof bag. There have been so many times that we have been on boats in Costa Rica and the wind picks up and water splashes in the boat. Having a dry bag has saved us countless times.

Motion Sickness Pills – You can always buy these in Costa Rica (most Costa Rican pharmacies sell Gravol, if you are wondering which brand), but I always bring some with me just in case. Even if you don’t typically get seak sick, you never know.

SPF 50 – The sun is powerful here. Make sure to reapply sunblock often.

A change of clothes – This is not always necessary, but if you get really wet from swimming, you may want a change of clothes depending on your plans for after your catamaran tour. 

What to Wear

We always wear:

A bathing suit – You will most likely go swimming

Fast-drying shorts – Something that is lightweight and dries fast is best.

UV protecting shirt – We suggest wearing a long sleeve UV shirt even when snorkeling. We have been on so many day trips on boats in which people end up really badly burned because they don’t realize how much sun exposure they are getting while swimming.

Flip flops – On most boats, you will be asked to take your shoes off. Wearing flip-flops that can get wet is the easiest thing to slip on and off.

A hat with a strap – I like the nerdy fishing type of hats with a strap. They will protect you from the sun and you don’t need to worry about losing it when the wind picks up.

Sunglasses – Because….sun

Glasses strap – It’s amazing how many times we have almost lost our sunglasses or glasses due to wind while on boats here. It’s always a good idea to have a glasses strap to prevent this.

Best Time of Year

The dry season in Costa Rica runs from mid-December until late April.

During this time of year you should have zero rain on the Pacific coast. However, this time of year also tends to be the most expensive time to visit, and things book out fast. 

During the rainy season, you can expect almost daily afternoon rainstorms from about 2 pm to 4 pm. In other words, keep in mind that during the rainy season there is a chance your afternoon catamaran tour could be canceled due to bad weather.  

Safety

All of the tours we suggested are with reputable companies with good safety ratings. All boats should have life vests on board by law.

However, always look out for your own safety. If something feels off, trust your instincts.

Transportation

Most tours include transportation from your area hotel. We suggest using the included transportation when possible so you don’t need to worry about finding parking.

If you drive and leave your rental car in a parking lot for the duration of your catamaran tour, please don’t leave anything of value in your car.

It’s very rare, but people have been known to have cars broken into especially if valuables are visible.

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Costa Rica Catamaran Tours: How to Arrange a Trip

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Private Catamaran Trips

catamaran

If you are traveling in Costa Rica for a destination wedding or a fun trip with a big group of friends or family, a private catamaran tour is such a great activity option. 

Other Ways to Enjoy Being on a Boat in Costa Rica

voat tour

If you are not sure if a Costa Rica catamaran cruise is right for you, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the waterways around the country. A few of our favorite other Costa Rica boat tours include:

Fishing tour

You can book half-day or full-day tours, deep sea or inshore fishing trips on both the Pacific and Caribbean coast of the country.

Typically you can keep what you catch, your captain will fillet the fish for you, and you can prepare it at your vacation rental or have a local restaurant prepare your catch for you. 

You can find out more with our fishing guide.

Rafting

It is possible to enjoy white water rafting around the country for all skill levels. Some popular places for this are in La Fortuna and from the Caribbean coast.

You can find out more with our white water rafting guide.

Tortuguero Canoe Trip

If you plan on visiting Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast, we highly suggest going to the national park and enjoying an early morning wildlife canoe ride with a guide. It is incredibly peaceful and you are sure to see tons of wildlife.

You can find out more with our Tortuguero National Park guide.

Whale Watching Tour

The most popular place to take a whale-watching tour is on the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Marino Ballena National Park in Uvita. The best time of year is in August and September. You might see whales, dolphins, birds, and more!

So, what do you think? Are you ready to enjoy a trip on a catamaran in Costa Rica? If you have any questions about planning your trip, just leave them in the comment section below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

You Might Also Like:

Costa Rica Travel Details: What You Need to Know

๐Ÿš— Should I rent a car in Costa Rica?

Having a rental car will give you the most flexibility when traveling in Costa Rica. This will also allow you to take fun day trips on your own.

๐Ÿ„๐Ÿฝ How can I book things to do?

We find that Viator tends to have the most comprehensive selection of activities with secure booking and good cancellation policies.

๐Ÿ I’m overwhelmed with planning. Can you help?

Of course! I suggest joining our Facebook group for specific questions and head to our Start Here Page to get started planning.

โœˆ๏ธ What is the best way to book a flight?

Usually, we have the best luck finding great prices with Skyscanner. Check for flights to both San Jose Airport (SJO) and Liberia Airport (LIR).

๐Ÿ›๏ธ What is the best way to book my Costa Rica hotels?

We highly suggest Booking.com for hotel bookings and typically use VRBO for Costa Rica vacation rentals.

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธWhat is the main language in Costa Rica?

The main language in Costa Rica is Spanish. Most people working in tourism speak at least some English.

๐Ÿ’ฐ What is the currency in Costa Rica?

The currency used in Costa Rica is the Costa Rican colรณn (CRC). However, the US dollar is widely accepted in most tourist areas

๐Ÿ“ž What is the best way to stay connected?

An eSIM from Airalo is the easiest way to get 4G data while traveling in Costa Rica.

๐ŸŒด Is Costa Rica safe?

Generally, Costa Rica is considered safe for tourists. However, like any travel destination, it’s best to use caution and be aware of your surroundings.

๐Ÿ›‚ Do you need a passport to go to Costa Rica?

Yes, Costa Rica is its own country. You will need a passport to visit.

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