Ocean Kayaking & Snorkeling, Manuel Antonio

4.2 (23 reviews)
Kayak along the coast and snorkel in Biesanz Bay on this active excursion

Overview

Take off on an active kayaking adventure around Manuel Antonio! Climb into a single or double kayak and follow your guide as you paddle past small islands and nesting areas for marine birds. After about an hour, take a break on the beautiful inlet in Biesanz Bay. Snorkeling is an option (if the weather cooperates), and you'll have opportunities to spot parrotfish, starfish, angelfish, and even sea turtles. As you return to the starting point, keep your eyes open for pelicans, flying fish, and other birds. Then head back to base camp and enjoy a delicious homemade meal. 

Highlights

  • Kayak along the beautiful coastline of Manuel Antonio
  • Snorkel with parrotfish and sea turtles in Biesanz Bay
  • Spot pelicans and flying fish while paddling
  • Enjoy a traditional Costa Rican meal after kayaking

Know before you go

Duration
4 hours
Recommended for
8 years old & up
Group
Small group
Food & Drink
Lunch Included. Depending on the tour time, either lunch or dinner is included

What you'll do

You'll begin the adventure when you leave your accommodations in Manuel Antonio and transfer to the starting point for the kayaking trip. Choose between a single or double-seater kayak, suit up in a safety vest, and listen to safety instructions from your guide.

Paddle off into the water behind your guide. You'll navigate past tiny islands, rugged coastline, and bird nesting areas for about an hour. Then you'll arrive at Biesanz Bay, stopping in a beautiful inlet where you can rest and enjoy a snack. If the weather cooperates, you'll have the option to snorkel. Visibility varies depending on the season, but you may have opportunities to spot parrotfish, starfish, angelfish, and sea turtles.

Begin paddling back to the starting point after a 30-minute break on the bay. Stay alert for pelicans and flying fish! Once you arrive back at the pier, you'll step out of your kayak and sit down for a homemade Costa Rican meal. 

Note that while this activity is somewhat physically challenging, no previous experience is required.

Start times

  • Daily
    8:00 am, 1:30 pm

What's included

  • Transportation
  • Bilingual guides
  • Beverages
  • Lunch or dinner

Like what you see?

Chat with our local specialists and let us help you customize your trip with experiences like this.

Get started

Traveler reviews

23 total ratings, 16 with reviews
4.2
Feature ratings
Quality of Experience
4.2
Food
4.4
Guides, Drivers and Staff
4.7
Transport
4.6
Zeynep
Zeynep B.
United Kingdom | Reviewed on Apr 08, 2024
The tour guide gave us a really bad canoe comparing to the other peoples canoe in the tour, so we kept falling. Read more

The tour guide gave us a really bad canoe comparing to the other peoples canoe in the tour, so we kept falling.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Beth Ann
Beth Ann A.
Newark, NJ | Reviewed on Mar 07, 2024
Our guide, Warner, made this activity for us. He was a fantastic source of local wildlife knowledge and was able to help tow my son back to the dock when he was too tired to paddle. It bears noting that the majority of the time on this excursion is spent in the kayak. The snorkeling was great, with lots of fish and sea-life to see, but the time in the water could have been longer. In addition to the kayak/snorkeling, the included lunch was fantastic. Typical fare, the chicken, rice, beans,... Read more

Our guide, Warner, made this activity for us. He was a fantastic source of local wildlife knowledge and was able to help tow my son back to the dock when he was too tired to paddle. It bears noting that the majority of the time on this excursion is spent in the kayak. The snorkeling was great, with lots of fish and sea-life to see, but the time in the water could have been longer. In addition to the kayak/snorkeling, the included lunch was fantastic. Typical fare, the chicken, rice, beans, and soursop juice was great, but what was really amazing was the dessert of warm pineapple al a mode with caramel drizzle. It was de-lish and an excellent way to end the excursion.

Tips for future travelers

Make sure you use and bring a high SPF sunscreen with you. The reflection off the water only amplifies your exposure to the sun, and you will need to reapply sunscreen AFTER getting out of the water and paddling back to the dock.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
K
Kiko S.
Newark, NJ | Reviewed on Feb 14, 2024
I was nervous about kayaking the ocean waves but our guide was kind and patient, he explained the schedule and we were off! It was basically a straight shot to the snorkel area, we had good time, it was a bit cloudy but we saw some cool fish and starfish. Our guide tried to point out as much as he could but it was a bit cloudy and here was just some fish (at the time, and I was admittedly a little distracted with the low tide and avoiding rocks). The snorkel gear was basic and I couldn't get... Read more

I was nervous about kayaking the ocean waves but our guide was kind and patient, he explained the schedule and we were off! It was basically a straight shot to the snorkel area, we had good time, it was a bit cloudy but we saw some cool fish and starfish. Our guide tried to point out as much as he could but it was a bit cloudy and here was just some fish (at the time, and I was admittedly a little distracted with the low tide and avoiding rocks). The snorkel gear was basic and I couldn't get my life jacket out of the way (lol) but it was a good kayak, swim, fruit snack, and then kayak back, hop in the shuttle and drove to the tour's restaurant for casado lunch.

Tips for future travelers

You can pack light. We didn't leave the water; we kayaked straight to the snorkel site, swam, hopped back on the kayaks (which is harder than it sounds in the water! haha) and kayak back to the shuttle, which drove us to the tour's restaurant for lunch. Bring sunscreen, hat, maybe dry clothes to leave in the shuttle. If you have your own snorkel gear, it might be worth bringing (we just got a snorkel mask, no fins or noodles)

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Very kind and patient
Transport
Chris
Chris G.
Newark, NJ | Reviewed on Feb 04, 2024
Pleasant kayak and snorkeling experience with a snack and lunch included. Read more

Pleasant kayak and snorkeling experience with a snack and lunch included.

Tips for future travelers

Bring a dry bag for bringing sunscreen and water. Leave a dry shirt in the van for the ride back. Waterproof camera or GoPro is also great for snorkeling

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Kudos to our driver making pickup/dropoff on the other side of the bay where the roads were narrow, winding and full of traffic.
Kim
Kim C.
Dallas, TX | Reviewed on Jan 13, 2024
Whilst it was lovely to be on the ocean, the snorkeling was very disappointing. Also, the restaurant visit added time to the trip that was unnecessary. We were the first to be picked up and the last to be dropped off. We would have preferred to return to our hotel and visited one of the many lovely restaurants near our hotel. Read more

Whilst it was lovely to be on the ocean, the snorkeling was very disappointing. Also, the restaurant visit added time to the trip that was unnecessary. We were the first to be picked up and the last to be dropped off. We would have preferred to return to our hotel and visited one of the many lovely restaurants near our hotel.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
S
Sonja T.
Rosemont, CA | Reviewed on Jan 05, 2024
This activity was mostly booked for the young adults in the group and they had a blast, from the kayaking to the snorkeling.
While I didn't do the snorkeling part (long story, but has to do with glasses...) I did go into the warm water and our guide gave me a small piece of pineapple. All of a sudden I was surrounded by small blue and yellow fish that were eating that piece. Our guide also made sure that we got to the snorkeling spot before all the larger catamarans would arrive so that...
Read more

This activity was mostly booked for the young adults in the group and they had a blast, from the kayaking to the snorkeling.
While I didn't do the snorkeling part (long story, but has to do with glasses...) I did go into the warm water and our guide gave me a small piece of pineapple. All of a sudden I was surrounded by small blue and yellow fish that were eating that piece. Our guide also made sure that we got to the snorkeling spot before all the larger catamarans would arrive so that we actually had that area mostly to ourselves for a while, which was great.
Enjoyed a quick picnic of fresh pineapple and watermelon and water on a small beach and made our way back.
Our guide did tell us a lot about the local birds that we could spot from the water - very informative

Tips for future travelers

Bring a gopro or underwater camera.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
John
John R.
Harrison, NJ | Reviewed on Dec 31, 2023
Kayaking was fun & beautiful but snorkeling site was way too crowded. Guides were very nice and helpful, but they did not have a life vest small enough to properly fit my 10-year-old son. It would also have been nice to have flippers for the snorkeling. Read more

Kayaking was fun & beautiful but snorkeling site was way too crowded. Guides were very nice and helpful, but they did not have a life vest small enough to properly fit my 10-year-old son. It would also have been nice to have flippers for the snorkeling.

Tips for future travelers

Bring a dry bag (waterproof) for camera/phone. Don't forget sunscreen!

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
K
Kristin H.
Erlanger, KY | Reviewed on Jul 04, 2023
This was fun but the kayak was no joke and a lot of work. We definitely felt like we had accomplished a great work out when we were back on shore. The snorkeling was pretty good for this time of year. The food for lunch was good and one of our favorite chicken and rice dishes we had in Costa Rica. Read more

This was fun but the kayak was no joke and a lot of work. We definitely felt like we had accomplished a great work out when we were back on shore. The snorkeling was pretty good for this time of year. The food for lunch was good and one of our favorite chicken and rice dishes we had in Costa Rica.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Holly
Holly R.
Amherst, MA | Reviewed on Apr 29, 2023
Had a great time. Charlie was a fabulous driver and Marcos was a knowledgeable and attentive guide. Read more

Had a great time. Charlie was a fabulous driver and Marcos was a knowledgeable and attentive guide.

Tips for future travelers

Sea kayaking is a physical activity, Not difficult but you will be paddling for approx. 40 minutes to and from the snorkeling spot.

Quality of Experience
Food
Food was a buffet at the Tucanes restaurant. Delicious but a bit disorganized.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Elizabeth
Elizabeth R.
Manhattan, NY | Reviewed on Feb 24, 2023
Great snorkel and a bit of a work out getting there in the kayaks. We all did a water entry from the kayaks and also had to get back in the kayak from the water. One person had to hold the kayak steady while the other climbed in.
Everyone did this without much of an issue.
We saw lots of fish, some fairly good sized snappers and parrot and trigger fish.
The lunch that we had later was really delicious.
Read more

Great snorkel and a bit of a work out getting there in the kayaks. We all did a water entry from the kayaks and also had to get back in the kayak from the water. One person had to hold the kayak steady while the other climbed in.
Everyone did this without much of an issue.
We saw lots of fish, some fairly good sized snappers and parrot and trigger fish.
The lunch that we had later was really delicious.

Tips for future travelers

Good to bring a change of dry clothes so that you can enjoy the lunch without being in a wet bathing suit. There was a place to change right at the restaurant and showers also available on shore once the kayak trip back to shore was completed.

Quality of Experience
The snorkel was really good, we saw a great variety of fish in a small area.
Food
Mahi Mahi was delicious
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Transport was so easy, we just needed to be in the lobby of our hotel at the appointed time for pick up

Like what you see?

Chat with our local specialists and let us help you customize your trip with experiences like this.

Get started

Itineraries with Ocean Kayaking & Snorkeling