The Best Fishing in Costa Rica – CR Traveler

Luxury lodging, gorgeous land and seascapes, expert captains and crews, top-of-the-line boats and gear, and some of the best sportfishing in the world: welcome to angling in Costa Rica.

But, Costa Rica is more than just a fishing destination. The quality of accommodations, fantastic cuisine, wide range of adventure tours and peaceful excursions, and the fun-loving nature of the Costa Rican people all add to the panorama. There is no place on Earth like Costa Rica for your fishing vacation.

Costa Rica is home to some of the world’s best sportfishing. You have the billfish numbers on the Pacific coast, bass fishing on Lake Arenal to tarpon and snook fishing on the Caribbean coast.

Infographic: The Ultimate Guide to Sportfishing in Costa Rica

Sportfishing in Costa Rica: An Overview

Ideal for: Avid fishermen, families, couples, adventure seekers; Novice to expert levels.
Best time of year: Year-round, but seasonal in certain areas. See infographic for details.
Most popular destinations: Pacific Coast, north Caribbean, inland.

With recognition from tournaments like the Los Sueños Triple Crown and the Offshore World Championship, Costa Rica has really etched itself into the history books as a world record fishing destination for sailfish and marlin. For the last three years, both of these tournaments have broken multiple records and the future’s looking bright. Countless sportfishing magazines, adventure shows and even ESPN have come to Costa Rica to witness and partake in the action.

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Tips for Planning Your Costa Rica Fishing Vacation

If you’re looking to do some fishing in Costa Rica, here are some tips for finding the perfect outfitter:

1. Plan with an independent, local travel expert. Nobody knows Costa Rican waters like a local. Because our travel consultants live and work here, they know exactly where to go – and what to avoid.

2. Customize your experience. Package tours might work for some, but we prefer a custom approach. Do you want to mix in hiking in the rainforest, touring a butterfly farm, or experiencing traditional methods of making sugar? Or would you prefer to be on the water every day? When you work to customize your trip, you get an experience that is truly like none other. Work with your travel consultant until you’ve created the perfect itinerary.

3. Set the date. Book your tour and start counting down the days until you’re under the tropical sun in one of the world’s great sportfishing destinations.

Contact our travel consultants to help you create your perfect fishing trip

Sport fishing costa rica
Even novice anglers, like the author (pictured here) can enjoy the thrill of a big catch.

Our Favorite Fishing Itineraries

The Ultimate Costa Rica Fishing Adventure
In-shore, off-shore, and freshwater fishing – plus some quintessential Costa Rican adventures 

  • Rate per person from: $4,558
  • Number of nights: 7

Enjoy the excitement of fishing blue marlin in Costa Rican waters and combine this with the volcanoes, thermal hot springs, rainforests, amazing wildlife, beautiful beaches the country offers. Split your time between the Arenal Volcano and the Pacific Coast and see what this beautiful country offers.

The first hotel is the Arenal Nayara. Voted as one of the most romantic hotels in the world, Arenal Nayara is a perfect base for your adventures. You’ll start your time in Costa Rica with a relaxing walk above the clouds in hanging bridges above the rainforest and finish in some of the country’s best hot springs.

Why not try Costa Rica’s famous zip lining, known locally as canopy tours? You’ll fly from tree to tree above the rainforest! There are also a number of other tours you can do around La Fortuna, from jungle hikes to white water rafting. Lake Arenal sits in the shadow of the volcano, and here you can enjoy kayak fishing for bass and tilapia.

From Arenal, we take you to the coast and the famous fishing town of Quepos/Manuel Antonio. Upon arrival, you will board your boat and head out to the famed FADS/Seamounts of Costa Rica. Costa Rica has recently been in the news for the incredible numbers of Blue Marlin being caught off our seamounts. These are located in the Central Pacific region of Costa Rica, between 80 and 120 miles off-shore.

This year, we have had multiple boats break the daily blue marlin release world record and the most blue marlin release in a single season record. Get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that cannot be had anywhere else in the world.

Customize this trip here! 

flying to the southern zone costa rica
Flying to Puerto Jiménez takes only 45 minutes from San José.

Crocodile Bay Tropical Fishing Paradise
In-shore and off-shore fishing at our favorites spots 

  • Rate per person from: $3,392
  • Number of nights: 5

Crocodile Bay Resort is one of the world’s premier sportfishing destinations—and this itinerary guarantees you’ll enjoy the best it has to offer!

After a brief stop in San José to rest your heels, you’re off to Puerto Jiménez and the resort itself. With world-class charter boats and experienced captains, you are sure to have the trip of a lifetime. You’ll spend three full days on the water. This is the perfect way to experience some of the greatest sportfishing around, whether it’s sailfish, marlin, dorado, tuna, or one of the many other species in the Golfo Dulce. The fishing is fantastic, and the vistas from your vessel are unmatched: jungle-covered mountains rise sharply from the sapphire-blue waters, providing one of the most dramatic backdrops anywhere.

In between fishing, you can check out the meals-included resort with its pool area, swim-up bar, jacuzzi, and a full-service spa.

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