Playa Blanca: SNORKELING with eels and giant turtles in Puerto Jiménez

Are you in Puerto Jiménez (Costa Rica) and want to visit Playa Blanca? On this beach you can enjoy beautiful views of the Osa Peninsula (Puntarenas) and go snorkeling to see the fish

WHITE BEACH (COSTA RICA)

  1. What is Playa Blanca like?
  2. Snorkeling in Playa Blanca
  3. How to get to Playa Blanca
  4. where to stay
  5. Tours in Costa Rica
  6. What to do near Playa Blanca
  7. Is it a safe place to travel?
  8. Eating Vegan in Costa Rica

What IS PLAYA BLANCA like (PUNTARENAS)

If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica (👉COSTA RICA GUIDE), you should know that it is a country characterized by the beauty of its beaches, mountains, volcanoes and the diversity of its wildlife.


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Playa Blanca is full of stones everywhere, and the area of ​​the shore closest to the water is all covered with white coral. Although at first glance the beach itself is not spectacular, the views are.

The water is extremely calm, as there are no waves. It gives more the impression of being in a lake surrounded by mountains than in the sea. The landscape is very relaxing and even a little fictitious.

It makes you feel that you are really in Costa Rica, not because of the beauty of the place but because there are only local people spending the day or doing the Christmas day barbecue.

SNORKELING IN PLAYA BLANCA

Personally, I loved snorkeling in Playa Blanca. Surely there are places in the world where it will be better, but Playa Blanca can be an indescribable experience due to its spectacular fauna.

The visibility of the water is similar to that of Sandalwood, with very clear points and others that are more cloudy.

When I started snorkeling, I spent the first 20 minutes without seeing almost any fish; but after a while everything changed. In a matter of minutes I found myself alone in the middle of the water with…

  1. an eel with enormous teeth;
  2. turtles as big as me very close, watching me with their huge black eyes (they were those giant sea turtles); dark, dotted stripes;
  3. puffer fish that didn’t even move and you could see all the spikes covering their bodies;
  4. purple, yellow and blue fish (small and large) playing and fighting with each other;
  5. I had schools of over 50 fish swimming around me. A dream.
  6. As I turned to go back to shore I nearly collided with two different types of stingrays.
  7. And if that wasn’t enough, as I started to come out of the water, I turned around and there was a dolphin chasing a boat and diving in with its entire tail sticking out.

After snorkeling, I entered the water again and in front of me I had fish jumping, a beautiful landscape and an ideal sea to play dead and relax without worries. It was a hell of a day.

Playa blanca costa rica snorkel delfines tortugas
The photo is not from there, I couldn’t take any photos!

HOW TO GET TO PLAYA BLANCA (PUERTO JIMENEZ)

To get to Playa Blanca by public transport you have to take the bus towards La Palma. Leaving from Puerto Jiménez the bus ticket costs 970CRC and takes about 20 minutes.

I recommend that you tell the driver where you are going, since the beach cannot be seen from the road. When you get there you will have to walk a bit along a path that is clearly marked. It has no loss.

Don’t forget the wings and beach shoes to walk over the stones/corals!

This is the exact location of Playa Blanca:

Where to stay in Puerto Jimenez

There are two areas that I recommend to stay in Puerto Jiménez, depending on whether you are looking for something calmer or to have more facilities.

MORE FACILITIES

First there is the most central area (that of the town itself), here you will have several restaurants and a large supermarket. Within the town, the best area to stay is next to the beach, since the views are more beautiful and there is more atmosphere. The only drawback I see is that it is a bit far from the main supermarket.

MORE RELAXED

If you are looking for something further from the downtown area to be able to enjoy the beach and relax, I recommend that you stay at Playa Preciosa. It is a beach not far from the center of Puerto Jiménez (you can get there by bike) and the beach is long and quiet. You can spend the afternoon on a sun lounger and enjoy nature.

RELAXED AND A LITTLE FAR

There are also quite a few accommodations in Cabo Matapalo; although they are far from the center of Puerto Jiménez. The advantage of staying here is that the beaches are very beautiful, you will be in the middle of the jungle and you can visit the waterfalls!

There are very nice hotels next to the beach, and they will be perfect to unwind for a few days. You can get to Cabo Matapalo by private transport or by bus.

Tours in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a very varied country in fauna and nature. You can visit volcanoes, natural parks, towering waterfalls, sunbathe on the beach, kayak,…

Here is a list of the activities and tours you can enjoy during your trip:

What to do in Puerto Jiménez

Puerto Jiménez is not one of the main tourist places in the country, and most people who end up here aim to visit the Corcovado National Park.

It is a great idea to spend a few extra days in this corner of Costa Rica, since it has beautiful places that are worth visiting. For me, it was one of the best stops on the route.

kayak to see the dolphins and CROCODILEs

In the dock area they rent kayaks to make an excursion in Puerto Jiménez from the sea to the lagoons. You can venture on your own or go with a guide, who will tell you about the place.

The mouth of the river that leads to the lagoon area is an ideal location since it is the territory of crocodiles and, at the same time, dolphins can be seen.

It is a very beautiful excursion to do, both for the natural landscape and for the fauna that you can see.

BEACH + PUERTO JIMENEZ VIEWPOINT

It is a nice place because of the atmosphere. The main area of Puerto Jiménez is made up of a street with some restaurants and a viewpoint by the sea.

At the end of everything there is a beach where people gather to spend the afternoon, they sell food, coconuts and there is music.

Although there are restaurants, this place is not untouristy or overbearing, and you can eat something and enjoy the views of the bay.

PLAYA Preciosa

Playa Preciosa is a very long beach that is quite close to the center of Puerto Jiménez and has some accommodations.

It is a wild beach with an area of palapas and the sea is suitable for taking a dip. The landscape is very natural, and it is a quiet place away from the crowds.

It’s a good option for a half-day excursion, but take sunscreen because there’s not much shade on this beach!

crocodile park

It is a park next to the lagoon where wild crocodiles calmly inhabit. But without bars or any kind of protection, they run around freely while people stroll or sit quietly on a bench.

You can also observe other animals such as monkeys and different types of birds. I recommend that you go as it is a fun place and in the heart of Puerto Jiménez.

To complete the experience of this crocodile park, the entrance is half hidden in the bushes and makes it an adventure out of a book.

PLaya sándalo

Playa Sándalo is another place to snorkel in Puerto Jiménez. Not far from the coast there is a reef with different types of fish and the water is not too deep.

Unlike Playa Blanca, Sándalo is much quieter and more relaxed, as the beach is quite muddy and not comfortable to walk on.

The two beaches are very close to each other, and can easily be visited in the same day using public transport.

Is it a safe place to travel?

Costa Rica is a moderately dangerous country, where nothing should happen to you if you go carefully and take precautions. Remember to follow these recommendations:

  • In case of robbery, do not resist physically.
  • Do not show a high purchasing power, that is, do not go with jewels, bags, etc … that are expensive.
  • Be careful if you go out at night, and stay in crowded places where you are surrounded by other people.
  • Thefts are usual, so don’t go with the camera or mobile in your hand or hang out of your neck.
  • Try to avoid carrying the backpack on the back. Put it in front of you, or use a belt pouch or a cross bag.

Personally, I spent 3 months traveling alone in Costa Rica (I visited San José, Puerto Viejo, Tortuguero, Dominical, Uvita, Bay Drake and Puerto Jiménez) and I did not find myself in any really serious situation.

Going down the street with the camera, several Costa Rican people approached and warned me that they were carefully with robberies, since they told me that they are very frequent.

In my case, during the trip they tried to steal 2 times and, luckily, I realized on time and I could avoid it. In any case, it is always a good idea to have travel insurance that can compensate you financially and help you if a medical emergency occurs.

👉 If you are interested in traveling alone, I recommend this article about the reasons and benefits of traveling alone and this other article with tips for traveling alone being a woman. I encourage you to try it since it is a great and very profitable experience for oneself.

Eating Vegan in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is not a country faced with vegan food. Anyway, they have some traditional dishes that are vegan or that you can ask without egg or sauces such as the pico of rooster (rice with beans for breakfast), black bean soup or rice with vegetables.

You should always ask if the purés or soups are made with some type of dairy product or meat broth, since at first glance they might seem vegan dishes but not be.

In San José you can find some vegan restaurants, but when you leave the capital the offer is very limited or non -existent. Next, I make three recommendations and in this link you can read tips to travel vegan.

  1. Try to stay in hotels that are characterized by cooking vegan and vegetarian dishes. This is the best option and the most practical for not having to be looking for places where to eat comfortable without always repeating the same dishes.
  2. Before making a tour, always comment that you are vegan or vegetarian, so that they can adapt the food.
  3. Costa Rica is a country where you can find a variety of fresh products (fruits and vegetables) to prepare salads and breakfast with fruits. In any city or town, you will easily find some supermarket or stalls on the street where you can buy groceries.

Enjoy your trip through Puerto Jimenez! I hope you fall in love with Costa Rica!