Reel in a big one with a Costa Rica fishing trip

Reel in a big one with a Costa Rica fishing trip

Many anglers will have a fishing trip to Costa Rica pretty high up on their bucket list. Located between Nicaragua and Panama, this serene and scenic Central American country is home to verdant rainforests, towering volcanoes, golden beaches, and lots of high-end resorts. The fishing is some of the best on Earth, and it’s no coincidence that Costa Rica has a long list of fishing world records to its name. With rivers, lakes, wetlands, and coastlines on both the Pacific and the Caribbean coasts, there are Costa Rica fishing charters and trips to suit just about all budgets and tastes.

What fish can you catch in Costa Rica?

One of the big draws of Costa Rica fishing trips is that this relatively narrow Central American country has got the Pacific on one coast and the Caribbean on the other, giving you an unusually broad range of quarry. Over on the west coast, Costa Rica sport fishing trips will typically be going after the big marlin, along with yellowfin tuna, sailfish, and wahoo. Over in the east, the main quarry species are tarpon and snook, among others. Costa Rica’s got some great river and lake fishing too, especially in the northern highlands.

Costa Rica fishing seasons

The best time to fish in Costa Rica can vary in different parts of the country, so it’s worth having a look at the calendar before you book your vacation home. If you’re after the big billfish like marlin and sailfish, you’ll probably want to book a summer rental in the Costa Rica fishing resorts along the northern Pacific coast. You’ll find similar fish in the central and southern parts of the country from November through April. For tarpon and snook on the Caribbean coast, you’re best off visiting February through May or in September, while bass fishing on Lake Arenal is at its peak between January and May.

Cheap Costa Rica fishing trips

Prices for Costa Rica fishing charters vary considerably, and a vacation in this laid-back country doesn’t have to break the bank. Many Costa Rica fishing charters offer offshore trips without all the upscale trimmings that you’ll find included in the pricier packages. If you’re looking to score some great deals on vacation home rentals, you could also try visiting slightly outside peak season in your chosen area, when property owners might drop their rates a little—especially for weekly rentals.

Small blue fishing boat moored on a buoy

Luxury Costa Rica fishing trips

Costa Rica offers plenty high-end vacations, from luxury Costa Rica fishing lodges to glamorous villa rentals. If your pockets are deep enough, you can stay in ultra-modern vacation homes with perks like private infinity pools, manicured gardens, and gorgeous coastal views. And luxury Costa Rica fishing charters are also likely to offer something a bit special—chances are you’ll have knowledgeable and attentive local guides, sleek boats with lots of on-board facilities, and possibly even a chef to prepare your catch.

Costa Rica fishing charters in Guanacaste

Set in the northern part of Costa Rica, Guanacaste province is the place to go if you’re looking for a bit of luxury. It’s where you’ll find many of Costa Rica’s smartest fishing resorts, along with luxury villa rentals and high-end fishing charters. There are also some more economical options too, particularly if you manage to get a good deal on your vacation rental accommodation. Hubs for fishing include Tamarindo and the Gulf of Papagayo, and a Guanacaste vacation home might also be a good choice if you want to mix up your fishing trips with other activities. It’s Costa Rica’s most developed area for tourism, with exciting excursions to suit all the family.

Smiling man on a boat holding up a large yellowfin tuna

Costa Rica fishing charters in Quepos

If you’re looking for the Costa Rica fishing trip of a lifetime, Quepos is hands-down one of the best places to book yourself a vacation home. Set on the central part of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, it’s got a number of charter outfits offering half or full-day fishing trips. While you’ve got good chances of catching marlin or the exotic-looking roosterfish, that one fish that keeps sport anglers coming back to Quepos above all others is the Pacific sailfish. Instantly recognizable by its huge dorsal sail and a long bill like a marlin, it’s got a reputation for putting up a hard fight.

Bass fishing on Lake Arenal, Costa Rica

Covering more than 30 square miles, Lake Arenal is Costa Rica’s biggest lake. You’ll find it in the country’s northern highlands, surrounded by gorgeous countryside and dominated by the volcano of the same name. If freshwater fishing’s your bag, then Lake Arenal could be a good place to look for a vacation rental. The main draw of the lake is rainbow bass, but you’ll also find machaca—a hard-fighting freshwater fish that some people liken to a small tarpon. You can fish from shore, charter boat, or kayak, while other water-based activities on Lake Arenal include windsurfing and wakeboarding.