Playa Ocotal, which is a couple of kilometers to the south of Playas del Coco. This tiny pocket cove features a small salt-and-pepper beach bordered by high bluffs and is quite beautiful. When it’s calm there’s good snorkeling around some rocky islands close to shore here.
Playa Ocotal can barely count as a town when compared to Coco but want to see Costa Rica, tourists and commercialism aside? Playa Ocotal is the beach to go.
There’s just one road to get there from Coco and on the way, you can see locals hanging out in the road, churches, mini pulperias and sodas along the way. Not to mention the chickens, horses, and bulls that like to hang out along the road too. The sand color is similar to Coco beach with gray sand but the water in Ocotal is a clearer blue. This beach is surrounded by hills and cliffs and is much quieter as there are fewer tourists.
There isn’t too much in Ocotal in terms of restaurants and nightlife but there are a a couple nice hotels in the area along with some beautiful condos and houses in the hills. There is one beach front restaurant, Father Rooster that has decent food and good drinks.
Another restaurant, Picante is also at Ocotal on the other side at Hotel Bahía Pez Vela where you can dine poolside. It’s definitely a place more suited for travelers who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Coco and surround themselves in nature. You can rent snorkel equipment, kayaks, and canoes at Ocotal by the entrance of the beach near Father Rooster
One trick to keep your mask from fogging up all the time is to rub toothpaste on the inside when it is dry and then wash it out in saltwater. It keeps your mask nice and clear so you don’t have to keep rinsing it out. I can snorkel for an hour easily and never have one spot of fog on my goggles!
Great snorkeling here also off either of the two points where you will see: pufferfish, red snapper, stingray, angelfish and butterfly fish. You will also see plenty of sea urchins, coral, and eels. If you don’t feel like snorkeling, there’s plenty of trees around to grab a shady spot and lay down. You can also walk around on the rocks and watch the pelicans hunt for fish, have a drink on the beach, or grab some food at Father Rooster.
Many tourists don’t like to stay in Playa Ocotal because it is too quiet with not much to do but it is the perfect place to go to for a day trip at the beach for some awesome snorkeling, food and relaxation!