If you are looking for a holiday that combines deep-sea fishing with luxurious hotels and lodges, splendid restaurants and a friendly smile wherever you go - all in one beautiful country - then Costa Rica is the perfect place to visit. Having both a Caribbean and a Pacific coast, there are a large number of beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Whilst some of these have certainly been developed for tourism, there are still others that remain unspoilt and deserted. However, if it's the sea you are interested in, and a certain large form of marine life, Costa Rica boasts some of the best deep-sea fishing spots in the world.

What to Expect

As a tropical country, Costa Rica can only be described as a small dose of paradise. Attracting nature lovers and avid fishermen from all over the world, it is certainly all the more beautiful because of its strong conservation laws. Fishermen can catch amazing blue-water species, such as marlin and sailfish, but they must be returned to the water afterwards.

The Caribbean coastline is very smooth and some of its characteristics include swamps, mangroves, sandy beaches, small tides and the likelihood of some rain year round. By contrast, the Pacific coast is a lot more rugged and rocky, although this coast also reveals swamps and beaches. It is verged by tropical forests and it rains a lot less frequently. If you wish to take part in a spot of deep-sea fishing along the Central Pacific region, Quepos is the most central place to visit. Not only does it boast first-class hotels, fine restaurants and a glamorous nightlife, it is also considered to be the best fishing spot in the world! There are boats that offer multi-day trips to Drake Bay, Jaco Beach and Punta Leona, among other places. Billfish is one of the most popular species targeted by anglers and the best time to catch these creatures is between December and April. This region is renowned, however, for its wahoo, roosterfish and big cubera. Tuna, sails, marlin and dorado can also be found, depending on the time of year. The best time to catch marlin is October, but you will certainly have luck in September and November as well. As tuna is present all along the Pacific coast, they can be found all year round, although in plentiful numbers from June to September. If you want a chance to catch sailfish, the middle of December through to the end of April is the best time to visit and if you fancy catching dorado, otherwise known as dolfin, you are more likely to have some luck at the end of May, when the winter rain begins to fall. Unfortunately, you will be disappointed if you want to get a glimpse of wahoo as they are quite rare in the Quepos area. It is better to take a visit to Drake Bay between June and early August.

On the Northern Pacific Coast, Flamingo is the best place to take up deep-sea fishing. Here lies one of the most beautiful white sandy beaches in Costa Rica. The best time for both inshore and offshore fishing is from May to October, again for sailfish, wahoo and species such as red snapper. Along the Southern Pacific region, Golfito is certainly the centre of activity, and a perfect place to catch blue-water species such as marlin, snook, and dorado. Here, operators offer daily boat trips for tourists, but also package trips that can last up to five days, including meals, lodgings and an open bar.

Fishing along Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast can vary from day to day, depending on the weather. When the rainy season begins, fishing tends to cease temporarily, due to dirty water flowing from river estuaries. The fish find cleaner waters until the season changes. To catch tarpon on your travels, the east coast of Costa Rica is the place to visit. Samay Lagoon, Parismina and Tortuguero all have facilities that cater for visiting anglers.

Where to stay

Costa Rica offers a wide range of luxurious hotels and fishing lodges that combine elegance and comfort, with magnificent views of the coastlines, many of which offer a number of fishing and boat excursions.

Only steps away from the beautiful clear waters and white-sanded beach of Playa Flamingo, the Flamingo Beach Resort boasts first-class luxury. Each room has its own private balcony with magnificent views of the ocean. The 91 luxurious, air-conditioned rooms are very spacious and include two double beds, private baths, satellite televisions and minibars. The hotel also offers magnificent Honeymoon, Presidential and Surfside Suites. Whether you are looking for fine local or international cuisine, the Catalinas Restaurant offers all this and more, and if you wish to quench your thirst, why not sample one of the delectable tropical cocktails at any of the hotel bars - in particular, the pool-side bar at Magallanes!

The hotel has three swimming pools, including a half Olympic-size pool, along the beachfront. Also within the hotel is a souvenir shop and boutique, tour and car rental agency, beauty salon, games room, childcare centre, casino, fully-equipped gymnasium, casino, scuba-diving centre and a deep-sea sport fishing office with a useful information service.

Not only is the Flamingo Beach Resort set on one of the most magnificent beaches in Costa Rica, but it is also right next to one of the largest marinas along the Pacific coast of Central America. The perfect place to stay for a deep-sea fishing holiday!

Melia Playa Conchal Hotel and Resort is situated in the north-west of Costa Rica, renowned for its breathtaking white-sand beaches. A luxurious and elegant resort, it offers a very high standard of service. A combination of villas and rooms, the resort is similar to a small modern village with an impressive range of facilities designed to suit everyone. This hotel provides tranquillity with a relaxed atmosphere and impeccable service.

Pre-Travel Check List

For US, Canadian, Australian and most European citizens it is not necessary to obtain a visa to visit Costa Rica, but of course you will need to show evidence of a return ticket, allowing you to stay up to three months. To check whether you will need a visa http://www.costarica.com/travel/plan/visa-resource-center.html is a useful web site.

When planning a deep-sea fishing holiday, take notes of the best times to fish, weather permitting.

Useful website address: www.crdirect.com for fishing seasons.

Many of the hotels offer deep-sea fishing excursions whilst many luxury fishing lodges also provide fishing equipment. For more information on lodges and excursions, visit www.costaricaoutdoors.com or www.sippinsafaris.com (fishing tours)

Flamingo Beach Resort
Main Street
Playa Flamingo
Costa Rica

Tel: +506 6544010
Fax: +506 6544060

E-mail: flamingocentralamerica.com for more information

Melia Playa Conchal Beach and Golf Resort
Web site: http://www.meliaplayaconchal.com/mpc.htm
General prices for a boat trip average $800.00 a boat per day. This includes lunch, fishing tackle and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

For all-inclusive fishing packages in luxury lodges, contact:
Costa Rica Sportsfishing
PO BOX 810-1002
San Jose
Costa Rica
Web site: http://www.crdirect.com/quepos/
E-mail: quepos@crdirect.com

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