Panama Beach Sunset - a beautiful place to sail
Panama Beach Sunset - a beautiful place to sail

Have you always wanted to learn how to sail? I don't think I could ever hold the ropes, but I've hopped aboard a few yachts in my day. I might be biased, but is there a better place to experience life at sea than along the stunning coastline of Costa Rica? One of the greatest things about my homeland is the pristine waters that surround and weave through it! Some of Costa Rica's top sights are accessible only by boat, and sailing skills can sure come in handy if you decide to explore coral reefs, deserted beaches and so much more.

Sailing around the Papagayo Gulf
Sailing around the Papagayo Gulf

Best time to sail

Since weather in Costa Rica hovers around a moderate to balmy 60 to 80 degrees, you can set sail throughout the year. However, the winds between December and March tend to get really strong, so you should only take to the seas if you're an experienced sailor.

Pick your dinghy...or catamaran

If you are a novice sailor, consider taking a 5-day course on a bareboat that will give you all the introductory information and sail terminology you will need. Depending on your knowledge level and interests, there are usually several different sized boats that sailors can choose from.

Resort Divers boat at the Hilton Papagayo
Resort Divers boat at the Hilton Papagayo

Top sailing destinations

Make the most out of your sailing excursion by heading to a specific destination like Isla del Coco. Located 330 miles southwest of Costa Rica, this spot is serene and colorful. Cocos Island is actually a volcanic island with irregular and mountainous landscape. There are also dense rainforests, a bright coral reef, volcanic tunnels and caves. Isla del Coco is also known for its unbelievable snorkeling and diving in the region. You may even get a glimpse at a school of hammerhead sharks! Just don't let me near them!!

Sail to the Gulf of Nicoya, which separates the Nicoya Peninsula from the mainland of Costa Rica. There are more than 20 islands in this area, all of which have their own unique biodiversity. Sailing to this destination would be best suited for an excursion lasting more than one day - you won't want to miss the outstanding wildlife in this area, and be sure to say hello to my brother Gerar if you see him! You may be able to also catch a glimpse of a sloth, anteaters, boa constrictors, ocelots and pumas!

If you'd rather leave the steering to someone else, there are tons of day charters that will take you out to the sea for a couple of hours, or even an entire day! Some ships will even give you a break to swim or snorkel along the way, or they will take you to deserted beaches or let you cast a line to catch a fish. Whatever you are looking for, chances are there is a package that suits your needs. If you're on a romantic getaway, consider a sunset sail.


Sail boat in the gulf of the Nicoya Peninsula
Sail boat in the gulf of the Nicoya Peninsula