Guanacaste Fishing Packages


Fishing Info


Available Species



Costa Rica’s Northern Pacific region, known as Guanacaste, is home to some of the best fishing towns in the country. From the legendary hot spots like Playa Tamarindo and Playa Flamingo, to the new Marina Papagayo, there is no shortage of quality captains and fishing boats in this region. Known as the ‘gold coast of Costa Rica’, this is the hottest and driest region of the country and home to many of the country’s best beaches. Whether your group prefers a private villa or condo, a romantic boutique hotel for a honeymoon or anniversary, or a luxury all inclusive beach resort we’ll make your Costa Rica fishing vacation is a great one. Review our Guanacaste fishing packages below to get an idea of what is available to you, then once you contact us we’ll work with you one on one to create your own customized vacation package. Trust our local expertise and see why nearly 40% of our anglers are repeat & referral guests!

All Inclusive Paradise
Fish & Golf – Westin Playa Conchal
Coast 2 Coast
Tamarindo Fishing Vacations
Fish & Golf Tamarindo
5-Star Costa Rica

Where is Guanacaste?

The Guanacaste province of Costa Rica constitutes the entire northwest Pacific region of the country. Named after the national tree of Costa Rica, the Guanacaste tree, this is the hottest and driest region of the country. Covering almost 4,000 sq miles, due to the year round sunny weather and endless beaches this has also become the most developed region of Costa Rica. What where once popular surfing towns like Tamarindo or fishing villages like Flamingo are now major tourist draws with beachfront resorts, condos and private villas. Farther north in the Gulf of Papagayo you’ll find the exclusive Peninsula Papagayo which is home to the Four Seasons, Andaz Papagayo, an Arnold Palmer golf course, and the new Marina Papagayo. To service the growing number of tourists visiting Guanacaste, Costa Rica opened the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) in 1995 and has since expanded it several times. Flying directly into the LIR Airport in Guanacaste versus the SJO Airport in San Jose saves you hours of time as the drive time to most major beaches like Tamarindo, Flamingo, Conchal, and the Gulf of Papagayo is just 1-1.5 hrs.

Guanacaste Fishing Info

The Guanacaste region of Costa Rica is the farthest west point of the country, and therefore the closest to the continental shelf and the offshore fishing grounds. In season, the run to the offshore fishing spots can be as short as 15-20 miles. During the months of December through April, when this region experiences strong seasonal winds, the boats tend to run south to fish behind a huge mountain that blocks the wind and offers calmer seas. This part of Costa Rica offers fantastic inshore fishing as the entire coastline is dotted with reefs and islands, which is why it’s one of the top SCUBA diving destinations as well. From the Catalina Islands near Flamingo to the Gulf of Papagayo in the north, this area can pump out some massive roosterfish.

The charter fleet in Guanacaste is home to some of Costa Rica’s oldest charter operations. Here you can find anything from a 26′ economical sport fishers and center consoles to top of the line 50′-60′ luxury yachts and tournament boats. In towns like Tamarindo the boats still leave from the beach, but farther north in the Gulf of Papagayo you’ll find Costa Rica’s newest marina, the Marina Papagayo. We have three tiers of fishing charters in Guanacaste: Small (26′-34′), Medium (36′-42′), and Large (45′-60′). The Medium and Large boats typically have air conditioned salons. Every captain has a different personality and every boat has different pros and cons, so trust our local knowledge to hand pick the perfect fishing charter for your group. All Guanacaste fishing charters are private so the boat is 100% yours, we do not set up shared charters with strangers. All Guanacaste fishing charters include bait, tackle, gas, lunch, snacks, and drinks (beer/water/soda). A quality tip for your crew is generally 15%-20% of the cost of the charter.

In Costa Rica the use of circle hooks is mandatory.  All marlin, sailfish, and roosterfish are catch and release. We strongly encourage you to release all cubera snapper as well. Other edible species like tuna, dorado, wahoo, grouper, and snapper can be kept and will be cleaned & filleted by your crew.

Guanacaste Fishing Calendar

Guanacaste is the hottest and driest region of Costa Rica and offers great weather 12 months a year. That said, its fishing season varies greatly from hot spots like Los Sueños and Quepos in the southern part of the country so understanding the fishing seasons is extremely important. Hot and sunny doesn’t always equate to great fishing conditions as this part of the country receives very strong winds from December through April. For most of Costa Rica, the peak billfish season runs from November through April but in Guanacaste the best fishing is in our green season from May through November. If you do visit between December and April you will have to run south to get behind one of the massive extinct volcanoes that will block the wind. Below you can review our Guanacaste fishing calendar, but keep in mind these are general patterns, not an exact science as every year is different.

Available Species Fishing in Quepos

Offshore Fishing

Blue Marlin
Yellowfin Tuna
Black Marlin
Striped Marlin

Inshore & Bottom Fishing

Cubera Snapper
Jack Crevalle
Horse-eye Jack
Bluefin Trevally
Schoolmaster Snapper
Red Snapper
Lane Snapper
Black Grouper
Broomtail Grouper

Guanacaste All Inclusive Resort & Accommodations

The Guanacaste region is referred to as the ‘gold coast’ of Costa Rica due to its year round sunshine and endless string of beaches. This is the most developed region of the country, so visitors can fly directly into the LIR Airport and be at their beach hotel within 1-1.5 hrs. It’s in this part of the country where you will find the big chain hotels and all inclusive beach resorts that offers tons of on-site amenities and dining options. If that isn’t your style we also have several fantastic boutique hotels that cater to adults and couples. Last but not least, Guanacaste has no shortage of private luxury condos and villas to rent if you have a big group that wants your own space while avoiding the crowds. We will hand pick the best fit for your group once we start working on your customized fishing vacation together.

Guanacaste Day Tours & Non-Fishing Activities

Our Guanacaste fishing packages don’t need to be all fishing, all the time. Whether it’s an off day from fishing or for the non-anglers in your group, there are several great eco and adventure tours available in this region of the country. The list includes:

  • Canopy zip-line tour
  • ATVs
  • White Water Rafting
  • Horseback Riding
  • Guided Tour of Rincon de la Vieja National Park
  • River float trip through Palo Verde National Park
  • Catamaran Cruise + snorkeling
  • Surfing
  • Golf
  • River float fly fishing trip
  • Snorkeling
  • SCUBA Diving

What Our Guests Love
Guanacaste Fishing


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What We Love
About Guanacaste Fishing


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Costa Rica Fishing FAQs

Do I need a fishing license to fish in Costa Rica?

YES. All anglers need a fishing license to fish in Costa Rica. These are sold by the Instituto Costarricense de Pesca y Aquacultura, or INCOPESCA as they are known here. Unfortunately their website has functionality and language issues so it’s not easy to use, so you can buy the license in the morning right before you fish for the first time. The cost is $15 for one week or $30 for one month and it must be paid in cash.

How many people will be on my fishing boat?

All fishing charters booked by Central America Fishing are private, so the boat is 100% yours. We do not set up any shared charters.

What is the standard tip for a fishing charter in Costa Rica?

A standard tip for a charter fishing crew in Costa Rica is 10%-20% of the cost of the charter. Most captains are paid a low salary with the idea they’ll earn more tips the more they fish, but many mates rely 100% on tips for their income. Tipping in USD or Costa Rican colones is fine. We recommend giving the entire tip to the captain and let him divide it up with the mate.

Can I bring my own fishing gear?

OF COURSE! Even though our private charters provide all the fishing tackle and bait you’ll need, you are always welcome to bring your own lures, reels, and even rods if you want to catch fish using your own tackle. Fly anglers are always encouraged to bring their own fly gear.

Which fish in Costa Rica are catch and release and which ones can I keep to eat?

By law, all billfish in Costa Rica are strictly catch and release. While not a law, we also strongly encourage releasing all roosterfish, tarpon, and cubera snapper as they are such prized inshore species. Other species like tuna, dorado (mahi), wahoo, snappers, groupers, corvina, snook can be kept and enjoyed for a fresh seafood dinner.

Can I bring fish back home with me to my own country?

If you really want to enjoy your catch our best advice is to eat it while it’s fresh here in Costa Rica. We understand many of you love the idea of a Costa Rican seafood dinner in the comforts of your own home, so the good news is there is no law against it and people do it all the time. However – we do not have the final say in this so there are some things you need to keep in mind:

1 – Unlike some other popular fishing destinations, in Costa Rica there is no service that will package and ship fish home for you. If you want to bring fish home with you you’ll have to do it yourself in your own luggage. Our best advice is to bring down a soft sided, leak-proof cooler, have your fish frozen completely solid, wrap them in newspaper, and then check your cooler as part of your luggage since it will stay cooler in the cargo hold of the plane versus in the cabin as a carry-on. If you don’t have a cooler or forget to bring one, you can purchase affordable plastic coolers here in local grocery stores.

2 – While Costa Rica does not prohibit you from bringing fish fillets home with you, your international airline might. We strongly recommend you confirm this with your airline (in writing if possible) or you may have the fish confiscated from you at the airport check-in.

3 – Even if your airline lets you fly the fish home, your local customs may have an issue with you bringing in meat products from a foreign country. In our experience most customs agents don’t seem too interested in you bringing back frozen fish fillets from your fishing vacation to Costa Rica, but it can depend on the agent and depend on the day.

What if there is bad weather on our fishing day?

First of all, it is extremely rare to have a fishing day cancelled due to bad weather. Costa Rica is too far south for hurricanes, and on top of that we custom design every single one of our Costa Rica fishing packages to factor in not only where you’ll have the best fishing but also the best weather & sea conditions for the time of year you visit us.

It does happen every once in a while however, so if the captain, local marina, or government deem the conditions are unsafe the trip will be cancelled.  The first course of action is to try and reschedule you, but if that is not possible you will be refunded in full.

Please note that rain and dark clouds are not considered bad weather. We are in the tropics and rain is a common occurrence here so that is not a cause for cancelling the trip. Many great fishing days happen in the rain – as they say the fish are wet anyway!

Why Fish With CAF?

We have been fishing, living, and traveling around Central America since 2003. Plan your trip with local experts to make sure you are in the right place, at the right time, and on the right boat. We’ll help you fish for what you want, the way you want.

Free vacation planning + the best direct rates. No booking fees!

Personalized service from pre-arrival to 24/7 in-country support.

Hand-picked accommodations, fishing captains, expert guides for the best vacation experience.


Nearly 40% of our anglers are repeat & referral guests. CAF puts you on the fish!

We are proud to have a global reach and have hosted anglers from 14 different countries here in Central America!

About the Author

I first visited Costa Rica during a semester abroad in 2003 and instantly fell in love with the language, culture, and natural beauty. I caught my first roosterfish on that trip, and ever since then I knew that I wanted to live here. After graduating in 2004, I worked for a year in the corporate world, but I was unhappy and unstimulated, so I returned to live in Costa Rica full time in 2005. Today I can proudly say that I’ve been in Costa Rica for half of my life, I met my wife here, and my two boys were born here so they are “Ticos”.

I’ve been working in the sport fishing industry in Central America for twenty years, I’ve had articles published in fishing magazines, hosted fishing TV shows, fished in several tournaments, and I’m a four-time IGFA trophy club member. I am however most proud to say that 40% of our anglers are repeat and referral guests. I’ve personally visited every destination, hotel, and fishing lodge that we partner with so that your next vacation with us is one of the best you’ve ever had.

Chris Atkins - Angler & Owner of Central America Fishing

All fishing vacations booked with Central America Fishing include the following:
  • Free Vacation Planning (no fees + direct rates)
  • VIP Airport Meet & Greet upon arrival into SJO
  • Private, air-conditioned transfers with English speaking driver.
  • Luxury, private accommodations hand-picked and customized for your group. Choose between private condos & villas, luxury beach resorts, exclusive boutique hotels, and fishing lodges.
  • Private fishing charters
  • All eco / adventure tours you’d like to include
  • All Costa Rican taxes
  • Free quotes on travel insurance
  • Pre-arrival assistance with dinner reservations, tee times, pre-stocking your condo or villa, hiring a private chef, and special requests.
  • 24/7 support once you are here in country
Inquire Now
Plan With Local Experts

Please fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch within 24 hours. If you wish to speak to us sooner please call us anytime at 1-855-414-FISH. Your 100% customized vacation starts here!

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