Guided Fly Fishing Trips to Costa Rica
We offer guided fly fishing trips to Costa Rica for Giant Tarpon and other species. On the Caribbean Cost of Costa Rica just north of the Panama Border is Tarponville. The facility is on Playa Manzanillo and well south of the nearest Costa Rican community of any size, Puerto Viejo. South of the lodge is the Sixaola River that forms the border between Costa Rica and Panama, and the mouth of this river is one of the many fishing grounds. The southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica’s Limon province is one of the nation’s most beautiful regions, with magnificent beaches, lush jungles, quiet rivers, marvelously friendly people – most of whom speak English – and an abundance of tropical birds, monkeys and other wildlife. The region is protected by the Manzanillo-Gandoca National Wildlife Refuge. Further north is Cahuita National Park, where we chase bonefish and permit on incoming tides.
With excellent accommodations and beautiful views, the local area has been noted by Outside Magazine as “one of the most beautiful deserted beaches in the world.” (October, 1999) Complete Tarponville fishing packages include accommodations in an air conditioned, clean and comfortable lodge located just outside the village of Manzanillo. Due to being located in a Wildlife Refuge, there is no vehicle access directly to the lodge and a walk of 300 yards is required.
Each room at the lodge has air conditioning, with two beds, ceiling fans, a private bathroom, and a beachfront view (all but one room) of one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the Caribbean. The rooms are located only a few yards from the waters edge on a beautiful beach perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or just plain relaxing. The combination of air conditioning, fans and consistent ocean breezes make sleeping quite comfortable. The lodge is located in the middle of the Manzanillo/Gandoca Wildlife Refuge, one of the most beautiful places in the entire area. Howler monkeys, sloths, a ridiculous number of bird species, and other wildlife can all be viewed from your front porch in the mornings and evenings.
All meals at the lodge will be prepared by local cooks, and the menu will include such items as snapper, local fruits and vegetables, and other local delicacies. Packages include a daily happy hour which includes a rum bar and beer. Tarponville offers a selection of cocktails at an additional charge. There is no television. All of the clients have found this facility to be inspiring and comfortable.
I first saw this area in 1989 while in Punta Uva, a small surfing village a few miles north of Manzanillo. I swore I would return someday with my fly rod. For years fishermen have heard rumors of large tarpon in great numbers on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, near the border with Panama. As it turned out I found the “mother lode” without knowing it at the time. Nowadays tarpon weighing up to 200 pounds are being landed and twenty hook-ups in a morning have been accomplished. Jacks, mackerel, and even false albacore (little tunny) are incidental species that can be caught when the tarpon fishing slows. In the right conditions king mackerel and dorado (mahi mahi) can be targeted.
With a good incoming tide, the guides travel north to Cahuita National Park, where the only bonefish and permit flats in Costa Rica are located. A grand slam is possible, and has been accomplished by several anglers.
Fishing is via 26 foot boats and casting to rolling fish. Blind casting is necessary at some of the known productive areas. For tarpon of this size we recommend fly rods no smaller than an eleven weight and reels with 250 to 350 yards of 30 pound backing. Most of the fishing is with intermediate lines, but floating and sinking or sink tip lines are sometimes necessary.
The fishing in this region could set a new standard for tarpon fishing. The fishing waters are situated in wildlife and marine reserves, which insure management and protection of the fish and habitat.
The best months for fishing and other activities are March, April, May, September, and October.
Days can begin at 5:00 AM or as late as 10:00 AM, depending on the tide and the bite. Clients simply walk to the boats from the Lodge. The boat run to the productive fishing is 20 to 30 minutes. For a bonefish and permit excursion, travel is by vehicle, with a drive of 45 minutes or so.
The guides work long hours and are not afraid to return after dark. This is sometimes important, since the largest tarpon often only feed in very low light. Fishing the incoming tide and middle of the out-going tide seem to be the most productive, moving more bait fish and sometimes triggering feeding frenzies with tarpon, jacks, little tunny, and mackerel on the same bait boil!
Clients often opt to fish one day early, and the next day late, generally fishing about 10 hours. At the end of the daily trip the clients arrive back at the beach near the lodge. It is also possible to break the day up, fishing the morning bite, returning for lunch and a siesta, and they going back out for the evening bite.
Unlike many fishing destinations, there is a lot of fun to be had whether or not you are an angler. Excursions include wild dolphin watching tours, kayaking with wild dolphin, river kayaking, guided jungle hikes, snorkeling and Scuba diving, horseback riding, indigenous cultural tours, botanical gardens, beachcombing the miles of undeveloped white sand beaches, and the legendary Caribbean night life in Puerto Viejo.
All Tarponville package inclusions start at your arrival to Tarponville. Travelers are responsible for transportation to and from the lodge. This can be via the domestic airline, shuttle service or rent car.
*Tarponville recommends groups of more than 6 people use ground transportation from San Jose to Tarponville due to weight restrictions of domestic airlines.
There is one domestic airline servicing flights from San Jose (SJO) to Limon (LIM) and back. Sansa airline has a terminal next door to the SJO international airport and is a short walk that takes less than 5 minutes. When staying at a hotel the night before, your shuttle or taxi can drop you off directly at Sansa’s terminal.
Flight times: *Preferred times by Tarponville
San Jose (SJO) to Limon (LIO)- 6:35am, *11:45pm, 2:00pm
Limon (LIO) to San Jose (SJO)- 7:30am, *12:50pm, 3:15pm
(Flight times may vary, please check with airline)
Note: Same day arrivals to Tarponville is possible if arriving into San Jose before last departing flight time.
Note: Flights arriving into Limon on the early flight can add half day fishing to package (please confirm with us prior to purchasing).
For shuttle service, Costa Rica Shuttle is the recommended company. There are a number of international rent car companies in San Jose. Travel time from San Jose to the lodge is 4 to 6 hours.
|Trip Length||2 Per Room, 2 Per Boat||1 Per Room, 1 Per Boat||Non Angler Rate|
|8 Nights / 7 Fishing Days||$5,445 pp||$6,105 pp||$2,172 pp|
|7 Nights / 6 Fishing Days||$4,840 pp||$5,527 pp||$1,925 pp|
|***6 Nights / 5 Fishing Days||$4,250 pp||$4,950 pp||$1,650 pp|
|5 Nights / 4 Fishing Days||$3,685 pp||$4,290 pp||$1,375|
|4 Nights / 3 Fishing Days||$3,168 pp||$3,630 pp||$1,292 pp|
|4 Nights / 3 Fishing Days||$3,168 pp||$3,630 pp||$1,292 pp|
NEW!!!! Middle Earth Reservation
Two per room two per boat (only off season*, you pay fishing only if you go)
Accommodations $175 per room per person, three meals per day
Fishing: $670 per day per boat (two per boat)
*Additional rate for single room with a shared boat – Add $110.00 per night to double occupancy package.
*Additional day lodging/ fishing – 1 per room/ 1 per boat- $690.00
*Additional day lodging/ fishing – 2 per room/ 2 per boat- $465.00
*Additional day lodging/ non-fishing – $245
*Full Day Fishing (non guests) – $690 with a $300 deposit
*Rental Rods – $70 per day / $150 damage deposit required (limited availability)
*Off Seasons – November starting from the second week, December, January, February, June, July.