Not at all. The individual beaches vary, one may have warnings of rip tides, the adjacent one just fine, and another one of a surfers' beach. Lots of variety, snorkeling is just fine.
Are there reefs along the coast? interesting fish? is it really worth lugging our gear or will we instead spend all our time doing stuff above water?
I was there three years ago this September and found the bay to be murky, as was the Majagual beach just to the north (popular for its surfing). That being said there did seem to be some points which offered some good snorkeling. I had my gear, but didn't bother to unpack it. Great tidepools and beachcombing.
Ironically, the other place in Nica I got to was Corn Island, which I highly highly recommend. Phenomenal snorkeling which put Costa Maya/Cozumel to shame. Great culture - mix of mainlanders, creole, and Moskito. Worth the extra cost to get a flight out of Managua, but obviously more expensive if you're travelling on a budget...if only you could get there on the buses...
Just returned from SJDS. Snorkeling is not great along the pacific coast. And that includes costa rica. There are a few spots, but nothing to compare to the caribbean side. I was a bit disappointed but found the rest of the SJDS experience plenty of fun...
I visited SJDS in early Febuary. I did not see and divers there but the harbor is calm and there shourl be some excellent areas to dive near SJDS. I don't remeber seeing any dive shops but but there could be some here. You could contact Tuour Nicaragua fo bette info.
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