I'm looking for some local advice on snorkeling! We are headed to the Hilton Papagayo tomorrow for the next 5 nights and we are trying to figure out if we should bring our snorkeling gear (masks and fins). We realize the Hilton offers complimentary gear for guests, but they have a time limit we can use theirs, so we wouldn't be able to take it off the property. I've read that the Hilton's beach isn't outstanding and that there isn't much to see in the bay. Understandable.
Since we have a rental car, we were wondering if there was a beach nearby we could drive to and have better snorkeling? Is it even worth packing our heavy/large fins? There is so much else to do in Costa Rica (we plan on hiking, mountain biking, ziplining, horseback riding to hot springs, etc) we can't decide.
Also, we do plan to drive down to Coco and Tamarindo beaches to see the white sand and my partner would like to try out surfing lessons at Tamarindo beach one day as well. But I assume if the beaches are great for surfing, they aren't as great for snorkeling, is that true?