Isla de Caño or Cano Island, is set roughly 52 kilometers or 32 miles from Marino Ballena National Park in Osa Peninsula, (Península de Osa). This beautiful island has been a biological reserve since 1978. A permanent ranger station is located on the island that oversees the natural habitats of both land and marine life. The main reason people visit Cano Island, is for the world class snorkeling and scuba diving. It is known as the second-best place in Costa Rica for to take a dive, after Cocos Island.
Snorkeling and scuba diving
Snorkeling with Whale sharks
The best activities at the island are snorkeling and Scuba diving. The crystal-clear waters make it one of the best places for this thrilling adventure. During the boat ride over there you can already see dolphins and turtles, and during the right time of the year perhaps even humpback whales!
Cano Island is surrounded by coral reefs and rock formations which makes it a hotspot to see marine life. The reefs is stunning and colorful and divers can expect to see manta rays, mobula rays, whale sharks, reef sharks like the white-tipped reef sharks, moorish idols, dolphins, moray eels, sea turtles, and so on. This will be a snorkel adventure you won’t soon forget!
Visit the surrounding area
If you are here for the amazing diving and snorkeling, don’t forget that Osa Peninsula is packed with other treasures. Pay a visit to Corcovado National Park and experience the most biologically diverse place in Costa Rica. Visit Uvita and see the iconic whale tail beach as well the Marino Ballena National Park for a bigger chance to spot whales.
Wear a rash guard. This way you can avoid those nasty jelly fish stings.
Put on water-proof sunscreen!
Prepare yourself for a boat ride of 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. If you suffer from sea sickness, bring anti-nausea medicine to take on the boat.
Bring a waterproof camera or GoPro.
Explore the fabled Osa Peninsula: There is a lot more to see!
Due to its protected status, getting to the island can only be arranged through a touring agency. You can book tours from Drake Bay or Uvita. Getting to Drake Bay is easiest by plane. Although many visitors catch a boat in Sierpe that will drift down some impressive coastal wetlands and spill into the ocean neighboring Drake Bay. If you are traveling to Uvita, you can also take a domestic flight into Quepos and take a shuttle or car for the additional 60 km. if you plan on doing all the driving yourself, know that Osa Peninsula is very remote and you will need a 4×4 for some parts. Additionally, even during the dry season he roads have been known to flood and most car rental agencies to not include water damage in the insurance.
When you go on tour, most touring agencies will provide a picnic lunch and water. If you feel you need more snacks do bring them because the snorkeling tours last all day (8 hours). Start your day with a good and strong breakfast and end it with a satisfying dinner. The ultimate booster breakfast traditional in Costa Rica is the Gallo Pinto. With the rice, beans and eggs you are bound to get all the energy you need. If you are staying at Drake Bay, visit Soda Mar y Bosque Restaurant. If you want great seafood, eat out at Drake’s Kitchen. When you are staying at Uvita, the Soda Ranchito Dona Maria will offer you local dished bursting with flavor. When you favor sublime tastes in a fusion styled restaurant, make sure to try Aracari Restaurant.
Where to stay
Hotel Cristal Ballena is the classic choice within the Uvita region and will never let you down with its superior amenities and gourmet restaurant. For an eco-friendly luxury accommodation at Drake Bay, stay at the Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge. If you favor a secluded, rancho-style hotel, book a room at La Paloma Lodge.