Drake Bay / Caño Island
Resting on the northern side of the Osa Peninsula, Drake Bay (Bahía Drake) is an adventure-seekers paradise. It is named after Sir Francis Drake who is believed to have ventured here in the late 16 century. With scattered hotels and lodges, Drake Bay is the ideal vacation spot for those wishing to relax and escape from it all. If, after you have arrived, you decide that the isolation is too much, the rustic area around the bay provides a plethora of activities at your disposal. These include scuba diving, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, horseback riding, hiking (Corcovado National Park), sport fishing, bird-watching or exploring the miles of deserted picturesque coastline.
Isla del Caño – situated 20 km offshore from Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula – is an important island for Costa Rica, both archeologically and environmentally. The waters surrounding this biological reserve are swarming with marine creatures, while the island itself protects several artifacts that date back to pre-Columbian times.
Turquoise water rings Isla del Caño, as do a great number of coral reefs. In fact, the waters that surrounded the island contain the largest amount of coral-building organisms along the Pacific side of Costa Rica—there is brain coral, head coral and sea fans, to name just a few. Add to this excellent visibility and an enormous amount of marine species, and you’ve got the makings for magnificent snorkeling and scuba diving. Beneath the water you may be able to spot manta rays, tuna, needlefish, barracuda, snapper, white-tipped reef sharks, olive ridley sea turtles, moray eels, dolphins, and both humpback and pilot whales. Considering all of this, it’s not surprising that many people regard Isla del Caño as the best scuba diving spot in the entire country. However, because it is a biological reserve, diving numbers are strictly regulated – there are 5 dive sites and only 10 divers are allowed to be in the water at one time.
Unfortunately, the island itself doesn’t harbor as much biodiversity as does the ocean. There is an intact evergreen forest, as well as a sampling of rubber and cocoa trees. Boa constrictors, pacas, bats, tree frogs and a variety of insects can be spotted, in addition to several species of birds that use the island as a stopping point during their migration south. A number of white-sand beaches dot the island, and hiking trails extend across much of the terrain. Camping areas have been constructed, as well as a ranger station.
Check for our package to the Caño Island:
Caño Island Day Trip
The boat ride to Cano Island offers the opportunity to spot schools of dolphins playing in the area’s offshore waters, and if you’re lucky, you can see humpback whales during their migration season from July to February. Female humpbacks come to these warm tropical waters to give birth and nurse their young. Upon arriving at Cano Island, you’ll have the opportunity to snorkel or scuba dive. The island is surrounded by five platforms of low reefs where more than 12 species of coral grow abundantly. The reefs are home to several species of lobsters, colorful fish, and giant conchs. The abundance of marine life makes snorkeling a real treat, and scuba divers can enjoy a varied underwater landscape of caves, cliffs, and canyons.
After snorkeling, you’ll enjoy a delightful picnic lunch under the beach’s almond trees. Then you’ll have a chance to explore the island’s trails. These magical trails move through the dense forest above the coastal cliffs and sandy beaches. One trail even leads to a Pre-Columbian sacred site.
After a day of discovery and exploration at the island, you’ll return to your hotel, feeling as though you’ve had a small piece of heaven on earth.
What to bring: hiking shoes (if you plan on walking the trails), bug repellent, sunscreen, swimming suit, change of clothes.
Tour includes: roundtrip transportation from the hotel, lunch, entrance fee, equipment, and natural bilingual guide.