WHERE CAÑO ISLAND IS LOCATED Caño Island Biological Reserve is located 16.5 kms west of the Osa Peninsula in the Pacific Ocean and consist of 300 hectares of land and 2,700 hectares of sea. The jagged coastline is 10 kms long with small beaches of white sand, rocky platforms and cliffs up to 60 meters high. In the center of the island there is a wide plateau which is divided into two parts by a watershed which is crisscrossed by rivers and streams that plunge down the cliffs to the sea.
The geological history of the island indicates that it is the product of plate tectonic setting, and in this case the subduction of the Cocos Plate beneath the Caribbean Plate. The forest on the island are mainly composed of perennial species typical of very moist tropical forests. Predominant species in the primary forest are fig trees, locusts, wild cacaos, rubber trees, numerous vines epiphytes and the cow tree believed to have been planted by the native Indians.
The climate is very hot and humid with average temperatures of 26° - 28°C.
Caño Island also offers an array of fish species in the clear waters surrounding the island and can be seen either by experiencing snorkeling or scuba diving.
HISTORY The Spanish explorer Juan de Castañada first visited Caño island in 1519, and named the island after a waterfall or Caño that plunges down the cliffs. The existence of stone spheres, tombs with stone statues, golden votive offerings and polychrome ceramics gave rise to a theory that the island was used only as a cemetery for important persons during the pre-Columbian period. However, remains of domestic pottery and stone farming implements suggest that local Indians inhabited the island 500 years ago.
EXCURSIONS TO CAÑO ISLAND Caño Island is one of Costa-Rica's premier snorkeling and diving spots. The island is surrounded by 5 marine platforms or low coral reefs where 15 species of stony corals have been indentified.
Our adventure begins with a short 90-minute boat ride across the clear waters of the Pacific Ocean to Caño Island. Along the way, it is likely that we will encounter turtles, manta rays, spotted spinner or bottlenose dolphins swimming from the boat.
Upon arrival, our divemaster will point out the best spots for sighting marine life and as well lead divers through the exotic underwater realm. Our snorkeling trips give you the opportunity to explore the reefs and island at your leisure.
While underwater, one can encounter species of fish like the king angel, moorish idol, puffers, surgeon fish, snapper, barracuda, barber fish, parrot fish, damsel fish and a variety of eels hiding around the coral lined rock formations. Turtles, rays and the non-aggressive reef shark can also be spotted.
The island also offer a shaded picnic area next to the beach where you can enjoy your lunch and trails leading into the jungle allowing you to explore the island.
CAÑO ISLAND DIVE SITES
EL BAJO DEL DIABLO (THE DEPTH OF THE DEVIL) El Bajo Del Diablo known as the Depth of the Devil is the best site by far which consist of a huge area sub-divided into many secluded sites. The towering rock pinnacles range from over 150 ft to just under 20 ft which provides one of the best sites to encounter Moray eel, Mantas, Spotted Eagle Rays and more than 4 different species of eels. Its incredible maze of peaks and valleys is the home of Groupers, Snappers and Amberjack reaching 70lb and gives divers a chance to swim amongst enormous schools of tuna, barracuda, reef sharks and scores of tropical fish.
CUEVA DEL TIBURON (SHARK CAVE) Cueva Del Tiburon known as the Shark Cave is surrounded by beautiful white tip reef sharks. Other inhabitants of the area include angels, butterfly, damsels, parrot fish, moorish idols, lobsters, puffers, sturgeon fish. Occasional visitors like the mantas and stingrays can also be found in this area which adds to a lifetime experience for any diver.
LOS ARCOS (THE ARCHES) Los Arcos or The Arches are made up of unique rock formations formed in the shape of arches. Divers can swim through these towering underwater arches and see fish life similar to the Shark Cave due to its close proximity.
EL BARCO (THE WRECK) El Barco has no wreck here but is referred as the wreck. It is made up of a variety of rock formations with areas with the most plentiful hard corals. The large array of fish life provides divers opportunities to encounter white tip reef sharks, manta rays and occasional sea turtles.
PARAISO (PARADISE) Paraiso or Paradise is famous for its abundant marine life which offers divers the experience to encounter whitetip sharks, schools of big groupers, snappers, tuna and its many smaller species of tropical fish.