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Home | Destinations | South Puntarenas | Osa Peninsula & Drake Bay | Caño Island Biological Reserve, South Puntarenas

Caño Island Biological Reserve, South Puntarenas

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Pre Columbian Rock Sphere, Isla Del Cano

Lying in the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean, some 20 km offshore from the Osa Peninsula at Drake Bay, Isla del Caño or Caño Island is an amazing marine biological reserve in Costa Rica. Part of Puntarenas province and just northeast of the Corcovado National Park, Caño Island is an island of considerable geographical and archeological importance. Fifteen kilometers from the Port of San Pedrillo, this 300-hectare piece of land was formerly a cemetery or burial ground dating back to the pre-Columbian era.

Mysterious Stone Spheres

Evidence of this island’s history is the incredible stone spheres that have been found here, all of which are hand carved and perfectly rounded. On the island itself, not much wildlife or fauna is found. However, Caño Island is often used as a migratory passage of birds who fly to warmer climes from the northern hemisphere during the winter. Aside from the evergreen forest found on the island, the only other trees growing out here include the rubber tree, the wild cocoa tree and some shrubs and bushes. Besides birds like the osprey, black hawk, cattle egret and phalarope, some common animals and reptiles on the island are; pacas, boa constrictors, possums, tree frogs, pigs, moths, beetles, bats, mosquitoes, rats and lizards.

Underwater Adventure at Caño Island

According to researchers, this island was believed to have been formed when over 50 million years ago the earth’s tectonic plates moved, causing this island to emerge. The real beauty of Caño Island is not found on its land, but underwater.
This island’s virgin waters are some of the bluest in the country, and are home to a spectacular variety of stunning marine flora and fauna as well as some gorgeous coral reefs. Rated as being the best underwater adventure diving spots in the world, the Caño Island Biological Reserve is also home to a huge variety of fish, whales and sharks.

With fantastic underwater visibility, one can see on any given day, sea turtles, dolphins, stingrays, manta rays, moray eels, barracudas, tuna, snapper and grouper swimming alongside a variety sharks and humpback or pilot whales. Since the island is a reserve scuba diving numbers are regulated, and visitors are not allowed to remove any marine life, dead or alive. Camping areas have been set up on the island with a ranger station on hand and boat trips here can be arranged from as far off as Dominical or Drake Bay.

So if you plan on visiting here, don’t forget to bring your snorkeling or diving gear and be prepared for an underwater adventure of a lifetime!