Damas Island, North Puntarenas

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Sitting just outside of Quepos, the small Damas Island is known for its diverse population of fauna and abundance of aquatic activities. Located near popular tourist destinations such as Jaco and Manuel Antonio National Park, Damas Island, or Isla Damas, is an ideal afternoon getaway. Travelers can weave through mangroves by boat or kayak, and may catch a glimpse of white-faced monkeys, sloths, boas or one of the many bird species that populate the region.

A mangrove forest is where trees grow in coastal sediment from the ocean, which causes a unique underwater root system to attract various species of animals. Mangrove boat tours are one of the most popular activities in Damas Island, and can be done in a small or large group at night or during the day. A trip during any time of the day will be a remarkable experience in one of Costa Rica's most unique habitats.

Travelers looking for an intimate experience with the mangroves may prefer a canoe or kayak trip. Visitors paddle their way comfortably through the mangroves as bilingual guides lead the way through the protected inland waterways to point out indigenous creatures of the Damas estuary and mangrove habitat. Go at it alone or grab a partner in a 2-seater kayak. Spend hours learning about and experiencing the tropical rainforest ecosystem in Damas Island. The river has a rich habitat that leads into narrow canals and waterways that weave through naturally made tunnels.

Looking for a more relaxing trip along Damas Island's waterways? An estuary boat trip allows travelers to float along the calm currents under the forest's canopy, and under the shade of the boat. This is great way to get up close with some of the region's most beautiful creatures. Lucky boaters may even be able to interact with monkeys - they're known to climb aboard to explore the boat. Don't forget to look down on the journey - the water is filled with amazing creatures such as oysters, sponges, stingrays, baby black-tipped sharks and many large schools of fish.

Damas Island is a perfect retreat for travelers of any age. Anyone from children to senior citizens can enjoy the scenic boat tours through the mangroves. Although much of the tours take place underneath the canopy of the trees, travelers should be cautious about the sun's rays on these trips.
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Distance: 32 miles / 51 km
Drive Time: 45 min