Cano Island is located in the southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, off the coast of the Osa Peninsula. The Cano Island Biological Reserve mostly consists of the marine life. It is an ideal destination for a day trip while you are in the region, and a great opportunity to see wild marine life such as dolphins playing and humpback whales that are on their migration journey and who stop in the area to give birth and to nurse their young. Tours to the island provide travelers with snorkeling or scuba diving equipment. Because the island is actually surrounded by five separate platforms of no less than twelve different species of coral. These waters are filled with life; colorful fish, giant conchs, twelve different species of lobsters make exploring a real treat. Scuba divers are rewarded with a magical underwater landscape, with cliffs, canyons and caves.
Most of the actual biological reserve however is hidden away from the visitors for the protection of its beautiful flora and fauna. Tours to the island are available along the coast from the Osa Peninsula up to Manuel Antonio. While the number of permitted visitors is limited, it would seem that more and more are willing to come! There are two short trails on the northwest side of the island that welcome tourists and a few beaches are also opened to the public. The marine area that can be explored consists of two snorkeling areas and six diving sites that are also located on the northwest point of the island. The rest belongs to Nature itself! Most of the island’s access is prohibited which seems to make it all the more attractive to the public! Lots of boats cruise its areas with people paying money to be allowed to spend some time on the beach, go sports fishing, diving and snorkeling.
The highlights of the visit to the island are of course its magnificent coral reef, reputedly the healthiest of the world. Indeed the island is surrounded by the largest coral reef of the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Expect to see head coral, sea fans, brain coral, and more.
Visitors are treated to the sight of white tip sharks, giant stingrays, schools of fish the size of clouds, as well as the resident spotted dolphin. Discover the mysterious pre-Colombian stone spheres and the tales of Sir Francis Drake dumping all his silver there so he could load more gold. There is more wonders, beauty and surprises to the island than one can ever imagine. Due to the small size you will not see a lot of animals on the island.
Getting to the island is pretty easy as most hotels that are located along the Southern Pacific Coast do offer tours to their guests. The trip takes about 3 hours from Manuel Antonio, 2 hours from Dominical, 1,5 hours from Sierpe, and about 40 minutes from Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula. You should see schools of dolphins playing along the boat and humpback whales if you are lucky to be there during their migration season that takes place from July to February!
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