South Pacific Coast Feature


Snorkelers' Paradise

Most of uninhabited 2½-square-km (1-square-mile) Caño Island Biological Reserve is covered in evergreen forest that includes fig, locust, and rubber trees. Coastal Indians used it as a burial ground, and the numerous bits and pieces unearthed here have prompted archaeologists to speculate about pre-Columbian long-distance maritime trade. Occasionally, mysterious stones that have been carved into perfect spheres of varying sizes are discovered. The uninhabited island's main attraction now is the ocean around it, superb for scuba diving and snorkeling. The snorkeling is best around the rocky points flanking the island's main beach; if you're a certified diver, you'll probably want to explore Bajo del Diablo and Paraíso, where you're guaranteed to encounter thousands of good-size fish, including white-tip, nurse, and trigger sharks.

The only way to get to the island, 19 km (12 miles) due west of the Osa Peninsula, is by boat arranged by your lodge or a tour company. Lodges and the Blue Water Pelagic and Jinetes de Osa tour companies in Drake Bay run day trips here, as do tour companies in Dominical, Uvita, and Sierpe.

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Fodor's Costa Rica 2014

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