Caño Island Biological Marine Reserve is 12 nautical miles or 20 km offshore from Drake Bay. The beauty of Isla del Caño 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. Isla del Caño Biological Reserve is also home to a huge variety of fish, whales and sharks. The complete 2 km perimeter of the Island protected from commercial fishing and any other type of harvesting. With fantastic underwater visibility, one may see on any given day, sea turtles, dolphins, rays, barracudas, and white tip sharks.
Isla del Caño is an island of considerable geographical and archeological importance. This 300-hectare piece of land was formerly a cemetery or burial ground dating back to the pre-Columbian era of the Diquis tribal people. The Costa Rican Park service offers one small beach for visitors. There is a ranger station house, restrooms, a picnic area and shade trees. This full day tour includes a picnic lunch, transportation to and from the Island, snorkeling equipment and a guide.
La Paloma Lodge offers world class scuba diving in the Caño Island Biological Reserve located in the southern Pacific waters of Costa Rica. The 14,300 acres of protected waters in the reserve are known for the profusion of marine life and underwater topography. The pinnacles and canyons of volcanic rock are covered by fifteen species of coral and are habitat to tropical reef fish while also offering refuge to schools of oceanic pelagic fish. Highlights of this area's dive locations are the manta and mobula rays, the abundant population of white tip reef sharks, Ridley and Hawksbill turtles and the occasional whale shark.
Due to the protection of the Biological Reserve, it is not uncommon to see fish that have grown naturally to enormous proportions: cubera snapper in the 70lb range and unimaginable sizes of schooling Pacific barracuda, tuna and big-eyed jacks. Dolphins and whales are commonly spotted while traveling the twelve miles between Drake Bay and Caño Island. Two migrations of humpback whales are enjoyed annually; coming from both the southern and the northern hemisphere. The reef is volcanic rock. There are fissures and pinnacles, large boulders and rock formations that create a wall to the depth of 110 ft. Water visibility is exceptional. It ranges from 40 to 90 ft. Temperatures range from 75 to 82 degrees F (23-29 C).
Whale Watching & Dolphin Adventures
Drake Bay is positioned in one of most biologically diverse ocean ecosystems in the world. The area is known as the Costa Rican Thermal Convection Dome. The ocean water has a warm top layer with a cold low-oxygen layer below. The combination creates a healthy marine habitat for a variety of creatures. Whales, dolphins, tuna, marlin, manta rays, sea turtles, and many more live in these waters and benefit from this year round thermal dome. We are fortunate to host two migrations of humpback whales, as well as pilot and false-killer whales. Year round the bottlenose, rough-tooth, spinner and spotted dolphins are observed. Our in-house naturalist guides have been certified by the marine protection foundations, Keto, MarVida, ProMar, and by the Costa Rican Park Service to take visitors to observe cetaceans in their nature habitat. This tour requires a minimum of four people. Tours depart at 7:30 a.m. and return at 1 p.m. You will enjoy a picnic lunch at San Josecito beach. We recommend taking a bathing suit, sunscreen, sun hat, glasses, rain poncho and binoculars.
The Osa Peninsula offers some of the best sport-fishing in the world. Depending on the time of year and the fishing location, you may expect to catch dorado, snapper, tuna, wahoo, rooster and/or sailfish. We use local Costa Rican and American captains with years of experience in these waters. The types of sport fishing boats vary from awning covered skiffs to large custom-built sport fishing yachts, amount of time and distance you want to travel on the ocean.
Explore the largest protected mangrove area in Central America. The Terraba-Sierpe National Humid Forest Reserve mangrove forest and swamp cover and 85 sq mile area (220sq km) between the deltas of the Terraba and Sierpe Rivers. Despite the fact that mangrove swamps are essential spawning grounds for commercially valuable fish and shellfish, they are also an important habitat for an amazing array of wildlife. The river boat trip adventures into countless channels crisscrossing this vitally important ecosystem, which fringes 25 miles (40 km) of coastline. Avid wildlife watchers can expect to see caimans, crocodiles, monkeys, river turtles, and coatis. This trip is a birders delight expecting to see the yellow mangrove warbler, the common potoo, and the frigate bird to name a few.
Along with our in house naturalist guides, our sharp eyed boat captains will surprise you with interesting findings and facts. This tour requires a minimum of 4 people. The tour departs at 6:30 a.m. and returns to La Paloma at 1 p.m. Snacks and drinks will be served on the boat. We recommend wearing light-weight clothing and taking binoculars, sunscreen, hat and glasses. You will visit the port town of Sierpe for a short bathroom break, take some pocket money in case you want a snack or treat.
The Agujitas River, located just beyond the la Paloma dock, provides cool waters, charming waterfalls, and diverse wildlife. It is an excellent place to take a kayak and explore the area of Drake Bay. It is ideal to kayak during high tide, although you may make use of the kayaks at any time. Please be cautious and wear sunscreen, especially on the tops of your legs and feet. Remember that you and your belongings are likely to get wet; it is best to leave valuables behind. Our kayaks are available for your pleasure; inform the staff when you are interested and we will arrange for them to be put in at the dock.