This tour is a spectacular snorkeling experience in a truly magical place. It is a chance to swim at a living coral reef in a protected area off the Osa Peninsula. Isla del Cano, also known as Cano Island, is located 10 miles offshore from Drake Bay in the Pacific Ocean.
You will begin your tour at Drake Bay where you will meet your certified guide and other people going with you for a fun day exploring the ocean. A motorized boat will take you out to Cano Island. The boat ride takes about an hour and gives you an opportunity to look for interesting marine life such as dolphins, manta rays, sea turtles, and more. Depending on the time of the year, migrating Humpback whales may be observed and photographed.
Upon reaching the island, you will jump overboard to go for your first snorkeling swim. You will see a variety of colorful fish that may include sharks, barracuda, eels, and even a shark or two! This area has many of the same species of marine life as the Galapagos Islands. Your naturalist guide will swim with you helping to locate and identify the fish, mammals, and reptiles that abide in these waters.
After a while you’ll go over to the beautiful white sand beach at Cano Island to take a refreshing break for a cool drink of water. You can relax or stroll along the beach before going back out to snorkel for a second time. Once you have completed your second dive, you will get back onboard the boat for the return trip to Drake Bay.
On shore, a delicious lunch will be provided at the Pirate Cove Hotel where you can share your experiences with others in your group.
The magical part of snorkeling here is enhanced by learning about Cano Island’s historical significance. The island is a protected national park as part of the Osa Conservation Area with relics dating back to pre-Columbian times with human life found here. This island was considered a sacred burial ground by the indigenous people of that time. Artifacts like pottery have been discovered from as far back as 200 A.D., as well as perfectly round spheres that were carved by the inhabitants.
It is believed that this area may have been used as a trading post many years ago and it is believed that the waters contain treasures. The relics are strictly safeguarded by the rangers who are stationed on the island. Because of this, tourism is regulated and visitors are allowed to swim, snorkel, and dive, but hiking is restricted to the beach area only. Only water may be brought ashore to drink. For your convenience, fresh water showers and restrooms are located on the boat.
This tour includes a bilingual, certified guide, all snorkeling equipment, park admission fee, drinking water, and lunch at the Pirate Cove Hotel. Note: The $15 per person park admission fee cannot be refunded in the event of cancellation. One way boat transportation to the island can take from 45 minutes to an hour. Combined time of this tour with round trip boat ride, two snorkeling adventures, and lunch, typically takes between 4 to 6 hours and can be influenced by the number of scuba divers who may also be on the boat.
Please bring a dry change of clothing, your bathing suit and a towel, sun block, binoculars, and your camera. This is the perfect opportunity to take memorable underwater photos in these historical waters where treasure may be hiding!
The Cano Island Tour and Snorkeling - Pirate Cove Hotel is available from Drake Bay
5 and up
One of the best snorkeling experiences I ever had!
We have been snorkeling in many places like Moorea Hawaii’s molokini a dit this was by far the nicest!
good tour, but I expected a bit more.
This is not the most beautiful reef in Costa Rica. Its seems to have been affected by climate change by bleaching. Sad
Guides did little in guiding. Only getting people into the water. Water was somewhat cloudy, so hard to see. Despite that, it was great snorkeling.
This was quite adventurous for us. Again, a recommendation to take motion sickness pills would be good! It's a rough hour-long boat trip out to the island and one can also feel sea sick snorkelling as the swells are quite big. Also, we got blisters from the flippers so you could also recommend bringing socks to people who take this tour. It was well managed and we felt safe.
Some of the best snorkeling ever.
Another great trip
The guide was wonderful and knowledgeable. The hotel coordinated everything very well.
Loved it. Saw loads and felt looked after
A nice day trip. Snorkeling was pretty good and guide were good
Amazing experience as we saw lots of whales, incidentally, whilst on the way to the island. I want to thank the Pirata staff, as they were very flexible with us on this tour. It was pouring with rain first thing in the morning and we decided not to go as the visibility would be badly affected.The weather improved and the staff encouraged us to change our minds and go - and we had a brilliant time!
Guides should have a better knowledge of the tides. We were there during slack tides and visibility was very limited. Group was also too large at 15 people to 1 guide. Way too busy in the area.
The snorkelling component was very good, but there was no Island Tour component except to sign in at the rangers office.