to a friend!

Isla del Caño Biological Reserve

Size:300 hectares.
Distance from San José: 
311 kilometers.
Dry season:
January through March
Caño Island has an evergreen forest with very tall trees.
Rock spheres made by ancient natives.

Caño Island Biological Reserve lying about 20 kilometers off the Osa peninsula, northeast of Corcovado National Park, is a site of great archeological interest. The island was once used as a pre-Colombian cemetery by cultures with a clear South American influence and it's still possible to see some of the perfectly round stone spheres made by the former natives of this land.


Wildlife is scarce, consisting mainly of insects like bees, moths, beetles and mosquitoes, as well as some frogs and small lizards. Small vertebrates such as; pacas, opossums, pigs and cattle egrets (the predominant bird species), are also found here.

Insects and small lizards make up most of the fauna, Basilisk lizard.
Rock spheres made by ancient natives.

The island is surrounded by five platforms of low coral reefs. Camping areas have been established, near the ranger station, where you can also find potable water.

It rises 110 meters above sea level, and it's composed mainly of small white sandy beaches, that sometimes disappear with the high tide


The greatest attractions of Caño Island lie beneath the waters surrounding the island. Skin Diver magazine has rated the site as among the best in the world and one of the newest hot spots for adventure diving. This virgin area offers a variety of unique diving attractions, from 15 - 16' reefs to 80' "walls".

The rock formations are volcanic origins; sea fans, cup coral, head corals are the most common. Because of its status as a Biological Reserve the diving in Caño Island is regulated. 


Only 10 divers maximum and 5 dive sites are open to the public. By law, it is totally prohibited to remove any marine objects dead or alive (shells, corals, etc.). Although the currents and visibility are difficult to predict, the latter is usually outstanding and rarely gets below 50'. The name of the game here is "SHARKS"! Lots of them (white-tips) ranging in size from 6-10' as well as sea turtles, dolphins, stingrays, morays, and huge snapper and grouper. This could very well be mainland Costa Rica's finest diving spot!  Find out more about diving at Caño Island NOW!!!


Back to Map of Costa Rica and its National Parks