CAÑO ISLAND: snorkeling and diving among sharks

Are you going to visit Drake Bay (Costa Rica) and want to snorkel or dive in Caño Island? This boat tour is a great option to see corals and sharks up close

👉 I’ll tell you what you’ll see, how the excursion is, how to get to Isla del Caño and where to stay

Isla del Caño (Costa Rica)

  1. Snorkeling and diving in Isla del Caño
  2. Where to Stay
  3. How to get to Caño Island
  4. Tours in Costa Rica
  5. What to do in Drake Bay
  6. Is it a safe place to travel?
  7. Eating Vegan in Costa Rica

Snorkeling and diving in Isla del Caño

If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica (👉COSTA RICA GUIDE), you should know that it is a country characterized by the beauty of its beaches, mountains, volcanoes and the diversity of its wildlife.


If you’re not a costa rican citizen, in this link you can check the ✅ SANITARY REQUIREMENTS and get a VISA. Also, to help you travel without spending too much, here you’ll find a 💥20% DISCOUNT on your TRAVEL INSURANCE and 🏠10€/10$ DISCOUNT on ACCOMODATION


To end my stay in Drake Bay on a high note, I decided to sign up for the Caño Island snorkeling tour, and it was a great decision. If you want to snorkel or dive there, keep in mind that it is a protected area and can only be accessed with a guide, the prices are somewhat outrageous but the experience is really worth it.

The day I went the visibility was brutally good, and this is really important since you will be snorkeling quite a few meters deep and in this way you can see the entire landscape down to the ground.

Basically what you will see is a reef in the form of giant columns, full of corals and colorful little fish, there are a lot of different types, small and huge, solitary or in schools; with luck you will come across a turtle and… most impressively, sharks!

I saw two, a white tip and a nurse shark, both beautiful and spectacular. It is a very good experience, both for the fauna that abounds in Costa Rica and for the aquatic landscape that really impressed me.

Snorkel buceo en isla del Caño bahia drake costa rica
No pude hacer fotos, así que la foto no es de allí pero se parece

Normally you do an hour of snorkeling, then you go to a small beach on Caño Island to rest and then you have lunch on the beach of San Josecito and then you do one more hour of snorkeling, it’s about 6 hours in total. Regarding lunch, if you have any kind of food intolerance or if you are vegan/vegetarian, you can let us know and they will adapt the menu.

In my case I asked for vegan options and the truth is that it was a very very pleasant surprise, I was able to eat almost everything and it was very good, they offered a lot of different options and they separated the meat from the side dish so that I could also eat the vegetables, great.

You can also repeat as many times as you want and you don’t stay hungry (I’m always hungry on tours because I can’t eat anything…). Then you have a while to swim or lie on the beach (there are quite a few coconuts) and then you go back to Playa Colorada.

In general, it was a very good experience, so cheer up and go explore the waters of Caño Island, which really deserve it!

Where to stay

Isla del Caño is a nature reserve and does not have accommodation on the island itself, so you will have to consider other options.

The tourist center of Drake Bay is located in Playa Colorada. There are different hotels and hostels, two supermarkets and a restaurant to eat. Although there is everything you need for day to day, the offer in restaurants is not very extensive either.

staying in colorada beach

  • In the case of Drake Bay, I think the only reason it’s worth staying near the tourist area is if you need a supermarket nearby.
  • In addition, it has the disadvantage that most of the accommodations are not located on the beach itself but on a road that goes uphill (it is ugly).

Stay at another beach

If you want to spend just a few days in the area, I think it is a much better option to stay on any other beach, where you will be calmer and have the sea right in front of you.

A location in the center of the path will be very practical for shorter excursions and to be able to visit the beaches of the path more calmly.

How to get to Isla del Caño

If you are already in Drake Bay, the only way to get to Isla del Caño is with a guide, since it is a protected area and by law you will not be able to access it on your own.

The simplest option is to hire a tour to snorkel or scuba dive and, if you like to be calmer and not have to share the experience with strangers, you can ask at the hotel/hostel or at Playa Colorada if they organize private tours to Isla del Spout.

How to get to Caño Island from other places

The way to get to the different beaches of Drake Bay is the same, all you have to do is tell the people on the boat which beach you are staying at (you will have to pay an extra if you are not staying at Playa Colorada).

The road to Drake Bay is a bit long and you can do it by bus, plane (only from San José), transfer or car.

In this link I leave you all the information to get to Drake Bay from Sierpe, San José, Dominical, Uvita and Quepos; and how to get there from Puerto Jiménez.

Tours en Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a very varied country in fauna and nature. You can visit volcanoes, natural parks, towering waterfalls, sunbathe on the beach, kayak,…

Here you can find the list of activities and tours you can enjoy during your trip:

What to do in Drake bay

The main attraction of Drake Bay and its surroundings are the paradisiacal beaches, the fauna, and scuba diving and snorkeling. I will tell you about some of the places and activities that you cannot miss during your stay.

Playa Cocolito

Playa Cocolito is one of the beaches on the trail, and it’s pretty quiet. It is divided in two by a small stone wall and provides a little more privacy.

There is a grassy area to lie down where people usually gather, and it has a hotel where you can spend the night.

Playa Caletas

Playa Caletas seemed to me to be one of the best beaches in Drake Bay, and although it has a hotel on the beach itself, it is not noisy at all, but you can easily find yourself sunbathing.

It is super neat and tidy, and you can peacefully swing on a wooden swing while admiring the views. When I went, I could see two eagles trying to catch a pelican with no luck.

Río Claro (river)

Río Claro is located on the Drake Bay trail, and flows into a beautiful beach where turtles nest.

There is a small refuge there that accepts volunteers to work with the sea turtles and, if you pass by around 4 in the afternoon, you can also see the release and make a small donation.

The people of the refuge also organize boat trips on the river to finance their expenses and, when the tide is high, they can cross you to the other side for a small fee.

Playa de San Josecito

San Josecito beach is located at one of the ends that runs along the coast. It is a good place to have a picnic and rest while hiking. Also, you will find fresh coconuts! (In this link I tell you how to open coconuts with your own hands).

In the area of San Josecito + Rincón de San Josecito there are several accommodations and restaurants where you can eat. Compared to Playa Colorada (the main beach), it is a nicer and quieter option to spend the night.

Is it a safe place to travel?

Costa Rica is a moderately dangerous country, where nothing should happen to you if you go carefully and take precautions. Remember to follow these recommendations:

  • In case of robbery, do not resist physically.
  • Do not show a high purchasing power, that is, do not go with jewels, bags, etc … that are expensive.
  • Be careful if you go out at night, and stay in crowded places where you are surrounded by other people.
  • Thefts are usual, so don’t go with the camera or mobile in your hand or hang out of your neck.
  • Try to avoid carrying the backpack on the back. Put it in front of you, or use a belt pouch or a cross bag.

Personally, I spent 3 months traveling alone in Costa Rica (I visited San José, Puerto Viejo, Tortuguero, Dominical, Uvita, Bay Drake and Puerto Jiménez) and I did not find myself in any really serious situation.

Going down the street with the camera, several Costa Rican people approached and warned me that they were carefully with robberies, since they told me that they are very frequent.

In my case, during the trip they tried to steal 2 times and, luckily, I realized on time and I could avoid it. In any case, it is always a good idea to have travel insurance that can compensate you financially and help you if a medical emergency occurs.

👉 If you are interested in traveling alone, I recommend this article about the reasons and benefits of traveling alone and this other article with tips for traveling alone being a woman. I encourage you to try it since it is a great and very profitable experience for oneself.

Eating Vegan in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is not a country faced with vegan food. Anyway, they have some traditional dishes that are vegan or that you can ask without egg or sauces such as the pico of rooster (rice with beans for breakfast), black bean soup or rice with vegetables.

You should always ask if the purés or soups are made with some type of dairy product or meat broth, since at first glance they might seem vegan dishes but not be.

In San José you can find some vegan restaurants, but when you leave the capital the offer is very limited or non -existent. Next, I make three recommendations and in this link you can read tips to travel vegan.

  1. Try to stay in hotels that are characterized by cooking vegan and vegetarian dishes. This is the best option and the most practical for not having to be looking for places where to eat comfortable without always repeating the same dishes.
  2. Before making a tour, always comment that you are vegan or vegetarian, so that they can adapt the food.
  3. Costa Rica is a country where you can find a variety of fresh products (fruits and vegetables) to prepare salads and breakfast with fruits. In any city or town, you will easily find some supermarket or stalls on the street where you can buy groceries.

Enjoy your trip to Drake Bay to the fullest!