What To Expect On a Cano Island Liveaboard
A Cano Island liveaboard dive trip is a great alternative to the far away Cocos Islands, which is located much closer to the mainland of Costa Rica and presents a completely different diving environment to the Cocos. 'El Cano', as it's locally known, is only 16 kilometres offshore, again to the west of Central America, and has some world class diving with many different dive sites which can only be explored to the full over a few days. As such, taking a liveaboard dive cruise to Cano Island will offer the chance for visitors to spend a good amount of time in the area and make the most of this rarely visited underwater paradise.
Cano Island Underwater
Cano Island is a national park and marine reserve, with some fantastic biodiversity that make for fabulous diving experiences. The visibility is normally very good, regularly reaching 30 metres, showcasing the vast array of life that have made the area their home. Scuba Diving in Cano Island waters will lead to you being surrounded by massive schools of tropical fish, Eagle Rays, Manta Rays, Turtles, and Barracuda. Amongst these, regularly seen are playful Dolphins, and various types of sharks - including Bull Sharks, Whitetips, and if you are lucky huge Whalesharks and Hammerheads. In the surrounding waters, divers onboard Cano Island dive cruises have reported sightings of Humpback Whales.
Dive Sites of Cano Island
Cano Island itineraries commonly last for a number of days, enabling divers to access a large number of the great sites on offer here.
At Bajo Del Diablo there's a variety of different dives that liveaboard itineraries will commonly include. As a result you've got a good chance of seeing the likes of Mantas, Barracuda and Snappers. Further out to sea, and aptly named 'Bajo Del Diablo Deep', the diving will commonly be in excess of 20 metres and is where many larger species are encountered - Hammerheads and Grey Nurse Sharks in particular.
Shark Cave is home to a number of White Tips, darting in and around the beautiful coral formations that dazzle in the light they are afforded by the shallower depths. Another shallow dive is Coral Garden, with some great examples of hard coral, amongst which divers can enjoy the colours of the many tropical fish. Conditions here are gentle, calm, and relatively shallow; a perfect place for novices and also night dives.
Other sites of note which liveaboard crews like to includeon the dive trips are Devil's Rock, Paraiso, and Los Arcos.
Top Tips For Divers
Liveaboard diving at Cano Island means you can visit one of the most unknown and therefore unspoilt marine reserves on the planet. The variety in the sites here offer something for everyone. It is however important that you check with the liveaboard operator whether they require a minimum number of dives and/or a certain level of certification. Liveaboard boats visiting Caño Island will normally have gear to rent, but of course you are welcome to bring your own should you so wish - tanks, weights and belts are included in most packages.
You'll be able to withdraw the local currency, the Costa Rican Colon, from any of the easily found ATMs, and it's also common for major credit cards to be accepted. Speaking English will be fine, as well as Spanish, the native tongue.
Getting to Cano Island
Getting here involves a 12 hour sail from the west coast of Costa Rica. Commonly the departure point is the port of Punterenas, which is a fairly short drive from the capital San Jose. Many international airlines fly directly into San Jose airport often transiting via the US. From San Jose, operators will often pick you up and transfer you from your hotel to the boat - some will include a hotel stay and transfer as part of the tour.