Diving sites of the Isla del Caño Biological Reserve
Within the Isla del Caño Biological Reserve there are 7 diving sites open to the public: the Sphere, theAnchor, the Garden, the Cave, the Arch, the Lighthouse and Devil’s Pinnacle.
Most of these sites are located on the north side of the island. This is due to the fact that the direction of the waves and currents comes from the south, so the Island functions as a wall that makes diving on this side safer.
Another reason why the dive sites are concentrated there is because the park ranger station is located on the north side, and this allows for greater vigilance.
According to our knowledge we have classified the dive sites as follows:
The sphere | Divespot for beginner divers
The first in our list of Caño Island diving sites is the sphere. This site has the ideal characteristics for divers jumping into the water for the first time. It is a good place to do the first dive of the Open Water course or for a Discover Scuba Diving experience.The depth at this site ranges from 8 meters to 12 meters. It is a coastal dive on a sandy bottom in which the profile of the island is followed.
You can often see all kinds of colorful reef fish swimming among the small rocky mounds that we find along the way. The name “La Esfera” was chosen because at the bottom there is a metallic sphere which probably belonged to a signaling buoy.This is a rarely visited site during our regular operation.
The anchor | Dive site for all divers
Our second place in our list of Caño Island diving sites is El Ancla. El Ancla is a place that never disappoints. On its white sand bottom, an old and rusty anchor marks the starting point of the dive 16 meters below the surface. The bottom maintains a constant depth during most of the route, increasing to a maximum of 18 meters. Blissfully located rocks create a very interesting tour. During most dives you will see whitetip sharks and turtles as well as many reef fish. Some particular animals such as the clown shrimp and the seahorse can be found there.
On very lucky days dolphins and whales have circumnavigated this point while divers were in the water. It is also possible to dive to a shallower depth following a slightly different path than usual, so this site can be enjoyed by divers of all levels and that is why it has become one of the sites we visit most frequently.
The garden | Divespot for all divers
The Garden is a fairly large site that extends mainly from south to north, with the southern part being the shallowest at about 14 meters deep and the northern part being the deepest at 18 meters. It has a permanent descent line that when you reach the bottom is right in the center of the dive site. The point gets its name from a sandy bottom where Garden Eels abound.
The schools of fish are one of the biggest attractions of this site and seeing the bigeye trevallyl change color is a spectacle of the place. Stingrays are another animal that frequents this dive site. It is possible to dive this site in a way that is safe for all participants regardless of their level. This site is also called “El Barco” or “The ship” in honor of a wreck that occurred years ago. However, since there are no remains of it currently, little by little its name has been changing and now we call it the Garden. It is one of the places we like to visit the most.
Cave | Divespot for all divers
This site owes its name to a cave that is about 14 meters deep. The cave has an entrance about two meters high and its interior extends for approximately 15 meters, so it is not very large. It is common to find sharks or other large fish inhabiting this space. In this site there are large rock formations with scattered coral colonies that rise from a sandy bottom between 7 and 12 meters deep, almost reaching the surface.
The tour takes place between the channels created by these formations where we can find small schools of reef fish, sea turtles and a few resting white tip sharks. Dives with certified participants usually end in a large rock formation located at a depth of 18 meters. We have observed manta rays on several occasions, as well as schools of cownose rays in one of its sectors. We decide whether to visit this site depending on the daily conditions.The proximity of the island means that sediments stirred up during the change of tide may affect the visibility.
The arch | Divespots for all divers
The site’s name comes from a small arch located in a rock formation at a depth of 18 meters.Diving usually begins by going through the arch and following the coastal profile of the island to the east or west depending on the conditions. Along the route there are small rock formations with some coral colonies.
You can see reef fish and quite often sea turtles. The tour runs most of the time at 18 meters, so it is not suitable for non-certified divers such as Discover Scuba Divers or PADI Open Water Diver students during their first dives.
The lighthouse | Dive site for advanced divers
Among the Caño Island diving sites there is ligthhouse. The lighthouse is a diving point that is located a little to the west of the Island and receives its name because it is located near a small lighthouse in that sector.
This site is very large and has different depths. Only the best guides can find the true attractions of this site due to its great extension and the multiple possible routes. Very particular rock formations create the perfect space for different organisms. It is possible to observe groupers and a large amount of life. On some occasions we have come to see large hammerheads and bull sharks, although these encounters are unusual.
We consider this site advanced due to its remoteness from the island. A reference line does not exist, so we do not recommend that divers surface individually. You can only visit this site by groups of divers since snorkeling is not possible. We visit the lighthouse during our advanced diving tours or when the conditions and experience of the group allow it, so the frequency of our dives there is less. If you want to know this site you can ask about our tours for advanced divers or hire a private service with us.
Devil’s Pinnacle | Dive site for advanced divers
Another one of our list of Caño Island diving sites the devi’s pinnacle. This dive site is possibly the most iconic on the entire island. It is located two and a half kilometers from the last rock in the western sector of the island. The shallowest point of Bajo del Diablo is barely 5 meters deep at low tide and descends rapidly, forming the first channel at 18 meters. From there there are different routes. It has different sand channels and very special rock formations. An experienced guide can take the group to a depth of 25 meters where the possibility of observing bull sharks increases, without being a guaranteed attraction.
A large amount of life approaches the rock formations. Schools of barracudas, giant manta rays and even pelagic fish are not uncommon at this dive site.This site does not permit snorkeling. It is advisable for groups of divers to make both the descent and the ascent to the surface together since there is no reference line available at this point.
On many occasions, the best way to start the dive is a negative entrance to avoid the surface current, since if a diver is far from the point and consumes a significant part of the air
trying to return, his dive could be terminated.
The possibility of a diver drifting into a strong ocean currenthas motivated our company to place Automatic Satellite Identification (AIS) devices on divers’ equipment when conditions so require.
We visit Bajo del Diablo during our advanced diving tours or when the conditions and experience of the group allow it during a regular tour. The frequency of our dives there is lower. If you want to know this site you can ask about our tours for advanced divers or hire a private service with us.
Advanced Diving Tours
With the intention of giving our visitors the opportunity to dive the points for advanced divers, at Costa Rica Dive and Surf we organize a tour to these sites at least once a week. If you hold an advanced diver’s license and interest you to get to know this , kindly contact us before proceeding with your reservation.