Monday, February 24
Today we went on a snorkeling tour to Cano Island (pronounced Can-yo). It’s a small, uninhabited island that is very popular for snorkeling and scuba diving. It’s about 16 km from the shore and it took about 45 minutes to get there. We were very lucky to have the same tour guide we had for our tour of Corcovado park.
From our beach you can see Cano island in the distance….
We had two snorkeling stops. It wasn’t amazing but I did see a sea snake, a stingray, a turtle and lots of small fish. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary in the South Pacific and did a lot of snorkeling there (which was absolutely amazing), so it’s pretty hard to impress us now.
After our first snorkel stop we spent some time on the island. Our guide told us about Cano Island’s history and showed us some relics from the island, some of which she had discovered herself.
We had some free time so Mike decided we should take the path up the small mountain. We weren’t really wearing the right kind of footwear, but Mike insisted on dragging me up to the top.
The view made the hike worthwhile!
We had a bit of time left to walk down the beach and admire all the rock formations. Much of the rock we saw here and on the mainland was volcanic in nature.
The day we visited there were two big ships anchored offshore. We were told they were both owned by some rich guy. The white boat was his private yacht that he lived on and the black ship contained all his toys- smaller boats, his helicopter etc.
We made one more stop for snorkeling. At this spot we had a close encounter with a turtle. You are supposed to give turtles some distance. When I lifted my head out of the water there was a turtle right beside me. I tried to warn Mike but he was swimming towards me and came up under the turtles fin. The turtle didn’t seem to care…
Back at our hotel we saw these Scarlet Macaws. In Costa Rica they are mostly found here on the Osa Peninsula. They can live over 60 years in the wild. Their numbers in the wild have been hurt by the illegal pet trade but with some breeding programs their numbers may improve.
In the evening we went out for a night tour. Our two guides pointed out different types of bugs and frogs along the trail. The plan was to arrive at dusk at a cave said to hold thousands of bats. As dusk settled in we saw them start to come out in search of their evening meal. At times we felt like we should duck because we could feel the breeze when they flew by us.
Part of the hike was a bit dramatic as one of the guides took a step backwards and started to slide down a cliff. Fortunately she was able to grab a hold of a tree root and then Mike and the other guide hauled her back up.
Bat cave, Stick bug, Green Tree Frog, Wandering Gecko
We learned something that I would have preferred not to know – if you shine a flashlight at a spider it’s eyes will glow. We had to cross some grass and I shone my flashlight over the area and saw hundreds of tiny lights. I assumed it was from dew on the grass but as I took a closer look they were indeed spiders eyes. It was a bit unnerving! We finished the evening with a late dinner and then made our way back to our cabin. We kept the flashlight trained in front of us so we could pretend there weren’t any spiders near us.
Fun Fact: Costa Rica is very environmentally conscious. Over 25% of the country is reserved for national parks or preserves.