A Cano Island snorkel tour makes a perfect day for family and friends
Picturesque Marino Ballena National Park is the launching spot for one of Costa Rica’s most incredible snorkel and dive tours.
From the park, home to the world-famous Whale’s Tail reef, you’ll navigate beautiful blue water by boat before arriving at Cano Island, an enchanting open-ocean spot with plenty of pre-Columbian history. (Read here about the stone spheres that have been found on the island and elsewhere in southern Pacific Costa Rica).
Your experienced, bilingual snorkel and dive instructors can have you swimming face-to-face with spectacular reef fish, sea stars, sponges, barracudas, eels, puffer fish, manta rays, sea turtles, dolphins and non-threatening reef sharks. They’ll take you to coral patches that are as vibrant and colorful as a Vincent van Gogh painting and, if you’re really lucky, you might even spot a humpback whale or two during the trip.
A Cano Island snorkel tour can be a perfect day for family and friends. The crew can accommodate groups of all sizes. For the most current tour prices consult our Tour Guide here. Snorkel tours begin at 7 a.m. and return by 4 p.m. There will be coffee and pastries at the office when you arrive in the morning, and snacks, drinks, fruit, and lunch will be served throughout the day. A picnic lunch is served on the sand in traditional, vegetarian or gluten-free style. Just make sure to let the tour operator know your food preference beforehand.
All of the dive tours are led by a fabulous crew of certified Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). They are men and women with years of experience in local waters.
Preparing for your Costa Rica Dive Tour
Before you can enjoy the beauty of open-ocean diving in Central America, however, you must receive the proper training and certification. That must take years to complete, right? Not at all. In fact, if you aren’t already a certified diver, you can choose between doing a half-day certification course or a full-day course prior to your open-ocean dive. Certified divers must supply a valid driving license to bypass the training sessions. If you do not have a current dive license in your possession but are a member of PADI, the dive shop can verify your information online.
The half-day course, called a “resort course,” is done at a local hotel pool. The resort course takes 2 hours to complete. You’ll learn all basic dive training during this class.
To become a fully-certified PADI diver, you’ll need to participate in an “open-water course.” This course takes a full day to complete, with some of the training taking part at sea. With the proper tools, knowhow and training to become a successful diver, you and your crew are ready to choose between a half-day dive or a full-day dive adventure.
Half or Full Day Snorkel Tour Costa Rica
Half-day tours leave Uvita at 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The tour duration is about 4 hours and includes two dives near Marino Ballena National Park and the Whale’s Tail reef. Fruit, snacks and water are provided, as is all the necessary dive equipment. Full-day tours also leave from Uvita at 7:30 a.m. The full-day dive tour doesn’t return until 4 p.m. Of the two dives you’ll take part in on the full-day tour, one comes off the coast of Cano Island. The boat ride to Cano Island is about 1.5 hours. On these tours, divers can reach a depth of 100 feet if the conditions are right.
When preparing to participate in any dive-instruction course, open-ocean dive or snorkel tour, always be sure to pack plenty of sunblock, a hat and possibly an extra pair of swim trunks as well as a shirt you can wear to help fend off the midday sun. All diving and snorkel tours also include the national park fee in their price. Because the Costa Rican government limits the number of visitors to Cano Island to 100 per day, it’s important to give us a few days’ notice when considering booking any of the aforementioned open-ocean adventures.
Please contact Stephen at [email protected] for more info or to reserve a snorkel or dive tour for your group.