Isla del Caño adventure

Dominical e Isla del Caño
20 al 22 de Junio, 2011
Manuel Antonio a Dominical: 40 min
Dominical a Isla del Caño: 1.5 hs en auto, 1.5 hs en lancha

Camino a Dominical pasamos por la playa de Matapalo, una playa muy amplia pero con corrientes fuertes. Después de jugar un rato y meternos al agua salimos para Dominical. Los chicos estuvieron en la pileta, jugando al golf y mirando polo. Al día siguiente fuimos a la playa Uvita, en el parque Marino Ballena y almorzamos en un restaurante con vista a los manglares. El último día fuimos a la Isla del Caño. La Isla del Caño es uno de los mejores lugares para hacer buceo, y también hay buen snorkeling. Para llegar a la isla, llegamos a Sierpe y desde ahí tomamos una lancha que nos llevó por el río Sierpe (que desemboca en el mar) pasando por los manglares. Hasta ese momento, veníamos muy tranquilos disfrutando el paisaje. Pero al llegar a la desembocadura del río en el pacífico la cosa se puso más complicada. Ibamos en contra del oleaje, y las olas eran bastante altas, psique la lancha se movió mucho, dando saltos bastante altos. Más tarde nos enteramos que esas eran las olas más grandes de Costa Rica! Ahí las caritas de todos cambiaron un poco, entre nerviosos y asustados. M estaba llorando pidiendo volver al hotel. Fueron sólo 5 minutos, pero bien moviditos. Al pasar la desembocadura, el mar estaba picadillo, porque se venía una tormenta. Después de un rato, se calmó bastante y vimos una tortuga nadando cerca nuestro, y delfines. Finalmente llegamos a la isla, donde abu Deli y M se bajaron en la playita, T, L y Abu Carlos siguieron en la lancha para hacer snorkel y E se fue a hacer buceo. Vimos muchos pececillos, de muchos colores, grandes y chiquitos. T estaba con el guía y vieron un tiburón. E también vio muchos peces, tiburones, pulpos y tortugas. Después de almorzar en la playa, T volvió a hacer más snorkeling y vio un pez globo, y E volvió por más buceo. Al rato todos subimos a la lancha para volver, un poco asustados porque sabíamos que había que llegar al río nuevamente. Pero la vuelta fue más fácil, la lancha se metió entre dos olas grandes y llegamos casi surcando al río. Ya todos más relajados, disfrutamos el camino de regreso por el río donde vimos varios monos de cara blanca (capuchinos), un perezoso y muchos cocodrilos.

Dominical and Isla del Caño

I wish we had pictures for some of the things we saw these past few days. First was the most spectacular sunset I’ve ever seen. We arrived in Dominical on the southern pacific coast in the afternoon and strolled to the beach to find the persistent clouds of the rainy season on the horizon. As the sun was setting behind the clouds, the patches of blue sky and the face of the clouds transitioned between shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. The colors appeared smooth and at times sharp like rays that filtered through the clouds. By far the most dramatic sunset I’ve ever seen, no matter we didn’t see the sun. We stood petrified until the last bit of color disappeared.
We also don’t have pictures of the most thrilling (nerve-racking really) part of our visit to Isla del Caño. This island off the south pacific coast of Costa Rica is known as one of the best sites for scuba diving in the country. E wanted to go diving and everyone else came along for some snorkeling. César from Southern Expeditions picked us up at 6 am for a 1.5 hour van ride to Sierpe, a small town from where boats leave for Drake Bay and Isla del Caño. We had a quick breakfast, checked our scuba and snorkeling equipment and jumped onto a small motorboat for a 40 minute ride through the Sierpe river and another 40 minutes on open sea to Isla del Cano. We were the only ones on the boat (another three divers had cancelled the night before) in addition to the captain, an unassuming young man, César, a dive master and a helper. We started off very fast through the river, the captain expertly swerving to avoid the logs and plants that were scattered along the way. The wide river is lined by mangroves and we went into a tight canal to appreciate them closely, this time moving slowly. When we were approaching the ocean César explained that the transition from the river can be rough so we should put all cameras away and hold on tight. Our faces turned to disbelief when we saw a line of huge waves breaking vigorously. The waves must have been at least 10 feet high and probably not appropriate for surfing because of how strong they were. To one side of the river, right on the line where the waves were breaking, there were huge rocks sticking out of the sea that acted a bit like a shield so the captain made its way there, idling at times waiting for the right moment to go ahead at full speed for a few seconds and repeating. We waited, rocking a few feet away from the rocks, for a string of ‘small’ waves to make the crossing.The captain somewhat magically made it out to sea and the rest of the trip seemed like an easy ride. The captain later told us that the day before a boat was attempting to cross for an hour and we later learned that these are the hardest waves to cross in Costa Rica.
Abu Carlos had a bright smile throughout the event, clearly enjoying the thrill. Abu Deli’s face is hard to describe (not so hard really, but I won’t describe it): she was not happy. On the way to the island we saw a few dolphins and a lonely turtle. We dropped Abu Deli and M at the Island so they could take a break.
The first dive was at Barco Hundido. A boat that was later salvaged gave the name to this site. Visibility was about 30 feet but enough to see lots of marine life including a turtle, several octopuses (the spots were marked with shells), lobsters, many white tipped reef sharks lounging on the sand, mora eels, manta rays, and lots of smaller reef fish (bicolor parrotfish, chancho surgeonfish, mexican hogfish, spinster wrasse, etc). Meanwhile T, L and abu Carlos were snorkeling nearby. Abu Carlos and L went together and T went with César, our guide, who showed him how to snorkel for the first time in open sea. T did great and got to see a shark and plenty of fish. We had a picnic lunch on the island and E and T went for a second dive and snorkeling session, while the rest stayed. The visibility this time was at the most 10 feet and we wandered around but didn’t find too much relative to the first dive. T had a lot of fun again and saw a pez globo (pufferfish).
The return trip was much easier and we rode the entrance to the river between two big waves. On the way to Sierpe we spotted lots of crocodiles and monkeys. An action-packed day!

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5 responses to “Isla del Caño adventure

  1. Pingback: Llegamos!!! – That’s all folks… | M.E.L.T. America

  2. menos mal no pusieron la foto cuando el capitan me depositó en el barquito a la vuelta, si no flor de papelón jaja!!!

  3. jajajajja..buenisimos relatos!! ( supuesto!)..impresionante lugar y aventura!..que grandes esos chicos!!..cuantas cosas que nunca se olvidaran! besos para todos!

  4. Guauuuuu cuanta aventura! Quiero que la abuela Deli de su opion con respecto a la lancha!!! Jaaaa pobre… Casi muere del susto!
    Me encantaron las fotos! Besos a los cuatro!

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