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Cano Island National Park Biological Reserve, Costa Rica

Cano Island National Park is located off of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. It is popular among travelers because of its beaches, coral reefs, and marine life. The money they get from visitors and donations is used to help the reef to stay alive.

Where is Cano Island National Park?

16 km (9 miles) offshore from Drake Bay in the Puntarenas Province

How big is it?

200 terrestrial ha. (494 acres)
2700 maritime ha. (6669 acres)

A beach in Cano island, costa rica

Did you Know?

Cano Island is both a biological and archaeological preserve.
– It is rated as one of the top places in the world to go diving.
– It has five platforms of low coral reef which are excellent for diving and snorkeling.
– Cano Island is the exposed part of an underwater mountain that was driven upwards by an ancient collision of two tectonic plates.
– The Diquis Indians lived here and had a commercial trading post on the Pacific coast around 220-800 A.D.
– You can take a guided hike to their cemetery marked by granite spheres.

Activities in Cano Island

– You can only get here on day tours from Drake Bay, Sierpe, Puerto Jimenez, or Dominical.
– Snorkeling and scuba diving
– Whale and dolphin viewing
– Guided hikes to see the archeological sites


There are trails along the island, so you can explore it easily. One trail leads you to scenic overlooks and the archeological sites


The entire island is surrounded by beaches. However, the only one open to the public is the main beach in front of the ranger station.

Flora and Fauna

– Four-eyed opossum
– Paca
– Boa constrictor
– Brown tree frog
– Transparent tree frog
– Rats
– Bats
– Small snakes
– Lizards
– Cattle egret
– Common black hawk
– Osprey
– Brown bobby
– Northern phalarope


Marine Life

– Large schools of fish – blackjack, barracudas, snapper, rainbow fish
– White-tipped reef sharks
– King angel
– Moorish Idol
– Puffers
– Surgeonfish
– Barberfish
– Parrotfish
– Damsels
– Eels
– Manta rays
– Sea turtles
– Jew fish
– Hammerhead sharks
– Whale sharks

Plant life

– Locust
– Wild fig
– Wild cocoa
– Rubber trees
– Wild strangler
– Cow trees
– Ferns
– Trumpet trees
– 158 other plant species

How do I Get To Cano Island?

You can only get here by boat and only on a guided tour.

As you can see this biological reserve has potential for becoming a fun day of adventure, discovery, and learning during your Costa Rican Vacation.

Cano Island National Park, Costa Rica

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