Caño Island, Costa Rica
Departing early morning, you are driven from Dominical, taking the Costanera highway along the Pacific Ocean for about 90 minutes to Sierpe where you stop for breakfast. From here you take a 90 minute boat ride through the largest area of mangrove swamps in Central America to Caño Island.
The Mangroves are inhabited by crocodiles, snakes, four species of monkeys, and a great variety of birds. Once through the Sierpe River Mouth you boat past two of the most scenic areas in the country, Drake Bay and the Marenco Biological Reserve. Along the coast keep your eye out for dolphins as well as Humpback, Pilot and Killer Whales.
Caño island has great archeological significance as it was used as a cemetery and a permanent pre-columbian settlement. You can still see pottery remains and some almost perfectly round stone spheres made by the Indians.
The central 90m-high planteau is covered in very tall evergreen forest, basically consisting of enormous cow trees (brosimum utile), also known as the milk tree because of the white latex it exudes and which can be drunk.
Once you arrive at the island you can snorkel for an hour in the crystal clear waters, followed by a tasty picnic lunch. There are several options for the second part of the trip: 1) Hike up the trails to the archeological cemetery where your guide will tell you about the significance of the stone spheres. 2) more snorkeling or 3) relax on the beach; as you prefer.