Gliding along in the tranquil water with just the sound of air bubbles to break the silence, you’ll experience an ever-changing panorama of underwater landscapes, brilliantly colored reefs and marine life of all sizes, shapes and colors.

Just south of the Costa Ballena is Caño Island National Park, an area of translucent turquoise waters that reveal pristine and virgin corals and reefs swarming with sea life: over 100 species of fish, turtles, dolphins, moray eels, manta rays, white tip reef sharks, stingrays, mollusks, crustaceans, starfish, barracuda, tuna, snapper, parrot fish, puffers and even occasional whale sharks, silky sharks, giant bull sharks, and humpback whales.

Caño island is an underwater sanctuary for all marine life with excellent underwater visibility that can exceed 80 feet. There are caves, arches, ledges and reefs that span from 16 to 100 feet, with a healthy population of coral-building organisms. You will see giant schools of pelagic fish, rock pinnacles adorned by elegant sea fans, white tip reef sharks resting in small caves, huge black, volcanic rocks and tidal pools.

For scuba divers, there are three dive sites of particular note:

  1. Los Arcos (the arches), that has arches shaped by volcanic rock formations. Circulating through the rocks and coral are white tip reef sharks and schools of sport and reef fish.
  2. El Barco (the shipwreck) that contains rock formations that suggest shipwrecks (but no actual shipwreck) that harbor hard coral, sea fans, sharks, puffers, parrot fish, angel fish, and dozens of species of colorful, small tropical fish.
  3. Farther north of the Costa Ballena, the Tortuga Island area is popular for actual ship wrecks.

Other notable dive sites include El Diablo (the Devil), El Paraiso (Paradise), and Cueva del Tiburon (Sharks’ cave).

PADI scuba diving instruction and certification is available in 3-4 towns along the coast for beginners looking to explore deep water.