Cabuya Island

Cabuya Island
This is one of Costa Rica’s most special places. At low tide, a path under the waves will appear and you can walk out to the island. On the island is a cemetery, with a large mysterious gate. When a local person dies, sometimes the funeral service will be held at night, and all the attendees will carry candles across this path. It can be seen from the hills all the way to Montezuma and is a spectacularly eerie site.On the north side of the island is one of the area’s best snorkeling spots. There are many fish near this island, possibly because it’s so close to Cabo Blanco National Park, with its large protected Marine Zone, where fishing isn’t permitted.On the other side of the island, farther to the south is a great wave for surfing. The actual spot isn’t easy to see or get to. It’s in front of the Cabo Blanco rivermouth, and it takes 15 or more minutes to paddle out there. Surfers say it’s worth it, because it’s a big hollow, exciting wave known as the Secret Reef Surf Spot.

Known to be one of Cabuya Island’s best kept secrets, the Cabuya Island Surf Spot is a strong left-hand point break that is heavy populated owing to the long walked involved in the tropical sun. For those ready brave the sun, the spot can make for a fun surfing experience. To get there, keep walking to the beach from the heart of Cabuya town and at low tide the seas will part and allow visitors to walk right out to the island. The location of the break is on far right side of the island. On the left is a great snorkeling spot, but the water can be very murky much of the time.

The famous Cabuya Island Cemetery is an unusual and somewhat creepy ancient spot dating back to hundreds of years to the erstwhile Colombian era. A sight worth viewing is when funueral ceremonies take place under the star lit sky and candles light up the path along the coast. These rituals are a beautiful way to experience the essence of the island and the cemetery.  Predictably, local fishermen like to warn tourists about ghost sightings and peculiar noises they hear from the burial ground in the nocturnal hours.

On a more cheery note, Cabuya Island is not just a great final resting destination. It’s also a super snorkeling spot and it takes only about an hour to navigate the entire island with snorkeling gear from here. The reef on the lowermost tip of the Cabuya Island is one of the most superlative snorkeling spots in the region.  Visitors can also check out Playa Los Cedros, the best surf spot around Montezuma. It is a striking coastal landscape, fringed by palms and indigenous plantations, extending until the Cabuya Island. This coastline is sparsely populated and you see more pelicans and frigate birds soaring overhead than humans on the island.

At low tide visitors can walk over to the island where they enjoy the idyllic environment with excellent views of the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve. Even without snorkeling gear, visitors can view vibrantly colored fish swimming in the tide pools. In dry season there is a shorter route to Mal Pais on a 7 km dirt road above the hills. A public bus connects to Montezuma and to the entrance of the Cabo Blanco Reserve about four times a day. If an unruffled day out to a laid back yet adventure laden destination is on your list, Cabuya Island should be top of the choice.