Cabuya Island is one of those enchanting spots that most people see, but few people take the time to visit. It is a place of both excitement and fear, and because it has been a cemetery for as long as anyone can remember, legend has it that at night, it is haunted by ghosts. When Spanish settlers first arrived, they witnessed an island controlled by the village shaman and this is where the natives buried their dead. The newcomers continued the tradition by keeping it a cemetery. When funerals are held at night, the participants will sometimes walk to the island holding candles and lights, creating an eerie sight seen from the hills above Cabuya, Los Cedros, Delicias, and Montezuma. It looks like lights are walking across the water!
Hike out to the Island
Check a Costa Rica Tide Chart, the local Zoom magazine always has one. At low tide, a spit of land opens up between Cabuya Island and the mainland so you can walk to the island. It’s warm under the full sun, so be prepared with a large floppy hat and lots of drinking water. Once you arrive, you can peruse the gravesites or head to what is known as one of the best snorkeling spots on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
In the transparent waters around the island, you can find big heads of hard coral, the only coral of this type on the Peninsula. The nearby protected waters of Cabo Blanco Natural Reserve ensure a nurtured marine life with puffers and an assortment of other fish, lobsters, octopus, and sea turtles. Beautiful to see but not to catch! The best spot for snorkeling is on the north side of the land, at low tide. And even without snorkeling equipment, you can see multicolored fish in the rocky pools. Cabuya – Montezuma fishermen, and visitors have high respect for our marine life. If you peek under a rock, put it back where you found it.