Local news and opinion reaching the communities of nosara, samarA and Nicoya
Log in |
Return to homepage
home regional community sports entertainment surf nature health en Espaņol English
     
Archives
December 09
January 2010
February 2010
Water Edition
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 10
October 10
November 10
December 10
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 11
October 11
November 11
December 11
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 12
October 12
November 12
December 12
January 13
February 13
March 13
April 13
May 13
 
Media
Partners
  El Pais
  Inside Costa Rica
  Costa Spirit
  Q Costa Rica
  Today Costa Rica
  El Sabanero
connect
FaceBook
Twitter
 
CLASSIFIEDS
 
community
  Nosara Animal Care
   
  Nosara Info
   
Esquelita de Nosara
  Friends of Nosara
   
  Nosara Civic Association
  Nosara
Wildlife

Charm of Samara's Desolate Island

written By Arianna McKinney
Photos by Pinar Istek


Ticos Surf and Tours Guide Sandro Obando reported that as he was kayaking to the island with a tour group on January 17th they had a rare sighting of 15 dolphins and two small whales right in front of the island.

Day after day I would look across the ocean toward the little island off Samara beach and wonder what it would be like to be there, until I just had to go check it out myself.

It turns out the tiny island is significant enough to have been declared a National Wildlife Refuge (Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre) on May 20, 2002. Isla Chora lies some 300 meters off Punta Indio (Indian Point) at the southern end of Samara Beach toward Carrillo. It encompasses four hectares or 40,000 square meters (9.884 acres). Gerardo Martinez, Head of Minaet’s Nicoya office, said that the island is home to at least six species of trees and eleven types of birds as well as various reptiles, snakes and raccoons.



It’s all well and good to see it from a distance and let the curiosity rise for its mystery. However, I still wanted to actually go there. Thus, I made arrangements to kayak out to the island one morning with Sandro Obando, a guide from Ticos Surf and Tours. As we set out, the first couple of waves splashed on us. Past the break, we were finally paddling out toward our designated destination.


Stony beach of Isla Chora
 

Pablo Sanchez of Ticos Surf and Tours mentioned the island is 1.3 miles (about 2km) from central Samara beach, a trip that takes about a half-hour kayaking trip. The time passed quickly and the island loomed larger as we got closer. Waves swell in front of it and I wondered if we would kayak through them, but instead we paddled beyond their reach around the back of the island. Large rocks jut up around the island and waves crashing against them with a creation a dramatic performance of intense water ballet.

Obando spotted a whale as we rounded the backside of the island. When I turned around, hoping to see it, it was already too late. He saw the shadow of it passing underwater and said it’s a good thing that it didn’t surface or it might have knocked us over. I don’t know how seriously to take him, but I wouldn’t have minded getting dumped for the chance to see a whale up close in the ocean.

He then told me that in January he saw fifteen dolphins and two small whales while taking a group to the island, but that was unusual. However, he said it isn’t unusual to see sea turtles while snorkeling in the reefs around the island.

As we came up along the south side of the island, I saw two boats, one crossing to the other side of the channel and another anchored just offshore from the island with people getting ready to snorkel. Isla Chora is surrounded by reefs, making it an ideal place to snorkel when the ocean is calm and clear. Sanchez estimates that you can see at least 20 types of colorful fish around the island, along with shellfish, lobsters and octopus.

The island’s small beach of white sand stretched out before us and we pulled the kayak onto the island. Round gray stones were shining wet in the sun along the edge of the beach. I stepped back into the water to take a picture of the island and saw dozens of little fish swimming in unison around my ankles. Beyond the white sand, the interior of the island rises sharply, dotted with tall straight trees.

Additionally, if you can take a careful look at the beach, you will be amazed with the number of small crabs, conquering Isla Chora in and out of their shells. While the population is concentrated around the rocks, it is still a good to watch your step all over the beach.

   
 
   

Sandy part of the beach is quite small. The rest is covered with rocks. They are not too sharp that you can actually walk on them and explore the island more.
 
   

Going for a walk around the beach might get you find some hidden tunnels like this. It can be fun place to play around with you infants.
 

Some might dare to climb onto the rocky interior of the island. However, Sanchez warned that people should dress appropriately and use gloves since snakes hide in the rocks. From the top, he said you can see as far as Malpais and also can find the remains of a water tank and the foundation where a house stood there some 20 years ago. Because there was no water on the island in the summer, the house was abandoned. As much as I would love to see the panoramic views from the top, I wasn’t dressed for hiking. I had to be stuck at the beach.

Sometimes people camp on Isla Chora’s beach when the tides are low during dry season, generally December through April. Furthermore, Sanchez said that visitors sometimes make arrangements to swim the 1.3 miles distance to the island with someone kayaking along with them. Those who have done it claim it’s easy because there are usually no currents. Whether you decide to take a boat, kayak or swim, an a visit to Isla Chora is certainly refreshing.

 

More Entertainment News

A Symphonic Touch at Playa Carrillo
Classical Music by The Youngest and The First Orchestra of Guanacaste

“We are neither the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra nor the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. But we are proud to be the first symphonic orchestra of Guanacaste,” said Juan Luis Guevara Mora, the conductor of the 25th of July Symphony Orchestra of Nicoya. More >

Caricaco Music Fest Rocks Harder in its Third Year

Nosara’s own music festival, Caricaco, in its third year at the hilltop retreat Tierra Magnifica, showed that three times is a charm with a strong lineup of bands and professionally managed venue. More >

Saint Patrick day at the Black Sheep pub
An Irish Tradition Celebrated In Nosara

St. Patrick's Day was celebrated on March 17th at Black Sheep Pub with the participation of tens of Nosara residents and visitors. As the tradition requires, the color of the night was green. More >

Art that Illuminates

Local artists were given an opportunity to show their talent amid a festive setting at the Honali Beach House restaurant March 12, with featured artist Sam Schwartz showing his illuminated hand-blown glass orbs that floated mystically in the restaurant pool. More >

Light Shining On Hypnotizing Fingertips

Arjuna an archer in the Mahabharata, a Hindu epic, succeeded in hitting the eye of a wooden fish that was rotating over a reflective pool of oil. He aimed only by looking at the fish's reflection in the pool and in doing so he awed his spectators. This victory won the peerless archer the hand of his first wife, Draupadi. More >

Interview with Krishna Das
A Cup of Tea with KD

(Feb. 23) A spirited and fully engaged crowd of about 220 people was sprawled around the hardwood floors of the top level yoga studio at Blue Spirit Thursday night. All eyes and ears were on Krishna Das, a man commonly called the "rock star of chanting." Haven't heard of him? Chances are you've at least heard him if you've been to a yoga class in the last five years. He's almost always on the playlist. More >

The Cymbals Toll For The Gods’ Names

Hemingway addressed the fatuity of war in his book For Whom The Bell Tolls, a title quoted from a sermon of John Donne, an English poet, writer and priest from 16th century. The bells tolled not for one, but for all. We, humans, are all interconnected as he emphasized. More + Slideshow >

Support From the Community For the Community

“If we didn’t have the community’s support, we would have to close the library tomorrow,” Beverly Kitson said during an annual fundraising event for Biblioteca David Kitson. She is the administrative director of the library. More >

Satisfy Your Musical Gluttony

As March, the month of Mars, Roman god of war, is insidiously approaching to conquest 31 days of the year, hunger for good music start to bug the ears. Those of you, who are craving for some locally prepared melodies, got lucky again. Caricaco Music Festival that you already tasted twice in the past years is on its way to Playa Guiones for a third shot. More >

March Astrology Report

Loving Venus moves into Aquarius on the 3rd, reminding us to allow space in our togetherness. Value freedom and independence in your connection, and watch them bloom. Take a moment to appreciate how you fit into your greater community, and how you can help to enrich the world around you. More >

Contact us: NOSARA [email protected] / PUBLICITY and ADVERTISING [email protected]
Copyright 2012© The Voice of Nosara