Isla Caño is now off limits as a result of bureaucracy

Isla Caño is a small island off the northern Osa Peninsula that has delighted tourists for decades as a well-preserved biological preserve open to picnicking, exploring, swimming, and snorkeling.

Almost half a year ago, the government built a couple of new toilets to accommodate the increasing influx of tourists to the southern area. But then another government agency having to do with health, said the new toilets could not be used until they had improved sewage technology. So the tourism agency, ignoring that the old toilets still worked, shut the entire island to visitors without advance notice, claiming that the health department had ordered it. The health department said that was not true that they only said the new toilets could not be used.

So since last January, tourists coming to the Osa Peninsula expecting to visit the beautiful beach on Isla Caño have been herded instead by tour operators to another beautiful beach on the mainland of Osa, Playa San Josecito. But there is a minor problem — San Josecito has no toilets or shower facilities at all! It is just a secluded beach, now inundated with tourists, and with no facilities.

The parks agency response, from the southern regional director, is to announce that they will permanently close Isla Caño to tourists, forego the thousands of dollars of park fees they have been collecting for years, ignore that the Island has a ranger facility, toilets, showers, and a beautiful beach. Why? Because they don’t want to install relatively cheap disposal technology to a couple of toilets that have already been built.

You gotta love government that allows arbitrary and capricious authority to every little bureaucrat in every ministry, the courts, law enforcement, taxation, you name it. The lady in charge of the local parks region seems to have more authority than the president or legislature. The only government official that seems to have no such authority is poor Laura Chinchilla, who is hamstrung at every attempt to run this archaic government.

John French

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