Just two miles south of the main Candeleros anchorage, Chico offers a completely different experience: Cozy and small (1-4 boats), high rock walls and a private beach, and spectacular snorkeling, but no connectivity. You can also fish here. And you get away from the somewhat frequent honking blow-dryer westerlies that can spoil your evening in Candeleros. Too many boats pass up the chance to stay in this quiet space, feeling it’s too small, or too open to the north. If the conditions are right and it’s available, don’t miss your chance. It will quickly become one of your all-time favorites.
Wide open from the south. When approaching from the north, be careful picking your route among the Candeleros rocks 2 miles north. The caleta is quite deep until you’re half way in.
Excellent holding in 12-25 feet in sand. If you wish to leave room for other boats, the kindest way to do this is to take up position in either corner close to the beach. There are rocks along the sidewalls of the anchorage, but the bottom is wide open sand, and a larger space than it looks.
There are some poorly-defined hiking paths that can take you up the draw and clambering over the rocks for the view. Make sure to take a camera, as you’ll surely want some pics of your boat nestled in this attractive cove.
It’s rare that you can do a loop of excellent snorkeling right from the boat, but Candeleros Chico is perfect for this. Do a lap around the big block of rock that protects the cove, including a trip through the shallow gap passage. The stretch from the tip of the rock to the gap on the outside is particularly good, with colorful large sea fans, turtles, scads of fish. We have also seen a number of large octopus in this area. Hop in!
We stayed at this wonderful anchorage for three nights. It was beautiful, offered good protection, and the snorkeling was great. However, it was very disturbing to witness the local fishermen race in just before sunset in unmarked pangas to butcher dozens of rays and then toss the remains on the beach.