Marino Ballena National forest (straight equated to marine whale national forest in English) in Uvita is among the best locations to go whale viewing in Costa Rica. Humpback whales are typically seen in the waters as both Southern and northern humpback whales go through this location, providing Costa Rica the longest humpback whale watching season worldwide.
Ballena National Marine Park is among the most special reserves in Costa Rica. Found only offshore along the Central Pacific coast in South Puntarenas, the Ballena National Marine Park safeguards more than 13,000 acres of ocean and 9 miles of shoreline. Consisted of mangrove forests, reef, and perfect beaches, the national forest is one for tourists who wish to see vulnerable wildlife while leaving the stress of daily life.
Marino Ballena National forest is called after the Humpback Whales that move here each year from December to April to mate before going back to the freezing waters to the north.
And one genuinely intriguing quirk of nature is the so-called whale tail that sticks out into the Pacific Ocean on Costa Rica’s Southern Pacific Coast. This colossal rock and sand spread not just has the unique shape of a whale’s tail, however, is situated in the precise area where hundreds of humpback whales gather each year.
Even though it is among the youngest national forests in the nation, it is preferred for visitors searching for a low key beach and jungle experience as it has several lovely beaches surrounded by spectacular natural landscapes. It also has the most exclusive and unique attributes of all the national forests in Costa Rica, a beach formed like a whale’s tail, created by the union of 2 different beaches!
Here are our suggestions for visiting this park. This post has actually been upgraded on July 15, 2020.
About Marino Ballena National Forest
Developed in 1990, Parque Nacional Marino Ballena safeguards 110 hectares of land, 5,400 hectares (13,345 acres) of water, and the biggest reef in the Pacific coast of Central America. With over 14 kilometers (8.6 miles) of shoreline backed by lavish jungle-covered mountains, Marino Ballena National forest is among the most stunning locations in Costa Rica.
Marino Ballena National Forest stays in Puntarenas province, 16 km (10 miles) south of Dominical and 180 km (112 miles) SW of San Jose. There are 4 sectors of the park: Uvita, Colonia, Ballena, and Piñuela. Uvita is the most popular one with a parking area right in front of the ticket workplace, a significant roadway directly to the car park, restaurants, and restrooms at the entryway.
If you are using Waze, go into “Parque Nacional Marino Ballena” and look for “Entrada sector Uvita.” They charged around 2-4,000 Costa Rican colones (~ USD 3-8) per day last time.
If you searching on Google Maps, there isn’t a choice for the Uvita sector; however, you can set “Parqueo Bahia” as your location. To get to the Uvita sector, you do not require a 4wd or 4 × 4.
Gain to access
The cool feature of Uvita’s whale tail is that it can be taken pleasure in from various viewpoints. Here are the 3 finest ones:
The Bird’s Eye View
The very first way to captivate in the whale tail is from above. Because the Costa Ballena area has high mountains extremely close to the ocean, you can see the fin-shaped sandbar from the terraces of lots of holiday permits, hotels, and B&B s, or even from various areas along the mountain roadways. One simple place to see it is from the dirt roadway near Rancho La Merced (on the highway directly north of Uvita).
Particularly at low tide, snorkeling can be excellent from the coast but take care of rip tides and currents. Dive journeys are offered to the islands. Beachcombing is rewarding here, particularly when the water declines far enough to allow you to go out to Punta Uvita Tombolo. This little island is gradually recovered to the land as sand and particles deposit to form a land bridge.
Humpback whales, green marine iguanas, bottle-nosed and typical dolphins, Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtles, corals, sponges, polyps, lobsters, trunkfish, frigate birds, brown footed boobies, pelicans, ibises.
When to Check out?
There are 2 whale migrations to calve in the warm waters of Marino Ballena. Antarctic households get here in July and leave in November. Their northern cousins from California and Canada can be found in December and go in April.
The Central Pacific is driest from mid-December to about June; however, generally, the rainy season isn’t as significant here as more south.