Rainforests, powdery beaches, white-water rivers and towering volcanoes: this relaxed Central American country offers exceptional wilderness adventures in stunning landscapes.
Travel bucket list idea:
Whale-watching in the Ballena Marine National Park
Ballena Marine National Park, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica|
Humpback whales migrate to the Costa Rican Pacific from Antarctica and North America – to court and mate in the warm waters, later calving in the shallow seas of this marine national park. With near year-round visits, this is one of the best places to see humpbacks with their young in the Americas.
The Ballena Marine National Park protects the marine area around four small islands where the whales congregate. The islands have become a haven for other marine life; Olive Ridley and hawksbills turtles, boobies and pelicans, and dolphins are a common sight.
Getting there & doing it
Whale watching trips leave from Uvita village – where there are spectacular beaches. For the best views choose a small boat tour from an established operator and avoid the big agencies operating out of San José. Tours last around 3 hours.
When to do it
There are two whale migrations. Antarctic pods visit July to November and whales from North America visit December to April. Turtles nest nightly between May and November.
Tours from Uvita run daily – usually a morning departure and a lunchtime departure.
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