Whale watching Costa RicaWhale watching in Costa Rica

The Marino Ballena National Park

Tours and adventure in the southern pacific

The Marino Ballena National Park was established on 06.02.1989 as the first marine national park of Costa Rica. Gradually, the boundaries of the national park have been expanded, now the Park Marino Ballena includes 5,300 hectares of marine- side and 115 hectares of the country.

The park has been established to protect the numerous animals on the coast and to the obtain the coral reefs with their delicate ecological system (18 known coral species have been discovered). Mangrove forests that provide the birds numerous nesting sites are commonly found at the estuaries.

tour marino ballena

The Park is well known for the great possibility to see large marine mammals. Dolphins all year and twice a year whales are passing and staying in transit.
There are 3 species of Dolphins that can be observed: The common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and the pantropical spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata), which are up to 2.5 m tall, and the bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates, known as a flipper), these can grow up to 4 m long.

Whale watching is a very rare and spectacular experience that you can enjoy in the NP Marino Ballena twice. The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae, up to 18 m length) comes from mid-July to mid-October into coastal areas, because they bring up in the warm waters of her cubs until they have grown enough own fat for the winter. Therefore, it is common to see mother-child pairs.
The short-finned pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus) is a small whale of up to 8 m in length, which can be observed from December to March. However, the short-finned pilot whales are travelling only in small groups, so it is more difficult to find these.

Furthermore, you get to see large sea turtles. The green turtle (Chelonia mydas), also known as green sea turtle, is one of the most common turtle in the Pacific Ocean. The olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) is rare to see. It is considered the smallest sea turtle.

Whale watching tours are offered in the periods indicated all along the coast. We recommend choosing Uvita as a starting point. The place is centrally located; the tours are well organized, cost about $ 50 per person (incl. Entry into the national park) and they care about optimal protection of marine life.

To stay at the Whale- Coast, we recommend the Hotel Lookout in Ojochal.


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