Bahia Ballena is a pristine beach located on the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica in an area called Costa Ballena and is one of the best places in the country to enjoy a wide variety of natural attractions and exotic wildlife.

Bahía Ballena is the fifth district of the Osa canton, on the coast of the southwestern Pacific of Costa Rica. The district has an area of 160.76 km² and has an estimated population of 6000 inhabitants (2019). Its main town is Uvita, on the beach of the same name.

Bahia Ballena occupies a narrow coastal strip between the Pacific Ocean and the  “Brunqueña”. Its beaches have strong waves suitable for surfing. In this district is the Ballena National Marine Park, which has an area of 110 hectares of land and 5,375 hectares of sea. It has towns like Villa Uvita, Bahía Ballena, Cambutal, Dominical, Dominicalito, Stairs, Piñuela, Playa Hermosa, Quebrada Grande, San Josecito, San Martín and Tortuga Arriba.

Ballena Marine National Park

Located between the cities of Piñuela and Uvita, Bahia Ballena beach is part of the great Marino Ballena National Park. The largest marine reserve in the country, which was created in 1990, was named for its humpback whales that are frequently present in its waters. Visitors are more likely to see these magnificent creatures between December and March of each year when they migrate through the adjacent bay. Dolphins also swim in the ocean near the beach, and it is very common for travelers in the area to observe these incredible creatures that play and splash on the coast.

In addition to whales and dolphins, the sea near Playa Bahia Ballena is full of other interesting creatures that inhabit the ocean. The Ballena Marine National Park is home to several rocky coral reefs, and tourists can see the underwater life very closely on a diving excursion.

Beaches of the Marino Ballena National Park

The beaches here are quiet and deserted because they are protected just like the national parks, so they are serene and perfect to explore. Because the waves here can be a bit dangerous in open water, small pools created by strong sea currents have been formed that are rather safe for those who wish to take a dip. Golden sand beaches, rocky shores, and beautiful coral reefs are just some of the reasons why travelers and locals visit this area. There are also several islands where you can surf.

There are four beaches in the park: Bahia Ballena Beach, Pinuela Beach, Colonia Beach, and Uvita Beach. With the main park guard station located in Bahía Ballena Beach. One of the most popular activities, in addition to whale watching, is diving along the beaches . The Ballena Marine National Park has 18 coral species, making it one of the largest coral formations in the country. Within the park, visitors can dive through eight coral reefs that include species such as Stony Coral, Cauliflower Coral, and Star Coral Column.

Getting to Bahía Ballena

People who wish to visit this beautiful National Park can arrive from San Jose by car or flying using the domestic Quepos Airport. From the city of Quepos, the Costanera Sur road is well paved and is about 67 kilometers long. You can drive directly from San José, which will take approximately 3 hours.

Adventure activities in Playa Bahia Ballena

For those who are less interested in wildlife, Playa Bahia Ballena is a great destination for several different adventure activities. Visitors enjoy horseback riding or kayaking, and the beach is one of Costa Rica’s best destinations for people who are learning to surf. Thanks to a sandbar in the north and a series of islands to the south, the beach is completely protected from strong sea currents. Beginner surfers can practice and improve their skills on quieter smaller waves. Surfers should be alert to dangers from manta rays and jellyfish. Surfing at Bahia Ballena Beach is best during medium-high tides between June and September.

For those who prefer more tranquil activities, horseback riding is available on the beach or you can spend a pleasant quiet afternoon just sunbathing. Most people stop at Bahia Ballena Beach when exploring the Ballena Marine National Park.

Many interesting animals also live on the land near Bahia Ballena Beach, being home to nesting colonies of several exotic bird species, including magnificent frigates and blue-footed boobies. Large groups of green iguanas and lizards can also be seen running through the sand, and the beach seems to come alive every day when hermit crabs enter and exit the water.

Where to stay in Bahía Ballena

Playa Ballena cannot be described as a town, but rather as a beach destination with lodges and the beautiful hotels of Puntarenas. Ranging from small exclusive complex within walking distance of the Ballena Beach to luxury villas; where you will enjoy the comfort and natural beauty.

resonance, coworking Costa Rica
At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. We are co-creating an inspired and integrative community, committed to working, living and learning together. We resonate with that deep longing to belong to the hive and the desire to live the highest version of ourselves in service.