The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – This week marks the start of the VI Festival of Whales and Dolphins in the South Pacific of Costa Rica, an activity that has boosted the economy in the area.

Humpback whales, spotted and bottlenose dolphins, and sea turtles are some of the species that can be observed in Bahia Ballena area for the festival, which will begin on Friday and run for the next two weeks.

“The Marino Ballena National Park at this time of year becomes a natural sanctuary that protects whales during reproduction, giving an impressive show,” said the Costa Rican Tourism Minister, Wilhelm von Breymann, at a press conference.

According to the minister, whale and dolphin watching has exploded in Costa Rica in recent years, which is reflected in the number of foreign tourists, tripling from 43,302 in 2010 to 131,373 in 2013.

“Visitation has been increasing in recent years. There are also many Costa Ricans who join in the sightseeing, which amounts to about 9,000 people,” said Von Breymann.

Humpback whales visit Costa Rican waters between July and October, however, the next two weeks is when you will see the most.

The whales come to breed in the South Pacific due to the ideal shallow depths and warm temperature that they require.

This species is considered one of the largest animals in the world, which, as adults, have a length ranging from 14 to 17 meters and can weigh up to 45 tons.

“These whales are found in all parts of the world, but the difference is that in Costa Rica populations from both North America and South America come to the same area to ​​breed,” said the representative of the Costa Rican Coalition for the Whales, Frank Garita.

In addition to the whale and dolphins, tourists can enjoy special activities like sand sculptures, mountain biking, and photo exhibits, among others.  To learn more about all the festivals in Costa Rica, check out this events calendar.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose, Costa Rica