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Marino Ballena National Park

It is in the province of Puntarenas that you will find this park. It is located at 180 km southwest from San Jose and 18 km from Dominical.

Its purpose is to protect marine species, particularly whales that come to calve their young twice a year before migrating to the icy waters of the polar regions. The humpback whales come from the southern hemisphere to settle in the bay from July to October, while those from the northern hemisphere populate the same waters from December to April.

Aside from these giants of the seas, there are also bottlenose dolphins, olive Ridley turtles and hawksbill turtles that can be seen. The other creatures found in the waters of the park are: sponges, anemones, lobsters, malus fish, etc. Some divers report seeing graceful manta rays and hammerhead sharks. All these animals make the park contain one of the most extensive and varied marine ecosystems in Costa Rica. In fact, the park is part of a large crescent-like coral reef formed by three small islands that people call «Tres Hermanas» (three sisters); Ballena island being the largest.

The Marino Ballena National Park extends from the southern end of Playa Hermosa to the northern end of Playa Pinuela and approximately 15 km offshore.

The park’s mangrove is a true sanctuary for birds. So, by going in this mangrove, you will see, among several others: herons, frigatesand pelicans. In the forest, you will especially see howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, agoutis and green iguanas.

The animals are certainly an interesting attraction, but it is especially the Uvita beach that attracts tourists. This beach is characterized by a deposit of sands and sediments that resembles the tail of whale. The activities that can be done in this park are: swimming, kayaking, snorkelling and of course, whale and dolphin watching.

The Marino Ballena National Park was established in 1990 and covers 110 hectares of land and 5375 hectares of water which includes: beaches, mangrove estuary, lowland rain forest. You can visit it every day, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

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