Uvita, Costa Rica is one of Southern Costa Rica’s finest gems. This beachside town is complete with all the necessary components of a successful Costa Rican experience: gorgeous national park + amazing wildlife encounters + unbelievable natural formations + strong community of other foreigners + really really good food.
Uvita is conveniently located within an hour’s radius of other Southern Costa Rica hotspots, like, San Isidro del General, Playa Dominical, and Manuel Antonio. It’s a small town that’s part of a larger area known as the Costa Ballena. The Costa Ballena is made of three main towns: Uvita, Dominical, and Ojochal. While everyone should explore these unique spots at some point, Uvita, Costa Rica’s got so much to offer that it’s possible to plan an entire getaway to this beach town alone.
Every corner of Uvita is worth exploring, but there are a few spots that would simply be a crime to miss out on. A trip to Uvita, Costa Rica is incomplete without having experienced these four iconic things to do:
Uvita, Costa Rica: 4 Things You Shouldn’t Miss
1. The Whale’s Tail
Que the mindblowing natural formation that makes you reconnect with nature in an entirely new way. The Whale’s Tail is perhaps the single most iconic feature in Uvita, Costa Rica. This segment of beach juts out from the shores edge perfectly forming the shape of a whale’s tail, baffling and delighting travelers. The beach’s shape is 100% naturally formed due to the opposing forces of the currents that push against the barrier reef from either side.
The unusual thing about the Whale’s Tail, however, is that these waters are famous for the teems of humpback whales that migrate through every December through April and every August through December. It’s almost as if nature is shouting out a tribute to these incredible creatures in her own unique way.
During low tide, the full formation of the tail is revealed, and you can walk all the way out to the edge. The best way to get the full scope of this incredible natural formation is from the vantage point of a bird’s eye view. Drive up the surrounding mountainous terrain, or go to one of the many hotels or restaurants that boast views of the whale-shaped coastline.
You can walk to the Whale’s Tail from the inside of the Marino Ballena National Park. (Keep reading for more information on the park.)
2. Envision Festival
Each year the most talented artists, entertainers, yogis, and healers from around the globe clear out Uvita’s beaches to put on the most spectacular festival of creative expression you’ll ever see. Sweeping up festival-goers in a whirl of life and color, The Envision Festival is the single most exuberant thing you could do in Uvita, Costa Rica.
It takes place each year sometime around February & March, with the exact date changing year to year. The number of attendees has grown exponentially over the years so you’ll want to be sure you plan well in advance.
Check out Our Ultimate Guide To The Envision Festival, and go ahead and clear out your calendar now. You’ll be glad you did. 🙂
3. Marino Ballena National Park
The Marino Ballena National Park isn’t the largest National Park in Costa Rica, yet in no way does it lack significance or beauty. What makes this national park unique is that the vast majority of the park is oceanic! Of the 13,570 acres making up the Marino Ballena National Park, a whopping 13,300 of them are in the ocean, and just 270 of them are on the land.
The park’s entrance fee for foreigners is $6, and parking cost $4. It’s open every Tuesday through Sunday from 6 am to 4 pm.
If you plan to join a tour in the national park, such as a whale watching tour or a snorkeling tour, it’s likely your company will give you an all-day pass to the National Park, so you can keep exploring after your tour finishes!
4. Whale Watching
Uvita is arguably the absolute best place for whale watching in Costa Rica. Twice each year groups of humpback whales migrate through the Pacific, between December and April and then again between August and December. During these seasons of migration, you will find mother humpback whales bringing their newborns remarkably close to the shores, where the water’s temperature is significantly warmer. Whale watching in this area gives you the chance to witness firsthand the special time of socialization and development taking place between the mother and baby. Plus, these curious baby humpbacks will often come right up to the boats to explore the strange new creatures inside. 😉
While witnessing the whales this close is a recurring theme for Uvita, Costa Rica; we always recommend whale watchers to keep their expectations low, as you can never fully guarantee a whale citing. However, choosing Uvita, Costa Rica as your whale watching destination, and planning to come during optimal times will certainly increase your chances of seeing these magnificent creatures.
As always, when it comes to tours involving animals, make sure to choose a knowledgeable guide and a company that respects the rules of safe whale watching. Whale watching tours can be a benefit to both you and the whale—but only when done professionally.
Uvita is quickly rising to the top of everyone’s favorite Costa Rican destinations, and it doesn’t take long to see why. With all the most coveted Costa Rican experiences wrapped up into one convenient, and ever-so beautiful location, Uvita rightly earns a spot amidst the best of Southern Costa Rica’s gems. Be sure to check out these 4 amazing things to do in Uvita, and discover some of your own to add to the list!
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