Marino Ballena National Park Costa Rica, whale watching
I am planning a vacation to Costa Rica and I want to see whales. Is that possible? Yes it is. The best time of the year to see them in Costa Rica is from December through April. They can be seen from the mid Pacific coastlines all the way down to the Osa Peninsula. The whales migrate from the frigid waters of the north to these warm tropical waters to breed. Three different species of whales can be seen here. The humpback whale is gray and black and can weigh up to 50 tons. Pilot whales can be seen through out the year since they stay in tropical warm waters. Sperm whales are hard to see because of their ability to travel long distances under water.
Marino Ballena National Park is one of Costa Rica’s newest national parks, established in 1990, and the best place to watch whales. It is located on the Pacific Coast 120 miles southwest of San Jose. It is named for the giant humpback whales that migrate here December through April to mate in these warm waters. The park stretches about 9 miles (15Km) seaward. It encompasses 270 acres of beach and coast, and 13,300 maritime acres.
Inhabitants of the Marino Ballena National Park: three species of whales, green marine iguanas, dolphins, Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtles, lobsters, trunkfish, as well as corals and sponges. Also we can see water birds including frigate birds, brown footed boobies, pelicans, and ibises.
Weather at Marino Ballena National Park: warm around 80 plus degrees F. and receives approximately 13 feet of rainfall annually.
The turtles: olive Ridley and Hawsbill turtles can be seen laying their eggs at night on the beach between May and November. The largest amount arrive on the waning moon usually in September.
At low tides snorkeling is good from the shore and also scuba diving trips are available.
Lodging: Several basic cabinas located off highway 34 between Uvita and Pinuela. Camping is allowed on the beaches and water can be obtained from the ranger stations.
Tourist usually purchase a package to visit the Marino Ballena National Park. Check with the tour company Costa Rica Expeditions (on the web).
The park is accessible by road but a very long drive from the San Jose area. Look on a Costa Rica map for Uvita. Marino Ballena National Park is located near by.