Marino Ballena: Marine National Park, Uvita

Safehaven for humpback whales during their migration, this marine park surrounds a piece of land that resembles a whale's tail.

The first marine park in Costa Rica and Central America.
Located in Uvita on the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica is a unique national park, famously created to provide safe space at sea for migrating humpback whales who come here to mate. Marino Ballena is one of two specially-designated national marine parks in Costa Rica, protecting over 13,000 acres of the Pacific Ocean and some 270 acres of land, including beaches and mangroves.

Plan a Visit to Marino Ballena

A guided three-hour walk begins in the nearby community of Bahia, where a guide will give you a little bit of local history. After a mile, you'll enter the park in Playa Uvita, cross a creek, and join the trail. Look out for howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, sloths, bats, raccoons, and scarlet macaws as you walk the paths with the sounds of the Pacific Ocean crashing in the background. You'll also check out and learn about the mangrove ecosystems in this area. Finally, get onto the beach and see the Whale's Tail before heading back to Bahia.
The famous Whale's Tail formation is a natural barrier reef offshore connected to land by a sandy isthmus created by currents. Look at photos of this formation from above, and you'll see precisely why it's called the Whale's Tail.


FAQs About Marino Ballena National Park:

How do you get to Marino Ballena National Park?

The Marino Ballena National Park is located in the southern zone of Costa Rica, south of Dominical. Small coastal town of Uvita is bordering the park land. Park entrance is less than 5 min away from Uvita's downtown. You can take the coastal highway south from Quepos, or the Cerro de la Muerte passage vía San Isidro and Dominical.

When can you see whales in Uvita, Costa Rica?

The best time to see whales in this part of Costa Rica is from July to November and again from December to April, when migrating humpbacks from the northern and southern hemispheres come to winter and mate.

How do you get to the Whale's Tail? 

You get to the Whale's Tail by entering the Marino Ballena National Park through the ranger station on Playa Uvita and taking a short walk along the trail to the beach. There, you'll see this famous formation.
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