Whale Watching in Costa Rica on the Southern Pacific CoastJuly 5, 2018
July begins the biggest season for whale watching in Costa Rica. Find out where to go, where to stay, and all about the 2018 Costa Rica Festival of Whales & Dolphins.
It’s time for whale watching in Costa Rica!
Starting now in July and running through September, it is the biggest time for whale watching in Costa Rica in the southern Pacific region.
Costa Rica provides an important sanctuary for endangered humpback whales to breed and give birth. These “gentle giants of the sea” make one of the longest animal migrations on earth, swimming thousands of miles from both the northern and southern hemispheres to spend their winter seasons in Costa Rica’s warm, safe waters.
National Geographic calls Costa Rica the “seventh most important whale watching hotspot in the world” due to these two whale migration seasons that span almost the whole year.
From December to March, northern humpback whales migrate from California down the Pacific Coast past Guanacaste and Manuel Antonio to the Ballena National Marine Park by Uvita.
However, it is between July and October when Costa Rica receives the largest number of humpback whales – those that journey from Antarctica up to Costa Rica to the gulf of Golfo Dulce, the Osa Peninsula, and to the Ballena National Marine Park.
The Ballena National Marine Park is famous for its iconic sandbar isthmus formed perfectly into the shape of a large whale’s tail, which some people say “calls the whales”.
In these protected areas, the whales stay close to the coast where the warm tropical water is shallow and their newborns are safe from predators. Since humpback whales spend most of their time near the ocean’s surface, they are easy to spot. They delight tourists with their stunning acrobatic leaps, tail and fin slaps, and adorable mother and baby cuddling. It is especially exciting when a 45-ton whale the size of a large tour bus leaps into the air and lands with a tremendous splash. On whale watching tours, you can also see large pods of dolphins that live along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast.
You can celebrate the whales being in Costa Rica at the annual Costa Rica Festival of Whales & Dolphins held every September in Uvita by the Ballena National Marine Park. This year’s 2018 Festival of Whales & Dolphins will be held the weekends of Sept. 7 to 9 and Sept. 15 and 16.
Avoid the crowds and visit Ballena National Marine Park anytime between mid-July and the end of September. Whale watching tours are available daily from local operators.
Where to Stay to Go Whale Watching
Portasol Living is a perfect place to stay while you explore the southern Pacific region of Costa Rica. Located on a private rainforest reserve, the Costa Rica eco-development is ideally positioned between the Ballena National Marine Park and Manuel Antonio National Park.
Portasol Living offers a wide variety of Costa Rica vacation rentals set in the rainforest minutes from uncrowded tropical beaches. Award-winning for its environmental practices, the sustainable community offers vacation rentals that can accommodate groups of up to 10 guests, along with cozy suites for couples. All vacation rentals feature excellent amenities and Portasol’s outstanding customer service.
During whale watching season, Portasol Living arranges day tours for whale watching along the southern Pacific Coast and in the Ballena National Marine Park. You can also get great rainy season special offers.