Marino Ballena National Park in Costa Rica

Practical information about Marino Ballena

The Marino Ballena National Park in Uvita was named after the great humpback whales that migrate here each year from December to April to produce their offspring. It is in the Marino Ballena National Park that you can see these whales in their natural habitat. What else the Uvita National Park has to offer?

Where is Marino Ballena National Park located?

Marino Ballena National Park is located on the west coast of Costa Rica, in the town of Uvita. It stretches between Uvita Beach and Piñuela Beach. However, this national park was not created to protect the beaches, but to protect the ocean and its inhabitants. Marino Ballena National Park is the first marine national park created in Costa Rica, as well as the first in all of Central America.

Uvita National Park has the beaches of Uvita, Colonia, Arco, Ballena and Piñuela in its inland area, while in its maritime area are the rocks of Tres Hermanas, Isla Ballena and Cola de Ballena. This diversity makes the national park consist of various environments such as cliffs, reefs, sandy beaches, rocky beaches, mangroves, and primeval forest.

When was the national park in Uvita established?

The park was established in 1990 to protect the rich marine life off the coast of Costa Ballena. This is an important area for humpback whales, false orcs and pilot whales, as this is the place where they like to give birth to their offspring. Marino Ballena protects a total of 5,510 hectares, 110 hectares of which are on land and the rest in the ocean.

Marino Ballena National Park

How to get to the park in Uvita?

The entrance to the park is in the village of Uvita and along the way you will find several signs directing you to the park. Or you can use the navigation or just ask anyone on the street. Access to the park is convenient and wide, it does not require a 4WD car.

Marino Ballena National Park opening hours and entrance fee

The main entrance to the national park is in the village of Uvita. It is the most comfortable and at the same time the closest to the “whale’s fin”. At the entrance you will find several guarded parking lots, a grocery store and several restaurants. Entry to Marino Ballena Park is paid and costs $ 6 per adult. Children and older people do not have to pay for admission. The park is open from 8am to 6pm. Remember that disposable packaging is not allowed in the park, so it’s best to take a reusable water bottle with you.

Best time to visit Marino Ballena National Park

The tourist season here lasts virtually all year round. The park is large, so even during the high season you will not see crowds here. Of course, there are fewer tourists during the rainy season, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth coming here. The rainy season is characterized by afternoon rainfall, while the morning and most of the day is clear and rainless. The dry season and high tourist season start here from December. Then it will also be dry and hot. Perfect for swimming in the ocean!

Attractions in the Marino Ballena National Park

Staying in the marine national park is already a great attraction. Sandy, paradise beaches, coconut palms and the warm ocean are a great way to spend a day off. During your stay in Marino Ballena you can admire many species of birds, lizards and other animals. If you would like to see what lies beneath the surface of the water, you can go snorkeling, diving or whale watching trips.

Whale rock

It is a huge rock protruding from the water, which some people wrongly call an island. It is located about 2 km from the coast and is a rock formation where several species of birds and iguanas live. In its vicinity there are coral reefs. It is a great place for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Marino Ballena Diving Tour Scuba Diving from Uvita

Marino Ballena Diving Tour – Scuba Diving from Uvita

Scuba diving in Marino Ballena National Park in Uvita is a great way to try diving.
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Snorkeling in Marino Ballena

If you want to look under the surface of the water, a mask and a snorkel will be a great idea. You can go snorkeling near the beach and see some really cool stuff. However, if you want to see something more, you will need a boat to get to places inaccessible from the beach. Our diving center offers snorkeling trips in the Marino Ballena, during which you have the opportunity to see the most interesting places in the park. Everything under the watchful eye of the instructor. We provide all the necessary equipment, so you don’t have to worry about anything else. The price of the trip also includes the entrance ticket to the national park, as well as drinks and snacks. Could there be a better plan?

Diving in Marino Ballena

If you would like to go deeper under the water and have an even closer look at the underwater world, then diving in Marino Ballena is for you. It doesn’t matter if you already have a diver’s license or not. Our instructor will take you to the best spots in marino Ballena. We provide all equipment, an entrance ticket to the park, a diving boat and of course, the care of an instructor. Please contact us to discuss the details.

Whale’s tail in Marino Ballena National Park

The whale’s tail is a showcase of this national park and the village of Uvita. Many local companies use this theme in their logos. There is a good reason, as it is a really great attraction, to be able to walk on the beach that is only available for a few hours during the day. At low tide, the water recedes to reveal a wonderful formation of rock and sand that has been dubbed the Whale’s Tail, paying tribute to the fact that it is the best place to spot humpback whales in Costa Rica.

What animals can I see in the park?

There are plenty of animals in Marino Ballena Park. Some of the land animals are howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys and squirrels. There are sloths, raccoons, and you can even meet a puma or an ocelot here. Some of the more common bird species are white hawks, chestnut-chained toucan, keel toucan, sea gulls, sandpipers, and pelicans. The main attractions of this area are marine mammals, including humpback whales, false killer whales and pilot whales. Common dolphins of the area include spotted, bubble, common and bottlenose dolphins. In addition, in the waters of the park you can find olive turtles and, occasionally, a Pacific or Tortoiseshell turtle. So, there is always something interesting to see here, especially if you enter the water with a mask and a snorkel.

What is worth remembering when going on a trip to Marino Ballena?

Remember that you are entering the park where the inhabitants are wild animals. Observe, take pictures and enjoy their presence. However, don’t touch them, feed them, or scare them. Also remember that the sun on the beach can be very strong, even if you don’t think it is. You must protect yourself from sunburn and overheating. Use a good sunscreen, and be sure to wear a hat.

If you go into the water, be careful where you put your feet as you may come across sharp stones that can injure your feet. Also remember that in this area the tide can be very strong. Therefore, the “whale tail” attraction is only available for a few hours during the day and is then completely covered by water.

Of course, like anywhere else in the world, use common sense. Do not leave valuables in the car, even in a guarded parking lot, and when entering the water properly secure your belongings that you leave on the beach.

Is the Marino Ballena National Park worth visiting?

It is definitely worth visiting every national park in Costa Rica, because everyone has something special to offer. The advantage of the park in Uvita is undoubtedly the whales that you can see with your own eyes. It is also a great place to spend time with family and children. If you have the opportunity, be sure to visit the Marino Ballena Park in Uvita.


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