What to do in Uvita? A practical guide

Practical information about Uvita

Wondering what to do in Uvita? If you have a preference for charming and alluring destinations, Uvita is certainly one of them. With its array of stunning beaches and breathtaking mountains, the South Pacific region offers an ideal setting for both relaxation and paradisiacal adventures.

As you venture along the South coastline, you will uncover numerous opportunities to indulge in various activities, including horseback riding, visiting waterfalls, exploring beaches, taking nighttime strolls, observing the famous humpback whales that grace our waters, encountering dolphins, and much more.

What to do in Uvita?

If you are considering a stay in the Uvita area, we highly recommend exploring the neighboring regions as well. Uvita itself is a delightful town that offers ample attractions to keep you engaged for several days. To make the most of your visit, it would be ideal to find accommodation within Uvita.

Fortunately, Uvita provides a diverse range of options to suit every preference. You can choose from a variety of hostels, campgrounds, beautiful rental houses, and impressive mountain hotels. Whatever your accommodation needs may be, Uvita has something to offer for everyone’s taste and budget.

The Marino Ballena National Park

The Marino Ballena National Park holds the distinction of being the first protected wildlife area in Costa Rica that was specifically established to preserve its marine resources. Moreover, it holds the honor of being Central America’s first marine park. It has also earned recognition as the eighth best location worldwide for whale watching, as acknowledged by National Geographic.

When it comes to forest vegetation, the most significant areas are located in Punta Ballena and Punta Piñuela within the Marino Ballena National Park. These areas boast a variety of tree species, including Ojoche, Cedar Maria, Niñosapote, and Lizard trees. The mangrove forests, situated in and around the black estuary, consist of red mangrove, buttonwood, and saltwood trees.

Regarding the park’s fauna, in addition to the magnificent humpback whales, you can encounter other remarkable species such as the spotted dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, manta ray, parrotfish, and mackerel. Isla Ballena serves as an essential nesting site for the white ibis, while the park is also home to other bird species like the sea earwig and the brown booby.

Marino Ballena National Park

Among the main attractions of the national park are:

  • Whale’s Tail-shaped rock formation: it is a natural rocky and sandy geological formation that can only be accessed during 6 hours of low tide.
  • Coral reefs: the left side of the whale tail and Isla Ballena are areas where You can find coral reefs, so you can snorkel there.
  • Whale watching: humpback whales are seen in two seasons of the year. Those that come from the north (December to April) and those from the south (July to November). Also you can also see resident dolphins throughout the year.
  • Whale Island and Tres Hermanas rocks: these are rock formations in which you can nest and observe different species of birds.
  • Arco Beach: a beach of great scenic beauty that can only be entered and exited at low tide and its official entrance is through the Ballena Sector.

Uvita Attractions – Horse rides

Horseback riding is an activity that offers enjoyment to both experienced riders and beginners, including children. It provides the opportunity to explore various points of interest, such as the sustainable environmental livestock operation and the wonders of nature, all while indulging in the pleasure of riding a horse.

You have the option to choose between two completely different experiences. First, you can opt to relish the beauty of a sunset on a stunning beach adjacent to the Marino Ballena Park. Alternatively, you can embark on a journey through a lush rainforest, leading you to a breathtaking waterfall. Both of these extraordinary destinations can only be reached on horseback. Horseback riding along the beach is particularly noteworthy, as it offers one of the most marvelous and therapeutic experiences.

Cowboy Day

This activity involves joining the cowboys on a cattle ranch, where you can participate in activities such as herding cattle, checking on calves and cows in the pasture, and learning the art of roping calves. The ranch is dedicated to beef cattle production and operates in harmony with the ecological balance of the tropical rainforest and surrounding mangroves. It offers you the unique opportunity to experience life as a cowboy.

Depending on the season when you visit, you will have the chance to ride alongside the cowboys, engage in cattle roping, and take part in various tasks that are typically carried out by the ranch staff during their daily work routine.

What to do in Uvita? Visit the waterfalls!

Embark on an unforgettable adventure and fully immerse yourself in nature by visiting the mesmerizing waterfalls near the area. While access to some of these waterfalls may be challenging, there are several ways to reach them, including by car, horseback, or simply by taking a scenic walk.

You can choose from:

  • Catarata Nauyaca, Dominical
  • Eco Chontales Falls
  • Catarata Pozo Azul, Dominicalito
  • San Luis Falls
  • Uvita waterfall

Uvita waterfall

The waterfall is enveloped by a lush green forest, creating a picturesque setting. As you enter through the main entrance, the trail meanders through the forest, guiding you alongside a river that forms natural pools along the way. Eventually, the trail leads to the majestic main waterfall, situated at the trail’s end.

At the waterfall, you have the opportunity to climb to the top and experience the thrill of sliding down. Additionally, you can indulge in a refreshing swim in the natural pools and bask in the scenic beauty of the rocks below the waterfall. The invigorating splashes of water provide a rejuvenating and soothing sensation.

As if the waterfall and pools weren’t enough, upon entering the property through the main entrance, you’ll discover a small butterfly garden and an impressive collection of plants that attract these graceful creatures. It’s undoubtedly a place where you should take a moment to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

Snorkeling on Isla del Caño

The Isla del Caño Reserve is renowned as one of the top snorkeling destinations in the country. Located approximately one hour away by boat from the Marino Ballena National Park, this island offers an exceptional snorkeling experience. Upon arrival, you will have the opportunity to snorkel in two different locations, where you can observe captivating marine life such as white fin sharks, turtles, and a diverse array of fish and corals.

During the excursion, you can also savor a delightful lunch on the boat. If you’re up for it, you can take a walk along the trail on the island of Caño, leading you to a viewpoint at the island’s summit. Additionally, if luck is on your side, you might even encounter whales and dolphins on the return journey.

Scuba Diving on Isla del Caño

Exploring the underwater world around Caño Island is highly recommended and ranks among the top trips to take in Costa Rica. Caño Island is a natural reserve that extends not only to its land surface but also beneath the surrounding waters. Diving in this area offers an incredible opportunity to come face to face with remarkable marine creatures such as manta rays, dolphins, white fin sharks, and even whales.

The Caño Island Nature Reserve is widely renowned as one of the best diving spots in Costa Rica. Its popularity stems from the remarkable visibility and warm waters, which create the perfect conditions for a remarkable diving experience. Embarking on a diving adventure at Caño Island promises an exhilarating and unforgettable journey into the depths of the ocean.

Scuba Diving on Isla del Caño

What to do in uvita? Surf!

The coastal region offers a selection of stunning beaches that cater to surfers of all levels, from beginners to seasoned professionals. If you’re new to surfing, you can opt for surf lessons or simply rent a board to get started. For beginners, we recommend Playa Colonia, which is situated within the boundaries of the Ballena Marine National Park, also known as Playa Chaman.

As you progress to an intermediate level, you’ll find joy in a breathtaking beach known for being one of the finest in the area. This beach is also renowned for its turtle releases, adding to its charm. It attracts both locals and tourists. However, it’s crucial to check the tide warnings to assess the wave conditions, as they can become quite powerful. Playa Dominical is known for its waves that can grow in size, and it’s the preferred destination for professionals and local surfers when the conditions are optimal.

Rent a Kayak

Whether you’re an experienced kayaker or a novice, this activity caters to all skill levels. Even if you haven’t tried kayaking before, there’s no need to worry as an experienced guide can accompany you on your journey. You have the option to choose between exploring the mangroves or venturing into the open ocean, both offering their own unique and breathtaking experiences.

If you opt for a tour through the mangroves, you will navigate through intricate channels, providing an up-close encounter with the diverse array of wildlife that thrives in this ecosystem. On the other hand, if you choose to venture into the ocean, you will have the opportunity to explore intriguing sea caves or engage in snorkeling adventures at Punta Uvita. Both options promise memorable moments and the chance to appreciate the natural beauty of your chosen destination.

Coconut Tour

In this engaging activity, participants will have the opportunity to learn about the properties and various uses of coconuts in an artisanal manner. Led by a local artisan and producer who is dedicated to preserving the traditions of coastal areas, you will discover how coconut derivatives can be applied in daily life. This educational experience aims to showcase the importance of coconuts and their role in the local ecosystem.

If you are passionate about the reforestation efforts of coconut trees within the Marino Ballena National Park, this activity offers a valuable opportunity to delve deeper into the world of coconuts and learn more about their significance in sustaining the park’s natural environment.

Canyoning in Uvita

If you’re seeking an adventure that takes you out of your comfort zone and gets your adrenaline pumping, then this tour is tailor-made for you. You’ll have the opportunity to learn the proper technique of abseiling as you descend a thrilling 27-meter waterfall. It’s an exhilarating experience that will leave you feeling accomplished and invigorated.

After conquering the waterfall, you’ll reach the end of the river where natural pools await. Here, you can unleash your inner daredevil and enjoy jumping and sliding into the refreshing water. It’s the perfect opportunity to unwind, have fun, and bask in the beauty of nature. To top it all off, a delightful PURA VIDA-style picnic will be waiting for you, allowing you to relax and savor the moment.

Corcovado National Park

The Corcovado National Park is renowned for its extraordinary biodiversity, making it one of the most ecologically rich areas in the country. Within the park, there are several biological stations dedicated to the study and preservation of this remarkable ecosystem. One such station is San Pedrillo, which can be reached by a thrilling hour and a half boat ride from Playa Uvita.

Upon arrival at San Pedrillo Beach, you will embark on a captivating hike along the park’s trails. Over the course of a few hours, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the wonders of the park’s flora and fauna. Keep an eye out for fascinating creatures such as white-faced monkeys, coatis, and limpets, which are among the notable animals that inhabit the area.

At noon, a delicious lunch awaits you, providing a chance to refuel and relax on the beautiful beach before setting out on a second trail adventure to a magnificent waterfall. The experience promises to be an unforgettable exploration of nature’s wonders within the Corcovado National Park.

Animals in Corcovado park in Costa Rica

ATV Tour Uvita

Embark on an off-road adventure that unveils some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Costa Rica, showcasing expansive mountain ranges that offer panoramic views of the magnificent ocean stretching endlessly before you.

Midway through this exhilarating journey, you’ll find yourself in a charming, traditional Costa Rican town, where you’ll have the opportunity to indulge in a coffee tasting tour hosted by a local family. Immerse yourself in the rich flavors and aromas of Costa Rican coffee while learning about the intricate process of its production. Energized and invigorated, you’ll resume your exciting expedition, passing through lush banana plantations and crossing picturesque streams.

As you delve deeper into the lush jungle, be prepared to encounter a wealth of wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for playful monkeys, lazy sloths, vibrant toucans, colorful parrots, majestic hawks, and an array of other fascinating creatures that call this tropical paradise home. The journey concludes with a refreshing drink and a well-deserved swim in a hidden waterfall, offering a perfect finale to this awe-inspiring tour.

What to do in Uvita? Bird watching

Costa Rica is home to a remarkable array of bird species, with a staggering 924 species residing in various ecosystems. The South Pacific coast, where the Marino Ballena National Park is located, offers a haven for bird enthusiasts, as these feathered creatures can be observed in abundance. From majestic pelicans and elegant gannets to colorful toucans, elusive cusings, vibrant scarlet macaws, delightful pajuila, and enchanting hummingbirds, the avian diversity here is truly awe-inspiring.

When embarking on birdwatching excursions, tour operators estimate that you can spot up to 50 different bird species within just three hours. Knowledgeable guides will accompany you, ensuring your comfort and sharing valuable tips to enhance your birdwatching experience. Remember to come prepared by wearing sturdy shoes, applying sunscreen, donning a hat for sun protection, and, if possible, bringing binoculars and a camera to capture the beauty of these winged wonders.

Costa Rican national bird

Walks in San Josecito

Embark on a captivating hike that takes you through a network of trails winding through both primary and secondary forests, as well as expansive plains, providing you with a unique opportunity to observe the protected flora and fauna in their natural habitat. As you traverse these diverse ecosystems, you’ll witness the fascinating behaviors of insects, birds, mammals, and reptiles, gaining a deeper understanding of their roles within the ecosystem.

The hike also offers a chance to marvel at the incredible variety of tropical plants that flourish in this lush environment. Some of the routes take you through the hills of the reserve, while others lead you along the scenic Morete river basin. This combination of open spaces and dense forest creates an ideal setting for wildlife observation, and you can expect to encounter a wide array of captivating creatures. Keep your ears open, as the morning air is often filled with the echoing howls of distant animals, adding an extra touch of wildness to the experience.

What to do in Uvita? Summary

As evident, Uvita and its surrounding areas offer a splendid opportunity to unwind and bask in the beauty of the ocean. With a plethora of activities to choose from, your days will be filled with excitement and adventure throughout your stay. However, if you still do not know what to do in Uvita, contact us and we will surely find something for you. We are here to assist you and ensure that your time in Uvita is truly memorable. 

Check also:

What to do in Ojochal?

What to do in Dominical?


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