Costa Ballena is the southern Pacific coastal region of Costa Rica that stretches from Dominical to Ojochal. It is a unique stretch of coastline where the jungly green mountains meet the beautiful Pacific coastline, and pristine beaches abound. Unlike the northern region of Costa Rica, the Costa Ballena area has been mostly untouched by large-scale development and the region’s natural beauty and prolific wildlife are a testament to that.
Among the most popular beaches that make up the coastline of Costa Ballena are:
- Playa Dominical
- Playa Dominicalito
- Playa Hermosa
- Playa Uvita
- Playa Arco
- Playa Colonia
- Playa Pinuelas
- Playa Ventanas
- Playa Tortuga
Activities & Tours in Costa Ballena
Costa Ballena, or Whale Coast, gets its name from the numerous whales that migrate to the area from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres to give birth; accordingly, whale and dolphin watching tours are some of the most popular activities in the area. The area is perfect for nature lovers as it features waterfalls, hiking trails, butterfly gardens, and plenty of wildlife. Adventure enthusiasts can kayak their way through waterways, explore the underwater-world on diving tours, or go zip-lining. Eco-tourists can learn about pre-Columbian sphere stones located in the area, snorkel off the Cano Island Biological Preserve, or visit the Ballena Marine National Park — a protected area that encompasses 110 hectares of coastline and 5,300 hectares of ocean.
How To Get To Costa Ballena
There are a number of ways to get to the Costa Ballena area, the most common include:
- Flying from San Jose to Quepos and then renting a car and driving, or taking a bus south to Dominical, Uvita, Bahia Ballena, or another destination in the Costa Ballena area.
- Renting a car in San Jose and driving. There are two possible driving routes: a) taking the Inter-American highway to San Isidro del General and continue to Dominical where you can take the Costanera Sur highway South; b) leaving San Jose, heading West towards Jaco and taking the Costanera South until you reach Dominical — the beginning of the Costa Ballena region.
- Taking a bus from San Jose to Dominical. The bus will take you through Quepos, and it is approximately a six hour ride.
Renting a car and driving gives visitors the greatest freedom to explore the entire area of Costa Ballena. For more detailed tips and suggestions feel free to contact us.
Hotels in Costa Ballena
The lodging options in the Costa Ballena area are diverse. Travelers of all tastes and budgets are sure to find something that suits their needs, from simple cabinas to affordable eco-lodges and luxury resorts. Camping is also an option for those more adventurous; however, camping is not highly recommended during the rainy season. Here are a few hotels and lodges that can be found in the Costa Ballena region:
- Cacatua Lodge
- Cristal Ballena
- Finca Bavaria
- Mar Y Selva Ecolodge
- La Cusinga Ecolodge
- Cuna del Angel