Whale Watching in Costa Rica

Costa Rica holds the longest season for humpback whale watching in the world. This whale specie comes to migrate in this country whenever winter comes in the Antarctica (between August to October). Come December to April, other whales come in to Costa Rica from Antarctica to mate and nest.

There aren’t only the humpbacks to see here. Sperm whales, killer whales, pilot whales (which actually come from the family of dolphins) along with dolphins can also be sighted in Costa Rica

Used to be unknown to many, whale-watching has grown to become one of the most anticipated spectacles among tourists and locals.

So if you’re interested on spotting these gentle giants in the probably the best whale-watching place in the world, it’s advisable to come during their season.

Places for Whale Watching

The Costa Rica Thermal Convection Dome

killerwhale More commonly known as “The Dome”, this place in Costa Rica is like no other if you want to experience a unique way of catching these whales.

An interesting fact about The Dome is that shallow and warm waters lie on top of waters low in oxygen which creates an impeccable ecosystem. This ecosystem entails a good habitat of abundant marine life.

It’s not only the whale watching that you’ll enjoy here but also the beautiful surroundings.

Osa Peninsula and the South Pacific

The Ballena National Marine Park south of Dominical is the mainstay of the humpback whales whenever they migrate to Costa Rica. This area also boasts of rich and beautiful beaches. You don’t only get to see the whales but also dolphins jumping off the waters ready to have their photographs taken.

It’s best to take a day trip to truly maximize your whale watching experience in this park.

Drake Bay is the right place for the breeding grounds of whales as this area has the most calm waters. Whales coming from North and South America come here every month except on the months of April, May and June.

North Pacific

Almost all the beaches dotted along the Nicoya Peninsula are good places to get your whale watching fix. Two beaches in particular, Tambor and Pochote are where most humpbacks can be seen. If you end up in Playa Carillo, you still get to see dolphins and do some snorkeling while you’re there.

While others are having the time of their lives venturing into the subterranean caves or riding their 4×4’s along the beaches of the peninsulas, you can have a therapeutic and relaxing time watching the whales in Costa Rica. With many spots to choose from, whale watching is all within your reach.

Getting There

Getting to Osa Peninsula.The friendliest way to get to there is to take a one-hour flight from the capital of San Jose to the largest town in the peninsula, Puerto Jimenez. Another arrival point from San Jose after taking a 50-minute flight is the Drake Bay–an isolated and pricey region where vast biodiversity and wildlife are also present.  

Getting to the Nicoya Peninsula. From the Juan Santamaria Airport, it will take you about five hours to get to the peninsula, including the ferry line and the journey across the Gulf of Nicoya. Take Routes 1 all the way through 3 to get you to downtown Puntaneras which will finally lead you to Paquera of the Nicoya Peninsula after taking the ferry.


Places to Stay Near Whale Watching Sights 

Barcelo Tambor Beach Hotel

Costa Coral Hotel & Restaurant

Aguila de Osa Inn

Lapa Rios Ecolodge & Wildlife Reserve




2 Responses to "Whale Watching in Costa Rica"

  1. Pingback: Whales are currently being sighted off Jaco beach, Herradura and Punta Leona | Capi Writes..from Costa Rica

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