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Tired of the same old beach getaways, where every grain of sand and salty breeze feels all too familiar? Maybe you’re scrolling through your feed, searching high and low for that perfect blend of tropical paradise and adventure that’s eluded you until now.

Well, let me share a secret slice of heaven called Uvita. Nestled along Costa Rica’s stunning Pacific coast, this hidden gem is more than just sunsets and surf; it’s a doorway to awe.

Marino Ballena National Park in Uvita isn’t just another pretty park. When the mighty Pacific pulls back its blue curtain at low tide, something magical happens: a colossal whale tail emerges from the sea! Imagine walking on this sandy marvel shaped by nature’s own whimsy – it’s an experience straight out of Mother Earth’s playbook.

In this blog post, we’ll dive (pun intended) into everything Uvita has to offer – from its pristine beaches to cascading waterfalls – ensuring your next vacation is splashed with wonder.

Ready to unveil Costa Rica’s best-kept secret? Let’s explore together!

Key Takeaways

  • Uvita, Costa Rica is home to Marino Ballena National Park where you can see a natural whale’s tail sandbar at low tide.
  • There are free attractions like El Pavon Waterfall and affordable wildlife experiences at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Enjoy seasonal activitieswhale watching from January to March and July to October, snorkeling at Caño Island, and the Envision Festival in February.
  • You can travel to Uvita by car rental with Sunny Cars, public buses like Tracopa, or fly into San Jose then drive.
  • Stay options range from beachside hotels like Bungalows Ballena to luxury villas such as Oxygen Jungle Villas & Spa or local Airbnbs.

Touring Uvita, Costa Rica’s Main Village and Tourist Hub

Uvita sits right at the heart of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, welcoming guests with open arms and sandy beaches. It’s a spot where travelers can kick off their shoes and stroll through the charming village.

Picture small shops lining the roads, each one filled with unique finds and local crafts that tell a story of this vibrant place.

The town buzzes with excitement, especially when people gather for the Envision Festival or set out to see humpback whales in nearby waters. Restaurants here serve up delicious meals – think fresh seafood straight from the ocean! You’ll find busy markets too, full of bright fruits and tasty treats.

Uvita is more than just a stopping point; it’s where adventures begin, friendships are made, and memories last forever.

Top Attractions in Uvita

Hold onto your sunhats, folks—Uvita’s treasure trove of attractions is about to sweep you off your flip-flops! Imagine dipping into the pristine waterfalls, getting up close with the majestic whales, and feeling the magic at every turn..

Now stop imagining, ’cause it’s all right here waiting for you!

Marino Ballena National Park

Marino Ballena National Park is a must-see. At low tide, it shows off an amazing sandbar in the shape of a whale’s tail! It stretches 600 meters across the beach and you can walk on it.

How cool is that? This park shines with its beautiful beaches too. The views here will take your breath away.

Nature lovers, get ready for adventure! You’ll meet all sorts of wildlife like iguanas, birds, and even sloths up in the trees. Imagine chilling on one of Costa Rica’s top beaches or splashing around in clear blue waters.

Marino Ballena has it all – sandy shores to relax on and waves waiting for your surfboard.

El Pavon Waterfall

Just a short drive away from the breathtaking Marino Ballena National Park, El Pavon Waterfall awaits as a hidden gem. This waterfall creates a serene spot where you can swim in crystal-clear pools or just enjoy the sight and sounds of nature.

Best of all, dipping into this jungle paradise won’t cost you a dime – it’s absolutely free to visit.

Getting there is easy, with no long walks needed. You can spend more time splashing around and less time trekking! Just make sure you get there before 2 pm to start your adventure.

El Pavon is not only beautiful but also one of Uvita’s must-see attractions; it’s perfect for cooling off after exploring nearby beaches or when you simply want to escape into Costa Rica’s lush greenery.

Nauyaca Waterfalls

Nauyaca Waterfalls is a must-see spot in Uvita. It’s tucked away in a stunning natural setting, ready to wow anyone who visits. Picture this: two cascading waterfalls dropping into a crystal-clear pool.

Perfect for diving right in! The hike there will get your heart racing, but the swim? Oh, it’s like hitting the jackpot for adventure lovers.

Make sure you’re on the trail by 2 pm – that’s when they stop letting hikers start their journey. Want to make memories splashing around at Nauyaca? Book your tour early, especially if you’re planning to go during peak season.

With waters this inviting and views so jaw-dropping, everyone wants a piece of the action!

Uvita Waterfall

Uvita Waterfall is a must-see spot in the heart of Costa Rica’s natural beauty. Here you can splash in the cool waters or just enjoy the peaceful sounds of nature. Trees and plants surround this hidden gem, making it a perfect place to get away from everything for a while.

Just make sure you start your hike before 2 pm – that’s when they stop letting folks begin their trek to see this amazing sight.

Next up, imagine days filled with music and art under the sun..

Envision Festival

Get ready for a wild ride at the Envision Festival! For seven days, Uvita turns into a wonderland filled with music and art that lights up the night. Think of it as Costa Rica’s own version of Burning Man.

You’ll be swept up in a wave of good vibes, dancing to beats from around the world. Yoga lovers stretch out under the sun, while others learn cool stuff at workshops.

It’s not just about fun – you’ll feel like you’re part of something big, surrounded by friends who care about our planet as much as you do. And once you’ve had your fill of festival magic, take off your dancing shoes and head over to Playa Hermosa for some chill beach time.

Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa shines as a surfer’s paradise, with waves just right for an epic afternoon on the board. Picture this: two kilometers of dark, smooth sand under your feet and a fresh coconut in hand – pure beach bliss.

Early birds catch the calm vibe here, while surfers wait for the perfect wave later on.

Just steps away from Uvita’s main attractions like Marino Ballena National Park, it’s easy to mix adventure and chill time. Grab a surfboard rental for around $10 USD or jump into a lesson to ride those Pacific tides! Next up? Let’s take a wild turn to meet some amazing animals at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary.

Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary

At Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, caring for wild animals in need is what they do best. They rescue, heal, and send these creatures back into nature where they belong. You can visit from Tuesday to Sunday and choose from tour times at 9 am, 11 am, or 1 pm.

It costs $25 for grown-ups and just $15 for kids to learn about the sanctuary’s mission and meet some of its animal residents up close.

This place is a must-see in Uvita because you get to see how important it is to protect wildlife. Ready for adventure after learning about conservation? Let’s dive into more excitement with whale watching!

Best Activities to Do in Uvita

Whether you’re seeking thrills on the waves or a serene horseback ride at sunset, Uvita is brimming with experiences that’ll make your heart sing. Imagine spotting a breaching humpback while gliding over crystal-clear waters—isn’t it time to dive into Uvita’s treasure trove of activities?.

Whale Watching

Whale watching is a must-do in Uvita. It’s where you can see these huge, amazing creatures jump and splash. The whales come here twice a year, so plan your trip for January to March or July to October.

That’s the best time to find them playing around in Uvita’s warm waters.

You’ll hop on a boat with others excited to spot whales. Keep your eyes open! Humpback whales love this spot and if you’re lucky, you might even catch one breaching – which means leaping from the water and landing with a big splash.

Taking a whale watching tour is something special that makes visiting Uvita unforgettable.

Snorkeling at Caño Island

Ready for an underwater adventure? Snorkeling at Caño Island is like diving into a living treasure chest. Just a boat ride from Uvita, you’ll find yourself floating in crystal clear waters.

Around you, manta rays glide and sea turtles might just give you a slow-motion hello! The island’s coral reefs burst with colorful fish darting between rocks and swaying plants.

You get the whole package – gear, guide, even the boat trip. They’ve thought of it all so you can focus on spotting that shy octopus or following a curious parrotfish beneath the waves.

And let’s not forget about those hidden caves and rock formations; they’re waiting to turn your snorkel session into an epic treasure hunt!


After exploring the underwater world at Caño Island, it’s time to ride the waves. Surfing in Uvita is a blast, with beaches like Playa Hermosa leading the pack as surfer favorites.

Catching waves here fits everyone – whether you’re just starting out or have been surfing forever.

You can rent a board for about $10 USD and hit the surf on your own. If you want to sharpen your skillstake lessons from local pros. They’ll show you how to stand up, balance, and glide across the water like a pro! So grab a board and dive into the fun – Uvita’s waves are calling!

Horseback-Riding on the Beach

Feel the thrill of horseback riding on Uvita’s serene beaches with Rancho La Merced. Picture yourself galloping along the shore, your horse’s hooves splashing in the waves, all while you soak up breathtaking views.

It’s a dreamy way to experience Costa Rica’s stunning coastline and make memories that last forever.

You don’t need to be an expert rider—Rancho La Merced has gentle horses and guides who will lead you safely on this adventure. Imagine seeing wildlife and exotic birds as you trot through tropical trails leading to the beach.

This isn’t just a ride; it’s your chance to connect with nature in an unforgettable way.

A Sunset Dinner at Local Restaurants

Enjoying a meal as the sun goes down is something special in Uvita. You can sit at a table with an ocean view and watch the sky change colors. Local spots like Gusto Italian and House of Ginger have delicious food that matches the beautiful sunset.

Think about biting into fresh seafood or tasting homemade pasta while the last light of day dances on the waves.

Oasis Uvita takes dining to another level – they serve meals made from things grown right there in Costa Rica. Imagine eating a dinner where all the food comes from nearby farms, it’s fresh and tastes amazing! Whether you like fish, veggies, or sweet treats, these restaurants make sure your evening ends perfectly.

How to Get to Uvita

5. How to Get to Uvita:.

Navigating your way to the lush, tropical embrace of Uvita is a breeze — whether you’re steering through scenic routes in your rental car or letting someone else take the wheel on a cozy shuttle bus.

Imagine zipping down from the clouds after a quick flight, then hitting the road as the ocean air starts calling your name; before you know it, you’re there!

By Car

Driving to Uvita gives you freedom to explore at your own pace. Sunny Cars offers rental cars with a sweet deal — free cancellation and insurance are all wrapped up in one price.

Hit the road from San Jose, and in a few hours, you’ll roll into paradise. With a car, you can easily get to Marino Ballena National Park to see the famous whale’s tail beach when the tide is low.

Don’t miss El Pavon Waterfall just 25 minutes away; it’s like nature’s secret spot for a cool swim. And if waterfalls make your heart beat faster, Nauyaca Waterfall is not too far either! Grab your keys and let’s go – with so many places around Uvita waiting for you, each turn of the road promises new adventures.

Public Transport / Shuttle Bus

If driving isn’t your thing, don’t worry! You can still get to Uvita easily. Buses leave San Jose for Uvita every hour on the half-hour. Hop on a Tracopa bus and you’ll be on your way to see that famous whale’s tail beach in no time.

Just make sure you tell the driver to let you off at Uvita. Some folks even choose hitch-hiking—it’s pretty common here and people say it’s safe.

For those who like things planned out, shuttle buses might be more your style. They’re comfy and they go straight from the city to Uvita. This way, there’s no fuss about where to hop off or getting lost along the way! So whether you take a public bus or book a shuttle ride, sit back and relax—you’ll be soaking up sun in this beautiful beach town before you know it.

Flying + Driving

Getting to Uvita isn’t just about buses and shuttles. Let’s talk flying into Costa Rica and hitting the road from there. You can catch a flight to San Jose International Airport, then rent a car for the journey south.

Don’t worry, it’s an easy drive to Uvita! The highway is smooth sailing, so you won’t need a 4×4 vehicle. Picture this: rolling down your windows and feeling the warm breeze as you drive past lush greenery for about four hours until you reach this slice of paradise.

Imagine weaving through Costa Rican landscapes with total freedom – stopping where you want, when you want. Sounds good? Make sure to grab our Costa Rica car rental discount and start planning that playlist! But hey, here’s a tip – check with your hotel first; some offer shuttle services directly from the airport or might help out with your travel plans to make things even easier.

Where to Stay in Uvita

After an exhilarating day exploring the lush landscapes of Uvita, you’ll need a cozy nook to rest your head—luckily, this town doesn’t disappoint. Whether you’re looking for the barefoot luxury of beachside hotels or the homey charm of an Airbnb nestled in nature, Uvita’s got a swath of stay options that cater to every taste and budget.


Finding the right place to stay in Uvita is easy. Bungalows Ballena gives you a cozy spot close to the beach and Marino Ballena National Park. You get your own kitchen if you want to cook and there’s even a pool for that extra splash of fun.

Now, if you’re looking for something with a bit more wow, Oxygen Jungle Villas & Spa is your pick. It’s all about luxury here with views of both the ocean and jungle that’ll take your breath away.

But hey, let’s say good food is what makes a vacation perfect for you. Oasis Uvita should be on your list then—they do this amazing farm-to-table thing where they serve up three or four-course meals using super fresh local stuff (35,000 to 45,000 colones gets the job done).

Trust me; nothing says ‘Pura Vida‘ like eating delicious food grown right in Costa Rica’s rich soil!

Airbnb and Vacation Rentals

In Uvita, you can pick from many cozy spots to stay. How about a fancy room with a view? Oxygen Jungle Villas got you covered. Or maybe a cute little cabin close to nature? Nature’s Edge Cabinas is the place! Like to be near the water? Bungalows Ballena offers easy beach access.

And for those who love extra special service, Vista Celestial Boutique Hotel is top-notch.

Looking for something unique or on a budgetAirbnb and vacation rental options are all over Uvita. You’ve got choices in both the main town by the beach and up higher towards Uvita Waterfall across the highway.

Find that perfect spot that feels just right for your trip! Now, let’s talk about when to pack your bags and head to this tropical paradise..

Best Time to Visit Uvita

The dry season, from December to April, is perfect for sunny beach days at Uvita. The rainy season brings lush greenery and fewer crowds from May to November.

– Whale watching peaks January-March and July-October when humpback whales visit.

– Turtles nest on the beaches from May to November – a quiet treat for nature lovers.

– Surf’s up! Catch the best waves between December and April.

For festival fans:

– February’s Envision Festival fills Uvita with music, art, and yoga. Plan ahead since it’s super popular!

So there you have it – soak in the sun or dance in the rain; Uvita offers a sparkle any time you drop by. Moving along..


Ready to dive into Uvita’s charms? Here’s a quick wrap-up. Spot whales, surf waves, and uncover hidden waterfalls – it’s all waiting for you! You can grab delicious bites and find cozy spots to stay in no time.

Guess what? Navigating from San Jose is a breeze too. So pack your bags; adventure beckons in Uvita!


1. What are the top things to do in Uvita, Costa Rica?

Oh, you’ve got to check out the amazing beaches like Playa Uvita and catch a glimpse of the famous Whale’s Tail at low tide! Don’t miss out on whale-watching during the right season — it’s an absolute blast!

2. How can I find a great place to stay in Uvita?

Easy peasy! There are plenty of cozy hotels in Uvita—some even have stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Whether you want fancy or simple, there’s something for everyone.

3. Where should I eat when visiting Uvita?

You’re in luck because Uvita boasts some fantastic restaurants where you can grab local Costa Rican dishes or even farm-to-table meals… Yum!

4. Is there more than just beach life in Uvita?

Totally! Take a drive from town and explore waterfalls, go bird-watching near Manuel Antonio National Park, or dive into adventure at Cano Island for dolphin watching—Uvita has something for everybody.

5. What makes traveling to Uvita so special?

Well, besides that chill beach vibe? It’s part of Marino Ballena National Park and has marine life galore! Plus, it’s one heck of a spot for snorkeling and catching waves.

6. Any tips for getting around once I’m in Uvita?

Sure thing – if you’re driving from San Jose, it’ll take a few hours but hey—the roads lead to paradise! Once there, walking gets you to most places but renting wheels is best for exploring outside town.



Monteverde Cloud Forest


Santa Elena


Curi-Cancha Reserve


Selvatura Park


Carara National Park


Tarcoles Crocodile Bridge


Isla Tortuga




Montezuma Waterfalls


Puntarenas City


Isla San Lucas


Santa Teresa




Jacó Beach


Playa Blanca (Punta Leona)


Herradura Beach


Esterillos Oeste


Playa Hermosa (Puntarenas)


Manuel Antonio National Park




Bejuco Beach








Marino Ballena National Park

South Puntarenas

Cabo Matapalo

South Puntarenas

Drake Bay


For Sale