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Uvita - A travel report by Bob
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Uvita,  Costa Rica - flag Costa Rica -  Puntarenas
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roenigk's travel reports

Must see whale watching tour

  5 votes
Saw multiple 30+ ton Humpback Whales leap out of the water. This was the best day of my entire Costa Rican vacation. Took the Pacific Quest whale watching tour out of Dominical.

Between Uvita and Dominical is the Marino Ballena National Park. It is dedicated to whales and turtles. Supposedly, this is the only part of the entire Pacific Ocean where whales from both the Arctic and Antarctic meet. They have their calves here. Then migrate back to where they came from. There are whales here more than 9 months out of the year. Whales can be seen from the beach. But not really well. A boat is best, of course. There are basically two options. There are several local fishermen that offer whale watching tours in their open boats. The locals call them Panga's. OK, they are probably safe. Made of fiberglass. Bench seat. Holds 6 or 8 people. What I did not see were life vests. Or a radio. There was but one outboard motor. And since my wife and daughter were with me, a bathroom were be nice since the boat ride is 3 or 4 hours. We opted for the Pacific Quest tour. It is a professional operation with a large (100'+) boat. The upper observation platform was perfect for watching whales and dolphins. Plenty of room to move around and take photos. There were restrooms and a small snack bar. Railings all around, so we didn't worry about the kids. Besides the whales, the best part was the marine biologist they had on board. He gave everyone a wealth of information about whales and dolphins. We also hiked through two national parks looking for sloths and macaws. Didn't find any. (But we did see one of those poison dart frogs). The zip line was family fun and worth the money. But far and away, the best day of the entire vacation was the whale watching tour. I can't say enough good things about it. Don't know their phone number, but their website is

Favourite spots:
Offshore was the favorite, of course. That is where the whales and dolphins are located. The endangered turtles nesting on the beach were pretty cool. At night, they move to and from their nests. Volunteers are needed to watch and protect the young to make sure they get to the surf line. Kids loved it.

What's really great:
The Humpback Whales doing their acrobatics. The naturalist aboard the boat said no one really knows why whales leap out of the water (breach). Many theories, though. 'Just having fun' wasn't one of them.

Other recommendations:
The beach with Marino Ballena National Park is so empty, we must have had 5 miles of deserted white sand to ourselves. Loved it.

Published on Wednesday December 23th, 2009

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