Coming to Bahia Ballena but don’t have much cash? These activities below can give you a rich, local experience without shoveling over a bunch of money. Costa Rica is a special place to be because life is just slower, and you have the ability to be so close to nature in everyday life. Catch the monkeys on their evening commute to the beach, wake up to Macaws quarreling in the trees, drag your feet in the sand to watch the ray’s swim about. So slow down and take it all in in our little town of Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica. We hope you stay long enough to enjoy all that is has to offer!
1. Beach sunsets at Playa Chaman
What makes beach sunsets at Playa Chaman so special? A combination of the clouds, the tide and the ever-changing positioning of the sun. Locals know that no two sunsets are ever the same at our beach. The cloud formations create a different yet impressive alchemy of light, reflection, and color. The mountain air creates purple and pink clouds while the warm pacific winds generate actively changing oranges, purples, and crimson hues When the tide is at its lowest, the beach becomes massive and the ocean leaves a thin layer of water on the sand. This pooling effect creates an impressive reflection of the sunset, thus giving you a two for one sunset show. It really is a sight for sore eyes.
Bring some comfy chairs, drinks, and snacks, and make a show of it! There is a $6 USD entrance fee to enter the park, but it’s good for the whole day, take advantage of your ticket by spending the morning doing the following…
2. Whale Tail walk
The famous Whale Tail is a sandbar that forms the shape of a whale’s tail from a bird’s eye view. Access it via the Marino Ballena National Park. This is special, not only because of it’s cool shape but also because we do actually get whales in the warmer months. It’s also home to a hidden underwater habitat, only visible at low tide. Check the tide tables a few days in advance to plan your walk all the way out to the tip of the whale tail. You can even bring snorkel masks to get an up-close view of reef in the protected cove formed by the Whale Tail.
Opt to go on a day where the low tide lines up with early morning or late afternoon to get the best light and ensure you don’t get a sunburn! Note the $6 USD park entrance fee (spend the entire day at the beach to get the most of it!)
3. La Union hike
If you’re the adventurous type and in relatively good shape, then this hike is a must! It will take you up into the mountains of Bahia Ballena – Uvita, passing lookout points with spectacular views of the Whale Tail. At the end of the hike you will reach a gorgeous waterfall. Emerald green waters and lush tropical verdure await in this exclusive hideout. Jump from rocks, have lunch, swim, and play. Soak up this special treasure in the solitude of your own adventure. Not many people know about it so it’s unlikely you’ll be disturbed.
Start early enough and you will be likely to see monkeys, toucans, Scarlet Macaws, sloths, and a whole host of different butterflies! We recommend bringing some snacks.
4. Uvita and Bahia Ballena farmer’s markets
There are two markets to choose from: the Saturday market in Uvita, and the Wednesday market in Bahia Ballena. Whether or not you buy anything, they are great places to meet people and experience the local culture. You can find produce, jewelry, pastries, clothing, souvenirs, and live music (at the Wednesday market). It’s free to attend and sample some of the local offerings. If you do decide to buy something, you’ll know it’s going directly back into the community!
Fit right in by taking your own bags, as many of the vendors are members of the local Bahia Ballena Libre de Plástico! Can be free, but you’ll likely want to bring a little cash to get some delicious grub!
Enjoy Bahia Ballena in whichever way you choose!
Once you’re here in Uvita, Costa Rica there are certainly plenty of free activities to enjoy during your stay. But if you’d like to spend a little bit of money learning about the local community, snorkeling, or diving at coral reefs nearby, or sampling local chocolate, check out my article on Top Activities to do in Uvita Bahia Costa Rica.
Otherwise, enjoy the pure life this rich coast has to offer!
Written by Katie Jones