Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica

Bahia Ballena is a small town on the southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, within the canton of Osa, in the region known as Costa Ballena. Commonly grouped with neighboring town, Uvita, Bahia Ballena is located just 15 minutes south of the more well-known surf town, Dominical, and is a breath of fresh air for travelers looking to enjoy the natural beauty of the Southern Pacific region, as well as the laid-back charm of a small, authentic Tico town.

Bahia Ballena, which literally means “Whale Bay”, has its name for two reasons:

  1. At low tide the sandbar on the north end of the Ballena Marine National Park beach forms into what from above looks like a giant whale’s tail, aka the Whale’s Tail.
  2. Bahia Ballena’s location on the Pacific Ocean gives it a fairly stable water temperature year round, providing the perfect place for whales from both the north and south to give birth; for this reason, there are actually whale watching seasons in this lucky town.

Why visit Bahia Ballena

Whether you are looking to enjoy the solitude of a pristine beach, snorkel the clear waters of Caño Island, hike through the jungle, or have an awesome active vacation in the outdoors, Bahia Ballena is the perfect place to spend inordinate amounts of time, as there is just so much to do and see! While rainy season (which starts in late June and can last through mid-November) can make certain parts of Costa Rica’s South Pacific region difficult to access, the road to Bahia Ballena is one of the country’s best. The weather is typically hot and sunny most of the day and most of the year, and even in the rainier months, Bahia Ballena has a very pleasant climate. Because of the weather and its location, Bahia Ballena is ideal for everyone, from outdoor adventures to professional relaxers!

Getting to Bahia Ballena

If you’re doing a vacation at Bodhi Surf + Yoga, rest assured — your trip includes round trip transportation between San Jose and Bodhi!

Otherwise it is possible to get to Bahia Ballena (from San Jose) by bus, car, or a combination of flying and driving or taking a bus.

  1. Take a domestic flight from San Jose to Quepos, and from there, rent a car and drive yourself to Bahia Ballena by taking the Costanera Highway south (a 45-minute drive), or take a bus from Quepos to Bahia Ballena (a 90-minute ride).
  2. Another option is to rent a car in San Jose and drive to Bahia Ballena. The quickest route is to head from San Jose towards Jaco and then continue southward on the Costanera Highway, approximately a 3.5 hour drive by car. You can also head over the mountains towards San Isidro El General (aka Perez Zeledon) and from there head west towards Dominical, where the road intersects with the Costanera Highway, and continue south.
  3. To arrive by bus, take a bus from San Jose to Bahia Ballena (approximately a 4.5 hour bus ride).

Tourist services in Bahia Ballena

Bahia Ballena borders the Marino Ballena National Park, the greatest tourist attraction in the area and an iconic landmark for the communities that surround it. The town is also home to many tour operators, restaurants, and lodging options.

Additionally, tourists can find all the services they need in or around Bahia Ballena: restaurants, cafes, grocery stores, banks, ATMs, and car rental services are all available. Hospital services and a police station are available in the neighboring town, Uvita — a 3-minute drive from Bahia Ballena.

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Bahia Ballena Tours & Activities

Bahia Ballena offers many delightful sights and recreational activities to check out during your vacation!

SURFING

KAYAKING

YOGA

STAND-UP PADDLE BOARDING

BIRD WATCHING

LOCAL CULTURE TOURS

WHALE WATCHING

HORSEBACK RIDING

WHITE-WATER RAFTING

ZIP LINING

CANYONING

HIKING

MORE...

Restaurants in Bahia Ballena

Here are some of the many places to whet your appetite in the community of Bahia Ballena!

RESTAURANT MARINO BALLENA

LAS ESFERAS

LAS DELICIAS

CARLITO'S RESTAURANT & BAR

LA FOGATA

SABOR ESPAÑOL

LOS ALMENDROS

HOUSE OF GINGER

CANTO DE BALLENAS

MUCH MORE...

Nearby Attractions

Other popular attractions in and around the Costa Ballena area include:

Boat tour to Caño Island or Corcovado National Park

Day trip to Hacienda Baru

Visit the Uvita waterfall

Visit Finca 6, an UNESCO World Heritage Site

Walk out to the Whale Tail in Bahia Ballena

Surfing at Dominical or Playa Hermosa

SO MUCH MORE...

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Uvita Travel Tips

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