There are an abundance of hidden gems in and around Uvita to see and explore. Every day, I find that there is some new and adventurous activity to take part in. Whether you prefer to take a nice walk on the beach or get your adrenaline rushing while surfing, this town and its surrounding areas has it all. Even better — these natural wonders and are easily accessible and can be walked, biked, or driven to.
Located on Costa Rica’s Southern Pacific Coast within Marino Ballena National Park, the view both of and on the Whale’s Tail is unbelievable. When the tide is low, this natural sandbar is shaped like a giant whale tail, and coincidentally, is located in an area that humpback whales migrate to from hundreds of miles away as a place to lay their calves. Try looking for whales between mid-July through late October (Southern Humpback Whales), and again in mid-December through late February (Northern Humpback Whales). The Whale Tail is also framed by a natural coral reef which makes it a great place to go snorkeling. The sandbar’s beach is rarely crowded, so it’s a great place to enjoy a peaceful walk or swim.
Not far from the main highway is my favorite place to take a refreshing swim. Tucked away in the jungle yet quite easily accessible is the Uvita Waterfall. The water is crystal clear and is a great way to cool off from the heat. This waterfall has two parts, one is the large falls where you can either jump or slide down the rock slide. The smaller falls down below are easier to jump off, but just as exciting! The stream connects the two waterfalls so you are able to see both the falls at once and can do a little rock hopping to see both of them. It’s a lovely spot to swim or just relax on the rocks, plus they have a restaurant where you can enjoy lunch or a fruit smoothie.
Marino Ballena National Park
The Marino Ballena National Park was created in 1990 and encompasses over 270 acres of land and roughly 13,000 acres of ocean. This area is filled with a diverse ecosystem containing a variety of fish like humpback whales and dolphins, birds, and reptiles. As you walk along the mangrove forest you can hear birds chirping and the soothing sound of the ocean. You may also be lucky enough to see monkeys or scarlet macaws. With a coral reef right off the coast, you also have the option of snorkeling and diving. The views from all over the park offer a breathtaking view, as you’re walking down the beach you can see the vast blue ocean and the vibrant green mountains in the background.
La Union Mountains
Located east of Uvita are the La Union Mountains. Not only are they beautiful when viewed from down below, but provide an awesome hiking experience. Throughout the hike to the top you are able to hear and see scarlet macaws and monkeys. As well as exotic animals, you may see a wide variety of colorful butterflies and insects. Once you reach the top of the mountains, you are at a stunning place to view the Whale Tail. In addition, you also have a bird’s eye view of the towns Uvita and Bahia Ballena. Finally, I would recommend taking a hike down into the canyons to hang out and swim at a few waterfalls.
Uvita has a variety of beaches from which to choose, each offering wonderful views and great places to take a dip in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. Visit one or visit them all, you cannot go wrong with any one you choose because they are all tropical Costa Rican beaches!
This beach is actually the beach that extends from the Sector Uvita park entrance all the way to the rocky tip of the whale’s tail. The walk to the tail is extremely peaceful and rarely crowded. The view from the tale offers extraordinary views of the mountains because you are further out into the water. This is a great place to walk or swim but you must go at low tide, and always be mindful of the rising tide.
Just south of Uvita, along the coastal highway, Playa Hermosa is a perfect place to go with your family. The water is clearer than the other beaches in the area so it’s fun to see your toes as you walk into the ocean. This is a great place to go walking, surfing, boogie boarding, or just relaxing on the beach. Be mindful of rip currents and always listen to the local lifeguards!
Playa Chaman (or Colonia)
The waves are easy and steady — perfect for beginner surfers. With the background of the jungle and mountains, it’s an ideal location for nature lovers. Discover scarlet macaws, monkeys, lizards, and more as you walk through the jungle to the beach. This beach is recommended for surfing, swimming, walking, or just hanging out and catching some rays.
Written by Elizabeth Belville