Ballena National Park, a marine adventure for all
Just south of Puntarenas along the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica, you will find a completely beautiful park of dark sands and clear waters. It is known mainly for being one of the best places in the world for the observation of humpback whales and dolphins, as well as having a rather curious attraction such as a whale tail that appears and disappears as the tide rises and falls.
The Ballena Marine National Park, extends along a 9-mile coastline, which is made up of four well-defined beaches that are: Ballena Bay Beach, Piñuela Beach, Colonia Beach and Uvita Beach. Among all the most popular are Playa uvita and, of course, Bahia Ballena Beach, which is where the park’s guard station is located and therefore is the ideal place to camp. The entrance to the park has a value of US $ 6 and allows you to spend all day in the place and even spend the night in your tent without additional cost, the best time of the day to see the incredible whale tail that draws the sand is before 10 o’clock in the morning, because at that time there is low tide in the area.
Popular activities offered by the Ballena National Park
As we are talking about a marine park, obviously most of the recreational activities revolve around water and more exclusively to the sea. In this beautiful place of protected beaches it is not advisable to bathe, because the waves are a bit strong, however, nature itself has created shallow pools where visitors can take a dip. But in the same way, depending on the beach you are on, there are those who venture to immerse themselves in the ocean and even explore it.
The main activity and of course the most demanded is the boat ride to see up close the humpback whales that tend to transit the place between the months of August to November and the months of December to April, during this walk as well It is possible to appreciate other types of animals, although the most common is to run into several dolphins along the way, an encounter that causes wonder especially in young children.
Another activity that Ballena visitors tend to do is to do underwater exploration with either snorkeling or with all the depth diving equipment, this is because the park is not only rich in marine fauna, but also It has a wide variety of corals of all kinds. Actually in the Ballena Marine National Park there are 18 different types of coral, which makes it the region of Costa Rica that has the largest collection of specimens of this type and of course the locals boast this quality of the area.
Boat tours are one of the adventures that tends to attract tourists and one of the best options when touring the park, because it allows you to get into the natural mangroves that surround the stone islets known as Isla Ballena and Las Tres. Sisters In these mangroves you can observe several types of seabirds and also enjoy the variety of fish in the area.
Surfing is another of the sports that is practiced in the place, as we have said before, the swell of the park tends to be a bit strong, which makes it an ideal place to take a board and go up the waves. Of course, surfing is limited to certain very specific areas, because you must remember that it is a protected conservation area and therefore, the habitat prevails over fun.
The Ballena Marine National Park a function of sea and mountain
Although Ballena is a coastal park, where most of its land extension is made up of payas, in the place there are also trails that allow you to enter the mountains that surround the place and it is precisely in these mountains where the campers can spend the night, because during high tide many of its beaches simply disappear. Another important fact is that the lookout on the trails is the only way to appreciate the beauty of the Tómbolo de Punta-Uvita, that is, to see the whale’s tail that is drawn in the sand when the tide is low.