Costa Rica: A Stage for the Breathtaking Acrobatics of Humpback Whales

By Silvanna Pacheco, February 27th, 2024

Costa Rica’s warm waters play host to a remarkable phenomenon: a congregation of humpback whales from both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. This unique gathering makes Costa Rica a world-class destination for witnessing these magnificent creatures.

As you set sail on a whale watching tour, the anticipation builds. A humpback whale watching experience is more than just a thrilling adventure; it’s a chance to connect with nature and gain a deeper appreciation for these awe-inspiring mammals. Their playful interactions, intricate vocalizations, and the tender care mothers show their calves offer a glimpse into their fascinating world.

The best places to see Humpback whales in Costa Rica are along the Central and South Pacific Coast, specifically in Ballena, Isla del Caño and Drake Bay. The Marino Ballena National Park is a sanctuary for whales. It was established in 1989 to protect the humpback whales and their habitat. You can witness the unique whale’s tail-shaped sandbar emerging at low tide, a testament to the park’s conservation efforts.

Photo: Fernando Guerrero, tour guide.

The Central Pacific Coast is a popular tourist destination with something to offer everyone. Whether you’re on a tight budget or looking for a luxurious experience, you’ll find accommodations to suit your needs. Manuel Antonio is a gem, a nature lover’s paradise. It boasts a stunning national park with amazing wildlife and some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. It is also conveniently located 1 hour away from Marino Ballena National Park.

Dominical Beach is a small beach town known for its laid back surfer vibes. Located just a few minutes away from Marino Ballena National Park, it offers a variety of 3-star accommodations, making it a great option for those who want to be closer to the action.

Costa Rica boasts the longest humpback whale watching season in the world!!!

The best time to see these them is from July to October and from December to April. In addition to humpback whales, there are many other species of whales and dolphins that can be seen in Costa Rica’s waters. These include bottle-nose dolphins, pan-tropical spotted dolphins, and sperm whales. Whale watching tours are available throughout the Central Pacific Coast.

If you’re planning a trip to Costa Rica to see humpback whales, keep in mind to book your
whale watching tour in advance especially if you’re traveling during peak season.

As with any wildlife encounter, responsible tourism is crucial. Choose tour operators who prioritize the well-being of the whales and adhere to ethical guidelines. This ensures a positive experience for both visitors and these magnificent creatures.