Dolphin and whale watching has become one of the top attractions in Costa Rica, especially on the southern Pacific coast by the Osa Peninsula. Whales migrate from both hemisphere and stop in Costa Rica to mate and to raise their young. Some say that even the whales stop in Costa Rica on vacation! Visitors have a pretty good chance to spot these awesome creatures, especially in places like Drake Bay. There are huge colonies of Dolphins in these waters so it is pretty certain to see them play as well.
Whales around the Osa Peninsula
Most people hear of the Humpback whale that come to this area, however there are many other types too; The pilot whale, killer whale, sei whale, and beaked whale, as well as the bottle nose, roughtooth, rhissos, spotted and spinner dolphins. Costa Rica recently celebrated the longest humpback whale season of the world. The migration of these gentle giants is one of most remarkable journey accomplished by any creature of the world, and they are known to travel with stretches of 5000 miles or more at a time. Indeed, every year humpback whales will swim over 11.500 miles from the Arctic Ocean to mate in Costa Rica, and many more will swim the same distance from the Antarctica. They are the largest living mammals of the planet, and indeed catching a glimpse of them is simply mystifying.
Best places to see the whales
The Ballena National Marine Park is located south of Dominical, and it got its name from the frequent visits it gets from the Humpback whales that migrate in the region every year. This park is a favorite for those seeking a different kind of vacation that offers the memorable experience of whale and dolphin watching. It also offers gorgeous white sand beaches, such as Playa Ballena, Playa Uvita, Playa Arco, playa Pinuelas and play Ventanas., as well as coral reefs, rocky shorelines and mangroves. This is one of the most fascinating places on Earth. The landscape feature what is known as a land bridge, a link joining the mainland at Uvita Bay and the Coral reef offshore, however it is only possible to cross during the low tide; the locals call it a Tombolo. Drake Bay is a big favorite for whale and dolphin watching; the calm and protected waters make out the ideal breeding ground for them, and it is also where the longest humpback season was recorded, because whales from both poles meet up there for mating, giving birth and for looking after their young. Best times to visit are from August to the end of November, they are however also spotted in March and in June. Cano Island is also good for whale watching, the trip to the island indeed often includes lots of sightings.
The Humbpack Whale
The Humpback whale was on the brink of extinction but has now recovered with a population that is estimated to be between 65,000 and 75,000. Why do these extraordinary creatures all choose Costa Rica? It is because of the Costa Rican Thermal Convection, or Dome; the shallow warm currents lie above low oxygen and cold currents making the water swell up, creating the ideal ecosystem for the survival of marine wildlife, and providing a never ending source of food for the whales, and for the dolphins.