Marino Ballena National Park

Marino Ballena National Park

Two very good reasons to visit Marino Ballena National Park are snorkeling and whale watching, but a great reason to visit is the sheer beauty of the area! The park protects several beautiful beaches along a 6 mile stretch, a mangrove, a coral reef, and numerous rocky isles and islets. The three beaches in Marino Ballena National Park are: Playa Ballena, Playa Pinuela, and Playa Ventanas. The scenery behind these beaches is spectacular with high cloud forest mountains with waterfalls.

Marino Ballena National Park was established in 1990 to protect the humpback whales that migrate to this area each year from Dec – April to mate before returning to the northern waters. They also return with their young from July through late October. Bahia Ballena means “Whale Bay” as the sand bars at each end of the bay resemble a whale’s tail.

Snorkeling is also very good along the coral reef of Marino Ballena National Park. This reef is the largest on the Pacific Coast in Central America and forms a crescent shape with 3 small islands know as Las Tres Hermanas (3 sisters) with Ballena Island being in the center. Outfitters in nearby Dominical rent equipment for snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, and diving. For nature lovers, Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtles can be seen laying their eggs at night on the beach between May and November.

Marino Ballena National Park is easily reached from Highway 34 (the coastline highway from Jaco south to the Osa Peninsula) and is less than an hour west of San Isidro. The GPS coordinates for Marino Ballena National Park are Lat – 9.132 and Long – 83.7333.

Camping is allowed on the beaches, but there are no amenities.

The area receives 13′ of rainfall annually with an average temperature of 79 degrees F. The park consists of 270 acres of coast and beach and 13,300 maritime acres.

Although Costa Rica national park entrance fees do change often, plan on $10 park admission fee ? open 8am-4pm daily. The fee does not include a guide. We highly recommend a guide to thoroughly get the most out of the natural flora and fauna and wildlife that you almost certainly will not see on your own.

Note: The flowers and rocky, rugged beauty combined with the mountains in the background and the magnificent Pacific ocean make for some of the most beautiful pictures you will bring home from Costa Rica!


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