Dominical and Bahia Ballena
A little further south along the coast from Manuel Antonio you will find Dominical, which for quite a long time was Costa Rica’s best kept secret. The scenery is picture perfect with ‘jungle beaches’ which are great for surfing, and the vast array of bird species make this a bird-lover's paradise.
The picturesque and growing beach town of Dominical draws visitors with its stunning shoreline and laid back charm. Boasting perhaps the most consistent waves in Costa Rica, Dominical and the surrounding area is a surfer’s paradise, with Playa Dominical attracting surfers world-wide. A little further south are the miniature towns of Bahia and Uvita, where palm trees sway and the white sand beaches are wide and empty. Defined by the lack of roads and limited tourism infrastructure, this small region of Costa Rica is often left forgotten but with numerous unspoiled beaches to choose from, it’s the perfect destination for those looking for a crowd-free beach holiday.
Located in an area of pristine beauty, this hub of small towns is surrounded by plantations, tangled mangroves and crystal-clear waterfalls, as well as a number of protected National Parks. In driving distance to Ballena National Marine Park, Manuel Antonio National Park and Corcovado National Park, it’s a great base for exploring some of Costa Rica’s most wildlife-rich and exotic jungle areas.
Ballena National Marine Park is one of the main attractions here and was created to protect an area of ocean and coastline that encloses a large and unspoiled coral reef, rocky islands and wild beaches. Dependent on the time of year, majestic humpback whales (December- April) can be seen frolicking in the waters, as well as pods of playful dolphins. Between May and October the olive ridley and hawksbill sea turtles arrive on-shore to nest and year round a myriad of bird species can be seen. Rich in marine-life it offers fantastic snorkelling and scuba diving and for land based options one can enjoy hikes, horseback-riding or simply discovering coconut-laden beaches to relax and spend the day.
There is a slower pace of life in the south here, where the atmosphere is tranquil and life is about getting back to basics. With a few exclusive hotels dotted in the area it makes for a perfect end to any Costa Rica holiday.