Known for whale-watching, dense jungles and kilometres of deserted beaches, the southern zone of Costa Rica has countless hidden gems. Uvita, Costa Rica is home to the whale’s tail or Marino Ballena National Park, located on the South Pacific coast of the country in the Puntarenas province, which has Dominical and Ojochal as neighbouring towns. This area is also sometimes referred to as “Costa Ballena”.

If you are a true explorer and are planning on visiting this zone in your travel to Costa Rica, Uvita is the perfect place to stay. At Osa Property Management we created a Travel Guide on everything you need to know for your visit:

Marino Ballena National Park, Uvita – Costa Rica

How to get to Uvita

The best option to getting to Uvita, Costa Rica is to fly into San José and then drive down. The drive takes between three to four hours, depending on traffic. The coastal highway is well-maintained and you will pass by the beach towns of Jacó and Manuel Antonio. You can also choose to get to Uvita through San Gerardo de Dota and San Isidro de El General. Keep in mind that this drive will take you at least one more hour.

Another option is flying from Juan Santamaría International Airport into Palmar Sur Airport or Quepos La Managua Airport. Both airports are about a 40 minute drive away from Uvita. For more information check our Flights to Costa Rica Guide (coming soon).

If you are staying in one of our vacation rentals, contact us to arrange private transportation services for you.

Costal Highway to Uvita, Costa Rica

Moving around Uvita

If you are driving down to Uvita, Costa Rica it is recommended to have a 4×4 vehicle. Some of the activities at Uvita take place off the beaten paths. However, we offer several vacation home rental options that don’t require a 4×4 vehicle. In fact, it’s possible to not even need a car for certain homes (just use taxis).

Contact us to help line up a rental vehicle.

Where to stay in Uvita

We offer a great number of exclusively available vacation rentals in and around Uvita, San Buenas, Ojochal, Dominical, and Manuel Antonio. There are quite a few options to choose from here. Take a look at our vacation rentals and let us know if you have any questions. We also take any special requirements (handicapped accessible, etc). We also offer a full range of custom travel services and concierge services.

Dharma Bum Bungalow (check availability here)

Casa Tranquila (check availability here)

Casa La Vista (check availability here)

Shopping for basics in Uvita

BM Uvita: The biggest supermarket in town, where you can stock up on everything for your stay. It also has a great liquor section. 

El Mercado de Bahía Ballena: If you are looking for local and artisanal products, this is the place. This market happens on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8am to 2pm. 

Surá Organic Market: The perfect option if you want at-home-delivery service. They deliver gluten-free and keto products, as well as fruits and vegetables, meats and other essentials. 

Emana: The first zero-waste store in the southern-pacific region. You can find food to buy in bulk and body care products.

Pharmacies: Farmacia Costa Ballena, Farmacias y Macrobioticas Ibarra and Farmacia Don Gerardo Uvita.

Covid-19 Information

If you require to get tested before leaving Costa Rica, the nearest location for in-house testing is in Quepos. Hospital Metropolitano is about an hour north from Uvita in Quepos (near Manuel Antonio). They send PCR samples to their own central lab in San José. The PCR test costs $85, with results in 48 hours from 9am to 4pm, Monday thru Friday and 9am to 2pm Saturday (contact: +506 2519-9733). They also do in-house antigen testing for $55. Otherwise, you can get tested in several places when you are back in San José.

What to do in Uvita, Costa Rica

Check out our guides on travel tips in the Uvita and Southern Pacific zone in Costa Rica (coming soon!)

Marino Ballena National Park at Uvita, Costa Rica