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Best Things to Do in Uvita Costa Rica

Nestled on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica Central America, the charming town of Uvita is a hidden gem waiting to be explored.

With its lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and an abundance of wildlife, Uvita offers a plethora of activities and natural wonders for visitors to enjoy.

In this blog, we will highlight the best things to do in Uvita, from exploring the Marino Ballena National Park to experiencing the Envision Festival. Let's dive into the beauty and adventure that Uvita has to offer.

Uvita, a charming beach town nestled along Costa Rica's South Pacific coast, offers a breathtaking combination of lush jungle, stunning beaches, and an abundance of outdoor activities that cater to every type of traveler.

Whether you're an adventure seeker, nature lover, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Uvita has something for you.

In this blog, we'll explore the best things to do in Uvita, Costa Rica, and provide answers to some common questions about this beautiful destination.

Marino Ballena National Park (Whale's Tail) in Uvita

Marino Ballena National Park

Marino Ballena National Park ("whale's tale") is one of Uvita's crown jewels, famous for its stunning "Whale Tail" sandbar. It is one of the best national parks in Costa Rica.

The unique formation of this sandbar resembles the tail of a whale, making it an ideal spot for low tide exploration and photography.

The park's most famous feature is the "Whale Tail" sandbar, a unique natural formation that resembles the tail of a whale, and it becomes visible during low tide.

This stunning sight has become a symbol of Uvita and is a must-visit for travelers.

The Whale Tail provides an ideal spot for beachcombing, offering a fantastic backdrop for stunning photographs and the chance to connect with nature.

Visitors can access the park with a small entrance fee, which goes towards its conservation and protection.

Beyond the Whale Tail, Marino Ballena National Park is a haven for marine life enthusiasts.

Besides humpback whales, it's home to a variety of other species, including dolphins, sea turtles, and numerous fish species.

The pristine waters and coral reefs surrounding the park make it an excellent location for snorkeling and scuba diving.

The park features walking trails through lush rainforests, leading to panoramic viewpoints with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

Exploring these trails provides an opportunity to spot various wildlife, such as capuchin monkeys, sloths, and a rich array of bird species.

Whether you're interested in relaxing on the beach, observing the marvel of the Whale Tail, or immersing yourself in the park's natural beauty, Marino Ballena National Park is an essential stop on your Uvita adventure.

There are several activities to enjoy in the park:


  • During low tide, you can walk along the sandbar and explore its intricate patterns and tidal pools.


  • The park is a haven for marine life, making it an excellent spot for snorkeling. Witness colorful fish and coral formations beneath the waves.

Whale Watching:

  • The park is renowned for humpback whale sightings from July to November. Take a boat tour to get up close to these majestic creatures.


  • The park's entrance fee is typically around $6 for foreigners and a reduced fee for residents and citizens.

  • Additional fees may apply for boat tours or other activities within the park.

How to Get There:

You can easily reach Marino Ballena National Park from Uvita by taking a short drive or a local bus. It's approximately 15 minutes by car from Uvita, and you'll find plenty of parking facilities near the park entrance.

El Pavon Waterfall (Cascade El Pavon) in Uvita

El Pavon Waterfall

The El Pavon Waterfall is a hidden gem in the Uvita region.

Nestled in the heart of the rainforest, reaching this waterfall involves a short hike through lush vegetation.

Once there, you'll be rewarded with a stunning 60-meter cascade and a refreshing natural pool to cool off in. It's a serene escape into the heart of nature.

El Pavon

Hidden amidst the lush jungle, the El Pavon Waterfall offers an unforgettable natural experience.

A short hike leads you to this magnificent cascade, where you can take a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear pool beneath.

The jungle surroundings make this a perfect spot for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts.

Hidden amidst the lush jungle, the El Pavon Waterfall in Costa Rica is a serene oasis waiting to be discovered.

This hidden gem offers more than just a visual delight.

The journey to El Pavon Waterfall is an adventure in itself. A short hike through the dense rainforest takes you along a path filled with vibrant flora and the sounds of the jungle.

As you approach the waterfall, the sound of cascading water becomes more prominent, building anticipation for the hidden wonder.

When you finally arrive, you're greeted with a magnificent sight. El Pavon Waterfall stands as a tall, majestic cascade that tumbles into a crystal-clear pool.

The pool offers a perfect respite from the tropical heat, inviting visitors to take a refreshing swim.

Surrounded by dense vegetation, the pool at the base of El Pavon Waterfall is a tranquil spot.

You can swim, cool off, and relax in the midst of nature.

The lush, green surroundings provide an excellent backdrop for photographs, making it a must-visit location for those who appreciate the beauty of the outdoors.

While El Pavon Waterfall is relatively less crowded compared to other attractions in Uvita, it's a fantastic spot for those seeking a more serene and intimate experience with Costa Rica's natural beauty.

It's the perfect place to connect with the environment and appreciate the tranquility of the rainforest.

Caño Island Snorkeling

Caño Island Snorkeling

If you're a fan of underwater adventures, Uvita offers excellent opportunities for snorkeling.

Caño Island Biological Reserve

Just a few hours away from Uvita, is a top destination for snorkelers.

Its crystal-clear waters are home to a wide variety of marine life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, and even the occasional shark.

A short boat ride from Uvita, you'll find the Caño Island Biological Reserve, a paradise for snorkelers.

This uninhabited island boasts crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life, from colorful fish to sea turtles. It's an underwater wonderland waiting to be explored.

Caño Island Snorkeling is an experience that will leave you in awe of Costa Rica's marine beauty. The pristine waters surrounding Caño Island offer some of the best snorkeling in the country. Here's what you can expect:

Rich Marine Life:

  • The island's marine biodiversity is astounding.

  • Snorkelers often encounter an array of tropical fish, sea turtles, rays, and even white-tipped reef sharks.

  • The clear waters provide excellent visibility, allowing you to observe these magnificent creatures up close.

Vibrant Coral Reefs:

  • The vibrant coral reefs are the heart of Caño Island's underwater world.

  • These living structures provide shelter and sustenance for a wide variety of marine species.

  • Snorkeling around the coral gardens is a mesmerizing experience.

Snorkeling Tours:

  • To explore the best snorkeling spots around Caño Island, it's recommended to join a guided snorkeling tour.

  • Knowledgeable guides can take you to the prime locations and provide insights about the marine life and the island's conservation.

Unspoiled Nature:

  • Caño Island remains undeveloped, and its waters are protected, making it a haven for marine life.

  • The absence of large-scale tourism and fishing ensures that the underwater environment remains pristine.

When visiting Uvita, a snorkeling adventure at Caño Island is a must.

It's an opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of Costa Rica's underwater world and create lasting memories of your trip.

Humpback Whale Watching in Uvita

Humpback Whale Watching in Uvita

Whale watching is one of the most exhilarating and popular activities in Uvita, and for good reason.

The waters off the South Pacific coast of Costa Rica are home to a diverse range of marine life, including humpback whales, dolphins, sea turtles, and various species of fish.

Among these, the humpback whales are the stars of the show.

Here's what you can expect when you embark on a whale-watching tour in Uvita:

  • Humpback Whales: Uvita is part of the annual migration route for humpback whales, making it one of the best places in the world to witness these magnificent creatures.

  • Humpback whales visit the area from July to November each year, and they often come here to give birth and nurture their calves.

  • It's a thrilling experience to see these massive creatures breach and play in the warm waters of the Pacific.

  • Dolphin Encounters: Along with humpback whales, dolphin species such as bottlenose dolphins and spotted dolphins are frequently spotted during whale-watching tours. These playful and acrobatic animals often swim alongside the boats, delighting onlookers.

  • Sea Turtles: Uvita's coastal waters are also home to various sea turtle species, including the olive ridley, green, and hawksbill turtles.

  • While on a whale-watching tour, you may have the opportunity to spot sea turtles surfacing for air or even see them nesting on the beaches during the nesting season.

  • Expert Guides: Whale-watching tours in Uvita are typically led by experienced and knowledgeable guides who are well-versed in the behavior and migration patterns of these marine animals.

  • They can provide valuable insights and ensure that you have the best chance of witnessing these incredible creatures in their natural habitat.

  • Boat Tours: Whale-watching tours are usually conducted on small boats or catamarans that are designed for a smooth and comfortable ride.

  • These tours adhere to responsible wildlife-watching guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of the animals.

  • Photography Opportunities: The thrill of spotting these magnificent creatures is often accompanied by great photography opportunities.

  • The chance to capture breaching whales, playful dolphins, and other marine life is a highlight of the experience.

It's important to book your whale-watching tour with a reputable operator in Uvita to ensure that you have a safe and responsible encounter with these beautiful marine animals.

These tours are not only an exciting adventure but also a chance to connect with the incredible biodiversity of Costa Rica's Pacific coast.

Whether you're an avid wildlife enthusiast or just looking for a unique and awe-inspiring experience, whale watching in Uvita is a must-do activity that allows you to witness some of nature's most magnificent creations in their natural habitat.

Nauyaca Waterfall Uvita Costa Rica

Nauyaca Waterfall Uvita Costa Rica

The Nauyaca Waterfall is a hidden gem in Uvita.

A horseback riding tour takes a day trip and will take you through the tropical rainforest to reach this impressive waterfall.

The two cascades, with their emerald pools, are perfect for swimming and provide a tranquil escape from the world.

This stunning cascade is set within a tropical paradise and offers two cascades and emerald pools, perfect for swimming and relaxation.

It's an exciting day trip that combines both adventure and natural beauty.

The Nauyaca Waterfall in Costa Rica is not only visually stunning but also provides an opportunity to connect with nature on a deeper level.

Visitors can take a guided horseback riding tour through the lush jungle, immersing themselves in the sights and sounds of the rainforest.

The journey to the waterfall is an adventure in itself, and once you arrive, you're rewarded with the sight of the cascading water and the inviting pools.

Swimming in the pristine pools beneath the Nauyaca Waterfall is an unforgettable experience.

The water is refreshingly cool, and the surrounding jungle creates a serene and peaceful ambiance.

It's an ideal spot to relax, take in the natural beauty, and enjoy a picnic surrounded by the lush greenery of the rainforest.

Horseback-Riding on the Beach in Uvita

Horseback-Riding on the Beach in Uvita

Exploring the pristine landscapes and lush jungles of Uvita on horseback is an enchanting experience that allows you to connect with nature and immerse yourself in the region's natural beauty.

Horseback riding tours are readily available in and around Uvita, offering a unique way to discover the area's hidden gems.

Here's what you can expect when you opt for a horseback riding tour in Uvita:

  • Scenic Trails: Uvita is known for its stunning natural landscapes, and many horseback riding tours take you through picturesque trails that wind through the jungle, along the coastline, and to secluded waterfalls.

  • The views and scenery you'll encounter on these trails are nothing short of breathtaking.

  • Wildlife Encounters: Horseback riding provides an opportunity to spot Costa Rica's diverse wildlife.

  • As you traverse the jungle or coastal areas, you may come across howler monkeys, exotic birds, and other native creatures.

  • The gentle pace of horseback riding allows for a more intimate and peaceful wildlife encounter.

  • Waterfall Excursions: Some horseback riding tours in Uvita include visits to beautiful waterfalls. These natural wonders are often hidden deep within the rainforest, and reaching them on horseback adds to the adventure. You can cool off with a refreshing swim in the clear, natural pools found at the base of the falls.

  • Experienced Guides: Most horseback riding tours are led by knowledgeable guides who are well-versed in the local flora and fauna.

  • They can provide fascinating insights into the natural history of the region and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

  • Suitable for All Levels: Whether you're a seasoned rider or have never been on a horse before, there are tours suitable for all levels of experience.

  • Horses are typically well-trained and gentle, making the tours accessible to everyone.

  • Cultural Interaction: Many tours offer the opportunity to interact with local ranchers and gain insight into their way of life. You can learn about the traditions and customs of the region while enjoying the hospitality of the Costa Rican people.

  • Sunset Rides: A particularly romantic and magical experience in Uvita is a sunset horseback ride along the beach.

  • Watching the sun dip below the horizon while on horseback is a memory that will stay with you long after your trip to Uvita.

Horseback riding in Uvita is a unique way to connect with the natural wonders of Costa Rica.

Whether you're exploring the rainforest, riding along the coastline, or discovering hidden waterfalls, the experience is sure to be one of the highlights of your visit.

It offers a blend of adventure, serenity, and cultural immersion, making it an activity that appeals to a wide range of travelers.

Uvita Waterfall

In addition to the Nauyaca Waterfall, Uvita offers a plethora of cascades, including the Uvita Waterfall itself.

Nestled in a tropical paradise, this waterfall is accessible via a short hike and provides a serene spot for a refreshing swim.

The Uvita Waterfall, situated close to the heart of the town, offers a serene and easily accessible natural escape.

A short hike through the jungle leads you to this picturesque waterfall, where the cascading water creates a refreshing pool for swimming.

The lush surroundings and the tranquil ambiance make it an ideal spot for relaxation and enjoying the beauty of Costa Rica's natural landscape.

Uvita Waterfall, also known as Cascada Verde, is a hidden gem that welcomes you with its serene beauty.

As you follow the trail through the rainforest, the sound of the cascading water becomes a soothing companion.

When you reach the waterfall, you're greeted with a refreshing pool, surrounded by towering trees and vibrant foliage.

Visitors can take a dip in the pool, letting the cool waters rejuvenate them after the hike.

The setting is perfect for capturing the beauty of nature through photography or simply unwinding while immersed in the lush greenery of the jungle.

Playa Hermosa in Uvita

Playa Hermosa in Uvita jumbo car costa rica

Playa Hermosa, which translates to "Beautiful Beach," lives up to its name.

It's a pristine stretch of sand offering tranquility and natural beauty. Whether you want to surf the waves, take a leisurely beach walk, or simply bask in the sun, Playa Hermosa has something for everyone.

Playa Hermosa is located just a short drive south of Uvita and offers visitors a pristine and tranquil coastal escape.

This beach is an excellent place to unwind, soak up the sun, and enjoy the natural beauty of Costa Rica's South Pacific coast.

Here's what you can expect when you visit Playa Hermosa:

  • Serene Atmosphere: Playa Hermosa is known for its peaceful and uncrowded ambiance.

  • It's an ideal spot for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of more popular tourist destinations.

  • Whether you want to relax with a good book, go for a leisurely walk along the shore, or simply bask in the tranquility, Playa Hermosa offers the perfect setting.

  • Surfing: Playa Hermosa is also a favorite spot for surfers.

  • The consistent waves provide a great opportunity for both beginner and intermediate surfers to catch some waves.

  • If you're new to surfing or interested in learning, there are surf schools and instructors in the area who can help you get started.

  • Scenic Views: The beach is surrounded by lush vegetation and palm trees, creating a picturesque backdrop. It's an excellent location for taking in the stunning coastal scenery and enjoying the vibrant sunsets that grace the South Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

  • Tide Pools: During low tide, you can explore the rocky outcrops and tide pools that are home to a variety of marine life.

  • It's a fantastic opportunity for tide pool enthusiasts and nature lovers to observe the fascinating creatures that inhabit the intertidal zone.

  • Birdwatching: Playa Hermosa is part of a larger ecosystem that includes mangroves, estuaries, and wetlands.

  • This diversity of habitats makes it a prime location for birdwatching. Bring your binoculars and keep an eye out for a wide range of bird species that call this area home.

  • Local Flavor: Just a short walk from the beach, you'll find some small local eateries where you can savor delicious Costa Rican cuisine. From fresh seafood to traditional dishes, you can immerse yourself in the flavors of the region.

Whether you're seeking a tranquil day at the beach, eager to ride the waves, or interested in experiencing the natural beauty of the South Pacific coast, Playa Hermosa in Uvita is a must-visit destination.

Its laid-back atmosphere and scenic surroundings make it a hidden paradise worth exploring.

Envision Festival

envision festival costa rica

If you're looking for a unique cultural experience, consider attending the Envision Festival, a renowned annual event in Uvita.

This gathering celebrates art, music, and sustainability, attracting like-minded individuals from around the world.

Uvita is not only known for its natural beauty but also for its vibrant cultural scene.

Every year, it hosts the renowned Envision Festival, a unique and immersive event that celebrates art, music, and sustainability.

The festival attracts people from around the world, offering a diverse and enriching cultural experience.

Envision Festival is more than just a music festival; it's a gathering of like-minded individuals who share a passion for art, yoga, and sustainable living.

he event features live music, workshops, performances, and a strong emphasis on environmental consciousness.

Guests can participate in yoga sessions, permaculture workshops, art installations, and more.

It's a celebration of creativity, nature, and community.

The festival takes place in an enchanting setting that complements the natural beauty of Uvita, creating a unique and immersive experience.

Envision Festival is an opportunity to not only enjoy world-class music but also to connect with a global community that values the environment and seeks to make a positive impact.

You can also anjoy a delicious food.

In summary, Uvita, Costa Rica, offers a wide range of activities and natural wonders for travelers to explore.

Whether you're interested in exploring marine life, relaxing on pristine beaches, or immersing yourself in a unique cultural experience, Uvita has something to offer.

So, pack your bags, rent a car, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey in this beautiful part of Central America.

Manuel Antonio National Park and Beaches

Manuel Antonio National Park and Beaches

While you're in Uvita, don't miss the opportunity to visit the nearby Manuel Antonio National Park and its beautiful Manuel Antonio Beaches. Visit Manuel antonio national park during your trip to Costa Rica. Manuel antonio national park is one of the best national parks in Costa Rica.

Just a short drive north along the coast, Manuel Antonio is renowned for its lush rainforests and abundant wildlife. Manuel Antonio national park is also a popular beach town.

The national park is home to a diverse range of animal species, including capuchin monkeys, sloths, and a variety of colorful birds.

You can explore the park's network of hiking trails in Costa Rica, which wind through the rainforest and lead to stunning viewpoints overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

After a nature-filled day of hiking, you can relax on the pristine shores of Manuel Antonio Beach, which is known for its powdery white sand and clear blue waters.

Corcovado National Park

While visiting Uvita, it's worth considering a day trip to the world-renowned Corcovado National Park, which is located a bit further to the south along the Osa Peninsula.

Visit Corcovado National Park in a one day trip. This pristine and remote tropical rainforest is often referred to as one of the most biologically intense places on Earth.

Corcovado National Park boasts an incredibly diverse ecosystem with a wealth of wildlife, including jaguars, tapirs, monkeys, and a wide variety of birds.

San Pedrillo ranger station is one of the most popular inside the national park.

Exploring Corcovado National Park is an adventure of a lifetime. Several hiking trails lead you through the dense jungle, offering opportunities to observe the magnificent wildlife and discover the unspoiled beauty of the rainforest.

Keep in mind that visiting Corcovado National Park typically requires a guided tour due to its remote location and to ensure both safety and conservation.

Getting to Uvita and getting around

Before delving into the incredible attractions in Uvita, it's essential to know how to get there. Uvita is located on the southwestern coast of Costa Rica, in the Puntarenas Province.

There are several options to reach Uvita, depending on your preferences and starting point.

By Air

If you're traveling from afar or want to save time, the nearest major airport to Uvita is San Jose's Juan Santamaría International Airport.

From there, you can take a domestic flight to the Palmar Sur Airport or Quepos La Managua Airport, which are the closest airports to Uvita.

Palmar Sur is approximately a 45-minute drive from Uvita, while Quepos La Managua is about a 2-hour drive.

Domestic flights are quick and convenient, offering a scenic view of Costa Rica from the air.

By Car

Many travelers prefer to rent a car, which allows for flexibility in exploring the region.

You can rent a car at the airports in San Jose or Quepos and drive to Uvita.

The journey provides an opportunity to witness the country's diverse landscapes, including dense rainforests, rolling hills, and picturesque coastal views.

The drive is an adventure in itself, but it's important to ensure you have a reliable GPS or navigation app to make your way to Uvita with ease.

By Bus

For a more budget-friendly option, you can take a bus to Uvita.

There are bus services from San Jose to Uvita, offering a more affordable way to reach the destination and you can tale a local bus to get to the other places around.

Keep in mind that the journey by bus can be longer, but it's a chance to experience local culture and interact with fellow travelers along the way.

You can also take a taxi while already in Uvita Costa Rica.

Renting a Car in Uvita

rental car costa rica jumbo car costa rica

Once you arrive in Uvita, you may want to consider renting a 4x4 in Costa Rica to enhance your mobility and explore the area at your own pace.

Several car rental agencies operate in Uvita and surrounding areas, making it relatively easy to secure a vehicle for your stay.

Renting a car in Uvita is a convenient option for several reasons:

  • Flexibility: Having a car allows you to visit the many attractions around Uvita, such as Marino Ballena National Park, El Pavon Waterfall, and more, without being constrained by fixed schedules.

  • Scenic Drives: Costa Rica's South Pacific region is known for its stunning scenic drives. With a rental car, you can embark on picturesque journeys along coastal routes, through mountainous terrain, and into lush rainforests.

  • Remote Attractions: Some of the area's most breathtaking attractions, like Corcovado National Park and Caño Island, are in more remote locations.

  • A rental car provides the flexibility to reach these destinations with ease.

  • Convenience: Uvita itself offers a range of services and businesses that are conveniently accessible by car, including restaurants, supermarkets, and accommodation options.

When renting a car in Uvita, it's advisable to make reservations in advance, ensure you have the necessary documents (e.g., a valid driver's license and credit card), and thoroughly inspect the vehicle before driving.

Additionally, be mindful of the local traffic rules and road conditions, as driving in Costa Rica may differ from what you're accustomed to.

FAQs About Uvita Costa Rica

Is Uvita worth visiting?

Absolutely, Uvita is worth visiting. And playa Uvita of course.

It offers a blend of natural beauty, adventure, and cultural experiences that are sure to make your trip memorable. From pristine beaches to lush rainforests, there's something for every type of traveler.

Is it safe to swim in Uvita?

Yes, it's generally safe to swim in playa Uvita. So visit Uvita beach town and Uvita beach without hesitating.

However, like any beach destination, it's essential to pay attention to local conditions and heed safety warnings, especially when it comes to tides and currents.

Always prioritize your safety while enjoying the water in playa Uvita Costa Rica.

What is a fun fact about Uvita, Costa Rica?

A fun fact about Uvita is the town's unique "whale tail" formation in the Marino Ballena National Park.

This sandbar emerges during low tide, creating a natural spectacle resembling a whale's tail, a truly remarkable sight to behold.

So, visit Uvita Costa Rica, you won't regret it.

What is the difference between Uvita and Tamarindo, Costa Rica?

Uvita and Tamarindo are both coastal destinations in Costa Rica, but they offer different experiences.

Uvita is located in south pacific, and is known for its natural beauty, including waterfalls, rainforests, and marine life, making it a great destination for adventure and eco-tourism. Visit Uvita Costa Rica.

Tamarindo, on the other hand, is known for its vibrant nightlife, surfing, and a more developed tourist scene, catering to a different kind of traveler. Very different from Uvita town Costa Rica and Uvita Beach or Playa Uvita Costa Rica.


In conclusion, Uvita, Costa Rica, is a paradise waiting to be explored. Visit Uvita Costa Rica.

Whether you're seeking adventure in the rainforest, relaxation on pristine beaches, or a cultural experience at the Envision Festival, Uvita Costa Rica has something for everyone.

With its unique natural wonders and welcoming atmosphere, Uvita Costa Rica should be on your list of must-visit destinations in Costa Rica.