Welcome to Uvita, Costa Rica, a hidden gem nestled on the country’s stunning South Pacific Coast. On a part of the coast referred to as Costa Ballena, Uvita is in the same area as Dominical and Ojochal, and the area draws locals, surfers, and eco-tourists alike for its unique blend of pristine beaches, lush rainforests, abundance of wildlife, and focus on sustainability. Uvita offers a unique blend of natural beauty and adventure while still having access to sustainability-focused amenities in town. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, wildlife encounters, or thrilling outdoor activities, Uvita has something for everyone.
Things to Do in Uvita, South Pacific Coast
Marino Ballena National Park
Uvita is home to Marino Ballena National Park, which is known for its stunning natural beauty and diverse marine life. The park’s most famous feature is the Whale Tail, a sandbar formation that emerges during low tide and resembles the shape of a whale’s tail. You can enjoy activities such as snorkeling, diving, and whale watching in the park.
Uvita boasts beautiful beaches with golden sand and crystal-clear waters. Playa Uvita is a popular beach for swimming and sunbathing, while Playa Ventanas is known for its unique caves and rock formations. Whether you want to relax on the beach or engage in water sports, Uvita offers a true coastal experience.
Wildlife and Nature
Costa Rica is renowned for its rich biodiversity, and Uvita is no exception. The region is teeming with wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, toucans, and other colorful tropical birds. You can explore the lush rainforests and embark on hikes to discover the area’s various flora and fauna.
Uvita is surrounded by breathtaking waterfalls that should be on your need-to-see list. The most famous one is the Nauyaca Waterfalls, which consist of two cascades with a total height of 45 meters (148 feet). You can hike or even horseback ride through the jungle to reach the falls, where you can swim in the refreshing pools beneath them.
Uvita offers excellent surfing conditions for surfers of varying skill levels, depending on the beach. Playa Dominical, just a short drive away, is famous for its consistent waves and attracts experienced surfers from around the world. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or are just starting out, Uvita can provide an incredible surfing experience.
Top Places to Eat
Known for its delicious presentation of local flavors and stunning views, this is one of the most popular restaurants in Uvita. It’s located at La Cusinga Lodge, but the restaurant is not exclusive to hotel guests. Experience tropical dishes made with locally grown fresh produce in their open-air dining area.
Sibu Restaurant & Coffee Store
If you’re looking for a solid option for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, this is a fantastic place to check out. This restaurant has a café feel, with its large variety of high-quality choices at a reasonable price.
Bar Restaurant Los Laureles
If you’re searching for a place with a local feel and a mix of local and fusion fare, look no further. This is a local favorite in Uvita for its ambiance and delicious food. They have live music on some nights as well, so if you’re looking for a lively and fun place to eat and experience what the locals do, this is the place to go.
Bagel Time Bakery
This is a great local bakery offering freshly baked bread, bagels, pastries, and café fare. Whether you want to sit and enjoy a bagel sandwich in their open-air dining area or grab a snack and keep moving, Bagel Time Bakery won’t disappoint.
Looking for vegetarian and vegan options? Indomitos Café is a great choice! They focus on serving a primarily vegetarian and vegan menu, and like many other restaurants in Uvita, they take advantage of the lovely weather in the region with an open-air dining area.
How to Get to Uvita
While you can technically drive to Uvita from either of Costa Rica’s main airports in Liberia and San Jose, we would recommend driving from San Jose as it is only about 3 and a half hours away (whereas Liberia is about 5 hours away from Uvita). You can get to Uvita by car, or you could take a short domestic flight from Liberia or San Jose into Quepos, which is about a two-hour long drive outside of Uvita. If you are the brave sort who chooses a rental car to drive around Costa Rica, make sure you use a vehicle with four-wheel drive if you’re going to Uvita– the main roads through town are fine, but the smaller side roads can be steep going up into the hillside of the rainforest.
What’s the Weather Like?
Uvita is a tropical rainforest climate, but it is unique as it’s also a coastal area. You can typically expect average temperatures between 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit during both the dry season (December-March) and green season (April-November), with the primary difference between these seasons being the amount of rainfall. Uvita typically only receives about 6 inches of rain annually, so even during the green season you shouldn’t expect it to rain all day! Chances are, the sun will come out and you will have plenty of daylight to experience all that Uvita has to offer.
What to Bring to Uvita
Similar to the rest of Costa Rica, Uvita is a hot, humid, and casual place. You should pack light, moisture-wicking clothing, as well as some beach attire of course! Don’t forget to bring things like bug spray, sunscreen, and hiking or walking shoes, too. If you want to see what our experts recommend for packing for any trip to Costa Rica, don’t miss our Expert-approved packing list.
Why Visit Uvita?
Above are just a few highlights of why you may want to visit Uvita. The region offers a combination of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and a commitment to sustainable tourism, making it an appealing destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. If you’re interested in planning your own Uvita vacation, let our experts know!