Things to Do on the South Pacific Coast of Costa Rica

Insider's Tip: An off the beaten path destination offering quiet solitude and untouched beaches.

The stretch of South Pacific Costa Rica coastline from Dominical to Ojochal, known as the Costa Ballena, is swiftly becoming one of the hottest destinations in Costa Rica. The South Pacific Coast is a remote area with pristine beaches, diverse wildlife, and untouched rainforest. If you want an untouched beach experience without all the stress of a busy tourist destination, the South Pacific might be just what you’re looking for.

Explore the South Pacific Coast of Costa Rica

The area has only a few hotel options because of laws restricting coastline development in an effort to protect the natural environment. The South Pacific Coast has managed to remain an off the beaten path destination. The region offers a quiet solitude in an untouched tropical location.

Marino Ballena National Park

Explore the South Pacific Coast of Costa Rica

Marino Ballena National Park protects 270 acres of land and 13,300 acres of ocean – primarily to protect a coral reef and the migrating whales that gather offshore from December to April. One of the biggest draws has to be watching humpback whales which frequent the coast, often getting close enough to boats to be touched! Be sure to visit Ballena Beach, located in the heart of Marino Ballena National Park. Walk along this seemingly endless sand beach without passing another human being. Ballena Beach requires an access fee.

Related Article: Top Beaches in Costa Rica

Uvita Beach

South Pacific Travel Guide

The whale’s tail sandbar captured by Kura Design Villas

Shaped like a whale’s tail, Uvita is a popular beach with a “whale’s tail” sandbar that extends several hundred yards into the ocean. The 2 1/2 mile sandy beach is located at the entrance of Ballena National Marine Park. Uvita Beach is the perfect place to relax in a hammock – with only the crashing waves as background noise. It is the only spot in the area where you can snorkel from shore. So be sure to bring snorkel gear! The area is also popular among birdwatchers, as well as whale and dolphin watchers.

Dominical Beach

About 30 minutes south of Quepos is the stunning beach town of Dominical, where surfing is the name of the game! Playa Dominical has the most consistent waves in Costa Rica, with heights rarely dropping below waist-level. There are a number of quality lefts, rights, and barrels, making this the focal point for surfers in the area. This area has a stretch of seemingly countless beaches, each one ready for a traveler to explore!

Related Article: Top Beaches in Costa Rica

Nauyaca Waterfalls

The Nauyaca Waterfalls are two tiers of waterfalls in the rainforest about a 20-minute drive from Dominical. The falls are about 200 feet tall in total with a large swimming pool at the base of the lower falls. The falls can be accessed on foot or on horseback on a well-maintained hiking trail. It is 2.5 miles in and 2.5 miles out (roughly a 1-hour hike in each direction).


The quiet little town of Ojochal is the up-and-coming culinary capital of Costa Rica. There are a variety of fine dining, organic, and fusion establishments with culinary creations from around the world! Asie from delicious cuisine, there is not too much happening in Ojochal. So if you’re looking for a quiet hideaway in a pristine jungle town with the best in culinary creations, Ojochal is for you.


  • Isolated, Pristine Beaches
  • Marino Ballena National Park: Whale’s Tail
  • Nauyaca Waterfalls
  • Cano Island Biological Reserve
  • Corcovado National Park
  • Marine Life


  • Whale & Dolphin Watching
  • Sea Cave Kayaking
  • Surfing
  • Scuba & Snorkeling
  • Corcovado National Park Hike
  • Snorkeling or Scuba Diving Tour of Cano Island
  • Sport Fishing
  • Mangrove Boat Tour
  • Whale and Dolphin Boat Tour

South Pacific Travel Information

Climate: Dry- December to April, Green- May-November
Temperature: Average high 90°
Don’t Miss: The whale’s tale at Marino Ballena National Park

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