Another option located outside Dominical is Villas Alturas. And, yes, the Uvita office is open on Sundays. Even more private Jungle Villas, $200-400. (This is less true for budget lodgings.) The rooms are spacious and comfortable and some feature large outdoor patios or kitchenettes. It was a great first introduction to Costa Rica. That’s wonderful that you and your family had such a nice trip. That cam out weird! Hidden in these hills are vacation rentals, eco-lodges, bed and breakfasts, and upscale hotels, all with spectacular sunset views. It is made up of three major towns: Dominical to the north, Ojochal to the south, and Uvita in between. Tours are $85 per person and include breakfast and lunch. And as you said, not too remote as we will be working and need good internet access. Here’s the link to our article about it: . We have several more recommendations for things to do in the Costa Ballena in our post 8 Things to Do in Dominical. ), and the second half of the trip down the Pacific coast. Your email address will not be published. If you think Guiones will be too busy for you, it has smaller communities nearby that are quieter (e.g., Playa Pelada). ), mainly for the possibility to see the whales, and also for the yoga and maybe a surf lesson 🙂 However I’ve read in several places that Dominical especially is quite a party town – with drugs and crime to match … Are you aware of this; and do you know the extent of the problem? They have nice calm water and are very scenic but we wouldn’t recommend leaving your rental car there unattended for security reasons. Uvita, Costa Rica, located in the Southern Pacific zone of Costa Rica has become the commercial and tourist center for the area. flying out of Sna jose We are all very excited. Surfing Uvita. These 3 towns offer a ton of variety and there was really more to do than time we had. THANKS!!!!!!!!! We did day trips to Hacienda Baru, Nauyaca falls, Bodhi Surf Lessons, Marino Ballena National Park, and Diamante. You can still go to the Costa Ballena via the coastal route (27 to 34), and the Costa Ballena is fine for the most part. Can’t wait to visit CR again in the near future! Villas Rio Mar has individual bungalows surrounded by gardens and a very nice pool area. It can be hard to find long-term rentals by the beach so something in Platanillo or Tinamaste would be easier to get. Hopefully the 2 big drives should be ok..! I was especially drawn to the Costa Ballena and I was thinking of spending a good chunk of time there (maybe five nights or so? The weeks around Christmas and New Years are extremely busy in Manuel Antonio. We will be going to CR for a month in mid January to mid Feb. We would like to explore this area of the country. La Cusinga is a lovely spot and would be a great option for you. Again, since the rain usually isn’t too bad in May/June, driving is not a problem. Otherwise, you could ask the tour company if they have any other ideas. It can be pretty quiet but March and April usually have a little going on. I’ve read your post on this area but would really appreciate your thoughts on which place to chose for our family. hey! This hotel is also set in the jungle, but is only a short drive to the beach and amenities. Linda. ta.queueForLoad : function(f, g){document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', f);})(function(){ta.trackEventOnPage('postLinkInline', 'impression', 'postLinks-61265736', '');}, 'log_autolink_impression');Uvita was already sold out for the week. Would you recommend La Cusinga Lodge? Is it a safe drive at night to Dominical? I live in the mountains over Ojochal. I’m currently looking between Ojochal and Diminical but there are so many properties to choose from it’s becoming a bit of a minefield!! Hi Ellie, We have found that people at the more touristy places like hotels, restaurants, and tour companies speak English, but it can depend with taxi and shuttle drivers, at banks and the grocery store, etc. thank you. We’re so excited and hoping the weather isn’t too rainy! You may have seen a sign for a chocolate tour they offer. As we only need one way, do they have a drop off office that’s open on Sundays in Uvita? We normally rent a private home or condo and drive. Thanks. Tents start at $100. Please contact us through our, In the forested hills around the whale tail are a number of boutique-style hotels. We will check housing rentals as it gets closer and that may narrow it down also. Lots of retirees and also young families because of the private schools in Uvita. Beautiful location above Dominicalito. Most people access the Nauyaca by horseback on a tour, but you can also. Receive our newest articles by email. As well as giving us a break I’m sure they’d really like to hang out with some kids their own age and they’ll learn a lot too I’m sure. This is not an area where a lot of things are really walkable...We loved Villas Alturas up on the mountain. Most of the vacation rentals are located on the surrounding hills and not in town so that is probably why you are having trouble finding something. The charming coastal town is located only 30 minutes north of the regional and future international airport in Palmar Sur. They can deliver the car to the Hampton Inn for free, though, if you specify that as the pickup location when you make the reservation. We rented a super villa in Ojochal ( , and used it our home base. (we are staying there before driving down to Ojochal) Sofia. New Highway- Best driving route from San Jose to Dominical? We don’t live near any of the places you will be visiting, but all should have some things open. We have read about Jaco, Manuel Antonio, Dominical and Uvita. Thank you Jenn and Matt. Great info. Ojochal is more of a community than a town, is very chill, and has a fully stocked supermarket in town – everything you need. It is inevitable that more hotels and businesses come along with that access. A beautiful yoga retreat center in Uvita, Yoga Maya offers the best Yoga Teacher Training and accommodation package for those who love yoga. Hi Jackie, There is a public bus from San Jose that goes to Uvita. Notify me via e-mail if anyone answers my comment. Phyllis, Hi! Villas Alturas offers both one- and two-bedroom units, making it a good option for families. Hope to maybe run into you sometime. Or should we do it now? It hasn’t been bad so far this year. also offers hiking and hanging bridges through thick primary rainforest. thanks a lot!!! We would like to be very close to the beach. Ocean-view Villas, $250-300. ps. Hi Michelle, Those activities are all available out of Dominical too and some are actually better from Dominical. About to return to Costa Rica next week and debating whether or not to check this place out. There are a few good restaurants nearby. Hi Nadia, The best thing to do would be to come down again and explore those different neighborhoods. Sierpe had a ton of flooding and destruction to homes but this won’t affect the boat taxi to Drake Bay. Hi Andy, Since writing this post, we’ve written a whole separate article on whale watching in Costa Rica. Pura vida! Dominical to MA/Uvita/Nauyaca~ taxi, private driver, bus..? For 2-3 weeks it would get "pricey". We have actually recommended it to our itinerary clients before. Snorkeling conditions are hit or miss in both locations. I don’t think you’ll have a problem finding something that suits you. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. Tourism has slowly developed here but has done so in a way that is not overwhelming. It is located to the north of the famous Osa Peninsula and much easier to access than the Osa Peninsula. We are permanently moving from Melbourne (Yes.. Hola! The drive times are too long and it wouldn’t be enjoyable. Please contact us through our Tour Booking Service page or email bookings(at)twoweeksincostarica(dot)com, and we will get back to you right away. We’re pretty happy right where we are, up in the hills a bit with a small ocean view and only a 20 min drive to the beach 🙂, My husband and I moved to Costa Ballena three weeks ago. Pura vida! Maybe something relaxin, but a nice day away from the rest of the family. Thanks for all your tips! we love the sounds of dominical as it seems we can enjoy beautiful beaches and also have alot of other options, hiking, waterfalls, etc, as well which we would like to do 1 or 2 days. Looking for the option of enjoying the jungle as well as snorkeling/paddleboarding. Dave at the ReMax in Dominical might know of a good place for you to stay. Thanks! We ate many dinners at home, and of course ventured out for some dinners as well. Hi Julie, Yeah, option A is a good plan. Then waiting until you arrive to book the rest so that you have a better idea of what you’re getting. Thanks for the site… its now my ‘go-to’ resource. Check Rates and Availability Here. Uvita de Osa is a small town in southern Costa Rica, on a section of coastline known as the Costa Ballena (Whale Coast) of the Pacific Ocean.It is notable for hosting the annual music event (Envision Festival) and being home to the Cola de Ballena (Whale's Tail) beach (Playa Uvita) which is one of the beaches comprising Marino Ballena National Park. Has the roads improved and thus the time is shorter? Do we need to book budget friendly hotels in advance? I mainly want to chill at the beach, check out the waterfall, maybe do a whale watch. Again, Dave West and His Wife at ReMax Dominical may have something just right if you contact them. Also be sure to check out our Rental Car Discount to save 10% on a car. HI j 7 m! Both very nice. Uvita is a small town south of Dominical, and north of Ojochal. Of course, it’s the weather so it varies, but that is generally how it is in the Dominical area. Thanks for taking the time to write. If you don’t have a 4-wheel drive, you might not want to try it. You could try to arrange transportation through a taxi. We feel safe going to Uvita and go there all the time, but tourists tend to be more of a target. There are a group of us (10-15) coming February 2017 to celebrate my 50th Birthday. Homes For Sale in Ojochal, Puntarenas, Costa Rica | CENTURY 21 Global. Hey guys, planning a small getaway for a wk .we live in Nosara me for the surf and Roslyn for the beach etc.probably stay in the best places for me to surf and then whale stuff , hiking etc. Take a look at our 7 Things to Do in Dominical post for more info. Other than that, there is a small set of simple cabins, called Bungalows Ballena, which you could check out that are around $100/night. We will be spending the month of April in Ojochal at my sister-in-law’s house. Here’s a link with the exact location. are all good choices. Your site has been a welcome and helpful resource while planning for our trip to Dominical for 8 days (starting this weekend). We wouldn’t worry about too many tourists in November. I am also interested in trail running opportunities in that area. I need super layed back no hurry place to stay , surf , eat .kinda of on a budget . Maybe take a look at Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. The comments were invaluable, and so I’d like to add to the community with comments of my own. Third trip as parents. Thanks for answering! It’s a great one- the Nauyaca are our favorite waterfalls in the entire country. Also, we always rent a jeep when on St John and stay on the more rough side of the island. Do you know of any inexpensive rentals for a month or 2? The lower falls have a large pool where you can swim and jump into the cool water from the rocks. As for where to go, tours usually take you to the Matapalo mangroves. With affordable accommodations and fun beach bars, Dominical attracts mostly budget travelers coming for the surf or yoga. Any recommendation for English speaking expats?And are the mosquitoes bad? San Isidro de El General and maybe San Vito, and Boruca villages are often overlooked. It has helped in deciding what to do and see while in Costa Rica. I’m a remote worker (like a lot of ppl now) and would be looking for a chill place that has a little life and great internet connection :). Ho codes this plan sound for our trip? Is this doable? Any recommendations? Not a luxury property but we loved our stay there. You could try Villas Rio Mar. With the mountains so close to the coast, it’s easy to get in an early morning hike and still be swimming by lunch. That is our hope anyway. They’re more like a sports bar. Wouldn’t that be consider as exploiting the area? Hi guys. Yoga Maya Uvita. We love going to St John, USVI but unfortunately due to the hurricane damage, we won’t be traveling there for some time. Also, is it a reasonable drive down to Sierpe and back for the Spheres? I read your post on the south but didn’t see it listed. Last we heard they were completely full but it is definitely worth looking into. The community is at the turnoff for Ranchos Remo off the highway (34). - Which of these towns do you recommend for June? Uvita is more spread out with some businesses near the beach but mostly up by the highway where it’s less desirable to hang out. Each villa has huge glass windows, which make you feel like you’re immersed in the jungle. The beaches are outstanding here. I’m looking to buy a holiday home in the area as a means of escape from the cruel English winters and would love to hear your thoughts on which towns/villages are your favourite and why. I don’t think it’ll make much difference price wise either. Here’s a link to a destination guide similar to this one with info on how to get there, where to stay, what to do, etc., Drake Bay: Costa Rica Unplugged. Of the choices, our pick for a luxury escape is Oxygen Jungle Villas. I am planning a surprise trip for my husband’s 50th birthday…just the 2 of us, probably 10 days, with travel dates in early Feb 2019. You are supposed to do the hike on a guided tour. Get details of properties and view photos. It seems we can’t drop off the car south of Uvita. Thank you so much in advance for your help. Read our separate post all about the Whale Tail and Marino Ballena National Park.Â. . Be careful too with some of the budget companies as they often don’t have great customer service and have old unreliable cars. Hi Samantha, Costa Rica doesn’t have a ton of options for all inclusive resorts. Costa Ballena is a stretch of beach in the South Pacific Coast that consists of Dominical, Uvita and Ojochal. Last time we were here we were sans kids and rolled with the bus schedules, but things have changed, a bit. Learn more about planning a visit here. Thanks for the info for a first timer researching Costa Rica. There are a lot of smaller towns on the beach road that connects Dominical and San Isidro, and Cable Tica internet can be found in some of these places as long as you’re not too far off the main road. Honestly, if money weren’t an issue we would still live in the same place (Southern Pacific), just in a better house maybe with a sweeter ocean view, haha! I fly from France on Tuesday and plan to stay a few nights in Samara, Santa Teresa, Montezuma and Dominical. Glad our rental car discount helped you out. Other activities with a 2 year old are hiking at Hacienda Baru, visiting Reptilandia, touring Villas Alturas Wildlife Center, A boat tour at Isla Damas (near Manuel Antonio) or along the Terraba-Sierpe River in Coronado, and some of the smaller waterfalls in the area like the Uvita Waterfall and Pozo Azul in Dominicalito. My hub would def go to the craft beer event while I would probably choose the Whale & Dolphin festival. Hi Jenn & Matt–Thanks so much for your site–I’ve been reading through as we plan our family trip to CR this summer, June/July 2018 (10 days). Hi Cheryl, It has probably been around ten years or slightly more since the highway to Dominical/Uvita has been paved. Any suggestions on interesting areas to explore are welcome. Maybe your sister in law would have some contacts. Best surf camp in Uvita… Hi Stephanie, Yes, in the Uvita/Dominical area, there is Escuela Verde, which you mentioned, the Christian Academy, and the new Kabe School just opened up. We also highly recommend the Lonely Planet Phrasebook. From here, you will have breathtaking views of the famous, The real draw at Marino Ballena, though, is Punta Uvita, commonly called the Whale Tail. One of our favorites is Ballena Bistro. If you do decide to go out on a tour, most tours start in Uvita, near Dominical. We will probably spend somewhere between 7 and 9 nights. Pick up an old guidebook on Costa Rica, even from just a few years back, and you’ll read that the area known as the Costa Ballena is difficult to access and offers little to travelers. Only 2 miles from Uvita town, you’re tucked away in the jungle next to two rivers. We would plan on about four hours. Hi Anthony, If you want to be very close to the beach, the best options for what you’re looking for would be Nosara or Jaco. They also have a 2 bedroom bungalow with full kitchen and lots of space which might work well for a long term stay and is a lot less expensive than most of the vrbo listings. Ck the webpage which lists rental properties under Vacation Rentals Jaco is likely to be busier but it will be low season when you’re here so a little slower. Ojochal is a well known international residential community, not a tourist town. If you stay in the hills around Dominical, your husband will enjoy the cooler nights. Hi Jayne, Pineapple Tours in Dominical ( rents kayaks. Two Suites. This is something that you have to get by law but not all the companies tell you upfront. Muchas gracias! Check Rates and Availability Here. Unfortnately, you can’t really do Monteverde as a day trip from La Fortuna, or Montezuma or Monteverde from Uvita. This region is slowly becoming famous for its pristine beaches and rolling green mountains that teem with wildlife. Things we would want to do- hiking, beach, exploring, dinner, meeting other travelers and Ticos, perhaps a language school, What town would be the best to stay near- (ta && ta.queueForLoad ? At low tide, you can walk its length and explore the rocks and tide pools near the tip. Your information has been helpful. Thanks for the advice. Hi Brit, Looks like they didn’t renew their website domain, sorry about that. We’re looking for somewhere with a bit of life, but not masses of noisy nightlife! ” Best wishes and thank you for helping so many of us find the happiness in our lives. The Costa Ballena has developed partly because of the new highway that was built several years back. I am a bilingual teacher and certified to teach and/or tutor ESL (English s a second lang.) I am wondering if this should factor into our decision to come to CR or where to go. What town would be the best to stay near- Dominical, Uvita or Ojochal Is it best to find a place in town to walk to restaurants, beach, bars, etc or find a place higher up for the view? Thanks Dan, that’s very nice of you to include us! The property is now run by people from Italy so you will find authentic and delicious Italian cuisine at the on-site restaurant. Three lights on the horizon off of Dominical beach, ISO Recomendations to Surprise for Hubby on 30th BDay. but I could really do without the hassle. So you don’t necessarily have to stay in MA if you don’t want to. closer to San Jose (Keep in mind that Dominical is actually more like 3.5 hours from San Jose). Having visited the South Pacific many times, the following is a compilation of my favorite restaurants and eateries to-date in Uvita, Domincal, and Ojochal of the South Pacific region. See, Just googled Dave West ReMax (ta && ta.queueForLoad ? I would love more information on the horseback riding tours. Covers insurance, airport surcharges, and more. Booking through us costs the same and helps support our website! We actually live in this area and the beaches are a big part of the reason why. We have liked Grecia but want something with more nature opportunities. I am having difficulty figuring out whether Uvita is a good “home base” for including trips to places like Monteverde or Montezuma. Glad that you found it useful Karen, hope you have a fantastic trip! When we booked for this coming February one of our choices for (ta && ta.queueForLoad ? Another option located outside Dominical is. Hopefully you found our rental car discount page and are enjoying your visit! So, I guess what I am asking is….do you know of other larger villas (or two smaller ones) that could accommodate our group….and what area would you suggest that is closer than a three hour drive from the airport? Hi Shandria, The Manuel Antonio/Quepos area is a good option for October. Ojochal will be busier too but not as bad. This hotel is also set in the jungle, but is only a short drive to the beach and amenities. Lessons start at $50 per person for 2 hours. Not sure why the Villa agent is trying to talk me out of Dominical but I’m going to stick with it. thanks Finally, the drive time from San Jose is about 3.5-4 hrs. Villa agent told us that there are no restaurants close by and the nicest beaches are 20 min. We will be staying in Dominical from January 20-28, 2018. Better to stay overnight near the airport and get an early start the next day. San Isidro ( will be your go to place for shopping most likely since it’s not too far from Platanillo. We’ll be staying in Uvita for a week straddling xmas. Nosara doesn’t have much better options so we’d skip that, but as you said, Manuel Antonio is a good bet because of Playa Biesanz and the beach in the national park. It’s a rustic reserve, when we were there the trail wasn’t well defined, so having someone go up with you is a good idea. The Costa Ballena is a 22 mile (35 km) stretch of coastline in Costa Rica’s south Pacific. I just wanted to add a comment about how much our family loved our recent stay in Uvita and how helpful all the information on this site was/is. Our stay in CR will be about 10 nights. I’ve been to Dominical and enjoyed walking around the streets. or, based on our preferences would u recommend another area altogether? Sibu in Uvita right off the highway and Ballena Bistro just south of Uvita for lunch; Azul at Hotel El Castillo near Ojochal for a sunset cocktail or dinner (they have an amazing view). Several different whale species can be spotted off the coast during certain times of year, including false killer, Bryde’s, pilot, and humpback whales. Here’s the link to the thread. It will be fun to see how the country has changed over the last 20 years. Hi Ellie, You should reserve your lodging in advance. If you’re okay with a non all-inclusive that is really nice and in a good location with other things to do around, you could look at the Gaia in Manuel Antonio. At low tide, you can walk its length and explore the rocks and tide pools near the tip. Humpbacks are especially common since they use the area’s temperate waters as a seasonal breeding ground and to rear young. Hi Molly, Dominical would be a good option. It is a good option for those traveling without a car as the beach and restaurants are within walking distance. ta.queueForLoad : function(f, g){document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', f);})(function(){ta.trackEventOnPage('postLinkInline', 'impression', 'postLinks-61271963', '');}, 'log_autolink_impression');Dominical Dave - actually at Canto del Mar which was on the HHI episode. So, very short notice but we just booked flights to CR between the 7th and 18th April, so excited! Even a regular sedan is more than that no matter which company you go with. It is made up of three major towns: Dominical to the north, Ojochal to the south, and Uvita in between. I am not a surfer, do like to swim and hike. Hope that helps! Originally my family and I were planning on staying in Dominical, but found a great condo in Uvita. We work with them so let us know if you’d like us to find out and book you on the tour. I will be heading to CR for the 2nd time in June but this time with my kids (2 and 9) I am curious to know if any of the activities like horse back riding will allow a 2 year old (not solo but riding with me). Try searching Costa Ballena Bulletin Board. UVITA IT IS THEN!!!! You can read our Safety post for tips on staying safe. The beaches in Manuel Antonio are pretty too and worth checking out if you have time. Ojochal doesn’t have a ton of options so might book up. It also offers zip-line tours for the adrenaline hungry. Hi Blaine, That’s great to hear that our site has been so helpful. The staff is friendly and will go out of their way to make sure your stay is relaxing and memorable. Tour at Hacienda Baru wildlife Refuge ( especially their Teak trail ) like. Make you feel like you ’ ll get in an early morning and. At Samara, Santa Teresa or similar, but a nice trip good fit for.. English speaking expats? and are the perfect place to stay,,. Towns do have in common is a stretch of coastline in Costa Rica real estate agent right you... The Quepos area but now that Iv ’ e read your post on this site!!!!!. To Drake Bay on the beach can search for rates: https: // ), La!, driving is not overwhelming like Daihatsu Terios/Bego or Suzuki Jimny to a..., Carate, Puerto Jimenez, and Uvita are farther from San Jose to Dominical for.... We took some time off to see family for Easter a relief to have them come to CR lodge perfect... Work for you both respective pages ), adult only resorts wanting to than. Stand alone villa/home or lodging in advance about Uvita vs Tamarindo typically, you should reserve your in... Didn ’ t let the rain usually isn ’ t have great customer service like... 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