Uvita - Costa Rica

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Deserted beach in Marion Ballena National Park.

Uvita is the center of the Marino Ballena National Park, the first marine national park in Costa Rica, founded in 1989. This offers everything that makes the adventurer's heart beat faster. Whether swimming in waterfalls, whale watching, hiking in the hinterland or simply relaxing on the beach and watching the parrots in the countless palm trees. In addition, the endless beaches, which converge at the infamous sandbar Uvitas in the shape of a whale fin, invite you to take a relaxing walk. During high tide, the sea reclaims its claim to the narrow headland every day and you can literally walk on the water. As you can see, Uvita has something for everyone.

But until we could do all that, it was still a long and exhausting way. We started our day in Los Quetzales National Park, two hours away. There we had spent the night in a hotel and the temperatures were in the single digits, so we were wrapped up accordingly thick at the start of our trip. However, this soon turned out to be a mistake. The further we escaped from the highlands of Costa Rica, the warmer it got in our small car. Since the air conditioning worked only conditionally, Beppo soon had to stop on the right side of a parking lot so that I could change clothes. Thank God there were only a few monkeys here, but they were already coming closer and closer and would have liked to have a closer look at my things.

Arrived in Uvita, we first had to return our rental car. Since this was new territory for both of us, we were a little tense, because one hears so many horror stories, as tourists are pulled over the table. But in retrospect, that was just unnecessary scaremongering, because everything worked smoothly. After 5 minutes we were already ready and waiting for our cab back to the accommodation. Shortly we changed our clothes, packed our diving goggles and camera and off we went to the beach of the national park. The small village is quite extensive and consists of the two districts Uvita and Bahía. After a short conversation with our landlady, she marked the entrance to the park on a map, so we soon found it after a short walk.

At the entrance we had to pay $6 per person, but for that we had the beach almost to ourselves. In addition to the numerous parrots, one can observe whales, dolphins and turtles in rare cases. The name of the national park Ballena means whale in German, because here was created a safe retreat for humpback whales, which are therefore the namesakes of the park. But besides the passing giants, another highlight reminds the name of the park, the sandbank in the shape of a whale's fin. At low tide, you can even walk out to sea on it and observe the beach panorama in the distance in the reflection of the shallow salt water, which in this scenery resembles a mirage. During our visit, there were at least 10 parrots roaming in the adjacent palm trees, making an incredible noise until something disturbed them and they moved on, startled. Caution should be taken with the rivers in the national park. It is possible that crocodiles are here, so keep your eyes open! And of course we were not spared from the tropical weather on this day. A heavy rain shower surprised us and we harrumphed for some time under a palm tree before we decided to march home in the rain.

In the evening, we were drawn to Café Sibu, which is located directly on the main road in the direction of Bario la Colonia. In addition to the tourist information, a supermarket and a bank, there are a few small stores and of course the car rental, where we left our rental car. And so we let the evening end with a delicious hamburger and a few cocktails. A strenuous travel day should follow, because it went to Drake Bay in the southwest of Costa Rica.

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Wild river Pacuare surrounded by jungle.
Close-up of a flying hummingbird in Los Quetzales National Park.
Drone shot of the beach in Drake Bay.

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