top of page

Your Ultimate Guide to Costa Rica Whale Watching Tours

Embark on an unforgettable journey with Costa Rica whale watching tours. Our comprehensive guide is your ticket to planning the perfect whale watching adventure. Discover fascinating insights into the diverse whale species, optimal viewing locations, and top-rated tours Costa Rica has to offer.

What Types of Whales Can You Spot in Costa Rica?

Explore the diverse array of whales that grace the waters of Costa Rica! Among them, the humpback whales steal the show, with their prolonged presence for over half the year, marking Costa Rica as home to the longest humpback whale watching season globally. Delve deeper into the ocean's mysteries to encounter Bryde’s Whales and occasionally spot Orcas, providing a fascinating glimpse into the underwater world. Additionally, keep an eye out for pilot whales, an impressive species known as the second largest oceanic dolphin.

The Best Time for Humpback Whale Watching in Costa Rica

The humpback whale season in Costa Rica spans from December to mid-March and mid/end July to mid-October. Uvita, a quaint beach town on the South Pacific coast, stands out as the prime location for humpback whale sightings year-round. Consequently, Uvita is renowned as the premier destination in Costa Rica for observing these majestic creatures.

The prime months for humpback whale watching in Costa Rica are January, February, August, and September. During these months, whales are highly active and abundant as they migrate to breed and nurture their offspring. For consistent and frequent sightings, August and September offer the most favorable conditions for humpback whale watching in Costa Rica, making them the optimal months for embarking on Costa Rica whale watching tours.

March also presents favorable conditions for humpback whale sightings in Costa Rica, although activity gradually declines after mid-March. Additionally, while April and July mark the onset and conclusion of the whale season, respectively, opportunities for sightings during these months are comparatively fewer.

Top Destinations for Whale Watching in Costa Rica

Osa Peninsula: Discover the wonders of Drake Bay and Golfito (Golfo Dulce), two prime locations for whale watching. Keep an eye out for playful dolphins too!

Gulf of Papagayo (Guanacaste): Encounter majestic humpback whales during their migration from July to September. While sightings are less frequent from December to March, you may still catch a glimpse, especially in February. Even without dedicated whale watching tours, snorkeling or beach hopping adventures offer opportunities for sightings.

Tamarindo/Conchal/Flamingo: Embark on a boat tour from Tamarindo or Flamingo and venture into the open waters to witness humpback whales in their natural habitat. Sailing tours in August and September are particularly promising.

Uvita:Experience unparalleled whale watching at Marino Ballena National Park, a sanctuary created to safeguard these magnificent creatures. Witness heartwarming moments between mother and calf as they frolic in the waves, showcasing their playful nature.

Gulf of Nicoya: Join the Tortuga Island day cruise during whale season for a chance to spot these gentle giants in August and September.

Manuel Antonio: While it's possible to glimpse humpback whales from Manuel Antonio in August and September, your best bet for unforgettable encounters lies in Uvita, just an hour's drive south, offering the highest probability of sightings.

What to Know About Costa Rica Whale Watching Tours

  • Uvita and Drake Bay are premier locations in Costa Rica offering whale watching tours year-round. For the best chance to witness humpback whales, consider scheduling a dedicated stay in Uvita. A whale watching tour is a must-do activity in this enchanting coastal town.

  • Consider taking anti-nausea medication before embarking on a whale watching adventure. There are people who experience severe sea sickness during tours while capturing photos on a rocking boat. If you are prone to motion sickness or plan to take photographs, it is wise to be prepared.

  • Costa Rica strictly prohibits swimming with dolphins or whales, emphasizing no interaction or close proximity to these magnificent creatures.

  • Understand that nature is inherently unpredictable. Even during the peak season, whale sightings are not guaranteed. If witnessing humpback whales is a priority, opt for a whale watching tour in Uvita or Drake Bay during August and September to enhance your likelihood of sightings.

Book Your Whale Watching Tour Here!

Don't miss out on the chance to experience unforgettable Costa Rica whale watching tours. Contact our agents via WhatsApp now to learn more and book your adventure. We're here to help you plan the trip of a lifetime!

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page