May through December are typically the rainy “winter” months, also known as the green season. Both July and August typically have nicer weather than the months before and after. You’ll typically have sun in the mornings and afternoon rains to green up the tropical foliage and cool things off. It’s also the perfect time for wildlife lovers, especially those interested in whales and turtles. We think it’s one of the best times to visit!
Costa Rica is home to an estimated 25 whale and dolphin species, which migrate, mate, and make their homes in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea each year. Experts believe that the warm and shallow waters of the area attract whales to give birth and raise their calves here. Various dolphin species frolic up and down the Pacific coast, while the Caribbean is home mostly to the bottlenose dolphin.
In the Southern Pacific, specifically around the areas of Dominical, Uvita, and the Osa Peninsula, it is the major stomping grounds of Costa Rica’s whale and dolphin species, and is home to the longest season for humpback whale watching in the world! Uvita’s Ballena Marine National Park is also home to the nation’s annual Dolphin and Whale Festival which happens to coincide with our August Costa Rica Jungle Adventure!
During the whale festival, there will be tours of whale watching as well as cycling, walks, and sculpture contests. In the arena, there will be concerts, environmental workshops cetacean talks in hotels and much more.
The National Marine park is recognized nationally and internationally for the annual visitation of different species of cetaceans such as the humpback whale, pilot whale, bryde whale, fake killer whales; Plus three resident species of dolphins including bottlenose dolphins, spotted dolphins, and spinner dolphins, as well as several species of sea turtles – hawksbill turtle, green turtle, and parrot turtle.
Since responsible travel is always our utmost concern, you’ll be happy to know that The Association of Tour Operators in Ballena Marine National Park has been working to comply with laws regulating whale-watching. Among other reforms, they changed their boats’ engines to reduce noise in the water. They also work with scientists to collect data that they are using to plan and define better routes for the tours, in order to avoid disturbing the whales.
So, if you’re a lover of wildlife, this is definitely the best time to visit Costa Rica. Whale season extends from August until October, which is the ideal time to catch more than just a glimpse of whales and dolphins.