Northern Whale Migration to Costa Rica is Approaching!

While Costa Rica is better known for its abundance of rare wildlife on land such as sloths, monkeys, birds and butterflies, the country’s ocean is filled with unique life too! Costa Rica is a prime whale watching destination–all thanks to the annual migration of two groups of humpback whales.

This long migration journey starts when temperatures in both North and South America start to cool during their winters. This is when humpbacks decide to head toward the equator where waters are warmer—and Costa Rica is one of their favorite vacation spots! This migration is the longest of any mammal in the world, stretching up to 6,000 miles! While on their holiday in Pura Vida paradise, the humpbacks use this valuable time to find suitable mates, breed and rear young.

Making Their Way Down South

There are two different migrations for humpback whales in Costa Rica– one from northern areas such as California and Alaska and another from the southern Antarctic zone. These migrations happen at different times of year and do not overlap. Northern humpbacks typically start to arrive in Costa Rica in December and can be seen until April. Southern humpbacks typically do not show up in Costa Rica until July and stay until the beginning of November, which means that whale watching is fantastic for nine months out of the year!

While you are able to see humpback whales all over Costa Rica’s Pacific, they tend to migrate toward the south in places like the Osa Peninsula, Uvita and Dominical. Uvita is probably one of the best known beach towns for whale watching in Costa Rica as it home to Marino Ballena National Park (National Whale Marine Park), a protected area known for attracting whales close to shore.

If you are ever along Costa Rica’s Pacific ocean, you won’t want to miss a whale watching adventure!