Whale watching in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s Golfo Dulce – Whale watching in Costa Rica

Whale watching in costa rica

There’s a certain time of the year where whale watching in Costa Rica is a must!

At the end of our trip in September 2019, we were met by Allan the manager of the Playa Cativo Lodge in Golfito, a small port town in the Puntasarenas province on the southern Pacific coast and gateway to the wonderful Golfo Dulce. The best way to describe this bay is that it’s like a tropical fjord where female humpback whales and their calves (they usually give birth to one) reside. The enormous nursing bay is rich in food and safe from other predators like orcas.

Costa Rica Holidays - Playa-cativo-aerial

Allan told us that the boat ride to the lodge should take around 30 minutes and if we’re lucky we may see some dolphins and humpback whales en-route. After about 15 minutes the captain of our small boat spotted something in the distance and turned the engine off.

Costa Rica Holidays - Pool Cativo

We saw the spouting in the distance and heard Allan whispering “come on then show yourselves”, but we were already excited knowing that they were there and that they were close. As the captain turned the engine on again, our boat rocked and the female breached right in front of us, soon followed by her calf who did exactly the same. It was one of those once in a life time wildlife experiences, you know you’ll never forget. Especially when they did it again and again.

Costa Rica Holidays - Whale in Ballena NP

After that amazing display we continued our journey and saw another female and her calf in nearby shallower bay. Things just couldn’t get better. Arriving at the remote lodge was like a scene out of Fantasy Island, where some of the staff were waiting with our welcome drinks and nice cool towels. Needless to say, it was the start of, yet another fantastic three night stay and with hindsight far too short.

If you too want to visit Costa Rica and see these friendly giants up close (from August until the end of October) and would like to stay at Playa Cativo, then do call either Max or Ian to find our more. You can talk to us on 01768 721020 or contact us via

Email: team@archipelagochoice.com