Costa Ballena - South Pacific Beaches
Costa Ballena - South Pacific Beaches
In general, the Pacific Coast is known for its rip tides. Never swim alone nor leave children unattended. If you have been caught by the current, do not attempt to swim back to the beach you were on – do not panic. Swim towards the beach at 45 degree angle. The most dangerous time for treacherous rip-tides occurs two hours before and two hours after minimum low tide. The water is warm, crystal and clear. You will find below a listing of beaches in this area. Distance is related to Pagoda Garden Villas and Casa Manana.
Crime follows tourists. Be aware of all of your belongings. Do not leave or bring valuables to the beach.
15 minutes north
This beach is well known around the world as one of the hottest place for surfing. Dominical also offers a wonderful beach surrounded by good quality hotels and restaurants. It has a lifeguard program. Go to highway and turn right going north. It is located before the Baru River Bridge and Police control (right side). Turn left just before the bridge and follow the road to the left all the way through the town of Dominical and to the beach.
13 minutes north
If you need tranquility this beach has calm waters. Surfing for beginners during high tides. Be careful it has a rocky bottom. It is the safest and perfect site during low tide. It is located just south of Dominical Beach. Across the street from the soccer field on the left down a little dirt road.
8 minutes north
Its name means “Beautiful Beach” and it is well deserved! It has about 6km / 4 miles of sandy beach. You can park your car under the shadow of the trees very close to the shore. Go to the highway and turn right going north. It is located in between Dominical and Uvita Beach where kilometer markers 156 and 158 are. It is a perfect place for families. Good for surfing, smaller waves than Dominical. There are ceviche, fruit and coconut water stands here and a new lifeguard tower.
7 minutes south
It is the entrance of the Ballena National Marine Park (access fee $6pp). It has about 4 km /2.50 miles of sandy beach and small waves. The “Whale’s Tail” is a coastal formation made up of volcanic rocks located close to the shore. It is possible to reach it on foot during low tide. This is the only place where you can go snorkeling from the shore but be sure to bring your own equipment. Different services for renting surfing and snorkeling gear are offered with many bars and restaurants nearby. Go to highway and turn left going south. Pass through Uvita town and after Banco Nacional on your right keep going and turn right on the first paved road where there is a bus stop with a cat called Cabinas Gato. Drive all the way to the end and turn left. There will be parking.
La Colonia Beach (Chaman)
10 minutes south
It belongs to the Ballena National Marine Park (access fee $6pp) and offers a long sandy beach with waves for all level of surfers. There is plenty of parking. It is recommended for families. Go to the highway and turn left going south. Pass through Uvita and keep going south. Turn right at a bus stop where there are signs that say “Chaman” and El Nido de Falcon Hotel”. Drive all the way down. A few cute little restaurants on this road.
15 minutes south
Right in the heart of the National Park (access fee $6pp), you can walk at least 15 km on that endless sand beach without seeing a single human being. Go to the highway and turn left going south. Turn right at km marker 169.
18 minutes south
This is a part of Ballena National Park as well (access fee $6pp). This is a very mellow beach that is perfect for kids and swimming. There are sometimes a lot of rocks depending on the tides. Go to the highway and turn left going south. You will see a little sign that says Playa Pinuela on the right around km marker 171.
20 minutes south
This beach is free although you must pay to park and then enter. Also a great swimming beach. There are two small caves that people really enjoy visiting. Go to the highway and turn left going south. You will see a small sign for Playa Ventana on the highway after Pinuela beach.
PARKING BY BEACHES: Do not leave anything of value in your car parked by the beaches (or anywhere for that matter), especially anything in plain sight. Petty thievery does exist just like in the States, and tourist beaches create easy targets. Take a backpack with you for valuables and make sure it is within your sight at all times. Since there are so many secluded beaches one has to be careful. If you have cameras or other items and you want to swim, hide them well in the car (under the seat or where the spare tire is located), and make sure nothing is in plain sight. This is not the ideal situation but has worked for visitors over the years.