Whale watching in Costa Rica
Whale Watching Season in Costa Rica: A Complete Guide
Whale watching season in Costa Rica is a truly awe-inspiring experience that should be on every nature lover’s bucket list. This small Central American country is blessed with some of the best whale watching opportunities in the world, thanks to its extensive coastline and the presence of humpback whales during their annual migration.
Costa Rica has two distinct whale watching seasons, each offering its own unique opportunities to witness these magnificent creatures up close and personal. The first season runs from mid-July to mid-November and is known as the Southern Hemisphere season. The second season runs from mid-December to April and is known as the Northern Hemisphere season.
During the Southern Hemisphere season, humpback whales that have spent the summer feeding in the nutrient-rich waters of the Antarctic migrate northward to warmer waters to mate and give birth. This is a particularly exciting time to go whale watching in Costa Rica, as you can witness the males performing their courtship rituals, which involve singing complex and haunting songs to attract females.
In contrast, the Northern Hemisphere season is when humpback whales from the North Pacific migrate southward to mate and give birth in the warmer waters of the Southern Hemisphere. This season is also exciting as it offers a chance to see newborn calves playing and breaching alongside their mothers.
When is the best whale watching season?
The best time to go whale watching in Costa Rica depends on which season you’re interested in. If you’re keen to witness the Southern Hemisphere season, the best time to visit is from August to November, with September and October being the peak months. If you’re interested in the Northern Hemisphere season, the best time to visit is from January to March, when the waters are calmer and visibility is at its best.
Discover the Best Places for Whale Watching Tours in Costa Rica
The best places to go whale watching in Costa Rica are along the Pacific coast, particularly in the areas of Marino Ballena National Park and the Osa Peninsula. These areas are known for their abundance of marine wildlife, including not only humpback whales, but also dolphins, sea turtles, and various species of fish.
To fully enjoy the whale watching experience, it’s important to book your tour in advance with a reputable operator. Most tours depart early in the morning and last for around three to four hours, giving you plenty of time to spot whales and other marine wildlife.
When preparing for your whale watching tour, be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and a camera to capture the incredible sights. Remember to dress in layers, as it can get chilly out on the water, and wear comfortable shoes with good grip.