Costa Rica is a small country, geographically measuring 19,700 square miles. To put that into perspective, it is roughly the size of the state of West Virginia, and only slightly bigger than the European country of Denmark. Despite its size, Costa Rica is filled with many natural wonders that attract tourists from all over the world year round. There is so much to see and do that sometimes, with so many tours and activities available in all seasons, it can be a bit of a challenge to plan your vacation.
Nestled in the Pacific Southwest region is an area known as Bahía Ballena, and within this area is the charming town of Uvita. Uvita is quiet, safe, and surrounded by many popular and easily accessible tourist destinations. Uvita is about a 30 minute drive from the bohemian surf town of Dominical. It is appealing to many travelers because it is tucked away from the busier surf and tour destinations, such as Jaco and Quepos.
If you are planning to spend a few days in the Uvita area, here is the perfect 3 day itinerary, according to locals:
If you are looking to explore the clear coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean, then there is no better tour than Caño Island. An early morning departure will take you to this biological reserve, where you will see coral reefs and many different species of marine life. Your captain (who is well trained and experienced with handling the ocean waves and tides) will take you 1 hour by boat each way to get to this secluded paradise.
Be advised that this tour is dependent upon tides. Having a tour company such as Uvita 360 to help you communicate your departure is highly recommended.
After you visit Caño Island, you will likely be hungry from your day of adventure! For dinner, there is an excellent restaurant called Sabor Español close to Playa Colonia in Uvita. Their paella is excellent, and their wine selection is to die for. Just a heads up: this place books quickly, so it is recommended to call and make a reservation the day before.
There is no better feeling than the first time you stand up on a surfboard. Uvita 360 is home to Uvita Surf School, a renowned surf school with excellent English speaking instructors. Uvita 360 guarantees that you will stand on your first lesson, or you get your money back!
Surf lessons are held at Playa Chamán. This beach is one of the safest beaches to learn to surf due to its sandy bottom, gentle whitewater waves, and lifeguards on duty. The beach is part of the Marino Ballena National Park, and the view while you are surfing is absolutely stunning. Full day entry to the national park is also included in your surf lesson. Spend some time in this national park walking on the beach and relaxing in the trees or sun after your surf lesson.
Surf lessons, like the Caño Island tour, are dependent upon tide. The best time for a surf lesson is around low tide. One of the many perks of booking a surf lesson with Uvita 360 is having a knowledgeable and experienced surf instructor, who will work around your busy schedule to pick the safest and best time to go surfing.
After your day surfing and exploring Marino Ballena National Park, we recommend grabbing some Argentinian food at an excellent local spot called El Hornito. The restaurant is cash only, (they accept dollars or Costa Rican colones), their pizzas and empanadas will never disappoint. They have plenty of vegan and vegetarian options as well.
If you are looking for a truly unforgettable experience, Nauyaca waterfall is not one to miss. With two different falls cascading an impressive 200 feet in total, along with a refreshing natural pool area for swimming, this waterfall is undoubtedly one of the most impressive in the entire country.
With Uvita 360, you will have private transportation to this location and a knowledgeable local guide. You will be able to relax with your group knowing that your Uvita 360 guide will watch over your valuables, and will even be able to take photos!
If you are looking for a great breakfast before your visit to Nauyaca falls, we recommend asking your driver to stop in Dominical along the way and visiting Cafe Mono Congo. Their coffee is amazing, the food is well priced and delicious, and next door is a lovely organic food shop called Madam Toucans. Here you can buy snacks to bring along the way. If you get hungry after visiting Nauyaca, or on the way back, Phat Noodle is an excellent restaurant in Dominical. For some Dominical nightlife to celebrate your time in this area, visit Fuego Brew Company and try their handcrafted brews.