Southern Pacific/Osa Peninsula

Costa Rica’s southwestern shoreline extending from Dominical south to the Panama border is called the Southern Pacific and Osa Peninsula region. Rain soaked, humid and one of the most picturesque the Southern Pacific and Osa Peninsula region is sparsely uninhabited and some of the most remote sections of all of Costa Rica. From the steep mountains of the Fila Costena mountain range rising from the Pacific below, to the largest stretch of primitive rain forest found anywhere throughout Central America. The Southern Pacific region, with over 200 inches of rain a year, is known as one of the most biologically different and stunning locations in the world.

Ojochal Playa Ventanas Playa Dominical Manuel Antonio National Park

Osa Peninsula, Costa RicaUnlike other parts of Costa Rica, the Southern Pacific region has a rainy season lasting from April till December, yet the area still receives rain through out the months of January to March.

Traveling south along the Pan American highway from Dominical is Marino Ballena  National Park, named after the Humpback Wales that migrate to the area during the months of December till April. Farther south is the Bahia de Coronado with the beaches of Utiva, Playa Ventanas and Playa Tortuga also referred to by the locals as Ojochal. Miles and miles of long white sand beaches give way to the occasional coves with rock strewn beaches and lush tropical forest cascading into the Pacific waters. Swinging farther west, the Bahia de Coronado follows the shore line of the Valle de Diquisa, a large flat plain bisected by rivers and estuaries. To the north of the Valle de Diquisa are the towns of Palmer Norte and Palmer Sur, and to the south the large Peninsula de Osa.

Corcovado National Park with its large rainforest and its abundance of wildlife makes this area popular with the ecological minded tourist. The Oso Peninsula wraps around back to the north forming the Golfo Dulce. Continuing farther south along the Pan American highway the land gives way to the Valle de Coto Colorado. Large banana plantations extend through the two valleys from Palmer Norte south to Golfito. Farther south the region gives way to more tropical rain forest and the remote Peninsula Burica that Costa Rica shares with Panama.

The Southern Pacific region also is home to the isolated and volcanic Coco Islands and the Coco Island national Park, located some 300 miles southwest of the Osa Peninsula, the islands are a must see destination for scuba divers. Large and diversified marine species and schools of sharks, dolphins and sea rays make this a diver’s paradise.

Playa Ventana

If you want a vacation to be a real getaway, you might want to check out Playa Ventana. This picturesque beach does not receive a lot of visitors and the area is not highly developed.

Playa Ventana, or Playa Ventanas, is located on the Southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. The name means “window beach” and it was so named because of two large rock formations there providing windows to the sea. It is a lovely beach where the beautiful lush forest comes right down to the coast, which is covered with golden sand. It is one of the best beaches in all of Costa Ricaand has a reputation of being the best family beach in the area.

Playa Ventanas, "Window to the Sea" Costa RicaWhen you visit Playa Ventana, you will definitely not have to fight the crowds. It is a great beach for snorkeling in the clear southern Pacific waters. You can also fish, surf, kayak, go horseback riding, walk and enjoy the scenery, or just take it easy.

Playa Ventana is not too far from civilization as the small town of Ojochal is nearby. Since this quaint town has not yet seen a lot of tourism, it retains its charm, but had certain amenities.

Things to Do

North of Playa Ventana is Marino Ballenas National Park which can be accessed from the town of Uvita. This park is known for its biodiversity in animals and plant life. At this park you can watch the humpback whale migration if you are there at the right time between December and April. You can snorkel, join a snorkeling tour, of take the boat tour to Ballena Island.

Not far from Playa Ventana are the Nauyaca Waterfalls which have been called the best falls in Costa Rica. You will probably be bird watching as this area has hundreds of species of birds.

Boat tours on the Río Terraba are available that take you through the mangrove trees. This will allow you to get a good view of animals and plant life. Some boat tours on the Pacific include snorkeling along with viewing wildlife.

On a fishing tour, you can fish for either a half a day or a full day. Some of the offerings of the Pacific Ocean are mahi-mahi, marlin, sailfish, and yellow fin tuna. While you are fishing, you may be able to spot many kinds of sea animals, like whales, birds, dolphins, or turtles.


Uvita is a wonderful tropical destination. In the late 1400s and early 1500s, Spain colonized Costa Rica, but civilization dates back to pre-recorded history with the indigenous people. Under foreign rule, the country was considered poor because it had no gold and silver, but little did they know of its natural resources. September 15, 1821 became Costa Rica’s Independence Day. Then, the country started exporting coffee and bananas. Today, the island country is rich in natural resources and beauty, and cities like Uvita are wonderful tropical destinations with many attractions for visitors to enjoy.
Coastline Uvita, Southern Pacific Costa RicaUtiva is just 10 miles down the coast from Dominical on Costa Rica’s South Pacific Coast. Travelers to Uvita will find several hotels, guesthouses and lodges are available offering reasonable rates on accommodations in the Uvita area.
Getting to Uvita is made easy, driving or taking a bus, one has two options. The first is to head out of San Jose to Quepos and then Dominical, the second is to come inland to San Isidro de El General and then head south to the coast. Another option is for travelers to fly from San Jose to Palmer Sur Airport and then drive up the coast to Uvita.
Ballena Marine National Park – Uvita is located in this park. Ballena Marine National Parkhas some of the best beaches in Costa Rica. The spectacular scenery enhances the experience of relaxing on the sands and engaging in water sports and boating. Then, snorkeling and diving trips explore the fantastic marine habitats. From December through March, Humpback Whales are in the coastal waters.Coffee Plantations- Nearby coffee plantations are open for tours. People can enjoy walking among the coffee bushes and seeing how the coffee is prepared for marketing.Horseback Riding – On an animal farm near Uvita horseback riding is available. This farm and the property surrounding it have a wonderful collection of cows, monkeys and other animals.

Jungle Treks – The jungle is a true eco-adventure site. People can trek with a local guide to see beautiful streams as well as amazing native plants, animals and birds.

Surf Lessons – The surf is great off the coast of Uvita. For those who would like to learn how to surf or wish to learn more tricks of the sport can take lessons from experts.

Waterfalls – Waterfalls are found all over Costa Rica. Venturing on jungle paths often include seeing several falls. A large falls with pools for swimming is found in the canyon not far outside the city. Signs on the main road lead the way to the waterfall.

With so much to see and do around Uvita, visits to this paradise quickly pass. The friendly people, fresh food markets and many dining possibilities for any budget make strolling through the beach town a pleasant experience. Then, touring the coast, jungle forest and mango wetlands gives the chance to learn about the wildlife that lives in Costa Rica as well as the local efforts taken for nature conservation.


Magnificent mountains, beautiful beaches and cascading waterfalls are just a few of the highlights that make Ojochal a little piece of paradise in Costa Rica. Although this is a smaller village, it’s incredibly welcoming and offers hotels, restaurants, bars, shopping and internet cafes.

Nestled in Central America between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica boasts a multitude of exquisite vacation destinations but something about Ojochal stands out above the rest. The culture is rich and diverse, the people are inviting and the village is among one off the greenest places in the world.Ojochal boasts a tropical climate year-round. There are only two seasons here being wet and dry. The wet season is from May through November while summer is from December through April. Rain or shine, temperatures average a warm 27°C.

Ojochal, Southern Pacific, Costa RicaOne of the things that makes Ojochal so charming is that like many other areas of Costa Rica, there is a lacking in strong native civilization. The Spanish-speaking colonial society absorbed most of the native population but there are still remnants of Boruca and Bribri tribes inhabiting the mountains. This is a land where there may be a language barrier but guests are always greeted with a smile and treated like a friend.

There are a variety of accommodations in Ojochal and the surrounding area from luxurious hotels to small but cozy locally-owned B&B’s. If you are visiting during the dry season, be sure to book your stay well in advance.

Ojochal is a haven to birdwatchers as there are more than 450 species residing here. There’s many lush parks to explore in the village and nearby including Corcovado National Park, Marino Bellena National Park and Hacienda Baru National Wildlife Refuge. There are plenty of mangroves here to hike through or you can marvel at waterfalls on horseback. Everywhere you turn, Ojochal offers gorgeous photo opportunities.

Do you prefer marine life? There’s snorkeling and scuba diving as well. The beaches here are really quite magical. Playa Ventanos offers sea caves that create so much pressure from the waves that the tides blow clouds of steam onto the beach. If you like kayaking, Playa Piñuela is the preferred place to go or you can venture over to Playa Ballena from October through May and watch Humpback whales. Mothers can often be seen frolicking in the waves with their young.

Ojochal is easily accessible by air from Nature Air and Sansa, two commuter airlines. There are also a few bus lines that run from San Jose or there’s always private shuttles available from anywhere in Costa Rica.

Whether you are looking to visit for a day or making an extended vacation out of your stay, Ojochal is a place you will have a hard time saying goodbye to.