Community and Lifestyle

Things to do in Uvita, Costa Rica.

Uvita originated as a small fishing village that was quite difficult to access.  However, over the years the town has developed a solid infrastructure and is now accessible by a paved highway from Quepos.

The town today remains small, surrounded by nature with expat conveniences. There is a an organic farmer’s market every Saturday, several local banks, supermarkets, appliance stores, pharmacies, local and expat owned restaurants, a recreation center, and even a local art gallery. Expats come from all over the world and lend an international flavor with Italian pizzerias and Asian fusion among local Costa Rican fare.

A local free and government-ran medical clinic is in the center of town, and there are several doctors and dentists on call for emergencies 24 hours per day. Just twenty minutes outside of Uvita is a modern hospital well equipped for emergencies with a multilingual staff and twenty-three departments including pediatrics, neurology, and gynecology.

Attractions and Activities


The Beach

Uvita’s white sand beach within the Marina Ballena National Park is considered one of the most beautiful in Costa Rica.  It is surrounded by the calm Pacific Ocean which makes for great swimming and snorkeling. The area is protected and is surrounded by beautiful jungle trees, flowers, and tropical animals like humming birds, toucans, monkeys, sloths, and lizards.

A favorite experience among many visitors and residents is to walk out along the famous Punta Uvita, also called the Whale’s Tail.  At low tide a sandbar reveals itself, which extends far out into the ocean.

From July to January it’s possible to spot the Olive Ridley sea turtles coming onto the shore to lay their eggs inside the national park. The park is also home to many dolphins, which are easy to spot year round.  From December to April, Humpback whales migrate along the coast.  


Uvita has many waterfalls thanks to the mountains and rivers that surround it, and these waterfalls make excellent swimming spots in the shade away from the sun. The most popular is the Uvita Waterfall, which is easily accessed from town and costs just $1 to enter.

Snorkeling and Diving

Cano Island, a biological reserve located an hour by boat from Uvita, offers spectacular diving and snorkeling. Surrounding the island are fifteen species of coral reef with large schools of fish, sea turtles, manta rays, eels, and white-tipped reef sharks. The diving here is considered to be second only to the famous Isla del Coco.


Various companies in Uvita offer kayaking and stand up paddle boarding tours of the national park to explore the mangrove forests, coral reefs, and jungle rivers. Spotting animals like dolphins, turtles, monkeys, and toucans is common. It’s also possible to rent kayaks and SUPs for self guided tours.


Uvita’s position inside of a national park makes it an easy place for taking plenty of day hikes through the mangroves and the rainforest. Birdwatching is quite popular where one can spot toucans, owls, osprey, woodpeckers, parrots, and more with or without a guide. Guided night hikes offer participants a glimpse at some of the nocturnal animals in the jungle like anteaters and bats.



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