Humpback Whale breaching in Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica.
The migratory capacities some animal species have is magnificent, some travel long distances in search of food, some migrate to breed or to nest. Costa Rica’s strategic location means that whales will come to warmer waters to give birth, turtles will lay their eggs and some birds will look for food sources not available in colder climates. Take advantage of migration coinciding with Costa Rica’s Green Season in order to find great deals in lodging and tours.
Whale watching season is upon us. Antarctic Humpback Whales can be seen on the Pacific Coast in Costa Rica August through November. Whales spend time above the surface slapping their fins and leaping clear out of the water, so they are not difficult to observe from shore or from boats that offer tours this time of year. Travel to the Southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, towards the Osa Peninsula. The Ballena National Marine Park even has a land formation that looks exactly like a whale’s tail! Excursions can be booked on the spot or through local tour operators while staying in any towns in the area: Manuel Antonio, Quepos, Dominical, Uvita, Drake Bay, Puerto Jimenez and more. If you’re lucky you’ll spot a mother whale and her calf, dolphins chasing the boat and turtles hanging about.
Whale’s Tail land formation, South Pacific Costa Rica, photo credit tanisquinn.
Whales aren’t the only migratory animal you will have a chance to see during green season in Costa Rica. Different turtle species visit both our coasts all year round to nest, and their eggs hatch and start their journey as well. Atlantic Green Sea Turtles nest on the Caribbean coast through the month of October. Leatherback Sea Turtles nest on the Pacific Coast October through March. Hawksbill Sea Turtles nest all year round on both coasts. Since these are all protected species, being able to observe this amazing process requires a bit more planning on your part. Research which area of the country you will be in, and beaches where nesting may occur. Depending on the area, special permits may be required, and you will need to heed all recommendations in order to respect the animals and their process. Preparation is definitely worth it and it will be one of your highlights of your visit to Costa Rica.
Turtles in Ostional, photo credit yogabylauralucy.
Birdwatchers have long known that Costa Rica is a special destination due to its biodiversity, and October and November brings exciting migratory species to the area. These include the Baltimore Oriole, black chested hawks, swallows such as the barn, bank and mangrove swallows, red-tailed kites and different species of warblers and wrens to name a few.
Baltimore Oriole, photo credit Wikipedia
Don’t be put off by the rainy weather during this time in Costa Rica, it is what makes the country green and lush, the rivers flow, the waterfalls even more spectacular. Come to Costa Rica during the Green Season and experience our migratory guests’ visits. Taking advantage of lower hotel rates, added value promotions and less crowded destinations is certainly another incentive.
Article by Katie Widdowson