Manuel Antonio the National Park is perhaps the most popular tourist destination in Costa Rica. It is also the most easily accessible. Just a short distance from the capital of San Jose by domestic plane or car, it is only 20 minutes north of Dominical after the completion of the Costenera Coastal road. This area is known for its beautiful beaches, touristy coastal resort towns and fantastic surfing opportunities. Offering visitors a wide selection of activities to enjoy, including sportfishing and sunbathing, undoubtedly, the biggest crowd puller of this area is the wonderful Manuel Antonio National Park.
With its lush dense forestation and stunning shoreline ideal for swimming or bird watching, the Manuel Antonio National Park attracts the highest number of tourists in the country. Manuel Antonio is surrounded by a huge number of hotels and restaurants offering fantastic views of the Pacific Ocean. The national park is home to many endemic species of plant and animal life that you can experience by easy footpath. Nearby sits the town of Manuel Antonio, a good place to use as a base while exploring the park.
When visiting the Manuel Antonio National Park, one of the best and more economical places to stay at is in Quepos, around 7 kilometers away. This rapidly booming tourist town is the sport fishing capital of Costa Rica, with its own small airport and boasting a number of cozy hotels, chic restaurants and an active nightlife.
Now with Quepos/ Manuel Antonio so easy to get to, the residents and tourist in the Ballena Coast area are enjoying the activities, tours, events and restaurants in addition to the multiple services that are already offered.
The pristine rainforests and the rugged natural beauty of the Osa Peninsula make this region among the most beautiful areas in Costa Rica. Declared one of the most biologically intense places on earth by the National Geographic Magazine, the Osa Peninsula along with Drake Bay have today, become the premier eco-tourism destination in the county. The region offer tourists everything from knowledgeable guides for hiking the rainforest, to whale and dolphin watching tours, to simply lying on the beach and relaxing in the sun. The Osa Peninsula is a secluded nature wonderland, playing home to many of the country's rare and endangered animal and bird species including the puma, jaguar, Harpy Eagle and Scarlet Macaw. With a large chunk of the peninsula forming the Corcovado National Park, this area has the single largest expanse of a lowland tropical rainforest in Central America and is one of the tallest rainforests in the world.
A principal town in the General River Valley and reputedly one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in Central America, San Isidro de El General is located 120 km southeast of the capital city San Jose, and 29 km northeast of Dominical in Puntarenas province. A prosperous agricultural town, San Isidro de El General is a key transportation and farming center in the valley, and is the largest town in this region. Lying just a few minutes away from the Pan-American Highway on the slopes of the Talamanca Mountains, this tiny town is a great stopping point for tourists on the way to Quepos, Dominical, the Chirripo National Park, the Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, or if you are traveling to Panama.
The European styled village of Ojochal is located on the south pacific coast of Costa Rica, 21 miles south of Dominical. The name Ojochal (pronounced Oh-ho-chall), derives from a tree that once dominated the rain forest here. The Ojoche tree is now almost extinct, but the greatest amount of them can be found in Ojochal which means "the orchard of Ojoche trees. The residents of Ojochal are a varied mix of retirees, ex-patriots, Costa Rican locals, French, Americans, Canadians and Europeans – truly a global village. This multi-cultural backdrop adds spice and variety to the rapidly growing business community in "the village" that has something for everyone.
Stretching from Dominical to Ojochal, Costa Ballena encompasses a vast stretch of a gorgeously rugged shoreline and a number of beautiful beaches. This southern Pacific region of Costa Rica features unspoiled beauty and natural charm that expresses an overarching appeal and gives a unique character to the region.
Celebrated for its incredible biodiversity, Costa Ballena is a hot spot for nature lovers, conservationists and eco-adventurers alike. The beautiful coastline of Costa Ballena includes the beaches of Dominical, Playa Dominicalito, Playa Hermosa, Playa Uvita, Playa Arco, Playa Ballena, Playa Pinuelas, Playa Ventanas and Playa Tortuga. These beaches offer various water sport opportunities like snorkeling, kayaking, diving, surfing and scuba diving. Other activities available in the area include sport fishing, canopy tours and tree-climbing adventures.