Named for the whales who use this area as a nursery, Ballena Marine National Park has four separate beaches, stretching for about 10 km (6 miles), and encompasses a mangrove estuary, a remnant coral reef, and more than 12,350 acres of ocean, home to tropical fish, dolphins, and humpback whales. Playa Uvita is the most popular sector of the park. It has the longest stretch of beach and shallow waters calm enough for kids. Fishing boats, kayaks, snorkeling tours and dolphin-
and whale-watching cruises all leave from the Playa Uvita sector of the park. Restaurants line the road to the Playa Uvita park entrance, but there are no food concessions within the park. Access to each of the four beaches—from north to south, Uvita, Colonia, Ballena and Piñuela—is off the Interamerican Highway.
Entrance at Playa Uvita, about 20 km (20 miles) south of Dominical, Uvita, 60504, Costa Rica