THE SURROUNDING AREA
The town of Ojochal is long known for its friendly local Costa Ricans and the cultural influences of its European residents.
The international restaurants include culinary influences from France, Thailand, Europe, Japan, Italy, Mexico and of course Costa Rica.
Just driving through the valley and seeing some of the private homes and villas is a pleasure in itself.
OTHER AREAS OF THE COSTA BALLENA
Playa Tortuga (5 minutes)
The nearby Playa Tortuga has a Turtle and Nature Reserve that helps to maintain the ecological standards of the area. There are some walk-through caves at the north end of the beach. During the summer season, the river forms a crystal clear wading lake. Giant scarlet macaws perch in the mangrove trees. On Sundays watch or participate in a Volleyball game.
Playa Ventanas (8 minutes)
This beach is rightly named Ventanas, the Spanish name for windows. Among many, there are two sea caves that you can walk into for exploring during low tide. They are a part of a series of caverns that go south to the Osa Peninsula. Sir Francis Drake was rumored to have buried his treasures there. Go on your own treasure hunt!
The town of Uvita and Bahia (15 minutes)
In Uvita Bay (Bahia) you will find the famous “Whales Tail” is found in this friendly, Tico (Costa Rican) town. It is a tombola sandbar that is in the perfect shape of its namesake. You can walk for over a mile on its sands and snorkel on its shores.
It is also the home to one of the most popular parks in Costa Rica, Parque Marino Ballena. Islas Ballena and the Tres Hermanas rock islands are just offshore. Almost year round, but mainly in Sept. large pods of migrating whales can be seen.
The town itself has numerous scrumptious, ethnic cafes and bistros from all over the world. Many large waterfalls and swimming holes are within walking distance of the road.
Playa Hermosa (15 to 20 minutes)
While this is a fun beach for paddle boarding and all types of water sports, there are lifeguards for added protection. Onsite lockers are available while you surf or shop the arts and crafts booths. The ceviche stands offer incredible appetizers. You may be accompanied by white faced or howler monkeys.
The Town and Beach of Dominical (20 to 25 minutes)
Long known for its world class surfing and laid back environment, the waves are incredible. Recommended for experienced surfers only. Dominical has numerous cafes, diners and exotic restaurants. The gift shops have finds from all over Latin America. There are many waterfalls within walking, hiking or horseback riding distance.