Whale Watching at Lapa Rios

Whales in Uvita Costa Rica

July 15, 2015

Of all the wildlife in Costa Rica, seeing a whale is perhaps the most exhilarating experience. Luckily, Costa Rica is home to an estimated 25 whale and dolphin species which migrate, mate and live in the coastal waters of both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.  As a breeding ground for many whale species, Costa Rica is one of the best places in the world for whale watching thanks to its warm waters and protected inlets.

The best time to visit for whale-watching is mid-July to October and December to March as the whales migrate and bread along the coastlines. Both Southern hemisphere humpbacks traveling from Antarctica and Northern hemisphere humpbacks travelling from Alaska pass by Costa Rica. As you can see, the Humpback whales are one of the farthest migrating animals on Earth.

whale tail

Famed for the Humpbacks who spend more than eight months in the waters off Uvita, Kura Design Villas is by far, one of the best places to see whales. The Ballena National Marine Park, visible from Kura’s patio, offers the longest Humpback whale season in the world. This national park, fittingly named after the whales that commonly visit and the whale tail shaped sandbar, is a natural oasis full of pristine beaches and teaming with wildlife such as whales, dolphins, sea turtles, birds and tropical fish.

Humpback whales are easier to spot thanks to their distinctive hump and black dorsal fin. These whales also prefer to spend much of their time on the surface and near the shore and can grow from 12 – 16 meters in length.

Although the humpback whale is seen most often, this area is home to pseudo-orcas, pilot whales, spotted dolphins, spinner dolphins, bottle-nose dolphins and common dolphins. During your stay at Kura Design Villas you may want to take a day trip to maximize your whale watching experience and enjoy the surrounding scenery.  Half day whale watching or snorkeling tours are offered, depending on the season. Visit Caño Island Biological Reserve, the perfect paradise for diving and snorkeling. Here you have the opportunity to see turtles, dolphins, sting rays, moray eels, barracudas, tuna snapper, parrot fish, puffers and more. Deeper diving off the island may present white-tipped reef shark, silky shark, bull shark, with occasional whale shark and the amazing humpback whale. This all day tour includes a picnic lunch and an optional guided hike on the island.

If you chose to travel a little farther down the coast, Drake Bay, is another common breading ground for whales thanks to the calm waters in this area.  If you’re lucky, you’ll see a mom playing with her new baby splashing in the water near the shoreline as she teaches her young how to breach, dive and feed.

If you’re closer to Harmony Hotel, on the Nicoya Peninsula, there are also good places to go whale watching. The Tambor and Pochote beaches are places where humpback whales are most commonly seen.  While whale-watching tours are not common in these areas, snorkeling and scuba diving are the best options for spotting marine wildlife. Sightings in this area include humpback whales, bottle-nose dolphins, spinner dolphins, common dolphins and sea turtles.

Isla-del-Cano_1-450x225snorkelling

If you love animals and the ocean, then going whale watching in Costa Rica will be an activity you definitely shouldn’t miss out on. It’s an amazing experience to see these impressive creatures and reminds us just how much we need to protect our nature and earth.

Make your own cocktail at Jicaro Island Eco Lodge

September 14, 2013

Our guests who visit  Jicaro Island Ecolodge  have different experiences with the members of our staff. One of these is the cocktail classes offered by the hotel.

This is one of the experiences where the Jicaro team shares with the guests part of our Nicaragua culture. They learn how to prepare fresh and delicious cocktails to then be tasted (and enjoyed!) at the bar. The preparation of cocktails at our Eco Lodge is one of the many fun experiences their guests enjoy during their stay at Jicaro!

Located on a private island on Lake Nicaragua near Granada, Jicaro Lodge is a  boutique hotel  offering a variety of  tours and activities.

Birdwatching Tours in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

September 12, 2013

The  bird watching tour  is one of the activities that is done in the reserve of  Arenas Del Mar, and recently they had the opportunity to see one of the most beautiful birds of  Costa Rica, the Black mandible toucan.  This bird has a long bill that helps it look in holes for insects, but it also eats fruits, lizards and other small animals is part of the diet of this amazing bird.

The largest toucan in Costa Rica, the black mandible toucan.

Be sure to do this tour during your visit of Arenas Del Mar, besides toucans you can also see hummingbirds, flycatchers, parakeets and parrots and other tropical birds.

Arenas Del Mar reserve is one of the best places for wildlife photography”¦. ¨  

Costa Rica’s Cabo Blanco Park

September 8, 2013

The Cabo Blanco Park, just 45 minutes from  Latitude 10, is the clearest example that forests can be regenerated if efforts toward conservation are pursued. It also holds a special place in the history of National Parks in Costa Rica as it was the first protected area of the country, established in 1963.   This great park, extending for 1,250 hectares in the outer tip of the Nicoya peninsula, was mainly composed of devastated lands by indiscriminate deforestation in the 1960’s when the park was created.

Now, it’s a fully regenerated secondary forest full of huge native trees of all species and abundant wildlife. The park can be explored by following several paths that are available to visitors. The longest trail is about 5 km. long and takes you to the beach right in front of the Cabo Blanco Island.

The park also protects all marine life around its shoreline and the around the island of Cabo Blanco which extends 1 km. out from its complete shoreline (1800 additional hectares of marine area).

The Cabo Blanco Island is an incredible rookery for all sorts of marine birds. The island has the greatest colony of Brown Bobby birds in Central America, and also maintains the largest population of pelicans in the Nicoya Peninsula.

The Cabo Blanco Park is a living example that existing ecosystems can be restored when there is the determination and will to let nature take its course.

About 2 km from the reserve’s southern tip lies the Isla Cabo Blanco. Since the times of the Conquistadores it has been known as the “White Cape” because encrusted guano covers the rocks in dry season. This sea bird sanctuary, off limits for visitors, is inhabited by large numbers of brown pelicans, frigate birds, laughing gulls, common terns and Costa Rica’s biggest community of brown boobies.
Nature and Wildlife  of Cabo Blanco:

The Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve encompasses 1,172 hectares of mixed forest, which is classified as moist tropical forest. About 150 trees have been identified. Evergreen species predominate, but dry, deciduous forest species are found as well. Among the most common trees are lance wood, bastard cedar, wild plum, gumbo-limbo, trumpet tree, dogwood, frangipani and spiny cedar. One of the spiny cedars in Cabo Blanco towers 50 meters and measures 3 meters in diameter.

The majority of Cabo Blanco is secondary forest, around 50 years old. The remaining patch of primary forest accounts for 15% of the land and is located at the highest and most inaccessible point of the reserve.

The forest is home to a large variety of animals like white-tailed deer, pacas, armadillos, anteaters, howler, spider and capuchin monkeys, collared peccary, coyotes, porcupines, raccoons and coatis. With a keen eye you can find traces of ocelots, jaguarundis or margay cats. (See also: Animals of the Nicoya Peninsula in the Wildlife Guide). Among the many birds are magpie jay, motmot, long-tailed manakin, cattle egret, crested caracara, elegant trogon, white bellied chachalaca, ringed kingfisher and sulphur-winged parakeet.

An additional 18 hectares (45 acres) of the ocean belongs to the protected area of Cabo Blanco and the abundance of life underwater greatly exceeds that on land.

During your visit to  Latitude 10  you may request taking a naturalist guide and explore all the amazing wildlife the park has to offer or just go on a romantic hike with your loved one!

Surfing on Osa Peninsula near Lapa Rios Eco Lodge

September 1, 2013

No matter what level of surfing you are at, or whether you are just learning, the Osa Peninsula is the perfect place to go. With nice point breaks, reefs, and sandy beaches just steps away from Lapa Rios Eco Lodge, there is nothing quite like catching one of the abundant warm waves that lap our local beaches.

A surfer rides the face of a wave near Lapa Rios eco-resort

One of the greatest things about surfing on the Osa is the privacy as many days you will have the beach to yourself. So no juggling line-ups or worrying about your surf etiquette required. Without the stress of other surfers, you will be free to concentrate on your position, the waves, your incredible surrounding and your own surfing.

Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality is a world leader in sustainable hospitality management.   We manage and market hotels, resorts and eco lodges in Costa Rica and Nicaragua with a focus on high end experiences and sustainability.