Hitting the highway headed south toward the central coast, you’ll find the Marino Ballena National Park (Parque Nacional Marino Ballena) in Puntarenas. Located 10 miles south of Dominical and 112 miles southwest of San Jose, the park offers all sorts of natural wonders to inspire awe and appreciation.
Established in 1990 with 5510 ha of beach, mangrove estuary, and lowland rainforest, the park is named for the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) that migrates here to mate. They come north from Antarctica July through November, and south from California and Canada December through April. Other whale species here include the false orca and pilot. This park offers the best place in Costa Rica to view whales from shore. Green marine iguanas, bottle nosed and common dolphins, manta rays, hammerhead sharks, turtles (olive ridley, hawksbill, leatherback and green), corals, sponges, anemones, lobsters, and many more sea creatures also call this place home. Land life is also abundant, with howler, capuchin and squirrel monkeys, sloths, pizotes and an occasional puma or ocelot. In the air you can see roadside and white hawks, chestnut-mandibled and keel- billed toucans, gulls, sand pipers and pelicans.