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Beachgoers surprised by whales in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

February 17, 2021

Beachgoers at Playa Guiones in Nosara, Guanacaste received an unexpected surprise Monday as two large whales breached not far offshore. 

Photographer Heiner Castillo captured images and video of the events.

“I love this: being on the beach and out of nowhere, something as amazing as this  surprises you,” Castillo wrote via social media.

Check out his photos and video (set to “Muchacha y Luna,” by the excellent Costa Rican band Malpaís) below:

The best time of year to see humpback whales in Costa Rica

Southern humpback whales arrive in Costa Rica in great numbers beginning in July and ending in November.

The lesser known — but still exciting — whale season is when northern humpback whales migrate to Costa Rica starting December and typically ending in April.

Where to see humpback whales in Costa Rica?

The best locations to be able to sight and enjoy humpback whales are on the Southern Pacific coastline around the fringes of a small town named Uvita. Environmentalists will be appreciative to know that the town’s beaches and coastal waters are protected by the Marino Ballena National Park.

There are also whale watching journeys operating out of Manuel Antonio and Quepos with the humpbacks flaunting their big bodies in the late summer and the fall. These are often luxury journey because you will be sailing on a catamaran that leave from the Marina Pez Vela in Quepos. It will be worth your money because this will include snorkeling time in the open, one gourmet meal and alcoholic beverages.

Further north, other areas like Tamarindo and Papagayo Gulf are also developing as whale watching areas but there are less operators. You can also be lucky enough in the waters of these districts to see lovable humpback whales approaching you while snorkeling, diving or just simply being on the catamaran or boat you are sailing on.

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