WHERE BALLENA NATIONAL MARINE PARK IS LOCATED Ballena National Marine Park is the first marine park in Latin America. It was created in Febuary 1990 to protect the coral and rock reefs. Its dramatic coastline of pristine sandy beaches and rocky shores is the home of many tropical fish in its clear blue sea.

The park covers 13 kms of coastline from Uvita Point to Pinuela Beach and consist of 5,375 hectares of the marine environment. The park is a system of reefs and islands called Las Tres Hermanas that protect the coastline which is made of several unique geological formations and creates some of the best diving and snorkeling in Costa Rica.

The island group Las Tres Hermanas is an important roost for seabirds and home to two species of reptiles, the iguana (Iguana Iguana) and the cherepos (Basilicus Basilicus). The island is also a refuge and roosting site for magnificent frigate birds.

EL TOMBOLO El Tombolo is 5 metres wide and is situated in Punta Uvita which was once an island. After years of sediment accumulation, it had transformed the island into a peninsula that can be walked at low tide. At the tip of the Tombolo one can see sponges, sea anemones, corals, mollusks, crabs and echinoderms.

The coastline is fringed with lush vegetation, mainly coconut trees, beach almonds, mahoes and poros. The vegetation on the mainland is complemented by the underwater world of coral reefs and by the islands.

The bays of the park host swarms of Anchovies, Lobsters, Catfish, Flying fish, Trunk fish, Trigger fish, Caribbean Snook, Jew fish, common Dolphins and Bottle-Nosed Dolphins. From December to April the park is home to humpback whales, an endangered species, of which only 5,000 remain today.

This park protects important habitats such as sandy beaches, rocky beaches, Estuaries, mangroves, cliffs, islands, rocky shoales, point Uvita and coral reef which represent a very important environment for the preservation and reproduction of marine diversity. The coral reefs are composed of 5 of the 18 species.

The sandy beaches are visited by Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtles from May to November, but mainly in September and October. The Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtles make the beaches of Ballena Park particularly special as they make their way onto the beaches at night to lay their eggs.