15 Epic Things to do in Uvita, Costa Rica
Are you looking to plan a trip to Uvita, Costa Rica? Uvita is a beautiful beach town in Costa Rica, full of luscious jungles, waterfalls, and stunning beaches.
It is located on the Pacific Ocean side of southern Costa Rica. It has become a popular town because it’s one of the best places to go whale watching in the Northern Hemisphere. Uvita is full of natural beauty and it’s the perfect place to visit during your next trip to Costa Rica.
There are so many great things to do in Uvita. It is easy to spend a week here and never get bored. Whether you are looking for an action-packed vacation or just chill-out on the beach, Uvita has you covered.
- Top 15 things to do in Uvita, Costa Rica
- 1. Marino Bellino National Park
- 2. Visit one of many Waterfalls
- 3. Snorkeling & Diving
- 4. Surfing
- 5. Try Out Various Water Activities
- 6. Relax on the Beach
- 7. Watch the Sunset on Playa Uvita
- 8. Stroll Through Town
- 9. Try Local Food
- 10. Day Trip to Caño Island
- 11. Day Trip to Corcovado National Park
- 12. Day trip to Dominical
- 13. Visit the Terraba Sierpe Mangroves
- 14. Envision Festival
- 15. Do Nothing
Top 15 things to do in Uvita, Costa Rica
Located right in the heart of Uvita is a protected reserve that has over 9 miles of coastline and 13,000 acres of ocean. It’s a great place for whale watching, dolphin spotting, swimming, and exploring Uvita’s natural beauty.
The most well-known part of the national park is what is known as the whale tail. It’s where the beach jets out on both the right and left sides and looks like a whale’s tail from above.
It’s hard to see when walking along the beach, but when you fly over it you will see it.
The sandbar extends into the ocean for a far distance on both the left and right sides creating a whale’s tale. It is more noticeable during low tide. Even though you can’t notice it when on the beach, it is a great spot to swim and worth checking out.
This is also a perfect place to see humpback whales in Costa Rica if you want to skip the boat ride, which is ironic since it looks like one.
It’s definitely a must-visit when in Uvita.
It is a great place to explore the jungle at the national park, relax on the beach, snorkel, or go on whale and dolphin watching tours.
If you want to see humpback whales the best time to visit is from July into early November.
Visiting the park would make for an amazing day trip while staying in Uvita.
There are various waterfalls near Uvita that could make for fun day trips or excursions. The first is the Uvita Waterfall which is right in town and you can even jump off the main waterfall on slide-down and play in the smaller ones.
It’s very cheap to visit and you can spend some time swimming in the water and enjoying the scenery. It’s very easily accessible which makes it a popular destination.
One of my favorite things about Uvita is how close the waterfalls are to the beach. It is easy to spend half the day at the beach and when you get too hot escape to the refreshingly cool water the waterfalls provide.
There are also other waterfalls you are able to visit slightly farther away.
Cascade El Pavon is another great waterfall and it’s located about a 25-minute car ride outside of Uvita.
It’s super photogenic with a rock perched at the top of the waterfall in a unique placement. It’s a beautiful spot to check out and explore and perfect for swimming and relaxing.
If you are a waterfall fanatic like me, it is also worth checking out that Nauyaca Waterfalls is located about 30 minutes outside of Uvita.
It’s definitely a half-day if not a full-day excursion because once you’ve driven 30 minutes, there is also a 2.5-mile hike there and back to get to the waterfall.
The trail is difficult and goes uphill but it makes the waterfall even more worth it and if you like hiking and outdoor activities you’ll absolutely enjoy this trail. A great activity if you are looking for more exercise during your vacation.
Dipping in the water is the perfect refresher after a long hike. You can even jump off the lower waterfall into the water or just enjoy swimming around the beautiful rushing waterfall.
3. Snorkeling & Diving
There are many snorkeling and diving options in the area. A great option is at the Marino Bellino National Park where you will see some amazing marine life and colorful fish.
Caño Island nearby is well known for its amazing sea life which is another great place to check out.
Scuba diving is always a fun activity and can be a unique way to get to know the area. If you’ve never done it before you can take a lesson from different companies that will bring you out.
Snorkeling or scuba diving should definitely be at the top of your list of things to do in Uvita.
The Pacific Coast is a very popular place for surfing worldwide, especially in Costa Rica where the water is warm.
Uvita is located right on the south Pacific Coast and is a great spot to try out surfing if you’re brand new to the sport or you’re a seasoned rider. There are waves for all levels here.
Various shops in the area have surfboards that you can rent if you are more experienced. If you are new to surfing, I highly recommend taking a surf lesson from one of the local surf shops.
Surfing is a fun and adrenal-packed activity to try out while you’re visiting the beautiful Uvita.
5. Try Out Various Water Activities
If you love being out on the water, there are so many different water sports you can try. You’ll never have to get bored because there is always something to do.
Surfing isn’t in your cards? You can try kayaking, canoeing, a fishing tour, or you can go on a relaxing catamaran cruise.
There is so much fun to be had in Uvita, that you will never be bored.
6. Relax on the Beach
The beaches in Costa Rica are powdery soft and the perfect place to spend some time relaxing. You can’t go wrong with a late afternoon nap on the beach or an early morning stroll along the water.
Uvita has beautiful beaches and you can find a great spot to relax on your towel, swim in the ocean, and watch surfers hitting the waves. Spending some time on the beach is definitely a must when visiting Costa Rica.
|Pro Traveler Tip: I always travel with a travel towel. They are easy to fit in your day bag and come in handy more often than you would think. For more ideas on what to add to your packing list for Costa Rica|
7. Watch the Sunset on Playa Uvita
The sunsets on the Pacific side of Costa Rica are incredible and something that should be enjoyed every night on your vacation. It’s just so beautiful.
A great way to experience Uvita is by walking along the beach and watching the sun go down, maybe with a coconut or a cerveza in hand.
Each night there is a new and unique display of colors in the sky. Enjoying the powdery soft sand while winding down for the night is the perfect way to spend your vacation in Uvita.
8. Stroll Through Town
For a slow morning or afternoon, you should spend some time strolling through downtown of Uvita.
You’ll get to know the area better this way and it’s a great opportunity to get a better understanding of the culture. You can shop for local goods and check out the art and souvenirs as well as grab a bite to eat.
There is even a local farmer’s market to enjoy and try some fresh produce.
Uvita isn’t very large, but it’s quaint and less touristy than other places in the area which makes it the perfect place to be.
9. Try Local Food
There are some great local restaurants and street food options in Uvita that you have to try.
I love eating at local Soda’s when I am traveling around Costa Rica. A Soda is a family-owned and operated small local restaurant in Costa Rica. Getting a meal at one of these is great for enjoying a traditional Costa Rican meal.
You can’t come to Costa Rica without trying Gallo Pinto, which is their local breakfast dish. It’s a mix of rice and beans with other spices and vegetables to add flavor. It’s usually served with eggs, cheese, plantains, and tortillas. Once you have it, you will wonder where it has been all your life.
Another very popular dish is the Casado which stands for a married, meaning the foods served in this dish go together so well that they were married. It’s a plate of rice and beans, a salad, plantains, and some sort of meat whether it’s chicken, pork, beef, or fish. It is pretty much what every local eats for lunch.
As you can tell, rice and beans are very prominent in traditional meals. There are so many other options but these are two of the most popular.
Roughly a 1.5-hour boat ride from Marino Ballena National Park is Caño Island, a biological reserve with amazing and unique marine life.
It’s one of the best spots for snorkeling and scuba diving in Costa Rica.
Biologists love to research the area, especially the coral. It is also famous for its pre-Columbian artifacts found on the island.
It’s a great day trip from Uvita and easily accessible with various options for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Different tour companies can bring you out to the island to explore the area. You have the chance to see dolphins, turtles, and various types of fish.
The largest national park in Costa Rica is located not too far from Uvita on the Osa Peninsula. It’s a beautiful place to visit if you have the time and one of the most biologically diverse places in the world.
It’s 164 square miles and full of amazing wildlife. The park’s forest is one of the richest lowland forests left in the world.
Tours from Uvita will take you by bus and boat to the park to explore everything it has to offer. You’ll have the chance to hike and see monkeys, crocodiles and so many different exotic animals.
Corcovado National Park is an amazing place and probably my number 1 must-see place in Costa Rica.
12. Day trip to Dominical
Dominical is located roughly 15 minutes from Uvita and the ultimate surfer town in Costa Rica. It’s beautiful and a great opportunity to see a bit more of what Costa Rica has to offer.
A great place to check out while in Dominical is Hacienda Baru Wildlife Refuge. It’s a great place for hiking with diverse habitats.
It has over 330 species of birds to spot while hiking and exploring the area.
Of course, if you’re into surfing like me, you’ll also want to try out the amazing waves in Dominical. It’s the perfect little beach town with vibrance and life exuding from it and it would make for a great day trip.
This Forest Reserve is a protected national wetland about 45 minutes from Uvita. The perfect day trip from Uvita with over 74,000 acres of land.
It consists of mangroves, rivers, lagoons, and swamps. It’s easy to go kayaking or take a boat tour from Uvita. Perfect day if you are looking for an adventurous activity.
A very beautiful place and a great way to appreciate Costa Rica’s natural beauty and all it encompasses.
14. Envision Festival
Each February, the Envision Festival is held in Uvita for 7 days. Its mission is to create an eye-opening experience and reconnect with nature. Envision was founded by the same guy who started burning man, he wanted to give the same experience, but with a Pura Vida vibe.
It has been taking place for 10 years and since its inception, the festival has been contributing to the local community and environment.
It’s an exciting event full of music, dance, yoga, community, and education. If you’ll be in Uvita during the festival, you should definitely check it out. You’re bound to have fun and learn a thing or two.
The best thing about this festival is you can either choose to stay on campus or if sleeping on the floor is no longer your thing, you can stay in a hotel nearby.
15. Do Nothing
Being on holiday is great. We get to explore new places, see new things and experience different cultures. So much so that sometimes we forget that the point of vacation is to unwind. I love to jam pack my holidays with loads of activities to see and explore as much as I can.
I also always love to have one day where I don’t plan a thing. Allowing myself to fully unwind and just see where the day takes me, whether it be sitting by the pool, beach, having an extra-long lunch or taking a nice siesta. Don’t over-plan your holiday and allow yourself to fully unwind.
Uvita is a beautiful and coastal beach town worth visiting. Many people quickly fall in love with this beach town because of its quaint yet lively vibes.
It’s a beautiful place to spend a vacation in Costa Rica. There are so many beautiful things to do in Uvita. So much to explore and see, especially if you’ll be visiting during whale watching season.
From sunup to sundown, you’ll be amazed at the gorgeous scenery of Uvita. You should definitely add this piece of paradise to your list.