I recently was intuivitely called to visit Costa Rica for an ayahuasca ceremony. But instead of visiting the more touristic side of the Guanacaste province, I decided to check out the small town of Uvita.
Although I didn’t have much time here, it felt safe and right at home very quickly and I would recommend this area to anyone wanting to experience another area of Costa Rica that’s a little more off the beaten path.
- Visit the Beach, Marino Ballena National Park
Uvita is located on the south pacific coast and what keeps this particular beach so beautiful is the fact that you must pay a fee to enter. This beach area is also a national park, where you can spot plenty of wildlife on the coastline as well as whales in the ocean! I recommend early in the morning if you want to spot monkeys or sloths, and you may even catch a few crocodiles!
This area is also surrounded by parrots high in the sky and toucans, so keep an eye out!
2. Nauyaca Waterfall
ust outside of Uvita is the epic Nauyaca waterfall. This was my favorite attraction here, as I am a waterfall fanatic! If your not renting a car, you could taxi to this area. It’s about 35 minutes outside of Uvita. You can also catch a bus from Uvita to Dominical and another bus from Dominical to San Isidro and ask for them to drop you off at these waterfalls. This is what I did and it saves a whole lot of money to use the bus system.
There is a fee to enter the park and an option to pay extra to take a car down to the main trail. And believe me, you want the car. Unless you are well prepared, I wouldn’t recommend the walk as it is nearly 4 miles one way in the Costa Rican heat.
You can definitely spot wildlife along the way. I spotted many toucans and I’ve heard if your there in the morning, you can see sloths and monkeys.
The main trail to the waterfall is very short and there is an option for the overview as well as to the bottom of the waterfall. It is a double tiered, wide falls that you can swim at the bottom of or even swim accross to take a picture right under the falls. It is a powerful gust so be careful! There are plenty of rocks to hang out at during your stay and this spot will not disappoint.
Unfortunately, my tour fell through to see this area near Uvita. Corcovado is a national park, about a 30 minute boat ride from Uvita. The region is so rugged that it is only accessable by boat and I would highly recommend a tour. This area is known to be amongst the three most diverse ecosystems in the world by National Geographic and perfect for nature and animal lovers.
I would not recommend trying to find tours online, as I did. Instead, walk around the small town and there will be many shops that offer tours.
4. Learn to surf
This area of Costa Rica is well known for surf! You can book a surf lesson in Uvita, Domincalita or Dominical (for the more experienced). I unfortunately did not get to try, but if you have a good amount of time here, I would highly recommend.
5. Slide down Uvita Waterfall
Uvita has many hidden waterfalls, Uvita is one of the more well known ones. You could definitely walk here if you’d like to save money on a cab, but if not, there are plenty of taxis that can take you. You’ll feel like a part of the jungle here. There’s a small fee of 2 mil colones (about 3 dollars usd) to get inside and then a small hike along a beautiful river with many opportunities to go for a swim.
Keep going to the end to see Uvita waterfall. It isn’t very high or wide but it is a simple gem with something special about it. Locals love it! you can actually swim up to the waterfall, climb up a ladder to the top and either jump off or slide down the waterfall into the pool at the bottom!
Of course, I had to try this and be sure to be prepared for how fast the waterfall takes you, but I highly recommend!
You can also feel free to book tours to the hidden waterfalls of Uvita. A taxi driver could probably take you to a few as well. Just tell them to take you to all the local waterfalls!
6. Visit Isle Uvita
A short boat ride from Uvita, you’ll need a tour guide to get here. This area is perfect for those who want a day on the water to snorkle the south Pacific.
If only I had more time here to experience it all… it will for sure call me back. I would say that this area of Costa Rica (Costa Rica in general) is very safe and very quiet. If you would like a more peaceful visit to CR, Uvita is perfect. Dominical for those who want to hit up a few more bars and surf.
I stayed at Casa Morpho for a budget stay while I was here and ate often as a vegetarian at El French Cafe.