Best things to do to in Uvita, Costa Rica

Uvita is a little town on the pacific coast of Costa Rica. Among the best things to do in Uvita is a visit the beautiful waterfalls, the famous national park, go surfing, horse riding or whale spotting. The town itself feels a bit scattered and is not that great for walking around, but there’s a lot to enjoy in the area. It’s also a lot quieter than a lot of the other beach destinations in Costa Rica, which is something I personally always look for. Here’s all the things not to miss when you visit Uvita! 

Walk onto the famous whale tale in Marino Ballena National Park

A large sandbank in the shape of a whale’s tale becomes visible during low tide. Time your visit to the national park right, so you can see it and explore! During hight tide you can barely see it and the beach is barely accessible. The tickets to enter Marino Ballena National park costs $8 and you can check the tides here. (No more then a week in advance) Besides the whale tale, the beach itself is beautiful as well. Enjoy the beach walk past the lush jungle and if you’re lucky, you may see monkeys or macaws.

Marino Ballena National Park whale tale Marino Ballena National Park beach uvita

Watch the sunset on Playa Uvita

Every night we were treated to a spectacular sunset on Playa Uvita. Everyone comes out to the beach to see it. I specifically loved it when the tide was high and there were some beautiful reflections in the water.

sunset Uvita Beachsunset at playa uvita

Hike to Nauyaca Waterfalls

These waterfalls are among the most beautiful in Costa Rica. it consists of two levels. These epic waterfalls are closer to dominical, so if you’re planning on staying there, it might be easier to visit from there. Wherever you are staying though, they are a must visit! The easiest way to get there is by rental car, but you can also take the 06:00 bus to San Isidro and ask the driver to stop at Nauyaca falls. It will take you an hour to get there from Uvita.

From the entrance it’s at least an hours walk to the waterfall. Make sure to wear good shoes and bring enough water. On the way you’ll have an opportunity to see monkeys and other wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled. Instead of hiking you can also choose to take a pick-up truck to the waterfall. This will get you there faster and if you go early in the morning, this means you’ll arrive before all the hikers. The downside is that they only give you 2 hours at the waterfall if you also want to take the truck back. Another options is going by horse, but this is also the most pricy option. If you’d like to do the horse riding, it needs to be booked in advance.

Nauyaca Waterfalls near Dominical & Uvita Nauyaca Waterfalls Costa Rica

Slide down the Catarata Uvita Waterfall

This waterfall is the perfect place to chill for an afternoon. The waterfall also functions as a natural slide. It looks very sketchy, but it’s actually very smooth. It’s however very important to cross your legs and put your arms across your chest. You also pull your chin towards your chest slightly so your head cannot hit the rocks. From the main street in Uvita its about a 30 min walk to the entrance of Catarata Uvita.

There are two different entrances to the waterfall. The first one on google maps charges 3000 colones and also has a butterfly garden. However, I’d recommend using the second entrance that costs 2000 colones. From here you get to the waterfall faster, safer and at a better price.

Catarata Uvita Waterfall natural slide

Go whale spotting in Uvita

If it’s the right season, make sure to go out to sea to see the spectacular humpback whales. Besides whales you alos may see dolphins and turtles. Whale season is from mid July until the eind of October and from January to march.

Take a surf lesson

I personally didn’t surf in Uvita, but I surfed a lot in neighboring town Dominical. However, it is a great spot for beginner and intermediate surfers. Your surf school will take you to one of the many surf spots around Uvita; Playa Uvita, Playa Hermosa, Playa Chaman and Playa Colonia.

surfing dominical

Have a sunset drink at Mirador Don Roger

You can only see the famous whale’s tale if the tide is low, but whatever the tide is, the view is great during sunset. We ended up taking a taxi up here for the sunset and having dinner and drinks while enjoying the view.

Mirador Don Roger Uvita Costa Rica

Horse back Riding on the beach

Another activity I love on any beach is a horseback riding. I find it very important to always check the condition of the horses to make sure they are well taken care off, but if they are it’s one of the most beautiful ways to enjoy the surroundings. This is not from personal experience, but I’ve heard that Rancho La Merced is the best one in Uvita.

horse riding beach Costa Rica

Dance at Envision Festival

Envision is a music festival that has earned a reputation both within Costa Rica and internationally. It’s loved by yoga enthusiasts, music fans, and people interested in community and a sustainable lifestyle.  The programming mixes international and local artists. The festival is based on 8 pillars The event is based on eight pillars: permaculture, spirituality, movement, art, music, community, health, and eco-building. Its only possible to buy a ticket for the whole festival, which is around ¢350.

How to get to Uvita:

From Drake Bay: boat+local bus: In Drake Bay you’ll get the boat to Sierpe and from there you can take the bus to Palmar Norte. From Sierpe to Palmar Norte is only 20 minutes. In Palmar Norte change bus to Uvita.

From Quepos: The bus takes 2 hours and leaves several times a day.

Best Restaurants in Uvita:

Feelovesophy Vegan Coffee: The absolute cutes breakfast spot in town! It’s a tiny little cafe, but has a great vibe and avocado toast.

Feelovesophy Vegan Coffee

Indómitos Cafe: Wonderful vegetarian food! Great smoothiebowls, veggie burgers and many more great options.

Cafe Vivo Uvita: Great coffee, really nice staff, a garden to sit in and lovely food. If you’re a coffee lover then go try their pour-over!

Mestizo Tradición y Fusión: The food and cocktails are amazing! Must try in Uvita, but be prepared for a slightly more pricy menu.

Falafel Uvita: Absolutely delicious falafel, large portions and plenty of vegan and vegetarian options!

Where to stay in Uvita?

Yuli Hotel: One of the most luxurious hostel experiences I’ve had was at Yuli Hotel. The dorms are spacious and clean and they have a beautiful pool. It’s also close to the entrance of the beach, so I would say it has the perfect location as well.

Selva Armonia Immersive jungle resort:If you’re looking for a more luxurious stay in a secluded location, this may be for you! Keep in mind you need a car to get to this hotel as it is outside the center of town. It’s a romantic soulful hideaway that’s especially great for couples.