The small coastal town of Uvita de Osa receives this month's spotlight because it rests at the center of the desirable Costa Ballena and the amenities it provides have made it a vital part of day to day life in the area.
Uvita (meaning "Little Grape") is home to the Marino Ballena National Park, which was established in 1989 and is known for its famous Whale's Tail sandbar formation and the yearly migration of Humpback Whales. Over the decades, development of Uvita has been slow, allowing it to become part of a biologically diverse wildlife corridor and maintain an authentic Costa Rican appeal. Today it has grown to become the commercial center for a 30km stretch of coastline, with well established businesses which provide reputable services to its residents.
What Kind of Services Can Be Found in Uvita?
The banking options found within Uvita are a big factor which make this small town the center of day to day living in the area, these include the Banco Nacional, the BCR (Bank of Costa Rica) and the Coopealianza. As well, the quality medical care, provided at the two private medical clinics, the two dental clinics and the two pharmacies, is very important since the nearest hospital is located in Cortes, 30 km away. The local veterinary clinic provides full care services (including x-ray) for Fido, feline or feathered friend.
In Uvita you will find reputable lawyers, accountants, home builders and landscapers. Important products are sold at the pool supply stores, the paint store, the hardware stores, the auto parts store, and the home appliance stores. Important services are provided by the local print shop, the glass company, the electrical shops and the long standing Uvita Information Center, with tour/accommodation bookings and mailbox services. The two family owned BM supermarkets provide you with all the edible necessities one may need. Not to be missed is the Saturday Farmers Market, with organic produce, baked goods, whole food products, handcrafted jewelry and artisan crafts.
Uvita is home to a number of dining options, with some being long time favorites of visitors and residents, like The Dome Drive Thru, Restaurante Marino Ballena and La Fogata. One will also find fresh bakeries and a number of local sodas serving delicious typical Costa Rican dishes.
Natural Attractions and Community Initiatives
Enjoying the natural attractions, like walking the Whale’s Tail at low tide, offer unique experiences which you won’t find anywhere else. The beauty of the surrounding rainforest and Marine Park are enjoyed by way of the renowned ATV, horseback riding, hiking, diving and boating tours. Surf lessons are provided by experienced instructors and the surf is primed for beginner to intermediate surfers. Yoga studios feature classes for all levels, as well as certification courses. The Whales and Dolphins Festival in September features special tours to observe the yearly migration of female Humpback Whales, whom travel to the area to birth their calves. Uvita has played host to the Envision Festival since 2012, this international music and art festival draws thousands of visitors and highlights the raw beauty of the area.
The mix of locals and expatriates within and surrounding Uvita have developed a mutual appreciation for the town and the natural beauty of the area, in such a way that local initiatives to better the community are constantly evolving. Take for example Pueblo Alegre, a collaboration between residents and business owners to "paint the town" and work to make Bahia Ballena and Uvita an enjoyable sight for all. Volunteer organizations like Domestic Animal Welfare Group (DAWG), continue to make a positive impact on the community, while fundraisers regularly bring people together for a variety of causes.
People from all over the world have relocated to the Costa Ballena and no doubt they would all agree that Uvita plays an integral role in their day to day living. The surrounding mountain ranges are full of waterfall and river properties, quiet communities and stunning views of the Whale’s tail. For anyone looking for an active but simple lifestyle, with easy access to daily services and enjoyment of pristine natural surroundings, there are affordable options in the Uvita area. Perhaps most interesting of all about purchasing in Uvita, one does not necessarily need to pay the price for an Ocean view when you have a wildlife corridor in your backyard and a marine park only minutes from your home.
All in all Uvita offers a package that provides everything one may need for a comfortable lifestyle, wrapped up in the beauty of the rainforest and a protected coastline. So if you are looking to "get away" and "slow down", but don’t want to be too far away from civilization, check out the coastal town of Uvita!