Local Tours & Activities

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Nearby Activities & Sightseeing

Contact us or see us at the reception for more details, directions, and up-to-date pricing on the following activities and sightseeing.

Uvita waterfall in Uvita, Costa Rica near Cascada Verde hostel
Uvita Waterfall

A perfect spot for swimming & hiking. At 5 minutes walk from our hostel, you can jump, slide, or swim in its beautiful, natural pools.

More Waterfalls

There are many more waterfalls and swimming holes in our area, some a short car-ride away. We can tell you all about them when you arrive.

Bamboo Forest

Definitely a “must see” and only 15-20 minutes walking distance. There is also a beautiful swimming hole in the bamboo forest.

Marino Ballena Parque Nacional, Uvita, Costa Rica

Marino Ballena National Park is famous for whale and dolphin watching, diving, snorkeling, and unspoilt beaches like its unique “Whale’s Tail Beach”.

Established in 1990, this park protects 5.375 hectares of beach, mangrove estuary, lowland rainforest and marine habitats.

It is named after humpback whales migrating here between July and October, and again from December to March.

The aim of the park is to conserve the rich marine ecosystems inside its boundaries. It forms part of the 1% of Costa Rica´s protected marine territory and contains over 85 endemic species.


The closest beach, Playa Uvita, is about 1h walking distance from the hostel, 15 min by car or taxi. There are several other nice beaches inside the marine park.

Playa Hermosa is a surfer and locals favorite and just 10 min north by car. Sometimes it gets crowded during weekends but mornings are usually very quiet. There are life guards on duty from 8am on.

Playa Hermosa near Uvita, Costa Rica - a surfer's paradise!
Playa Hermosa

Playa Dominicalito, about 18 min north is truly amazing for swimming and walking especially during low tide. There are rocks that aren’t visible during high tide so please be careful in the water.

20 min driving north you’ll find the famous surf and beach destination Dominical. It’s a super cute little surfer’s village with many nice shops and restaurants.

Both in Uvita and in Dominical you can find surf schools.

Sunset at Playa Dominical, Costa Rica
Sunset at Playa Dominical

Just a few kilometers further south are many beautiful unspoilt beaches like Playa Tortuga.

Also very popular is Playa Las Ventanas with its caves. You can purchase snacks and souvenirs at the beach and parking is available for a fair fee.

Caves at Playa Ventanas near Ojochal, Costa Rica
Playa Las Ventanas

Uvita and Dominical are pretty famous surf destinations. Uvita is good for beginners, Playa Hermosa intermediate, and Dominical more for advanced surfers.

Baby turtle releases happen regularly! See big sea turtles laying their eggs, or baby turtles being released to the ocean!

Check with them (or us) if it may be turtle season, either laying or hatching. It’s a wonderful experience to see big sea turtles laying their eggs, or baby turtles being released to the ocean!


There is plenty of great hiking around our hostel! We would be happy to help you select a good path, just ask us!

Farmer's Market

Uvita is a very small town and every Wednesday everybody gathers for the weekly market. There you can find fruit, vegetables and lots of local products with a chance to have a taste of them as well.

In our opinion definitely a MUST DO is the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary. The great team there takes care for wild animals after injury or if they are abandoned.

If you find, for example, a wild animal injured but still alive on the road that definitely needs help, you can bring it there or call them to get it.

Their goal is to heal wild animals and bring them back to their original habitat. Most of the animals that you will get to see at the sanctuary can not be brought back into the wild – they wouldn’t survive.

Those ones stay at the sanctuary and you will be hearing all their stories (amazing and sad).

If you prefer a more remote nature reserve, please visit the Centro de Investigación Biologica Hacienda Barú.
It’s less than 30 minutes drive – 2 km north of Dominical, easy by public transportation.

There are plenty of paths, a butterfly garden, you possibly can spot sloths, macaws, monkeys and much more. Even a canopy tour is offered.

And behind Hacienda Barú you can access an amazing wild and usually completely empty beach with almost white sand.

For sure not everyone’s choice to see wildlife in cages, but if you can handle it, it’s a nice excursion, especially with kids because you get to see a lot: Snakes, spiders, scorpions, frogs, turtles, iguanas etc. in all kind of sizes and colors.

Nauyaca Waterfall in Costa Rica
Nauyaca Waterfalls

A popular destination in Costa Rica are the Nauyaca Waterfalls and you can easily visit them from here as a half day or day trip. The walk is easy and doable even with smaller kids and in high season horseback riding tours are also offered.

Manuel Antonio National Park - pristine beaches and lots of wildlife! Costa Rica

Opinions are very divided about Manuel Antonio: way too touristy to just gorgeous… We love it and visit this national park at least once per year! You can spot 3 types of monkeys, sloths, raccoons, iguanas, lizards of all sizes and colors, deers, even caimans and much more!

And you can easily do Manuel Antonio in a day trip from here – by car or public transportation – to avoid staying in this busy and quite expensive town (still worth a stay).

Travelrebels chose Cascada Verde as one of the best places to stay in Uvita. See what else they had to recommend in our beautiful town: Best Things to do in Uvita.

Daily Tours

We can help you select local tour operators who will offer good rates to our guests. Be sure to contact us or see us at the reception to book.

Watch humpback whales breaching in Uvita, Costa Rica twice a year!
Whale & Dolphin Watching Boat Tours

The humpback whales are in this area between late July and November and again between December and March. They arrive alternatively from the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

Dolphins instead can be seen here all over the year.

Sunset horseback riding at Playa Hermosa near Uvita, Costa Rica
Horseback Riding

There are several horseback riding tours starting from La Merced Wildlife Refuge near Uvita. Our favorite is the sunset beach ride!

Surf Lessons

Uvita and Dominical are pretty famous surf destinations. Uvita is good for beginners, Playa Hermosa intermediate and Dominical more for advanced surfers.

There are many recommendable surf instructors in and around Uvita. Please contact us and allow us to schedule lessons for you.

Kayaking / Rafting / Paddleboard

There is a great tour operator located in Dominical (20 minutes drive north, super nice
surf village, worth a trip anyway!) called Dominical Adventures. Great staff, very secure and with plenty of experience!

Please check their website for tour options. We are also happy to help with reservations!

Canopy Tours / Zip Lining

We definitely can recommend Osa Canopy Tours for zip lining – it’s a 30 minutes drive south and even by public transportation it’s pretty easy to get there.

Boruca Indigenous Reserve

Visit the Boruca indigenous community and discover their culture, traditions and crafts. The people of Boruca produce very beautiful wooden carved masks. There’s a show room with a shop and they have a big festival for new year, called Fiesta de los Diablitos.

You can also stay there overnight and enjoy these people’s hospitality.

Cano island - great place to go scuba diving or snorkeling. Off the Costa Ballena coast in Costa Rica.
Caño Island Snorkeling or Diving Tours

Caño Island is the best place to do snorkeling and scuba diving in Costa Rica. Many nature documentaries are made there! It’s a natural reserve where you can find lots of marine life. On the trip to the island you can see dolphins.

Corcovado Hiking Day Tour in Corcovado National Park in the Osa Peninsula in southern Costa Rica
Corcovado Hiking Day Tour

Corcovado is located south in the peninsula de Osa and is the most biologically diverse place on Earth. It’s actually real jungle – some of the animals you will see here can be found just in this tropical forest environment. Tourists need to be accompanied by a natural guide during their visit.

Be sure to pack closed shoes (sneakers, tennis shoes or boots) for the tour. No sandals.


La Perla del Sur Adventures
Our recommended tour operator for day tours
to Corcovado National Park, the mangroves or Caño Island, located in Sierpe.

Jaguar Corcovado Tours
Starting Corcovado tours from Puerto Jimenez and we heard great things about them! But you better like hiking…

Locals Tip:

Bolita Rainforest Hostel
If you are on a budget and can’t afford a Corcovado tour, we recommend staying at Bolita Rainforest Hostel because they are located right next to Corcovado and have hiking trails on their property where you can get an authentic rainforest feeling. Note: it is a clothing-optional place!

Night Tours with Doc Frog

Not available all year round but if he’s in the area, don’t miss a night tour with Cesar! He’s an expert for frogs, reptiles, amphibians etc. and he knows a perfect spot to find as many (night active) creatures as possible.

You will walk through a river bed. Rubber boots are provided in most sizes or bring your own boots (they will get wet). It’s not really far but a 4×4 car is necessary to get there. Taxis are available but be prepared to pay $25+ each way.

Coffee Tour

All our guests who did this tour were super excited about it – so definitely recommended!

TICO COFFEE TOUR is run by a local family and they show you their traditional coffee farm in the mountains above Uvita.

Cacao Tour

A nice cacao tour offered near Playa Hermosa. Learn the traditional way of making chocolate (with your own hands!) with a local Costa Rican guide. Enjoy a delicious chocolate drink at the end.

Coconut Tour

Down in Bahia lives a nice guy who produces coconut oil. He would be happy to show you his little farm. All guests who did the tour really enjoyed it. It costs $25 per person and takes about 2 hours. You receive a bottle of coconut oil at the end.

Drake Bay in the Osa Peninsula in southern Pacific Costa Rica
Drake Bay

We love Drake Bay! It’s a little paradise… but you would have to stay at least one night, it’s not possible as a day trip.

You can do so many things there: extended walks (beach and river), kayaking, horseback riding, night tours plus it’s the gateway to Caño Island (snorkeling / diving, see above) and Corcovado (hiking / jungle, see above).

There’s also no shortage of accommodation. And of course plenty of restaurants, too.


On our hill - all within 5-15 minutes walking distance:

At the upper waterfall entrance

Nice spot, good food and drinks


Mostly vegetarian & vegan, super nice setting


Wine bar, sushi, snacks, great atmosphere

Sueños Tranquilos / Santorini

Greek influenced fusion kitchen, big garden w/ pool

Whale Tale Taproom

Uvita’s beer bar, good & strong beer, great atmosphere


Bulk Store, organic food & supplies, no plastic packaging. Next door to the tap room.

TAGUA Café Vivo

Great people & setting, Argentinian and Italian influenced

Los Laureles

Great staff, big portions, so tasty, nice jungly yard and good music!


Tres Cerditos

Tacos! And Taco Tuesday! And best Ceviche in Uvita!

El Ranchito de Doña Maria

Delicious local food, open Monday – Friday until 4pm

SimbiOsa (at Hotel Tucan)

Delicious! Bar/life music (Sundays) + you can use their pool


Café and world kitchen

SIBU & Gelato

Bakery + lunch/dinner, good WiFi, very international & popular

Flor de la Sabana

At the TRACOPA bus terminal, take-away, fresh & cheap

Southern Uvita / Bahía / southern park entrance:

The Dome

Relaxed and almost urban location

Marino Ballena

Local food, mariscos = sea food, sports bar, open till late!

Soda Vargas

Typical Costa Rican breakfast & lunch, next to BN (Banco Nacional)

Al Chile Que Sí

Mexican influenced, sports bar, very nice staff, parties frequently



Five Maes

Best Burgers and more, even vegetarian! Delicious!

Pizza Time

Best pizza in the area plus bagels

Le French Café

Croissants! Baguettes! Coffee!

Falafel Uvita

Nice patio! Yumm!

Pizza Express

They deliver also to our hostel


Many typical restaurants at the entrance of the national park Marino Ballena

El Hornito

Delicious Argentinian empanadas and more

Sabor Español

High class Spanish cuisine

La Choza de Alejo

Mexican, nice neighborhood, close to southern park entrance



Mediterranean kitchen w/ pool

Vista Ballena

One of our 1st choices for a special occasion w/ pool & incredible ocean view incl. whale tale shaped beach, great food and cocktails!


Authentic Italian cuisine, amazing ocean view, only few tables (4×4!)

Jolly Roger

Typical American chicken wings & ribs, sports bar (4×4!)

La Parcela

More amazing ocean view with view point, food ok, good cocktails

¿Por Que No?

Right by the ocean

More Restaurants in Dominical

Mono Congo, Phat Noodle, Sushi, Fuego Brewery, Cocos and many more!


Restaurante Mirador Don Roger

Fantastic view, authentic restaurant

Aracari at La Cusinga Lodge

Great views and setting. Sit in the rocking chairs and watch the views!

Ballena Bistro

Very good food and very tasteful designed

Cristal Ballena

Excellent food ($$-$$$) + amazing view w/huge pool
One of our 1st choices for a special occasion!

Villa Leonor

At Ballena Beach Club


Fresh fish!

More Restaurants in Ojochal

Citrus, Fusion, Heliconia, Exotica, Stam Cafe (Belgian beer cafe), Los Gatos Locos, and many more restaurants plus a French bakery.

Delivery Service:

Hakuna Matata

Menu via WhatsApp – please ask at reception

More Options

Five Maes, Pizza Express, and many other restaurants deliver on request also

¡Buen provecho!