On the edge of the Costa de Ballena, Ojochal de Osa is immersed in natural beauty. To the south, the river opens up into mangrove forests, before meeting a sea teeming with coral reefs and marine life. To the north, beaches are home to Costa Rican turtles. While behind, the rainforest stretches up into the hills. As for Ojochal village itself, with boutique hotels and a feast of fine restaurants, you’re perfectly placed for a luxury break.

A friendly village with an international atmosphere, on Costa Rica’s South Pacific coast

Things to do


The landscape surrounding Ojochal de Osa has undergone a remarkable transformation from cattle pasture to dense, tangled rainforest. Take a birdwatching tour and keep an eye out for brightly-coloured wings fluttering through the canopy. To go further, go on a guided horse trek up to the Nauyaca waterfalls. Or explore the fascinating mangrove forests of the Térraba-Sierpe wetlands by canoe. 


There’s plenty of natural beauty to appreciate along the coast, too. Wait for low tide to visit Playa Tortuga, with its secret caves and turtle conservation project. Or go to Playa Pinuela to snorkel over the coral reef that fringes the shoreline. Close to Ballena national marine park, Ojochal de Osa also makes a good base for activities such as whale watching.


Ojochal village may be a fairly small community, but it has global roots. People have settled here from all around the world, bringing different cuisines with them – and Ojochal is now the coast’s dining capital. Sample ‘Tico’ staples such as gallo pinto and local ceviche – fresh fish soaked in citrus juices. Then mix things up with everything from Italian to Indonesian restaurants to choose from. 

Thrill seekers will find plenty to enjoy in and around Ojochal, including zip lining through the canopy, ATV tours and surfing at Ballena beach.

Top tip from SLH

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