Dolphin and whale watching in Drake bay

Historically the geographically position of Costa Rica has played an important role in the composition and diversity of our mammalian fauna, consisting of species originating both in the Neartic and Neotropical regions. The mammalian fauna of Costa Rica is mainly Neotropical.  A total of 238 species, grouped in 142 genera and 44 families, where 207 belong to land mammals. The order Chiroptera is the most diverse with 109 species, then Rodentia 45 species, Cetacea (dolphins and whales) 29 species and Carnivora 23 species.

Humans and marine mammals have a long history of interaction.  The observation of dolphins and whales began as a commercial activity in 1955, when the fisherman Chuck Chamberland began to bring people in San Diego, California, to observe gray whales. During the next two decades, interest in whale watching at a steady increase in the U.S., however, take long to become popular in other parts of the world.

In the waters of Costa Rica there are at least 28 species of dolphins, whales and relatives, representing 35% of all species in the world.  Therefore this is another example of the rich biodiversity of our seas. Distribution of Cetaceans into national waters is variable, particularly in the Pacific waters.

Drake bay in the peninsula of Osa, Costa Rica, has become one of the many destinations that Costa Rica has for anyone who visits the country, both for its scenic beauty as well as by the rich flora and fauna here can find. Thanks to the presence of Corcovado National Park and Caño Island Biological Reserve Drake Bay has become one of the favorite destinations that tourists have added to its agenda when they are visiting the country now.

However, in  Drake Bay activity sightings of dolphins and whales has been increasing over time due to the diversity of these animals can be seen in its waters, allowing tourists to get an option to enjoy of this site. In this zone the coastal species, open water and migratory species is practically possible to find all year round.

Among the most common species seen are:  Pantropical Spotted Dolphin (Stenella attenuata), bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), and Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeanglidae).

As the dolphins should be noted that there are populations of these two species (Spotted and bottlenose dolphins) can be found almost all the time. On the other hand, the migration of Humpback Whales is an event since there are two populations of this species that visit us. The first is a population that migrates from Antarctic to the waters of Drake Bay area and its surroundings, which begins to be seen from mid-July and stayed until mid-November. And the other is a population that migrates from California, it begins to arrive from late November-early December and remains in the area until mid-April.

Other species that visit the waters of Drake Bay at certain times of year are: Rough-toothed dolphins (Steno bredanensis), False Killer Whale (Pseudorca crassidens). Moreover, for most oceanic waters the chances of finding more species and numbers are high enough, for example, Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus), Striped dolphin (Stenellena coeruleoalba), Spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris), Pilot whale (Globicephala macrorhynchus ) Short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), Orca (Orcinus orca), Cuvier's whale (Ziphius cavirostris), Bryde's Whale (Balaenoptera edeni) Sei Whale (Balaenoptera borealis). But also rare to find would be: Common Minke Whale (Balaenoptera physalus), Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), Pygmy sperm whale (Kogia sima) and Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia breviceps).

The high diversity of marine mammals, as well as other marine life (fish, turtles, sharks, birds marine, snakes, turtles, etc..), possible to observe many times in this type of tour make the whale watching activity entertaining activity for the nature lover tourists. Because of this, the primary objective of the tour operator "drake bay look out" in conjunction with the Costa Rican marine biologist Roy Sancho Rojas is to offer in the area of Drake Bay a whale watching tour safe, fun and very educational as important to any tourist who chooses this option.

Corcovado Info Center - Aguijitas, Drake Bay Osa Peninsula Puntarenas, Costa Rica / Email: