Mission and Vision
The Gecko Restaurant
Location: About 120 miles (190 km) southwest of San José on the Pacific coast.
-Weather: 13 feet (4,000 mm) of rainfall annually with an average temperature of 79 °F (26 °C).
-Size: 270 acres (110 hectares) of beach and coast, and 13,300 maritime acres (5,400 hectares)
-Elevation: Sea level
-Established: Ballena National Marine Park was established in 1990.
-Habitats: Beach, coral reef, and mangrove.
-Inhabitants: Humpback whales, green marine iguanas, Bottle-nosed and common dolphins, Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtles, corals, sponges, anemones, lobsters, Trunkfish, Frigate birds, Brown-footed Boobies, Pelicans, Ibises.
Especially at low tide, snorkeling is good from the shore, and dive trips are available to the islands. Beach combing is rewarding here, especially when the water recedes far enough to allow you to walk out to Punta Uvita Tombolo, the small island that is slowly being reclaimed by the land as sand and debris are deposited to forming a land bridge. Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtles can be seen laying their eggs on night visits to the beach between May and November. The largest numbers arrive on the waning moon usually in September. Please respect the turtles. Marino Ballena is not as closely monitored or regulated as some of the more famous nesting sites, and you may find yourself alone on the beach. Please do not use unshielded flashlights, camera flashes, make loud noises, or approach too closely. The turtles have worked very hard to get to the beach, don't scare them away.