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Ballena National Marine Park is one of the most unique reserves in Costa Rica. Located just offshore along the Central Pacific coast in South Puntarenas, the Ballena (Whale) National Marine Park protects more than 13,000 acres of ocean and 9 miles of coastline. The enormous pristine beaches here are rarely crowded and perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and sun-bathing. At low tide, see a natural tombolo land formation appear right before your eyes. This natural tombolo is allows visitors to walk out to the island tip which resembles a whale tail. It’s called Moses’ Pass or Whale Tail beach. It’s also one of the best places to go whale watching in Costa Rica. Humpback whales that migrate here each year from December to April to mate. Costa Rica has the longest humpback whale watching season in the world. There is also a small estuary which many people swim and fish in despite signs that warn of crocodiles. © iStock/Roberto Ramirez Serrano