South of Quepos, the well-trodden central Pacific tourist trail begins to taper off, evoking the feel of the Costa Rica of yesteryear – surf shacks and empty beaches, roadside ceviche vendors and a little more space. Intrepid travelers can have their pick of any number of deserted beaches and great surf spots. The region is also home to the great bulk of Costa Rica’s African-palm-oil industry, which should be immediately obvious after the few dozen kilometers of endless plantations lining the sides of the Costanera.
Known as the Costa Ballena, the beauteous length of coastline between Dominical and Ojochal focuses on three things: surfing (Dominical), whale-watching (Uvita) and gourmet cuisine (Ojochal). For the time being, the area largely retains an easygoing, unjaded allure despite the growing numbers discovering its appeal.