Whale watching season is underway in Costa Rica
Costa Rica's whale watching season has launched with tour operators noting that every tour at the Marino Ballena National Park has had sightings of these majestic creatures in the past few weeks. Costa Rica boasts the longest whale watching season in the world as its waters offer the ideal conditions for the Humpbacks' mating and calving.
"The whales are back" declared one Costa Rica tour operator. Tourism officials and holidaymakers alike will be pleased to learn that whale watching season in Costa Rica is now officially underway.
This is now the prime opportunity to witness first hand the majestic beauty of the Humpback Whales, who visit Costa Rica's Pacific Coast twice each year during the period December to April and July to late October.
Rafael Sanchez of tour operator, Bahia Adventures stated excitedly:
"We are pleased to say that every whale watching tour we had last week saw humpbacks".
The body of water that stretches from Playa Dominical down to the Panamanian border, otherwise known as The Costa Rican Thermal Convection Dome, provides the perfect conditions for the Humpback whales that make the arduous journey from the Arctic to mate and then later give birth in these relatively safe waters.
These waters feature a shallow layer of warm water which rests above low-oxygen, cold water and is proven to be the ideal ecosystem for the mating and calving of the Humpback Whale. Whale watching season is one of the crown jewels of Costa Rica's tourism product as they offer the longest whale watching season in the world.
Notably, Costa Rica recorded a record breaking number of international travellers who visited the country in 2013, with 2.4 million visitors representing a 3.6 increase over the previous year. However, despite the strong figures the National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR), comprised of private sector business owners, expressed their dissatisfaction with the sector's performance stating:
"We always consider any increase in the number of visitors as positive, but we can't say we're satisfied – it's not enough... Costa Rica has the natural conditions and a tourist product to attract more travelers than those who are coming now".
Perhaps as more travellers become aware of the unique opportunity to see the Humpback Whale against the backdrop of Costa Rica's breathtaking landscapes, the country's tourism stakeholders, including CANATUR, will see further growth in the coming years.
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