COSTA RICA EXPEDITIONS DESCRIPTION
Hotel Cristal Ballena is 30 minutes from Palmar Sur Airport, south of Manuel Antonio National Park on Costa Rica's South Pacific Coast. It is also near Ballena Marine National Park, an important Humpback breeding ground during the months of February and March. Turtle watching is best in September and October.
Cristal Ballena is on a hillside with a 180-degree view of Bahia Ballena (Whale Bay) and features rooms with private balconies with stunning ocean views, A/C, private bathrooms and satellite TV. Your hosts are the hotel’s owners, Waldemar Steiner, a former mayor of Salsburg, Austria, and his wife, Gerta.
The hotel offers 14 spacious junior suites, two family suites and three master suites, all with balcony and ocean views. The Pura Vida Bar and Restaurant serves Costa Rican cuisine with an international twist. Their red snapper ceviche and nut-encrusted sea bass is especially good. The open-air dining room has an ocean view on one side and the resort’s 400-square-meter (1300-square-foot) pool on the other.
FROM THE HOTEL'S WEB SITE
Hotel Cristal Ballena—with bar, restaurant, 19 fully equipped and spacious suites, four Adventure Lodges and a huge 400 square meter (1,300 square foot) pool—is situated in a 12 hectare (30-acre) garden area on a hill between the Pacific Ocean and a rainforest-covered mountain.
Each room has breathtaking ocean views and the area offers a wide range of outdoor activities. The Cristal Ballena offers 14 spacious, connectable suites and five master suites, all with balcony and outrageous ocean views. All offer A/C plus ceiling fan, hot water, private bathroom, hair dryer, satellite TV, telephone, refrigerator and security box. We also offer Adventure Lodges, situated in our colorful garden, surrounded by exuberant tropical forest. Each lodge is complete with terrace, separate tiled bathroom, king size bed, electricity and ceiling fan.
Snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, surfing, bird and whale watching, walking tours, horseback riding, ultralight flying tours and boat tours are only some of our exciting tour options available for you to discover during your stay at Cristal Ballena.
Ballena Marine National Park
The main attraction is the Ballena Marine National Park. Ballena Bay is so named because Humpback Whales come here to breed and have their calves. Migrations from the north and south Pacific Oceans take place during two seasons. The northern populations of humpback whales coming from central California are in Ballena from December through April. The southern population coming from Antarctica is in the area from June through October.
Ballena National Park protects many small rocky islands, important for nesting sea birds. These rocky outcrops are home to a great diversity of marine life that can be enjoyed both above and below the surface.
A total of 22 different species of Cetaceans are found in Costa Rica's South Pacific Ocean. The main focus will be to find the Humpback Whales, but other species are often seen. Spotted & Bottle-nosed Dolphins are abundant; Spinner Dolphins, Pilot Whales and Killer Whales have also been seen.