The Osa Cantón here in the southern Pacific zone of tropical Costa Rica has one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity on Earth. The world famous Corcovado National Park, just a 2-hour drive from our Century 21 Ballena Properties office in Ojochal, is documented by organizations such as the Neotrópica Foundation (www.neotropica.org) to host over 5% of all land species on Earth!
And that’s not all: The magnificent Pacific Ocean right off the shores of Ojochal and our Whale Coast (Costa Ballena) are one of the very few places on the planet where humpback whales migrate in order to peacefully breed and birth their babies. The Marine Whale National Park (Parque Nacional Marino Ballena) – named precisely after these intelligent, magnificent gentle giants — extends from the Whale Tail formation in Bahia-Uvita (the next town north of Ojochal), all the way down to the stunning beaches of Playa Piñuelas and Playa Ballena just minutes from our offices. All residents of this area can literally visit the Park’s beaches every day if they like. In addition, the amazing beaches of Playa Tortuga – Turtle Beach! — the Río Térraba river mouth, and Garza Island are situated directly in front of Ojochal.
To the north just a bike ride from town another public beach, Playa Ventanas, boasts a rare tunnel through solid rock that turns into a major blowhole twice a day with the changing tide. You can walk through it at low tide, or kayak through if you time it right. These beaches, all full of an amazing variety of indigenous species of flora and fauna, are totally free to the public to enjoy every day of the year. From any or all of these beaches you have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the abundance of biodiversity of our near-shore marine environment, including both the aforementioned humpback whales, several species of wild dolphins, and giant sea turtles (more about them later). Naturally, boat tours created especially to see and get up close and personal with these amazing large cetaceans and other pelagic locals are available year-round.
For those who enjoy mountains and rainforest, here is an abbreviated list of some of the tropical creatures you might catch a glimpse of in our area, or even around your new tropical home here: four types of monkeys, coatimundis, raccoons, giant anteaters, possums, squirrels, and armadillos. For some free wildlife entertainment, you might be lucky enough to spot a ‘Jesus Christ lizard’ (basilisk lizard) ‘walking on water’ as it crosses one of the many streams flowing through our forests.
We could go on and on just about the mammalian life here if we wanted to give you a true sense of the biodiversity in this area, adding some of the more timid denizens of the tropical forest like tayras, kinkajous, agoutis, and the slow-moving arboreal sloths, all of whom are sometimes seen crossing a road, skirting through a garden, or climbing on the branches of our fruit trees at night. But no list would be complete, of course, without mentioning the wild cats. And we’ve spotted plenty! Jaguarundis, pumas, ocelots, margays, and even full-sized jaguars all call our coastal mountain ranges their native home.
Do you like birds? Well, birdwatchers literally come here from all over the world to fill their personal bird books with some of the rarest and most exotic winged creatures to be found on Terra. Besides the ‘standard’ fare of various types and sizes of green parrots, massive flocks of cute little parakeets, and the omnipresent chestnut-billed toucans serenading us all daily with their enchanting vocalizations, there are much greater rare potential trophies to be claimed for distinction by the astute (and diligent) birdwatcher with sharp eyes and discerning ears. We’ve got trogons, tanagers, woodpeckers, doves, kingbirds, flycatchers, owls, hawks, kites, kingfishers, three types of vultures, and a truly mind-blowing variety of stunningly beautiful hummingbirds.
The formerly endangered scarlet macaw calls the Osa area its primary home in Central America, and they literally fly over our homes quite often, noisily chatting with each other in their unmistakable calls that can be heard for hundreds of meters in all directions. If you’re really lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the still-endangered harpy eagle…which is the largest eagle in the whole world! And it lives right here! Oh, I almost forgot about the amazing variety of sea birds that live along our coasts, in our extensive mangrove swamps, and up a ways along our local rivers. But that list is simply way too long to include here….
After you buy or build your dream home here in Osa, there exists a rare and precious opportunity for you as a new member of the local community to contribute to protecting the incredible – and delicate – biodiversity of the region. Your voluntary contributions to the ecological sustainability of the natural wonders here is mutually beneficial, enhancing not only the richness of the local flora and fauna, but also the value of your financial investment.
One of the most powerful ways you can accomplish this win-win enrichment is to assist the Turtle Beach Reserve (reservaplayatortuga.org) in their protection of the nesting sea turtles right here on our local beaches. There are several facets of the program, and you can actually participate personally in some of them. Investing your time in assisting us locals in helping the sea turtle population bounce back after being almost completely decimated by poachers in the last century…. Well, sowing these types of compassionate, altruistic seeds in the local community – both human and natural — can bring you priceless personal harvests that money just can’t buy.
There are several other local projects and programs that could use your support, like the Ojochal Library, The Family Support Center of Ojochal/ Food bank, local Beach cleanup days, etc. There is a Facebook Page for the town of Ojochal where you can learn and discover even more.
With seven languages spoken fluently by the staff of Ballena Properties, there is help available in initial contacts, if you have a communication challenge with the Spanish and English spoken by most of the local population. Here at Century 21 Ballena Properties, we are more than happy to not only assist you in finding and acquiring your dream home in the tropics, but also helping you to protect, nurture, and enhance the wonderfully rebounding biodiversity of the Osa Region, and our blossoming local community.
Questions about properties for sale in Costa Rica? Feel free to reach out!