Ojochal, Costa Rica
30 km south of Dominical on the southern Pacific coastal highway, and only 7 km south of Uvita, the village of Ojochal is a convenient base for visitors who plan to explore both the Ballena National Park and the Corcovado National Park. You can get a 35-minute flight from San Jose to the Palmar Sur airport via Sansa and from there take a 20-minute taxi ride to Ojochal. If you are driving to Ojochal from San Jose, allow 4 to 5 hours, dependent on weather and road condition.
Although shopping facilities are limited in Ojochal, you can find all the basic food and beverage supplies in the local supermarket, in addition to doctor, dentist, bakery, gas station, internet café, liquor store, souvenir shop and beauty salon. Resident-foreigners however tend to travel south to Cortez and Palmar Norte 15 to 20 minutes’ drive away for their main grocery shopping.
Ojochal is a popular town for its culinary attraction; there is a fine selection of reputable restaurants with French Canadian influence, owing to the presence of a sizable expatriate community in this region originated from Eastern Canada; these restaurants attract visitors and residents up and down the coast from as far away as Dominical and Baru.
There is a small marina at the mouth of the Terraba River which offers a floating restaurant as well as sunset cruises through the mangrove forests. For nighttime diversion there are a couple of bars and a small discotheque.
As a prime real estate investment area for foreigners, Ojochal is well known for the spectacular ocean views it offers from its hillside and hilltop locations. The mountains surrounding the village are densely forested with abundant wildlife. Several beaches are within a short drive away: Playa Pinuelas, Playa Ventanas and Playa Tortuga; all are beautiful and unspoiled, and mostly deserted except on Sundays and Public Holidays.
Ojochal has grown significantly in recent years as more and more other nationalities are being drawn to the area, adding to the cultural diversity which previously was predominantly French; there are now many vacation rentals being offered in the area in addition to a good variety of small hotels and rustic lodges.