Cristal Ballena

A superb location, surrounded by rainforest and within sight of the ocean, offering a wide range of naturalist and adventure tours.


Playa Ballena, Marino Balleno Park

Accommodation Type


Accommodation Level

Mid-rangeOverall good quality. This is a wide category, but you can expect a comfortable stay.

Price Guide

Cristal Ballena

Set on a verdant hilltop within sight of the azure ocean waters, this hotel provides refined comfort and impressive facilities. You may need to pinch yourself to check you’re not dreaming! Suites are comfy and cosy with all mod cons and private balconies, while the 2 lodges are surrounded by tropical gardens. But that’s not all. From here you have rainforests and beaches to explore, watersports and canopy tours to enjoy and a wealth of wildlife to encounter. You’ll never be bored at Cristal Ballena! Each day starts with a buffet breakfast which you can savour while watching toucans and hummingbirds in the trees as you plan how to spend your day. Later, after your adventures, you can relax by the pool and sip a cocktail as you watch the sun sink below the horizon.

Why go to Cristal Ballena?

At Cristal Ballena you can try a new adventure each day. Whale watching in Ballena Bay, hiking in Corcovado, observing some of the 400 species of birds in the area, diving among the coral reefs of Caño Island, spending time with endearing squirrel monkeys at Manuel Antonio National Park, and enjoying time exploring the beautiful surroundings, all are possible. For those interested in culture and history, a visit to Boruca to learn about ancient indigenous cultures, and an excursion to the nearby Finca 6 site to see the mysterious stone spheres made by pre-Columbian peoples, are a must. After an action-packed day you’ll appreciate being pampered at the Cristal Spa followed by a perfect candle-lit dinner at ‘Pura Vida!’ restaurant.

Wildlife around Cristal Ballena

This is a prime location for birdwatching and is a member of the Costa Rica Birding Hotspots group. Toucans, scarlet macaws, and colourful hummingbirds all feature on the hotel’s bird list, which includes more than 200 species. On a guided nature tour following the rainforest trails you’re also likely to see howler and white-face monkeys, some colourful poison dart green and black frogs, baby caimans, coatis, agoutis and unmistakable sloths. For 8 months each year the shallow, warm waters are visited by humpback whales for breeding and calving. Among other marine creatures you can find here are turtles and spotted dolphins.

Cristal Ballena Highlights

  • Barefoot strolls along Playa Ballena
  • Early morning birdwatching tour
  • Rainforest hikes to waterfalls
  • Soothing and pampering massages
  • Thrilling zipline canopy tour
  • Relax on your private balcony
  • Whale watching boat trips

Cristal Ballena Location

Cristal Ballena


  • 19 rooms
  • Open all year round
  • Daily Breakfast Buffet and Acces to All Hotel Facilities
  • Children of all ages welcome. Children under 4 stay free of charge. There are cribs and high chairs for babies in the restaurant.


  • Bar and restaurant overlooking the ocean
  • Swimming pool
  • Spa
  • Games room
  • Landscaped gardens
  • Hiking trails
  • Library
  • Gift shop
  • Conference room
  • Parking
  • Disabled access


  • Specialist birdwatching tours
  • Naturalist tours to national parks
  • Nocturnal wildlife tour
  • Whale and dolphin watching
  • Snorkelling
  • Diving
  • Watersports and beach activities
  • Horse riding
  • Zip line canopy tour
  • Golf at San Buenas Golf Resort
  • Archaeological and cultural excursions

Cristal Ballena Rooms

There are 15 junior suites, 2 family suites and 2 master suites. All are air conditioned, have TV, phone, Wi-Fi, safe, minibar, fridge, coffee maker, private bathroom with hot running water, supply of toiletries and hairdryer. Each has a private balcony. There are also 2 adventure lodges, with similar facilities.

Junior Suites

Family Suites

Master Suites

Take the plunge...

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