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Stories from Hacienda AltaGracia

Stories from Hacienda AltaGracia

Do My Kids Dreams Came True

San Martin villa view

When we checked-in to Hacienda AltaGracia, we knew the surprise for our kids was given away when the desk clerk confirmed our itinerary for the week. We hadn’t shared much with them about our trip, but for years they have been asking to see whales after seeing them on a nature television show. 


After three days of exploring the rainforest and learning to ride horses, it was time to head to the San Martin closer to the beach. The drive was about 2 hours, and it was wonderful to see the beautiful scenery of Costa Rica as we went. When we arrived at the new beach villa that we booked with Hacienda AltaGracia as a part of our package, we were amazed! The villa is in the jungle, but up high enough to see the deep blue Pacific Ocean. You could hear the creatures of the forest and the waves crashing at the same time. Immediately the kids started looking for whales from the balcony.


Early the next morning, we were picked up right at the villa and taken to the boat. As we set off, the crew explained to us what to look for when trying to spot the whales. The whales seen here are Humpback, and they come to Costa Rica to have their babies. The guide told us that Costa Rica has the most extended season in the world. Humpbacks make migrations from both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere and Costa Rica is a place where they come. 


About an hour after we left, the crew thought they spotted some activity off in the distance, so we headed that way. We got close enough to confirm there was a pod of Humpback whales. The crew had told us up front to be quiet, so we don’t scare the whales off, and our kids actually listened! We learned that sometimes they will come up to the boat, so we quietly watched the water for the flattening of the water we had been told will signify a whale is swimming by. There was so much anticipation to see the first glimpse. The kids could hardly contain their excitement as the Humpbacks seemed to sense we had come to see them and quickly made their way to our boat.


I knew Humpback whales were large, but these were longer than a city bus! There were four females and one baby. Even the baby was big and was half the length of the boat. The captain thought the baby was only a couple of weeks old and told us babies are about six feet long when born. They swam around the boat as if to show off their baby and would come up for air. A few times they breached a bit further away from the boat, somehow knowing it wasn’t a good idea to breach close to us. It was almost if they were showing off for us. The kids were smiling ear to ear, and so were my husband and I. Seeing such giant gentle creatures up close is a memory we will never forget, and the kids have an incredible story to tell when returning to school.Stories from Hacienda AltaGracia