Long-term goals:

  • Monitor coastal and oceanic cetaceans, particularly Spotted and Bottlenose dolphin populations and migrating Humpback whale groups and individuals within Golfo Dulce 
  • Determine the role of coastal and oceanic cetacean, particularly spotted and bottlenose dolphins as indicators of a marine biodiversity in Golfo Dulce, and Osa Peninsula 
  • Monitor the impact of human activities near shore 
  • Identify Areas of Conservation Importance within Golfo Dulce 
  • Support the establishment of regulations that mitigate coastal development and control key alternatives to consumptive activities such as eco-tourism 

Short-term goals:

  • Identify cetacean feeding, breeding and calving critical habitats within the outer and off shore areas (i.e., Golfo Dulce entrance and transitional habitats off the shelf edge) 
  • Monitor relative abundance of Spotted and Bottlenose dolphins off the inner basin. 
  • Document behavioural alterations as a possible result of the impact of human activities within the coastal-marine environment 
  • Identify prey species of the Spotted and Bottlenose dolphins; 
  • Documenting Accoustically and through behavioral observations the breeding population of Humpback whales in the outer basin of Golfo Dulce 


Whether Golfo Dulce is used as a refuge area, a feeding area, or both, it is out of the question that it is complex and unique ecosystem which should be perceived as an Area of Conservation Importance (ACI). An ACI is a geographical unit considered to contain special conservation values, such as a high biodiversity or important keystone species. In the case of Golfo Dulce we know about the high abundance of large predators e.g. the resident dolphins, sharks and Humpback whales as well as other marine vertebrates such as sea turtles.
The importance of protecting this area becomes more urgent if we take into consideration that Costa Rica’s economy depends to big parts on tourism, and these tourists relies on the the beauty and health of Costa Rica’s natural heritage.
Recently, there have been several proposal to boost coastal development including luxury marinas and a aquaculture facility at the entrance of the Gulf. Baselines data indicates potential effects of these human activities on the habitat, research producing key information is in progress. Today many tourists come to marvel at the solitude of these sanctuary waters, for them to see a dolphin swimming near their boat is the best living evidence of the well-being of this still wild place.


Local involvement is a major component of this project. Our organization supports and works primarily with local individuals and entrepreneurs, e.g. Costa Rican university students, the family that owns the camping area which is used as base camp, or our boat captain, who is also a tour operator himself.

This way we produce an economic-benefit that is directed toward local communities and organizations, help to develop an appreciation for Golfo Dulce as an intact natural resource, aid the local scientific community in their mission of educating young Costa Rican students, and also assist in the development of future environmental leaders for Costa Rica.
Another important goal is to inform tourists, local entrepreneurs and operators in Golfo Dulce about current trends in biodiversity, and sustainable practices.
The local economy depends on tourism, and relies heavily on the use of natural attractions -such as whale and dolphin tours. Unfortunately, these tours are carried out with a notorious lack of educational components, which could promote a sustainable and appreciative attitude toward Golfo Dulce as natural resource.