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How Do We Get To Boruca?

How Do We Get To Boruca? South Pacific Costa Rica, indigenous culture

Entrance to Boruca town by Dagmar Reinhard

Throughout the year, but especially in December, there are many events and festivals in the village of Boruca. The directions below will take you straight to this beautiful village where you can experience a world of art, culture, and history.

From San José, take the highway known as Autopista del Sol Route 27, exit Tárcoles - Jaco. Follow Highway 34 to Dominical and from there continue driving down the Coastal Highway to Palmar Sur, about one hour and 15 minutes.

When you reach the junction with Palmar, turn left, taking the Pan-American Highway toward Buenos Aires. After approximately 25km, you will see a sign on you left hand side indicating the town of Boruca.

It is a slightly steep road and requires a 4x4 vehicle. The uphill road is approximately 8km, and it offers a spectacular unobstructed view of the two valleys on either side; you will also admire the Térraba River and the Cordillera on the horizon. Nearest airport: Palmar Sur.

Read more information on Indigenous Culture:

Indigenous Culture in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Free Digital Magazine #94, Health, Wellness and Beauty


Health, Wellness and Beauty, Costa Rica Free Digital Magazine #94

Dear audience, dear collaborators, and advertisers

With each new edition we publish, our joy of being able to stay in touch with you grows,

In this digital magazine, you will find a varied reading about good news: the construction of the Dewachen World Peace Sanctuary in the South Pacific of Costa Rica this April 2024, the "Law to combat plastic pollution and protect the environment, health, and ecosystems," in June 2024 at El Mercado de Bahía a brilliant celebration of Oceans Day will be held, as always you can find more valuable content on well-being, wellness, and health.

The Dewachen Sanctuary in Costa Rica is a peaceful meditation project that provides silent retreat training and knowledge with the help of Tibetan teachers. In this edition, we celebrate the law to reduce the use of single-use plastic. On June 8, we will celebrate Oceans Day at El Mercado de Bahía.

Costa Rica free Dicital magazine 94, Health, Wellness and Beauty

As we watch the adverse effects of climate change grow, our green paradise looks like an island on this planet. The theme of Oceans Day is "The science we need for the ocean." We want to recognize the valuable effort the coral restoration project made in Bahía, Uvita.

The rainy season has begun, and the jungle is filled with green hope. Many readers know that this medium's editorial line is also positive green. We celebrate spreading positive news. In this edition, you can read the SOMOS Foundation communal initiative article.

Free Digital Magazine 94, Health, wellness and Beauty

If you visit us these days, enjoy our jungle peace, the multicultural gastronomic offerings, and the multiple adventure options, and take advantage of the discounts offered by hotels and restaurants.

As usual, remember that minimizing one's environmental footprint is very important for conserving our paradise in the South Pacific of Costa Rica.

The Editorial Team

Ballena Tales is an essential free digital magazine in Costa Rica, valid for travelers, residents, and investors covering Costa Ballena in the Canton of Osa in the South Pacific of Costa Rica. It is a fully bilingual, bi-monthly, and full-color digital magazine.

The magazine introduces the reader to the life of the local community, with interviews of pioneers, writers, and artists, as well as extensive information on restaurants, hotels, experiences, natural attractions, and wildlife of the South Pacific of Costa Rica.

We are not just a magazine; each edition (print and digital) is linked to a robust web platform; the editions are published online, and the advertorials are included in our blog and the brand in the commercial directory. We also add links to the advertising company's website and social networks. At this time, the openings of digital publications in all their expressions exceed 80 thousand openings, and the advertised brands have a global reach.

We have a loyal audience of over 8,000 readers in the South Pacific's Costa Ballena region who will view your news in each printed edition.

We prioritize our readers' satisfaction by delivering a variety of engaging content while showcasing the value of our advertisers' brands.

Dare to Discover and Enjoy…

Check out…

Need help planning your next trip? Let us help you with your Costa Rica vacations!

Phone: +(506) 8946 7134 

The Stone Spheres of Costa Rica’s South Pacific

~ by Luis Gutiérrez Galera

Surrounded by beautiful landscapes, the magnificent Pacific Ocean, and an invaluable archaeological treasure, the southern region of Costa Rica stands out as an area of amazing beauty and characteristics that do not exist in the rest of Central America.

Finca 6

Finca 6

This historic legacy is unique and unparalleled in the rest of the world.

In the county of Osa, some of the richest and most valuable pre-Columbian archaeological masterpieces remain.

The native indigenous settlements of Finca 6, El Silencio, Batambal, and Grijalba, in the Diquís subregion, are the best evidence that various ancestral societies developed for thousands of years in its territory. The extraordinary social, artistic, and technological organization of the first Costa Rican inhabitants is outstanding.

Sphericity and its relation to power and ethnic identity are the symbolic relations that are linked to this amazing pre-Columbian display, and the spheres’ sizes set the differences between each other. The bigger ones were placed in public and living areas, while the smaller ones were buried in tombs, and they also decorated statues.

Since they are considered unique in the world due to their perfection, sizes, and high technological level, so far it has been impossible to establish accurately which of the 5 ethnic groups that are still present in this territory is responsible for such a complex work of engineering.

However, based on all the research done, the Boruca group is number 1 on the experts’ list. What is definitely mind-blowing is the craftsmanship of these enigmatic societies, as well as their expertise in construction, and the creation of gold, ceramic, and stone ornaments that were used in religion, art, and as a symbol of their worldview.

In June, 2014, these four settlements were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, because of their exceptional universal value; this boosts the beauty of the southern region of Costa Rica as a natural, cultural, and archaeological destination.

Boruca Art, the Colors of Nature

Boruca colors, puravida, costaballenalovers, ballenatales (1)

By Susie Atkinson – Ellen Hoël

Did you know that a great source for natural dyes can be found right in your own yard? Leaves, roots, nuts, flowers, barks, berries, lichen, and fungi are sources of natural colors.
Yellow, orange, blue, red, green, brown, and grey are all on the color pallet used for dyeing fabric or yarns.

The essential process of dyeing has changed little over time. Typically, the dye material is put in a pot of water and the yarns to be dyed are added to the pot with water, which is heated and stirred until the color is transferred.

Many natural dyes require the use of mordants to bind the dye to the textile fibers. The ones used by the Borucans are salt or lime/mandarin orange.

The examples in the photos are as follows.Orange is from the seeds of the achiote bush (Bixa orellana).
Yellow is from the rhizomes of the Turmeric plant (Curcuma longa) that is smashed and can become fixed and more vibrant with the addition of lime. Green is from the leaves of Gavilana (Neurolaena Lobata) that are boiled for several days to get the green color. Blue is from the leaves of Azul de Mata (Justicia tinctoria), similar to indigo.

These are just a few of the sources of the the colors of nature used by the Borucans. A more extensive list can be seen on their website.

If a trip to the village of Boruca isn’t an option, then visit the Boruca Gallery Gift Shop at Pacific Edge Cabins in Dominicalito.

InFo: tel: 2200 5428 –

Milking of the Murex snail at Ventanas Beach

Total traceability of your shipmentVista Ballena Hotel Uvita, poolHumpbacks WhalesBirds and moreHumpbacks WhalesCosta Rica is the focusPost navigation Manu Prefab, New Building Methods Savegre Biosphere ReserveMilking of the Murex snail at Ventanas Beach 1Costa Ballena LifeguardsThe Whale Resort at Osa PeninsulaSierpe in Osa: Very Special for Sighting Wildlife!Frida is an owl moinkeyliving happily at the wildlife sanctuaryMilking of the Murex snail at Ventanas Beach 2Milking of the Murex snail at Ventanas Beach 3

Milking of the Murex snail

Boruca people, milking of the murex snail

By Susie Atkinson  y Ellen Hoel

The art of milking of the Murex snail has its origins in the 4th century B.C.
Cleopatra used that procedure to dye in purple the sails of her boat with the intent of flattering Caesar. The gathering of those fluids is a practice that has passed from generation to generation. The Murex snail discharges a milky-white secretion that changes colors once it is exposed to air and light. This transformation starts with a shade of yellow, followed by a pastel green, and finally, under the direct exposure to the sun, it turns into a lovely shade of purple, also called imperial purple.

Boruca people, milking of the murex snail

The women of Boruca use this unique extract to dye the cotton yarn they will use in their weaving. During the waning moon, the Borucans make a special trip to the rockiest of Ventanas beach in Costa Ballena in the months of January and February, knowing that they will find the Murex snails hiding and mating along the rocks.

Ventanas beach, Boruca people, milking of the murex snail

It is a dangerous and treacherous work to find and “milk” the snails. Doña Marina and others, pull the snails off the slippery rocks at Ventanas beach, they proceed to blow on them very carefully to cause the snails to release the fluid, letting it drip over the yarn they are holding. This fluid cannot be stored; therefore, the yarn has to be dyed on site.

The Borucans are one of two indigenous groups left in the world using this process. They preserve the life of these snails by returning them back to the rocks after taking the fluid.
Doña Marina goes to the Farmers´ Market in Uvita almost every Saturday morning. Her weavings and carved masks are also available at Pacific Edge Cabins in Dominicalito.

The Culture of Boruca

by Susie Atkinson – photos: Isabelle Aubin

Hidden within Costa Rica are different cultures and ethnic groups. There are eight indigenous groups in the country, and Costa Ballena’s closest community is the Borucans.


Boruca’s history has been extremely challenging as they live on a reserve high in the Talamanca Mountains.

Farming alone was not enough to sustain their tribe and people were experiencing extreme poverty. They were losing their pride quickly in their decaying culture.

With the completion of the Inter-American highway in the late 60’s, tourism began to trickle in with renewed interest in the annual ‘Fiesta de los Diablitos.’ This is when the local economy began to shift from agriculture to tourism. Daily life in Boruca now has changed to a focus on cultural preservation. Today eighty percent of the Borucans are artisans, either carvers or weavers.

The history and traditions of Borucan masks began hundreds of years ago. ‘Diablito’ masks, were originally created and worn with the intent to scare unwelcome invaders. When the Spaniards arrived with advanced weapons, the Borucans only had animal spirits to guide them. The conquistadores, seeing uncircumcised men with devilish looking masks, assumed that they worshipped the devil. The Borucan people were triumphant in keeping the Spanish from conquering their land and their spirit.

boruca 2

Every year since the Spanish Crusade, the annual ‘Danza de los Diablitos’, (December 30 to January 2,) has traditionally occurred in remembrance of the Borucans’ fierce resistance to colonization.

So, if you want to add that cultural experience to your Costa Rican trip, why not take a day trip to their village?

With advance notice, you can see demonstrations of weaving, dyeing, and carving. Also you can have lunch and a guided tour of the village (limited English spoken). Or view authentic carvings and weavings locally at the Borucan Gallery Gift Shop.

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