Corcovado

Visit The Corcovado National Park in the Osa Peninsula

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Visiting Corcovado National Park of the Osa Peninsula

Corcovado is located in Costa Rica’s South Pacific region in the Osa Peninsula. Corcovado National Park is one of the most unique and biodiverse places on the planet and visiting the Peninsula is a real treat for the nature lover. It contains over five percent of the world’s animal population just within that small area, making it a popular ecotourism destination. For example, the national park is said to contain the entire ecosystem of insects that is found between Panama and Mexico. Additionally, National Geographic describes it as the “most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity.”

In 164 square miles you’ll find the largest primary forest on the American Pacific, cloud forest, mangrove swamp, pristine beaches, waterfalls and lowland tropical rainforest. You can spot species of birds like scarlet macaws and the harpy eagle, tapirs, crocodiles, ALL 4 monkeys being the howler monkeys, spider monkeys, the white-faced capuchin and squirrel monkeys. White-lipped Peccaries, amphibians like the red-eyed tree frog, anteaters, sloths, jaguars and pumas (unlikely, but not impossible). You can also go diving in the Peninsula and spot marine animals rays, see turtles, sharks such as bull sharks, moray eels, dolphins, … Corcovado National Park is the explorer’s, ecotourist’s and backpacker’s dream. Even experienced beach lovers will be amazed by the incredible Corcovado beaches. A trip of a lifetime!

Highlights

Hiking

Corcovado RainforestThere are many National Park Tours available in Corcovado and several trails to hike. You must have a guide when you are hiking through the national park. Throughout the park you’ll find 5 ranger stations, two with camping areas (upon reservation).  East of Puerto Jiménez you’ll find the Osa Conservation Headquarters. You can contact the park 7:30am-12 and 1:00pm-5:00pm Monday to Friday. (2735-5580, 2735-5036). The trails are: San Pedrillo, Llorona, Sirena, leona, El Tigre and Los Patos. Corcovado might be best avoided during rainy season when the floods and rain can cause some real danger.

Wildlife

Corcovado MonkeyWithin Corcovado you can find 13 major ecosystems with stunning flora and fauna, all four monkey species, all four sea turtle species and over 40 frog species. In addition there are 100 butterfly species, 10,000 insect species, several types of snakes, over 25 lizard species all six feline species, tapirs, crocodiles, peccaries and over 400 bird species like macaws! Keep your eye out, listen to your guide at all times and bring your camera. Your wildlife experience in Corcovado is sure to be one you’ll never forget.

Camping

Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge HammocksCamping is a great past time in Corcovado.  Accommodations can be found at the park’s headquarters and research center, La Sirena, on the Pacific Coast. Reservations are required. La Leona Ranger station also has a camping spot with an outdoor shower. The San Pedrillo ranger station has bunks and showers (must make reservations). Each Station has excellent hiking trails! You can also check out the Corcovado Adventure Tent Camp.

Tips

Visit between January and April: 

January-April are the driest months in Corcovado and great if you are camping. 

Stay hydrated:

Between the fierce tropical sun and humidity, it’s easy to get dehydrated, even if you think you’re drinking enough water. 

Use Skin So Soft:

Purrujas (no-see-ums) are not affected by DEET. Use Skin So Soft to keep insects away. 

Watch for poisonous snakes:

You probably won’t see many snakes, but there are many poisonous snakes in Corcovado so watch your step and be careful where you put your hands. 

Watch for Africanized Bees: 

Most likely to appear in Puerto Jiménez, Africanized Bees (killer bees) are known to attack. Moreover, if attacked, flee by dodging back and forth instead of running in a straight line. 

Watch for Peccaries: 

Endangered peccaries travel in family groups (up to 30). They aren’t usually aggressive towards humans but if you see them, don’t startle them and climb a tree until they are gone. 

Cross rivers upstream: 

When crossing rivers, go as far upstream as possible and find the shallowest parts. Crocodiles and Hammerhead Sharks are often found in the Rio Claro and Sirena estuaries. 

Beware of riptides: 

The beaches in Corcovado National Park are known for their powerful riptides. If you get caught in one, swim parallel to shore until you get free and then head back. 

Getting There

Closest International Airport: Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO)

sansa airline airportThe best way to go to Corcovado is to fly from San Jose. You can find domestic flights for $80-100. It’s also an option to charter a private flight to the Sirena Ranger Station (located in middle of the park). Finally you can fly to the Palmar Sur Airport and get to the park through Sierpe. Driving to Corcovado National Park is possible but it takes a long time and sometimes the roads are quite inaccessible. A solid 4-wheel-drive vehicle is a must. 

Dining

Costa Rica CasadoWithin Corcovado National Park, the food regulations are very strict and food is prohibited. You can find food in the Sirena and El Tigre sectors, but you must make reservations. In Drake Bay you can find a variety of options including seafood and traditional Costa Rican food (don’t forget to try a Casado!). In Puerto Jiménez you can find even more options. From cheap sodas to high end steakhouses, everyone will find their favorite food! 

Where to Stay

Drake Bay Getaway Resort Orchid Cabin ViewCorcovado hotels are perfect for ecotourists. it is illegal to build too close to Corcovado National Park (it is protected). As a result,  most hotels are in Drake Bay. High end hotels in the area include Casa Corcovado Lodge, the Hotel Aguila de Osa, and the Paloma. More affordable options include the Hotel Jinetes de Osa or Drake Bay Resort. All of the hotels close to Corcovado offer picturesque ocean and rainforest views. 

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Corcovado Map

3.5 hours from San Jose, Corcovado is the perfect ecotourism destination! 

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Corcovado Vacation Packages

Get the best of what Corcovado has to offer with any of our vacation packages. Let us help you plan the perfect vacation for you and your family. 

Extended Costa Rica Highlights

Extended Costa Rica Highlights

20
SJO
More than $2000 p.p.

Corcovado Hotels

The hotels near Corcovado are an Ecotourist’s dream. Stay in comfort and luxury while surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature!

Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge

Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge

4
5
From: Over $300
La Leona Ecolodge

La Leona Ecolodge

3
4
From: $200 - $300
Lookout Inn Lodge

Lookout Inn Lodge

3
5
From: $125 - $200
Luna Lodge Carate

Luna Lodge Carate

4
5
From: Under $125

Corcovado Tours

Don’t miss out on an incredible Corcovado National Park tour! You’ll never forget the amazing biodiversity hidden within this national treasure. 

San Pedrillo Ranger Station – Corcovado National Park Tour

San Pedrillo Ranger Station – Corcovado National Park Tour

Corcovado Facts


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