The Sierpe River

The Largest Mangrove reserve of Latin America

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Visiting Sierpe Costa Rica

The Sierpe River lies in one of the most remote parts of Costa Rica, the Osa Peninsula in the south of Puntarenas at roughly 25 Kilometers from the Pacific Coast. You will recognize the Sierpe area for its canal system similar to those of Tortuguero and surrounded by a lush, mangrove forest. Getting to this remote part of the country can be a bit of and adventure and the best way to get here is either by boat or by plane. Sierpe lies within close proximity of Drake Bay, and Corcovado National Park. The flora and fauna is some of the most diverse in the country and even the whole of Central America.

Highlights

Sierpe River

Sierpe BoatThe Sierpe mangroves are the largest of all Latin America. It is special to both the people and animals that live here. In no other part of the world will you find this variety of wildlife. A kayaking tour through the Mangroves will introduce you to spot some amazing mangrove wildlife like toucans, scarlet macaws, howler monkeys, sloths, and many more species. Also, because you are so close to the beach it is well worth taking a day trip to go relax or on the sandy shores. You could also check (Isla del Caño) or Cano Island. Here you can take a boat ride out to the island either for some time snorkeling, scuba diving or just exploring the island itself.

Corcovado National Park

CorcovadoWithin Corcovado you can find 13 major ecosystems. This includes 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 birds! No wonder Osa Peninsula has been labeled one of the areas with the highest level of biodiversity.

Uvita and Marino Ballena National Park

Uvita Whale's TailMarino Ballena National Park includes over 5000 sea hectares of protected area. It is famous for abundant sea life and one of the longest whale-watching seasons in the world. From December to March and then again from mid-July thru October. The giant humpback whales make their way all the way to the warm, tropical waters of Costa Rica. The diverse nature of Marino Ballena National Park houses over seventy-five species of fish including sharks and dolphins and large populations of Olive Ridley, Leatherback and Green turtles.

Tips

Visit between December-April: December-April is the dry season on the Pacific Coast and a great time to see the area without getting too wet. Note that the rainy season can get pretty rough in Osa Peninsula.  

Be prepared for poor cell service:  Because of its remote location, take this into account; the signal for cell phones is often poor, and many people communicate via radiophones or shortwave.

Explore the Osa Peninsula: After exploring the national wetlands of the stunning Sierpe, you still have many other chances for adventure. With Uvita, the Corcovado National Park, Drake Bay and Cano Island in close proximity, make sure you explore all of these gems.

Getting there

Closest International Airport: Juan Santamaria International Airport

sansa airline airplanesFlying to these areas is the most popular and fastest way to travel. You will enjoy the 45 minute to one hour flight. Flights with Sansa leave daily from the (SJO) International airport in San Jose and arrive in Drake Bay Airport (DRK).

If you choose to drive, a 4×4 or all-terrain vehicle is recommended because of the steep inclines and muddy trails. Keep in mind that if you rent a car, keep in mind that the insurance rarely includes water damage, which is you will likely obtain during this trip.  

Dining

Gallo Pinto VegetarianIf you are staying in Drake Bay which we recommend, you will find a wide variety of food for everyone to enjoy. For a traditional Costa Rica Casado and Gallo Pinto, try Soda Mar y Bosque Restaurant. If you want great seafood, eat at Drake’s Kitchen. For a mix of Mexican, Costa Rican and seafood, book a table at Margarita’s Marisqueria!

Where to stay

Pool Casa Corcovado LodgeThere are a wide variety of hotels in the small town of Drake Bay to choose from. Most of these offer “all-inclusive packages” and include accommodations, tours, meals and some of the transportation.   Many offer packages with pick up services by boat from one of the neighboring towns. All the hotels are magnificently located with views over the ocean and are surrounded by lush vegetation and wild animals. For an eco-friendly luxury accommodation, stay at the Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge. For a secluded, rancho-style hotel stay at La Paloma Lodge.

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