Corcovado National Park
Corcovado National Park at a Glance
- Nature Lovers
- Adventure Seekers
- Luxury Travels
- Bird & Wildlife Watching
- Dolphin & Whale Watching
- Hiking tours of the Primary Lowland Rainforest
- Night Trails
- Snorkeling & Scuba Diving
- Caño Island Bilogical Reserve
- Osa Wildlife Sanctuary
- Piedras Blancas National Park
- San Pedrillo Waterfalls
- La Llorona Waterfall
Region: Osa Penisula and The South Pacific
Landscape: Beaches, Lowland Rainforest
Closest Airports: San Jose International Airport (SJO), Drake Bay, Puerto Jimenez & Golfito airstrips
Altitude: Sea Level to 330 ft (100 m)
Average Temperature: 71-93°F (23-34º C)
Corcovado is a true wonder of the world, a magical place in the southern part of the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, in the Osa Peninsula. It was declared by National Geographic to be one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth. Those who seek a close and unique contact with nature will love this haven that is home to the only tropical primary lowland rainforest of the world and to a plethora of endangered animals and plants. Because Osa used to be an island, long ago, some animals had started a separated evolution and so some these subspecies are found nowhere else on the planet.
The breathtaking beauty and serenity of Corcovado National Park is too complex for words. It is one of the most remote parks of the country, with astonishing forests and stunning, deserted beaches. This is the paradise of nature lovers, explorers, hikers and scientists alike. It was created in 1975 for its own protection and to put a stop to illegal gold mining and logging. It is today a number one destination for adventure seekers and those who appreciate natural beauty and conservation. It is however not easy to reach and this helps to keep it safe and undisturbed.
The climate is hot and humid in Corcovado and it enjoys quite a lot of rain, thus it is lush green and verdant. Hiking is the favorite occupation for exploring its mysterious and magnificent rain forests that open on to stunning white-sanded beaches and turquoise blue sea. This is nature at its best, the way it was intended to be always and how it should stay. Corcovado has 4 rangers’ stations spread out in strategic locations; without a doubt, it is good to see the park through a guided tour at least once! While the trails are clearly indicated, the guides will help you spot animals and plants and give you authentic and fascinating information. Most guides are found in Puerto Jimenez or in Drake Bay; when in Puerto Jimenez, make sure to enquire about the night hikes in the jungle, a thoroughly exciting experience.
Wildlife & Nature
Corcovado has no less than thirteen major ecosystems, including beaches, fresh water herbaceous swamps, primary lowland rainforests, mangrove swamps, jolillo palm groves, streams and lagoons. It encompasses 140 mammals, 400 species of birds of which 20 are endemic, 116 amphibian and reptile species and about 500 different types of trees all on a surface of 41,000 hectares.
Corocvado National Park is home to Jaguars, Puma, Ocelots and other indigenous cats, as well as Tapirs, monkeys, Scarlet Macaws, Toucans, resplendent Quetzals, Red-eyed-tree-frog, Poison Arrow Frog, sea turtles, crocodiles, indeed far too many to list. It is also home to the very rare Harbor Squirrel Monkey and to the Harpy Eagle.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Osa Peninsula is Dry season, which runs from January through April, has reliable sunny weather with little or no rainfall. This is also the most popular and expensive period. During the green season (May through August/September) afternoon showers are common but you wil get the best value as lodges drop their rates significantly. Avoid September and October as many lodgings are closed during these two rainiest months.
How To Get There
By air: Both local carries fly to to Puerto Jimenez or Drake Bay. The flights last 50 minutes and depart once a day (inquire with Sansa/Nature Air).
By bus: There are 2 buses daily from San Jose to La Palma and Puerto Jimenez (Transportes Blanco), one leaving at 6 am and the other at noon. The bus trip lasts at least 8 hrs, as the roads can be treacherous during the rainy season. For Drake bay, take any bus that goes through Palmar Sur. From there get to Sierpe (taxis are around $15) and take a boat.
Two of Corcovado’s four ranger stations are accessible by boat from Drake Bay. The San Pedrillo Station is only about thirty minutes away, and features two trails – one of which leads to a refreshing waterfall. Sirena Ranger Station, 30 min further down the coastline, is much less visited and wildlife is abundant.
To reach La Leona Ranger Station on the south side of the Osa Peninsula, get a bus from Puerto Jimenez to Carate. It is a 40-minute walk from here to La Leona