Osa Peninsula and Corcovado – National Park, Eco-Lodges, Beaches, Wildlife

Great for those that like a quieter, more off the beaten path destination, honeymoons and families

Available Adventures: Hiking, Diving, Whale Watching, Wildlife, Surfing, Bird Watching, Ziplines and Canopy Tour, Corcovado National Park and more…

The Osa Peninsula, lying between the Pacific Ocean and the Golfo Dulce, is a remote and rainy swath of land almost entirely covered in rain forest. The peninsula’s main attraction is Corcovado National Park, a beautiful expanse of wilderness with a rich biodiversity. Puerto Jimenez, on the east side of the peninsula, is the gateway to the park and the surf beaches located to the south. With a few luxury hotels and several lodges and restaurants in and around town, Puerto Jimenez is the best place to gather your strength before heading into the park.

Wilderness for Scientists and Naturalists

monkeyCorcovado National Park occupies close to half the surface of the Osa Peninsula and is covered in pristine rain forest. It is exceptional for its biodiversity and isolation. The feeling of being in a remote place is accentuated by the simple dirt tracks leading to the entrances and the small number of tourists that are allowed into the park at any given time. Crowds that gather at more accessible parks such as Manuel Antonio do not exist here. felinoAs for wildlife, the diversity is incredible: 390 species of birds, 130 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 130 species of mammals call the park home. Felines such as jaguars, ocelots, pumas, jaguarundis and margays prowl these forests. Four species of monkeys, the howler, the spider, the squirrel and the white-faced lurk in the canopy. Bird species include the spectacular scarlet macaw and the endangered harpy eagle. Manakins, tanagers, hummingbirds, toucans and puffbirds also contribute to a colorful canopy. With such amazing biodiversity, Corcovado National Park is a well-known spot for scientists and naturalists.

Adventure in the Rain Forest

adventure-rainforestWhile the park’s four entry points are a few hours from Puerto Jimenez, there are no interior roads and all exploration must be done by hiking. The trails are well-designed and lead to camping sites, beaches, and quiet pools through thick, unspoiled rain forest. The entrance that is most easily accessible from Puerto Jimenez is La Leona Ranger Station, situated on the south-east edge of the park near the coast. Beach hikes between the La Leona and the San Pedrillo ranger stations are strenuous but very rewarding in untouched landscapes and wildlife encounters. Several river crossings are required and can be complicated by the presence of large crocodiles, and at high tide, prowling bull sharks. Therefore, it is advised to wait for low tide to attempt river crossings. Looking for a safe spot to swim? In the La Sirena section of the park, take the Claro Trail to the mouth of the Río Claro. Upstream, safe secluded swimming spots can be found.

Things to Do Around Puerto Jimenez

Aside from the national park, there are several other Costa Rica adventure opportunities around Puerto Jimenez. Kayaking vacation packages and day trips are particularly popular in Golfo Dulce and in the mangroves. Alternatively, jungle hikes, waterfall rappelling, tree climbing and gold panning can help you experience the rain forest in new ways. For surfers, east of Puerto Jimenez lies Playa Plantares, and further south, Playa Pan Dulce, Playa Backwash and Playa Matapalo. All of them are prime surf spots with excellent right point breaks. For those who prefer the outdoors in remote and peaceful settings, the Osa Peninsula offers rare opportunities.