Corcovado National Park Costa Rica

The Osa Peninsula juts out into the Pacific Ocean in the southwest of Costa Rica. It is an area of extreme biological diversity which verges on the overwhelming. Because of its remoteness and unparalleled richness of nature, a portion of the Peninsula has been declared as the Corcovado National Park.

Corcovado simply teems with life as it contains an abundance of species, many of which are found nowhere else.

The park encompasses an area of just under 105,000 acres, most of it dominated by thick rainforest. The best time to visit the park is during the dry season, from mid-December through to mid-April. To clarify, in Corcovado the term `dry season’ simply means a portion of the year when it rains less then than it does during the wet season.

This rain, when combined with the tropical heat and humidity, allows for abundant growth in varieties of both flora and fauna. Creatures found within the park’s boundaries include 124 species of mammals, including about 50 types of bats; 375 species of birds; 117 types of reptiles and amphibians, including venomous snakes, boa constrictors and crocodiles; 66 freshwater fish and 70 different types of crabs.

It’s not all jungle as Corcovado also boasts 39 kilometres (23 miles) of unbroken beaches.

For visitors there are a number of diverse walking trails which start from the various ranger stations within the park. Most of these trails are quite arduous and trekkers need to carry water and supplies with them. Unless you are walking along the beach, trekkers do need to ford rivers and streams. It is recommended that you only do this in the dry season, and only cross a waterway at low tide to avoid the crocodiles and bull sharks. Walkers should also take care with the vegetation as many of the plants have spikes, needles and thorns. It’s best also to watch out for and respect the snakes, insects, jaguars and peccaries which can also become aggressive if they feel you are impinging on their territory.

The reward of experiencing this natural paradise is really worth any of the discomfort or danger you may encounter along the way. The fact that it is not in any way tourist friendly means that the hordes who regularly visit Costa Rica’s wonderful beach resorts do not make their way to Corcovado leaving it pristine and empty, allowing those souls who do visit ample opportunity to absorb the true majesty of the place.

Entry to the park is usually done on foot as there are no public roads into the park. The best ways are to walk along the beach from Carate or San Pedrillo. Likewise, accommodation is usually camping, but there is a dorm at Sirena Ranger Station.

1 comment to Corcovado National Park Costa Rica

  • EVEN when walking beach trails, you still have to cross the river mouth. This is often the most dangerous area to cross the river when the tide is high as bullsharks and crocs come into the “boca” or mouth of the river to feed.

    While this article does address some of the dangers, Park Rangers always recommend traveling with an experienced guide who knows the area well. Dangers include not only animals, but some plants, if touched, can cause ichy rashes and other reactions.

    The article seems to indicate that it’s best to walk from Carate or San Pedrillo, but I will disagree, as the San Pedrillo trail to Sirena Biological Station is permanently closed.

    There is a lot of misinformation on the internet about Corcovado, as many things continue to change in this wilderness. Please double check all of your facts when making your plans.

    Pura Vida, Jaguardman

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