Each year, approximately two million people make their way to sample the unique and natural beauty of Costa Rica. Even so, only a small number of those tourists include Corcovado National Park on their itinerary. Categorized by National Geographic as one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet, Corcovado Park is home to two percent of the world’s biodiversity. If you’re planning to pay a visit to this spectacular gem during your time in Costa Rica, here is what you should know:
Arriving in Corcovado Park
The park itself is fairly remote and located on the Osa Peninsula. In order to reach the peninsula, you will need to either take the bus to Puerto Jimenez or take a flight. The flight, of course, is faster, but the bus will give you the opportunity to view the surrounding scenery. It also happens to be cheaper. The nearest park entrance from Puerto Jimenez is Carate.
In the past, you could hike the park on your own, but times have changed, and tourists must now be accompanied by a registered guide. You will also need a permit for day trips as well as any overnight park stay. Include a fee of $10 per person per day in your budget, along with additional costs for food and camping.
Experiencing Corcovado National Park
Once in the park, you will be able to explore 13 different ecosystems. The park is also home to the last Pacific lowland rainforest of any substantial size. Here, you will also find the biggest population of scarlet macaws, jaguars, and tapirs in Costa Rica. In order to make the most of your experience in Corcovado Park and see everything, plan to spend several days. For those who are up for a bit of adventure, the three-day hike through Corcovado National Park to Sirena Station is one you will not forget. Keep in mind that you will need to carry your gear with you on the trek and it can be humid in the jungle, but if you are up for it, this is an adventure of a lifetime.
Of course, if you are interested in exploring the beauty of Corcovado without quite so much adventure, the many eco-lodges bordering the park make it easy to do so. Among the available lodges is Casa Corcovado, which is situated very near the park, giving you the opportunity to feel as though you are staying inside the park without the need to actually camp.
If you are able to allot enough time into your visit to the park, there are many other adventures available, including some of the best scuba diving in the world off Cano Island. A side trip here will reward you with the opportunity to see a spectacular array of marine life, including white-tipped reef sharks. Deep sea fishing is another popular day trip among visitors to the park. You will also find ample opportunities for kayaking, zip lining, yoga, and chocolate tasting.