Corcovado National Park
From Costa Rica Travel Guide: Vacation and Travel tips
Corcovado National Park
Corcovado is one of Costa Rica's most beautiful regions, yet it's also one of its least accessible. Corcovado National Park blankets about half of the Osa Peninsula and contains the largest single expanse of virgin lowland rainforest in Central America. Covering 42,000 hectares over the western sector of the Osa Peninsula on the southern Pacific coast, Corcovado National Park is one of the protected wilderness areas with the greatest biodiversity in Costa Rica. The area is rife with shallow lagoons, marshes, mangrove swamps, rivers, rainforests, low altitude cloud forest and almost 50 kms of sandy coastline. These areas are home for many endangered species, such as the tapir and crocodile, ocelot, margay, cougar, Giant Anteater, harpy eagle (the largest bird of prey in the world), and the scarlet macaw. Other protected species are howler, squirrel, spider, and capuchin monkeys, sloth, great tinamou, poison dart frog, glass frog, cayman, bushmaster snake, the leatherback, olive ridley and green turtles that nest on the beaches in this area. In total, 500 species of trees, 140 mammals, 367 birds, 40 freshwater fish, 117 amphibians and reptiles and some 6,000 types of insects have been identified in Corcovado National Park.
Corcovado is extremely humid and hot, and rainfall increases drastically from April to December. Don’t forget that the high humidity can increase the feeling of hotness, which is the reason visitors need to dress accordingly and use lots of sun block, and of course, insect repellent to help combat the 6,000 species of insects.
Corcovado National Park is a biological gem, which can be an incredible adventure for anyone interested in nature and biodiversity and is already well known among naturalists and researchers studying rainforest ecology. If you come here, you'll quickly learn why they are called rainforests, as some parts of the peninsula receive more than 250 inches of rain per year. Visitors have better odds of spotting rare wildlife here than in most other parks in Costa Rica since Corcovado is fairly isolated and keeps the effects of mankind down to a minimum. Corcovado should be visited sooner rather than later before the number of visitors increases.
There are ranger stations at San Pedrillo in the northwest, La Leona in the southeast, and Los Patos in the northeast. These are the entry points into the park and there is camping available at these locations. There are also adequate accommodations at the park headquarters and research center in Sirena, located on the Pacific shore of the park.
The park has numerous trails for a wide variety of interests that any eco tourist would enjoy.
Getting to Corcovado National Park
• from San Jose, travel south on the Interamerican highway
• after approximately 180 miles, you’ll reach Chacarita
• the Rio Rincon crossroad is 20 miles past Chacarita
• from this crossroad the west branch will take you to Drake and the south branch will take you to La Palma and then Puerto Jimenez which is 25 miles past La Palma
You can also reach San Pedrillo Station by boat from the town of Sierpe
Charter flights to the Sirena Biological Station are also possible.