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Located on the remote Osa Peninsula, the Corcovado National Park is one of the most pristine and spectacular areas in all of Costa Rica. Beautiful Corcovado is often referred to as the jewel in the crown of Costa Rica’s national parks system and its lush rainforest, which descends to the ocean, is one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet and is home to jaguars, tapirs and scarlet macaws.
The Corcovado National Park sits on the Osa Peninsula, a thumb of land jutting out of the southwest coast of Costa Rica. The Osa Peninsula itself is one of the least accessible parts of Costa Rica, which contributes to the preservation of its forests and coastline. However, the journey to get there is part of the attraction. The journey begins with a flight from San Jose to Palmar Sur, in the north of the Osa Peninsula. You then take a 90-minute boat journey down the Sierpe River, winding your way through the mangrove swamps. The boat takes you through the largest mangrove wetlands system on Central America’s Pacific coast where you’ll have a good chance of spotting monkeys, crocodiles and plenty of birds. You then follow the Pacific coast before arriving at Casa Corcovado on the coast, where there is a wet landing.
Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge
Staying in a jungle lodge is a good way of exploring the Corcovado National Park and the general area, with all meals and excursions included. There are no roads to the Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge, which is the closest accommodation to the park, and the only access is by boat. Located on the edge of the magnificent Corcovado National Park, just 1.2 miles from the nearest beach, Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge is a small lodge with two swimming pools, a restaurant and a bar. The 14 charming bungalows are dotted across the tropical hilltop gardens throughout the 170-acre property, with outdoor terraces, hammocks and excellent facilities.
Corcovado Flora & Fauna
The Corcovado National Park contains the largest area of Pacific coast tropical rainforest in Central America, and contains a range of forest types, with everything from lowland rainforest, highland cloud forest and palm forest, to mangrove swamps and coastal marine and beach habitats. The area has been called “the most biologically intense place on earth” by the National Geographic Society. The opportunity to spot wildlife here is among the best in Costa Rica. There are paths along the coast and well and further into the forest, and a guide is essential to ensure you have the best chance of spotting the animals. The birdlife is particularly good, with 400 species in the park, including the largest population of scarlet macaws in Central America. There are also jaguars in the park, and although these are more frequently spotted than elsewhere in Central America, this is still quite rare. More common are sightings of all 4 primates found in Costa Rica: spider, capuchin, howler and squirrel monkeys, as well as tapirs, sloths and caimans. Just off the coast there is a small island – Caño Island – where sightings like parrot fish, turtles and barracudas are not unusual. To find out more about the Costa Rica wildlife, read our blog.
There are many things to do at Corcovado National Park. Time in Corcovado can be spent relaxing on the beach, swimming, snorkelling and hiking through the jungle to spot monkeys and exotic birdlife, spotting waterfalls and walking along the coastal trails. The boat excursion takes you to Caño Island, a tropical paradise filled with palm trees and white sandy beaches just off the shore from Casa Corcovado. At certain times of the year, you may see pilot or humpback whales, and dolphins along the way. The coral reefs provide excellent snorkelling and this is a great place for spotting a wide variety of fish and marine mammals, including parrotfish, barracudas, turtles, manta rays and small white-tipped sharks. Additional activities in the Corcovado area include kayaking, horse-riding and scuba diving.
If you are undecided about visiting Manuel Antonio or Corcovado during your holiday to Costa Rica, read our blog to help you decide.
- Population: 0 in the national park
- Altitude: Sea level to 750m
- Climate: Corvcovado’s climate is very wet, with rain to be expected all year. The heaviest rain falls between June and November, with the driest time being January through to March. Due to Corcovado’s tropical location the temperatures are fairly constant, averaging about 30ºC all year round.
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