Created in 1975 to protect this gorgeous region from illegal gold mining and logging, the Corcovado National Park is an extremely popular ecotourism destination today. It is located on the Southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica on the Osa Peninsula.
The Park has been referred to as “the most biologically intense place on Earth” by National Geographic. With one visit to this lush tropical paradise, you’ll understand why. The Osa Peninsula used to be an island, so species began to evolve separately until it rejoined the mainland. Because of this, the area is home to a plethora of unique wildlife and exotic fauna.
Corcovado’s amazing biodiversity, as well as the Park’s demanding, multi-day hiking trails have long attracted a devoted stream of visitors who descend from Bahía Drake or Puerto Jiménez to see the wildlife and experience a jungle adventure.
Exotic and lush, the Corcovado National Park is home to thirteen major ecosystems that range from mangrove swamps, Jolillo palm groves, mountain forests, lagoons, beaches, freshwater herbaceous swamps to primary lowland rain forests. Encompassing over 41,000 hectares the Park protects over 140 different mammal species, 400 bird species, 20 of which are endemic, 116 amphibian and reptile species, 40 species of fish, and at least 500 species of trees. Corcovado functions as a marine sanctuary, protecting coral reefs, lagoons, rivers and estuaries.
Corcovado National Park comprises 2.5% of the planet’s biodiversity, and 50% of the species in Costa Rica. It is home to a large population of animals including many endangered species, various types of monkeys, jaguars, ocelots, tapirs, and anteaters to name just a few. A variety of birds, including the Resplendent Quetzal and Scarlet Macaw, amphibians like the Red-Eyed Tree Frog, and of course many reptiles and insects.
Best hiking in Costa Rica
Extremely hot and humid most of the year, this Park has plenty of rainfall. But is a joy to hike through, with its dense forests that open up onto stunningly beautiful beaches. If you have ever imagined yourself swimming up to a deserted, golden, sandy beach lined with coconut palms, then rinsing off under a waterfall surrounded by the greenery of the rain forest – you’ll find Corcovado’s 23 miles of beaches very appealing.
With its virgin beauty, visiting this Park allows you to experience nature at its finest. It promises an incredible adventure for those who dare to blaze their way through this amazing region. The best way to see this Park is to take a guided tour, as there are plenty of wild animals that roam around. Hire a guide in Drake Bay or Puerto Jimenez to have the perfect adventure vacation. A certified guide is now required to enter or stay in Corcovado. Independent visitors are not permitted.
There are four main ranger stations inside the park. Two have camping areas, potable water, and radio or telephone contact with the outside world. Sometimes there is also space under a roof for your sleeping bag.
- The San Pedrillo Ranger Station
- La Sirena Ranger Station
- La Leona Ranger Station
- Los Patos Ranger Station
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