For those adventuresome travelers looking for a place that is out of the ordinary, where the extraordinary is actually common, then you don’t want to miss a trip to the Osa Peninsula. This gem is located on the Pacific southern tip of Costa Rica. In fact, for many locals who love this part of the country, it is considered the end of the road and the beginning of an adventure of a lifetime.
The Osa Peninsula is packed with exuberant rain forests, and bursting with a biodiversity not found anywhere else in the world. The Corcovado National Park has been ranked as the #1 Park in the world, and National Geographic calls it the most biodiverse place on the planet. There are miles of wild beaches, numerous paths to explore, and even some of the best diving in the country found out on Cano Island.
With all the options to consider, here are the top three spots on the Osa Peninsula to add to your ‘must see’ list.
Corcovado National Park
As Costa Rica’s largest National Park, Corcovado has been called the ‘crown jewel’ in the national park system. National Geographic has called this Park the most biologically intense place on the planet. When you consider that it encompasses lowland rain forests as well as high land forests, mangrove swamps, jolillo palm forests, and then there are the beach and coastal marine habitats – it is certainly an understatement. Then add in the sheer abundance of wildlife, such as 140 species of mammals, 40 types of freshwater fish, 375 species of birds, 10,000 species of insects, and 116 species of amphibians and reptiles. This Park on the Osa Peninsula is positively brimming with life.
Folk-lore has it that this quaint, small, and rather remote bay on the Osa Peninsula was visited by the English buccaneer, Sir Francis Drake, in the 16th century. Many even believe that this area still holds the secret to buried treasure left behind. But today, the Bay is visited by those adventuresome tourists who are looking to get away from the more touristy beaches further north. In fact, they are actually seeking the gentle solitude to be found in the charming little village, Aguijitas, as there are only 1,000 residents in the area. While it may be remote and isolated, it is also brimming with activities and tours to choose from. For example, horseback riding, snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking. There are a number of stunning eco-lodges and resorts to really make your stay here a once in a lifetime experience.
As Cano Island is also a protected marine park, the snorkeling and scuba diving here is the best in the country. With a usual visibility of 20 feet, there is so much to see and marvel at. There are coral reefs to explore, manta rays, different shark species, stunning range of fish species, sea turtles, and if you are really lucky, humpback whales during their migration season. A number of dolphin species make this region their permanent home base, and super pods have even been seen with numbers in the hundreds frolicking in the waves. There are no accommodations on the island, so best to organize your stay and then book a day-tour out to the site.
From the steaming rain forests to the thriving seas, from the pristine waterfalls to the secluded beaches, from the raucous howler monkeys to the majestic humpback whales – there are more things to see and do on the Osa Peninsula than you can imagine. For those who are looking for the adventure of a lifetime, then be sure to come for a visit to one of the last great wilderness areas.
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