Located in the southwest corner of Costa Rica, the Osa Peninsula encompasses lush primary rain forests and a complex system of freshwater and marine resources. With an assisted land acquisition of 86,485 acres in 1975, The Nature Conservancy helped the Costa Rican government create the more than 100,000 acre Corcovado National Park on the western part of the peninsula. In 2000, The Nature Conservancy renewed efforts in the Osa Peninsula after identifying the region as a priority site in the Central America eco-regional portfolio.
Corcovado National Park
Often called the “biologically most intense place on earth” because of its stunning variety of flora and fauna, the park protects major habitats including a mountain forest, which covers more than half the park; a cloud forest, located in the highest region, richly populated by oaks and tree ferns; swamp forests, flooded practically all year-round; a holillo forest, predominated by palms; a mangrove swamp, located on the estuaries of the Llorona, Corcovado and Sirena Rivers; and a freshwater herbaceous swamp. The park is home to some 500 species of trees -equivalent to a quarter of all the tree species in Costa Rica. Some of the larger trees include the purple heart, poponjoche, nargusta, banak, cow tree, espave and crab wood. The park protects several endangered species including cats and large reptiles. Moreover, it is home to several species of birds, which are either endemic or whose distribution is very restricted. There are 140 species of mammals, 367 birds, 117 amphibians and reptiles, 40 types of freshwater fish, and it is estimated that there are some 6,000 types of insects. It is common to see large herds of white-lipped peccary, as well as howler and spider monkeys, and squirrels. The park is sanctuary to the largest population of scarlet macaws in the country. Other species of birds found here are the vulture, white hawk, short-billed pigeon, tovi parakeet and bronze-tailed sicklebill.
Starting point for hiking tours to Corcovado National Park is the small town Puerto Jimenez with various small hotels and bed & breakfasts. For visits to Corcovado National Park including overnights at one of the ranger stations it is necessary to make reservations with the park administration which is located in Puerto Jimenez.
How to get to Puerto Jimenez:
By plane with Sansa or Nature Air from San Jose.
By car: about 11-12 hours drive from San Jose.
Tour Unit: T8h
- Hiking Corcovado National Park