Corcovado National Park

South Pacific
Puntarenas, Osa Peninsula Costa Rica
Area: 424 km2


Corcovado Travel Guide

The Corcovado National Park is located in the south of the Puntarenas province in Costa Rica. This conservation area has been declared as 'one of the most biologically intense places on earth' by the National Geographic Magazine. Features thirteen major ecosystems that range from mangrove swamps, lagoons, beaches, freshwater swamps and primary rainforest. Over 41,000 hectares protect around 140 different mammal species and 400 bird species. Located in the Osa Peninsula, this national park is one of the remotest and largest parks in Costa Rica.

This park offers a wide variety of attractions and activities that involve beauty and nature. The best place to start your adventure is from Puerto Jimenez, which is at the entrance of the Park. Here tourists can find a variety of hotels, a Ranger's office and all the necessary information, advice and warnings about the park. Another highlight of the Corcovado National Park is to see the unique combination of marine and land ecosystems. The land in the park includes soft sand beaches, swamps, mangroves and tropical forest. Hikers spend most of their time on forest trails, around Drake Bay and in proximity to the ocean. Drake Bay is famous for its wonderful marine life and for being the dipper bay in the country; ideal for snorkeling and diving.

Things to do in Corcovado

The Corcovado National Park Hike
The Corcovado National Park is designed to be explored on foot. There are four ranger stations: Sirena, San Pedrillo, Los Patos, and La Leona.Three of these stations – San Pedrillo, Los Patos, and La Leona – are located on the park’s edges and have tourist and ranger trails going to Sirena, the station with only the Pacific Ocean nearby.

Corcovado tours to other destinations nearby

Drake Bay
Drake is one of the most remote and primal tourist destinations in Costa Rica. The town of Agujitas (Drake) has a population of about 1,000 residents, and tourism is the economic base of the community. Drake Bay offers lodges and hotels for regular tourists, divers, nature buffs and anyone looking for an adventure. Drake Bay is also the starting point for many other exciting excursions in the south Pacific area of Costa Rica.

Isla del Caño Biological Reserve
Located about 20 kilometers off the Osa Peninsula, the island was once used as a pre-columbian cemetery and it's still possible to see some of the perfectly round stone spheres made by the former natives of this land. The greatest attraction of Isla del Caño lies beneath the waters, rated among the best diving spots in the world.

This small town was founded in the late twenties by the United Brand Banana Company. Travelers are attracted to visit the nearby national parks, reserve areas and botanical gardens or to take boat trips in the pristine “Golfo Dulce” (Sweet Bay) and the river “Rio Coto”. Today this town is famous for a duty free zone where mainly locals shop for imported appliances and other tax-free items.

Puerto Jiménez
This small town is located in the Osa Peninsula next to the Golfo Dulce and the Pacific Ocean and it is the entrance to the Corcovado National Park. The area features some waterfalls, rivers, beaches and a good choice of hotels and resorts. During the 1960s, Puerto Jiménez was a haven for gold mining and logging. Today it is a popular tourist destination due to its proximity to the national park, and has an active nightlife with several bars and restaurants.

Cabo Matapalo
Matapalo is a small beach community located at the tip of the Osa Peninsula. The beaches in this area have received the highly coveted Blue Ecological Flag for their emphasis on maintaining the natural beauty of the area and minimizing the carbon footprint of those living and visiting the area. One of the best features of Cabo Matapalo is its privacy and awesome views as well as owning awesome surf breaks.

Location and Map

Corcovado National Park is on the Osa Peninsula, southwestern region of Costa Rica. It is the largest park in Costa Rica with an area of 424 square kms (164 sq mi) and protects about a third of the Osa Peninsula. It is widely considered the crown jewel in the extensive system of national parks and biological reserves spread across the country. To get there from San José, the fastest way is via local flight to Drake Bay or Puerto Jiménez and then connect to Corcovado through a guided trip. 

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