Corcovado National Park

Land Area: 2,000 ha
Hours: 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m

Corcovado National Park

Among tropical biologists and naturalists, the name "Corcovado" has taken on almost mythical significance. The fabled reputation of this vast tract of tropical rainforest (41,788 ha.) is not without justification.

The forests themselves, especially those on the ridges and hillsides, have a natural magnificence about them that inspires reverence. Many of the largest trees that grow to heights of 50 meters or more sport enormous buttresses around their bases. Upon close inspection, a botanist could discover as many as 100 different species of trees on any given hectare in this habitat. And those are just trees! Consider all of the varied kinds of vines, shrubs, and epiphytes, and you've got an incredibly diverse flora.

Such varied plant life forms the base for a tremendously diverse fauna, from insects on up. For example, it has been estimated that as many as 10,000 insect species may inhabit Corcovado, and researchers have identified 42 species of frogs, 28 species of lizards, 123 species of butterflies, and 16 species of hummingbirds. All six species of felines found in Costa Rica are known to exist in this wilderness area, as are the four native species of monkeys. Additionally, Corcovado supports the country's largest populations of White-lipped Peccaries and Scarlet Macaws, both greatly endangered species due to loss of habitat and hunting or trapping by man.

This great biological diversity still exists in Corcovado because of its remoteness and the fact that most of the park has suffered relatively little disturbance by humans in the past.

For serious backpackers, Corcovado offers a trail system (although much of this is along hot, open beaches) between the six different ranger stations where you can camp with prior permission.

Admission Policy: If you are interested in staying overnight at any of the park ranger stations, prior permission and reservations are necessary and can be obtained through the park headquarters in Puerto Jiménez (Phone: 735-5036).

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