Pure nature in Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula

Corcovado National Park Costa Rica

After we already spent a few days in Costa Rica and got to know the country with its great nature and nice people a bit better it was now time to travel to our highlight the Corcovado National Park.

From San Jose we went over the Arenal Volcano (La Fortuna) via Santa Teresa to Manuel Antonio and finally to Puerto Jiménez.

This national park is often described as the absolute highlight of any Costa Rica round trip , which we can really confirm after the day in the park.

The beautiful and deserted sandy beach in the park.

Arrival to Puerto Jiménez on the Osa Peninsula

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From Manuel Antonio we started to plan our trip to Puerto Jiménez , we realized quite quickly that it will not be easy without rental car and expensive tourist shuttle from Manuel Antonio to get to the peninsula with the beautiful national park. After we had then but some Internet sites and tried some bus companies to contact (telephone never someone went ran and e-mails were not answered) we had a plan.

From Manuel Antonio we took a taxi for 3000 Colones to the Busterminal of Quepos (there we had to buy the ticket) – from there we went to the Panamerican at the hospital of Quepos (again 2000 Colones) here the bus of Tracopa should stop us then and take us on his way from San Jose to Golfito . (here it goes to the Internet side of the enterprise: https://www.tracopacr.com/). We had to pay 8350 colones per person for the ride.

After a short wait of 45 minutes (yes in Central America this is relatively short) the bus was there relatively on time and we were on our way to Golfito. In Golfito we looked for the ferry port (here you should definitely be 30 – 45 minutes before departure at the port so that you still get a place) and then we went for 3000 colones from Golfito to Puerto Jiménez. The whole adventure took about 5 hours and cost about 20 euros per person (compared to about 85 USD per person with a tour provider). Probably the journey there is with a reason the less tourists in the Corcovado national park are than e.g. in Manuel Antonio.

What should you know about the national park?

Corcovado National Park is home to many different species of animals from different ecosystems. Alone 13 different ecosystems provide an incredible 41788 hectares of space for a wide variety of species. Whether you are looking for a coral reef or mangroves in the Corcovado National Park you will find it.

The park is located in the Southwest of Costa Rica directly on the Pacific coast on the Osa Peninsula. Altogether one finds in this 417 km² large national park more than 500 different tree species, about 145 different mammal species, about 380 different bird species, over 6000 different insects and about 120 different reptiles and amphibians. But also those who love orchids will be rewarded with over 150 different species of orchids.

Hibiscus with butterfly in the Corcovado National Park

A national park of superlatives.

How expensive is a visit to Corcovado National Park?

Before visiting the park you have to realize that it will not be an inexpensive venture (Costa Rica is relatively expensive compared to the other countries in Central America – go here to overview of costs in Costa Rica). For the entrance fee you have to pay 15 USD per person – but you are not allowed to enter the park alone you need a guide or a tour. The guides who are allowed to lead through the park have a special license – so you should make sure that you really book with a tour provider who also leads you into the national park and not through a private property (should have happened sometimes in the past).
For the tours one must count depending upon number of persons again 35 – 70 USD per person. We have joined forces with two other Germans (was mediated by the tour provider) and had to pay 55 USD per person for the guide. If one has no rental car one must afford again the transport to the park – here in the average 20 – 30 USD per person are due. Here you drive about 1.5 hours over 30 kilometers of dirt road to the park.

If one counts thus the journey, the costs of the park and the accommodation as well as for the Guide together is one fast on 150 – 200 USD per person. But it is worth it!

What to expect in Costa Rica’s most beautiful national park?

The day tour of the park was supposed to start pretty early – we met up with guide and the others at 5:15 in the morning and headed straight into the park. After about 1.5 hours we were at the parking lot. Now the hike should start – we walked more than 3 kilometers close to the beach until we finally reached the first ranger station of the park. The La Leona Park Ranger Station at the Pacific Ocean. Then finally the hike through the park started. We were already so excited about the many free-living macaws in Puerto Jiménez that we thought that nothing more can actually knock us out of our shoes but then it started!

A anteater, many coatis, macaws, toucans, whales (yes directly in front of the coast played 3 whales including calf), innumerable bird species and a whole 3 species of monkeys (capuchin monkeys, skull monkeys and spider monkeys) – what do you want from a national park more. The capuchin monkeys were even little shy and came up to a few meters very close. (Important: monkeys may not be fed, here you will get very quickly from the guides and the rangers one on the hat). The monkeys in the park are so also little shy and you can observe well.

Toucan in Corcovado National Park
Vultures on the beach
The serious look of a monkey
A beautiful river in the middle of the jungle

The hike was about5 kilometers into the park – until we stopped at a beautiful stretch of beach for a lunch break. Since the heat in the park was already relatively high and most of the animals were not so active at lunchtime (yes they also take naps because it is too warm), we went back to the car after about 8 kilometers.

Max chilling during the lunch break!

When we arrived back at the car around 15:30, we were very happy to see the coconut stand selling ice cold coconuts right on the beach. Per Coconut were 1000 Colones due – not cheap (they have already bought for 500 Colones) but after such a hike really mega delicious!

Squirrel monkeys
Green iguana well camouflaged

Is a trip to Costa Rica’s most biodiverse national park worth it?

Yes! Yes! After seeing some of Costa Rica we can definitely say this park is definitely worth it. Few tourists, very well organized, very nice people, amazing nature and great moments.

The Corcovado National Park was definitely the highlight and the crowning conclusion of our round trip through Costa Rica.

View of the great beach
A frog that would love to work as a model!

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