Corcovado National Park, Where Jungle Meets the

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Sunset Corcovado

Sunset Corcovado

Corcovado National Park, Where Jungle Meets the


Traveling to Costa Rica and want to visit a very remote and unique region  know as the Osa Peninsula,  home to the most biologically diverse, and the most beautiful national park in Costa Rica known as the  Corcovado National Park.  However,  it is the most difficult park to get to.  Located in the southwest Pacific area of Costa Rica, most visitors arrive by small planes which fly out of San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital.

Tourists  who travel to Costa Rica  are adventurous and nature loving.  They come to Corcovado National Park to hike and experience the vast diversity of this  beautiful primary lowland rain forest.  The huge trees seem to reach the sky and shade everything below the tree tops which are filled with 116 different species of  birds, the most famous being the Scarlet Macaw. In the early morning it is not uncommon to see a tree filled with ten or fifteen Scarlet Macaws, and  early morning is the best time to explore the park when the forest is filled with the sounds of hundreds of singing birds.

Rare Harbor Squirrel Monkey in Corcovado National Park

Rare Harbor Squirrel Monkey in Corcovado National Park

Scarlet_Macaw_in_FlightThere are 500 different species of trees so one could not see them all if you stayed a month just checking out trees.

Oh yes,  the snakes- when I visited I saw a Boa constrictor laying quietly on a bed of leaves, of course we all ran in the opposite direction.  Although the Boa will strike and bite  in self defense, the bite is very painful- but  not deadly.  The fer-de-lance is the most poisonous snake in Costa Rica and is prevalent in Corcovado.  The bite can be deadly although now there is an antivenin which is very successful if the victim can get to a health clinic.

The rare Harbor Squirrel monkey makes his home in Corcovado, along with many  other species of monkeys.

Our morning hike in Corcovado led us thru the dense forest and out onto a gorgeous brown sandy beach with huge crashing waves. Words could not describe its beauty.

Corcovado National Park is huge encompassing 263 square miles with  13 different ecosystems -primary lowland rain forest, lagoons, rivers, mangroves, and swamps.  If one were fortunate enough to stay in the park for a long period of time you would see wild animals such as pumas, jaguars, wildcats, and the tapir which is the largest terrestrial  mammal in Costa Rica.

It is highly recommended not to go into the park without a guide and most tourist purchase a package through one of the many Eco Lodges located near the park.  These can be found on the Internet but  are quite pricey .  These prepaid tours include airfare from San Jose, lodging, food, and a tour of Corcovado National Park.  Tours to Cano Island are also available  (pay extra) at these lodges.  Cano Island is a remote uninhabited island off the  southwest coast of Costa Rica,  reminiscent  of Robinson Crusoe.  Scuba diving is popular in this region where one can see small rock sharks and other  larger species of fish.

Corcovado National Park Climate?    Its hot and humid- temperatures can get up to 90 degrees F.  mid-day.   Rains all year round here, but you can expect to see sunny mornings  if you get up very early-“when the sun rises” and the temperatures are much cooler in the morning, around 75 degrees F.  January and February are the months when there is generally less rainfall, and temperatures are cooler, around 80 degrees F mid -day  with morning temperatures around 70 degrees F.

So get your hiking done in the morning.

How to Get There:  Most tourist purchase a prepaid all inclusive package and fly out of San Jose on small commuter planes like Sansa Air.  Sometimes part of the trip, depending on where the eco lodge is located, is done by boat..You can find all these packages on the Internet.  They are not inexpensive, but remember Corcovado is remote and a long way to get to from the central valley of Costa Rica..  The two entry points into the park are Drake Bay and Puerto Jimenez.

What dangers are there in Corcovado National Park?  There are two rivers in the park that empty into the Pacific Ocean.  The Rio Claro  and The Rio Serena.  The Rio Serena should not be crossed at high tide 1. very swift  current  2. bull sharks in the water  3. crocodiles in the water some 4 meters long!

Another danger in the park are the snakes  1. fer de lance  2 bushwacker    Both are very poisonous and one should wear proper shoes (that cover the ankles) and by all means stay on the trails. We saw a very large fer de lance basking in the sun by a river bed….luckily it was  large and easy to spot…of course we stayed far away,  impressive to see a snake that large and esp a fer de lance.

The large scorpions found in the park do not appear to be poisonous.  I was bitten by one on my  toe.  Severe burning pain followed and of course scared me.  I did not have any medication with me, so borrowed some ice from the lodge where we were sleeping and put an ice bag on it..but took hours for the pain to go away.  I was wearing open toes sandals–a big No No!!

Can I swim in the ocean at Corcovado?  We didnt.  The waves are very ruff, and after the scorpion bite- and seeing the fer de lance- well I was not going to take any more chances with anything!

What should I take with me into the park?  Adequate hiking boots that cover at least up to your open toe shoes!  Mosquito repellent, although they did not seem to come out until around 4:30 pm–bottled water,  sun screen, sun hat, backpack…light weight cotton clothes, lightweight rain jacket.. if you like photography or videography this is the place to do it!

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