The pristine rainforests and the rugged natural beauty of the Osa Peninsula make this region among the most beautiful areas in Costa Rica. Declared one of the most biologically intense places on earth by the National Geographic Magazine, the Osa Peninsula along with Drake Bay have today, become the premier eco-tourism destination in the county. The region offer tourists everything from knowledgeable guides for hiking the rainforest, to whale and dolphin watching tours, to simply lying on the beach and relaxing in the sun. The Osa Peninsula is a secluded nature wonderland, playing home to many of the country's rare and endangered animal and bird species including the puma, jaguar, Harpy Eagle and Scarlet Macaw. With a large chunk of the peninsula forming the Corcovado National Park, this area has the single largest expanse of a lowland tropical rainforest in Central America and is one of the tallest rainforests in the world.
Once a very remote town, Puerto Jimenez has become one of the largest towns on the Osa. This laidback town is one of the main gateways to Corcovado National Park. The last town before one can enter the park premises, a main ranger station is situated here with many tourists using this town to stock up on supplies before they trek their way through the gorgeous and diverse wildlife the Corcovado National Park has to offer.
With a history of being a key gold mining and logging town before the Park was created, the locals in the area still log and mine gold here, but in much smaller numbers as this entire region is now a protected habitat. In and around Puerto Jimenez, there is much to see and do. Sport fishing excursions can be arranged, while for the more adventurous, hiking, rappelling, mountain biking and kayaking tours are on hand. If you prefer a more relaxed holiday, take a dolphin watching tour of the lovely Golfo Dulce and the Pacific, or simply sit on the beach to view some of the most amazing sunsets in all of Costa Rica.
During the day you can explore this small town and its surrounding environs to catch a glimpse of the rare and beautiful Scarlet Macaws as they fly overhead. With some world class angling, eco tours are the major draw of this town where you can spot up to 4 different monkey species and many brightly colored birds.
A major southern port until the mid 1980's, Golfito was the center of banana exporting for the region, with the United Fruit Company's headquarters being based in the north of town. Since they left, the town has suffered from major economic loss and unemployment, but with the advent of tourism, the community is slowly rebuilding itself on more modern lines. A rustic and tranquil place with plenty of hotels and accommodations, many people use Golfito as a stopover before heading to the stunning beaches of Playa Zancudo, Pavones, and Piedras Blancas National Park. Sportfishing is also another major highlight, with many sport fishermen using Golfito as a home base while they are out catching Pacific sailfish. The best season for this is November to May.
Corcovado National Park
Ecologically varied, the Corcovado National Park is among the most biologically intense places on earth. Located on the wild and untamed Osa Peninsula, this national park is breathtakingly beautiful and is one of the remotest parks in the country. Home to the largest and only tropical primary lowland rainforest in the world, the Corcovado National Park is also the habitat of a plethora of endangered plant and animal species.
Created in 1975 to protect this gorgeous region from illegal gold mining and logging, the Parque Nacional Corcovado is today, an extremely popular ecotourism destination. Mostly undisturbed because of its isolation and inaccessibility, it is home to the beautiful Scarlet Macaws as well as the Resplendent Quetzals, the Red-Eyed Tree Frog and the Tapir, the largest terrestrial mammal in Central and South America.
Exotic and lush, the Corcovado National Park is home to thirteen major ecosystems that range from mangrove swamps and jolillo palm groves to montane forests, lagoons, beaches, freshwater herbaceous swamps and primary lowland rainforests. Encompassing over 41,000 hectares the park protects over 140 different mammal species; 400 bird species, 20 of which are endemic; 116 amphibian and reptile species, 40 species of fish and at least 500 species of trees. Habitat of the rare Harbor Squirrel Monkey and the Harpy Eagle, the Corcovado Park also is a great place to spot the poison arrow frog, indigenous wild cats, crocodiles, pumas and jaguars as well as four species of sea turtles.
Extremely hot and humid most of the year, this park has plenty of rainfall but is a joy to hike through with its dense forestation that opens up onto stunningly beautiful beaches. With its virgin beauty, visiting this park allows you to experience nature at its finest and promises an incredible adventure for those who dare to trail blaze their way through this amazing region. Hiking is very popular here, and there are four ranger stations found at strategic locations from each other. The best way to see this park is to take a guided tour, as there are plenty of wild animals that roam around. Hire a guide in Drake Bay or Puerto Jimenez to have the perfect adventure vacation.