Regarded by many as the crown jewel of Costa Rica’s national park system, the Corcovado National Park is so overflowing in excellent wildlife opportunities, that it is one place that can guarantee plenty of sightings. Situated on the Osa Peninsula in southwestern Costa Rica, Corcovado National Park harbors several major ecosystems that include mangrove swamps, rainforest, palm forest and cloud forest in addition to beaches and coastal habitats.
With several hiking trails winding throughout the park, visitors stand a better chance here than anywhere else in the country of seeing some of Costa Rica’s more elusive and rare species such as red-backed squirrel monkeys, jaguars, harpy eagles, white-lipped peccaries, and Baird’s tapirs. It is also possible to see ocelots, pumas, sloths, coatis, monkeys (howler, spider and white-faced capuchin), poison dart frogs, glass frogs and numerous bird species. A stroll along the beach may award glimpses of sea turtles, hermit crabs, pelicans and scarlet macaws flying overhead. Besides the wealth of wildlife, hiking trails also give visitors the opportunities to check out interesting rock formations, exotic plants and beautiful waterfalls. Canoeing on the river is another fun way to experience the park’s biodiversity.
Access to Corcovado National Park is by way of the closest town, Puerto Jimenez, where visitors can arrange tours, rent bikes, horses, 4WD vehicles, or opt for a bus ride. Corcovado also has four ranger stations providing lodging, food and camping.