Guided Adventures in Corcovado National Park

(All-Inclusive tours based from the Osa Peninsula)

We offer a range of itineraries exploring the highlights of Corcovado National Park with one of our expert guides. 

The following tours are ideally suited to fit into your stay at one of the many beautiful ecolodges on the Osa Peninsula. Those ecolodges which Osa Aventura recommends are listed on the Links page. A good combination would be one or two nights stay at a lodge before the tour, followed by two nights stay after the tour – to rest and relax!



Corcovado National Park

Corcovado is one of the most remote national parks in Costa Rica, and by far its most rich biologically. The following itineraries offer various means of exploring Corcovado depending on your ability, schedule and budget. All of these itineraries focus on Sirena Biological Station, the main station in Corcovado. Sirena is situated in the center of the Park, in the Corcovado Plane, an area of outstanding biological richness. The abundance of wildlife there is such that it has prompted many to remark that is like being in a living documentary.

We explore the forests, rivers, swamps and beaches around Sirena Station on foot and by canoe, by night and by day. The Rio Claro, to the south of the Station, is scenically beautiful, and offers refreshing swims in its many clear pools. The Rio Sirena to the north is navigable only by canoe. It is home to large bull sharks and crocodiles – swimming here is not recommended!! The forests around Sirena are home to spectacular wildlife such as jaguars, pumas, tapirs, large herds of the much-feared white-lipped peccaries and flocks of scarlet macaws. It is truly a Mecca for the wildlife enthusiast here!

How we reach Sirena Biological Station and depart from there depends on you. We can hike in, fly in or get there by boat, exiting by the same means. Or we can explore the Park by a combination of these means. And we can exit the Park on foot by either one of two routes: Southeast along the coast to Carate, or Northwest along the coast to Drake Bay (December to April only).


NOTE: Changes to Corcovado National Park Regulations

The following are changes to the regulations governing Corcovado.  Guide Associations on the Osa Peninsula are trying to reverse these change, but for the time being they hold:

  1. The trail from Los Patos to Sirena can only be hiked with a guide.
  2. The trail from Sirena to San Pedrillo is closed for this coming dry season (normally it opens from December to April).
  3. It is currently not possible to rent the canoes on the Rio Sirena.
  4. For the time being, it is not possible to leave any rangers station after dark and, thus, it is not possible at the moment to do night tours.



Map of Corcovado National Park



The Hiking Trails

There are three hiking trails in Corcovado that link Sirena Biological Station with the outlying stations:

Los Patos to Sirena

Jorge and tourist canoeing Rio SirenaThis inland trail is 17.4 kilometers (11 miles) long, and passes through the heart of Corcovado, from Los Patos Rangers Station in the northeast, to Sirena Biological Station in the southwest. It is a beautiful trail that meanders through the Parks luxuriant and majestic rainforests the whole way. The wildlife can be rich along this trail and we usually see monkeys, agoutis, coatis, colorful birds and variety of reptiles. And at times we encounter herds of up to fifty or more white-lipped peccaries. These feisty beasts beast can be dangerous!

It is by this route that I prefer to enter Corcovado Park. Getting to Los Patos Station involves an 8 kilometer (5 mile) hike, up the beautiful valley of the Rio Rincon. We camp overnight at this charming and rustic little Station before embarking on our hike to Sirena. There is a beautiful waterfall close to the station, which offers us a refreshing shower upon our arrival!

Sirena to La Leona and Carate

Arriving at Sirena Station after a long hike from Los PatosThis coastal trail is 19.5 kilometers (12 miles) long, and follows the scenic coast of the Park southeast to La Leona Station, and from there to Carate. This trail meanders through coastal forest and along deserted beaches. We often hike this trail at night, and regularly encounter tapirs, red brocket deer, pacas and opossums. Once we encountered a female puma and her two cubs playing on a beach!

I rarely stay at La Leona Station, preferring instead to spend the extra time at Sirena. So from La Leona we continue on to Carate where the coastal Road from Puerto Jimenez ends. It is here that we leave the Park by 4 wheel drive taxi.

Sirena to San Pedrillo

About to land at SirenaThis is an awesome trail! At 25.5 kilometers (16 miles) long, it’s the longest trail in Corcovado, and undertaken by only a few of the hardiest hikers. This trail is open to hikers only from December to April (the dry season), because the rivers en route are often in spate in the rainy season, and fording them is impossible. I don’t recommend that people undertake this trail without a responsible guide!

From Sirena the first 18 kilometers (11 miles) of this trail is all beach, which offers no shade from the searing tropical sun, and no water. Therefore, I will only ever undertake this trail at night. Three tidal estuaries intersect this beach section of the trail: The Rio Sirena at the beginning, the Rio Llorona at the end, and the Rio Corcovado in the middle. They can only be forded at, or near low tide: What is a knee deep, 50 meter crossing at low tide, changes to a 4 meter deep, 150 meter crossing at high tide. Added to this difficulty is the fact that these estuaries are home to bull sharks and large crocodiles!!

Along the sea's edgeBut, at what time we depart Sirena Station to hike this trail is dependant upon the tides: Tides here advance by 50 minutes a day, so our departure time at night varies with every trip. On occasions in the past, we have arrived at the last estuary, the Rio Llorona, at high tide, and had to construct a raft from the flotsam and jetsam on the beach to float our packs across. We had to swim!!

At night along this beach I have seen nesting turtles, and one occasion an ocelot digging up and eating turtle eggs. I often see tapirs too, and on occasions large, 3.5 meter (12 foot) plus crocodiles. And it was along this trail that I encountered Jaguars on two occasions (see Tails from the Jungle ). Indeed, these large, powerful cats patrol this beach every night hunting for nesting turtles. And their ever present pug marks in the sand attest to this!

Hiking through the jungleThe remaining 7.5 kilometers (4.5 miles) of this trail to San Pedrillo enters what has been described as the most majestic area of tropical rainforest in Central America. The trees here are huge, some towering to 75 meters (250 feet). This is my favorite forest trail in Corcovado!

San Pedrillo Rangers Station is perhaps the most scenically situated station in Corcovado. We often bathe in the beautiful waterfall nearby, and swim from the private beach in front of the station.  We depart from here by boat, included the price, along the rugged north coast of the Peninsula to Drake Bay. Please note however that it will be necessary for you to make your own reservations at a lodge in Drake Bay for that night. We recommend a charming little lodge, Las Caletas, situated on the coast line, near Drake Bay.



The Stations & Services

Los Patos

Los Patos is the eastern entry point to Corcovado, and is the only inland Station currently open to visitors. It is a small station set a forest clearing. Camping only there. Currently there are no meals served Los Patos and visitors must provision themselves. Flush toilets, showers and potable water are provided. 

* * Circumstances at Los Patos have changed. Ask for information.

La Leona

La Leona the southern gateway to Corcovado. It is beautifully situated on a long expanse beach, 3.5 kilometers (2 miles) from Carate, where the coastal road from Puerto Jimenez ends. Camping only here, and currently no food is served. Visitors must provision themselves. The station does have flush toilets, showers and potable water.

San Pedrillo

San Pedrillo Station is the northern gateway to Corcovado, and its stunning situation on the rugged north coast of the Peninsula make it the most beautiful station in the Park. The same services provided as the two stations mentioned above.

Sirena Biological Station

Sirena Biological Station is by far the largest station in the Corcovado, and the focal point for visitors to the Park. It is the only station situated on the Corcovado plain, where wildlife is at its most dense. Sirena is close to the coast and can be accessed by foot, plane or boat. A grassy runway runs from the station to the coast. Meals are served at Sirena and dormitory accommodation provided. However, these services are limited and must be reserved in advance and well in advance as demand is high! Sirena has flush toilets, showers and potable water, and also provides for campers.



Adventure Tours in Corcovado National Park

** Please note: Access costs for Corcovado National Park are increasing, the prices below reflect these additional costs.

all prices are per person. For group rates, please contact us.

Hiking Adventures

Los Patos to San Pedrillo (December to April only) This trip is the full Monty!
** 5 days : 4 nights $816 (2 to 3 pax), $730 (4 or more pax)
** 4 days : 3 nights $657 (2 to 3 pax), $592 (4 or more pax)

** The San Pedrillo beach trail is closed to hiking. This tour is now hike in and boat out to San Pedrillo or Drakes. The cost of the boat is not included.


Los Patos to Carate
(all year)
** 5 days : 4 nights  $816 (2 to 3 pax), $7300 (4 or more pax)
** 4 days : 3 nights  $657 (2 to 3 pax), $592 (4 or more pax)

** Due to circumstances in Los Patos there are 2 alternatives: 1. Camp at La Tarde same price as above 2. Meals and accommodations at La Tarde $30pp extra.


Carate to Sirena and Back (all year)
On this option we hike from Carate to Sirena Station by day, and return at night or by day on day three.
3 days : 2 nights  $545 (2 to 3 pax), $490 (4 or more pax)

** We do have a budget option for this tour, if interested please let us know and we will go over various plans.



Fly & Hike Adventures

Please note that these tours do not include the price of the charter plane. 

Fly into Sirena & Hike out to Carate (all year)
2 days : 1 nights  $366 (2 to 3 pax), $331 (4 or more pax)
3 days : 2 nights  $507 (2 to 3 pax), $472 (4 or more pax)



Fly in Fly out Adventures (2 to 4 pax)

Please note that these tours do not include the price of the charter plane. 

Fly into Sirena & Fly out (all year)
2 days : 1 nights  $356 (2 to 3 pax), $321 (4 pax)
3 days : 2 nights  $497 (2 to 3 pax), $462 (4 pax)


Boat & Hike Adventures (2 to 6pax)

Please note that these tours do not include the price of the charter boat. 

Boat to Sirena & Hike out to Carate (all year)
3 days : 2 nights  $507 (2 to 3 pax), $472 (4 or more pax)


Boat in & Boat out Adventures (2 to 6 pax)

Please note that these tours do not include the price of the charter boat. 

Boat into Sirena & Boat out (all year)
2 days : 1 nights  $356 (2 to 3 pax), $321 (4 or more pax)
3 days : 2 nights  $497 (2 to 3 pax), $462 (4 or more pax)



Costs include
:

Park entrance fees
All lodging in Corcovado National Park (camping or dormitory rooms), all meals
Private 4x4 taxi to and from the Park (as relevant to the package)
Biologist or Native Guide

Reservations

Airport transfers accommodationin San Jose contact www.hotelvillabonita.com

Flights between San Jose and Puerto Jimenez or Palmar Sur can be booked online: SANSA or Nature Air

Lodging on the Osa Peninsulacan be arranged from the links on this site. Please note that the eco-lodges listed in the links will require a deposit to secure a reservation. To make the deposit you should deal directly with the lodge.

Corcovado has been discovered, but its facilities have not expanded to meet the increasing visitor numbers. Sirena Station in particular consistently reaches full capacity in the high season (December to April). So in order to secure a reservation for the park, please give as much advance notice as possible when reserving a tour with Osa Aventura.

However, don’t fret if you find you cannot get a reservation in Corcovado, we offer a range of alternatives that explore other parts of this peninsula. The area surrounding the park is equally as beautiful and biologically diverse as the park itself, which is, in fact, an extension of Corcovado, the Golfo Dulce Forestal Reserve.

Off the beaten track adventures



Costs

The adventure tours in Corcovado National Park presented here are based from your arrival on the Osa Peninsula. What is included in the cost for these tours is clearly stated below. Please note that the prices DO NOT include plane or boat charters, or the taxi fare from your lodging on the Osa Peninsula to Puerto Jimenez to connect with you charter or taxi to the Park, if applicable (as this fare will vary according to which lodge you choose to stay at). The price DOES include the taxi fares to Corcovado from Puerto Jimenez and back again (and the boat taxi from San Pedrillo Station to your lodging in Drake Bay, for the tours that take this route).



Scheduling your time

If you are planning to visit the Osa Peninsula specifically to undertake one of these exploratory tours of Corcovado, budget your time for one nights stay on the Osa Peninsula either side of the tour. Only if you arrive on the Peninsula before mid morning can we enter the Park on the day of your arrival. And if we hike out of the Park at night, you can arrange to leave the Peninsula on the same day.



Transportation to and from the Park

If you are planning to visit the Osa Peninsula specifically to undertake one of these exploratory tours of Corcovado, budget your time for one nights stay on the Osa Peninsula either side of the tour. Only if you arrive on the Peninsula before mid morning can we enter the Park on the day of your arrival. And if we hike out of the Park at night, you can arrange to leave the Peninsula on the same day.

The following are the current prices for the transportation services used by Osa Aventura:

Included in Tour Cost


Public, colective taxi between Puerto Jimenez and Carate................................................$8 pp **
Often, however, this service is unable to cater for demand!

Private 4x4 taxi from Puerto Jimenez to Rio Rincon (en route to Los Patos).........................$70
This is the only reliable transportation service available for this route.

Boat transfer from San Pedrillo to Darke Bay and vice versa.............................................$120
There is no public boat service for this route, and the boat transfers are provided privately by the lodges in Drake Bay. And as there are no communications from San Pedrillo this service must be arranged from a lodge in advance. It is for this reason also that all tours that go to San Pedrillo must end at a lodge in Drake Bay (I recommend Las Caletas) in order to arrange your onward transportation


Not Included In Tour Cost (where applicable)

Private taxi from Puerto Jimenez to Carate and vice versa.............................................. $80

Boat from Puerto Jimenez to Sirena Station and vice versa (capacity 10 people)..........$360

Boat from Drake Bay to Sirena Station and vice versa (capacity 10 people)....................$200

Flight from Puerto Jimenez to Sirena and vica versa (capacity 4 people plus guide).....$400
This charter service is available from Carate at the same cost.

Flight from Drake Bay to Sirena and vice versa (capacity 4 people plus guide)...............$450

*The public colectivo taxi cost is per person. The costs for private transportation are for the vehicle (taxi, boat or plane), and divisible among the number of people on board.


Making Reservations for Corcovado

For all our tours we make the reservation in Corcovado for you.
For the independent adventurer to Corcovado, prior reservation is necessary, especially if you plan to visit Sirena Biological Station, where meals and lodging are limited. Reservations can be made in person by going to the Park Office (MINAE) in Puerto Jimenez (next to the airstrip) or via phone: (506) 2735-5036 or (506) 2735-5580, or fax: (506) 2735-5276. Please note that the earliest reservations can be made is 30 days prior to the start date of your visit to the park. If you make prior reservation to the park, you will need to stop by the MINAE office to pay in advance and collect your reservation form, before entering the park.