Corcovado National Park
Costa Rica’s Parque Nacional Corcovado has 101,925 acres (41,250 hectares) of land and 10,334 acres (4,180 hectares) of water and was declared a Protected Area in 1975. The Costa Rica Corcovado National Park is located on the Osa Peninsula. Millions of years ago this peninsula was an island, therefore some of the Corcovado National Park's wildlife is considered unique and endemic. The tropical rainforest in the area is considered of great importance due to its biological diversity. Costa Rican and international scientists come here to carry out biological and wildlife research. You need to travel 209 miles (340 km) from San Jose to get to the park. One of the possible routes is to take the Inter-American Highway to Chacarita and then drive 49 miles (80 km) to Puerto Jimenez, from here on you will need a 4x4 vehicle. Taking a plane to Puerto Jimenez or to Carate will definitely make the trip shorter but for an adventurous tourist driving is highly recommended. You can also take any of the daily buses from San Jose to Golfito. The Osa Peninsula lacked road access until 1978 keeping the area almost uninhabited. Before it was declared a protected area about 300 families lived on its grounds dedicated to gold panning. The government compensated these families and declared it a protected area to protect the environment and the flora and fauna found here with the creation of several Osa parks, including Corcovado.
In this lushly tropical area of Corcovado, Costa Rica, you will find about 8 different habitats such as mangrove swamps and mountain forests. The 500 tree species found in Corcovado Park equal a fourth of all tree species in the country. Among the area’s fauna you will find tapirs, jaguars, pumas, ocelots, and giant anteaters. Different types of monkeys can be spotted in the trees such as the spider and the howler monkey. The area also has a large population of wildcats and peccaries, at the ranger stations visitors are warned about possible peccary attacks. Don’t let this discourage you from visiting this unique protected area. Some of the rivers (Rio Madrigal, Rio Llorona, Rio Pavo and Rio Sirena) are born here and flow into the Pacific Ocean. The Lagoon is a must see when visiting the area. Here you will see crocodiles and other exotic species around the lagoon area such as snakes. Corcovado National Park is a natural laboratory where migratory species from North and South America can be seen frequently and studied.
The area of Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica not only offers vast and diverse wildlife but is also an archeological center. Recent studies show that the area was inhabited by Pre-Hispanic groups in two different eras, from 200 to 800 A.D and from 1000 to 1500 A.D. The archeological sites are called El Cedral and Sirena. Archeologists believe that these groups came to the area attracted by the hunting and fishing alternatives. There is a developed trail system for those who like hiking. A 12.5 mile(20 km) trail goes from Los Patos to Sirena; this will take you between 6 and 7 hours to complete. From Sirena to La Leona the walking distance is about 8 miles (13 km). From Sirena to San Pedrillo the distance is 16 miles (26 km) and runs along the beach. Once at the Sirena ranger station you can take short walks along trails that are not that long. This is an excellent opportunity for birdwatchers or nature lovers who would like to shoot some photographs. Visit Corcovado National Park Costa Rica for an experience unlike any other, all here in an Osa Peninsula park.