Our adventures on the Osa Peninsula begin in the picturesque town of Puerto Jimenez, beautifully set on the tranquil shores of the Golfo Dulce. We lunch down town then pay a visit to nearby lagoon to see crocodiles and caimans – we even feed them! Late in the afternoon we embark on a ‘Sunset’ kayak tour of the Golfo Dulce – we sometimes see dolphins eerily illuminated by bioluminescence! Our lodging for the night is Cabinas Jimenez, overlooking the tranquil Golfo Dulce.
The next morning we board a 4×4 vehicle to La Tarde, a small farmstead situated in the remote hills of the Osa peninsula. This is the trail-head for our subsequent trek through Corcovado. But first, we spend a couple of days exploring this are area, acquainting ourselves with the majesty and diversity of the rainforests on the Osa.
At La Tarde we discover giant trees, shower under waterfalls and bathe in natural pools. We may see poison-dart frogs, eyelash vipers and sloths in forests littered with Pre-Colombian Indian artefacts. We will also pan for gold with the owner, a one-time gold prospector! And we will go out at night to look for kinkajous, opossums and red-eyed tree frogs. We leave La Tarde on horseback, along a 5 km (3 mile) forested trail bound for Los Patos Rangers Station, the eastern gateway to Corcovado National Park.
We then part ways with our horses, don our packs, and trek the 24 kilometer (13 mile) trail across the heart of Corcovado (through rainforest all the way) to Sirena Biological Station, our base for the next two nights. Sirena Biological Station is set on the Pacific coast of the Park in the Corcovado Basin, the ecologically rich heart of the Park. We explore thoroughly the surrounding forests, beaches and rivers of the station for the abundant wildlife, for which this area is famed. It is not uncommon to see a tapir, a herd of peccaries, or rooting coatis and picking anteaters – even the handsome puma on occasions! We can expect to find monkeys (possibly all four species found in Costa Rica!), including the endangered red-backed squirrel monkey. Of the many birds in the area, scarlet macaws, toucans, great curassows are a common sight. Bull sharks and crocodiles inhabit the tidal deltas of nearby rivers too!
On our final day in Corcovado we hike south along the 20 kilometer (12 mile), coastal trail to Carate. We may even hike this trail at night, if the tides demand it! Our destination is Finca Exotica, a beautiful lodge whose gardens have over 150 species of exotic fruits and herbs. Here we bask in pampered luxury, swim in the sea and wind down from our previous days’ adventures. On our final evening there, we take a hike along playa Carate to a nearby lagoon to see the glowing eyes of crocodiles and caimans in our torch beams and awe at the bioluminescence glowing in the breakers. Depending on the time of year, you can also participate in the lodges’ Sea-turtle Conservation Program, which patrol the beach at night to monitor nesting turtles. This action-packed adventure will exercise your feelings of awe, fear, fatigue and joy. And it will leave you fulfilled with a sense of achievement!
Itinerary in Brief (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner) Day 1: Arrival in San Jose; taxi transferred to your hotel. Overnight at Hotel Brilla Sol.
Day 2: Transfer to airport for your flight to Puerto Jiménez. You will be met by Osa Aventura staff and transferred to Cabinas Jimenez. We acquaint ourselves with crocodiles and caimans before taking a late afternoon, ‘Sunset’ kayak tour of the Golfo Dulce. Overnight at Cabinas Jimenez (BLD)
Day 3: In the morning travel by 4×4 vehicle to La Tarde, a remote farmstead set in the hills of the Osa. During this and the following day we explore the pristine rainforests of the area – by day and by night! Overnight at La Tarde (BLD).
Day 4: We continue our explorations of La Tarde’s amazing forests – swim in a natural pool and pan for gold! Overnight at La Tarde (BLD).
Day 5: We leave La Tarde at 6:00 am on horseback to Los Patos. From there we trek the 24 kilometer (13 mile) trail that crosses the heart of Corcovado Park to Sirena Biological Station. Overnight at Sirena (dorm or tents) (BLD)
Day 6: We explore the wildlife-rich forests, rivers and beaches around Sirena before refreshing ourselves in the crystal clear waters of the Rio Claro. Overnight at Sirena (dorm or tents) (BLD).
Day 7: We don our packs once more and hike along the southern coastal trail to Carate and Finca Exotica. Depending on the tides, we may have to depart before sunrise! Overnight at Finca Exotica (BLD)
Day 8: A day to relax at Finca Exotica with the beach is at your doorstep! You can participate in a Sea-Turtle Conservation Program patrolling Carate beach at night (depending on the time of year) / or a night beach walk. Overnight at Finca Exotica (BLD)
Day 9: 4×4 taxi from Carate along the scenic coastal road, around the tip of the Osa Peninsula, to Puerto Jimenez for your flight to San Jose. Taxi transfer Hotel Brilla Sol. (B)
Day 10: Transfer to San Jose International Airport for your return flight (B)
Price: $2,469 p.p. (2 to 3 people) or $2,349 p.p. (4 to 6 people)
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