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If you’ve ever considered visiting the Osa Peninsula, continue reading on why this is such a magical place.
ITINERARY FOR VISITING THE OSA PENINSULA
- May 24, 2017: 1 night at Wyndham in San Jose
- May 25, 2017: 5 nights at Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge in Osa Peninsula
- Fly from San Jose to Palmar Sur via Sans Airlines
- Bird tour (1 hour)
- Night tour (1 hour)
- Tour of Corcovado Park from San Pedrillo station
- Snorkeling at Cano Island
- Tour of Corcovado Park from Sirena Station
- May 31, 2017: 1 night at Wyndham in San Jose
VISITING THE OSA PENINSULA: THE DETAILS
I had been trying to get back to Costa Rica after I fell in love with the country on our honeymoon in 2009. Ever since I was a kid, I have loved anteaters. I knew that anteaters were found in Costa Rica but I wasn’t sure where. My co-workers had been to Manuel Antonio and recommended we go there. I decided to contact my travel agent who had planned my honeymoon. She steered me clear of MA and leaned me toward visiting the Osa Peninsula and Corocovado National Park. This, she said, is where you will have your best chance of seeing an anteater. I was in!
After mulling over several resorts we decided on Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge. There were a few caveats with this resort and visiting the Osa Peninsula in general. It is hard to get to and it is expensive! We had to take a flight to San Jose, a flight to Palmar Sur Airport, a 1 hour ride to the pier, and a boat ride through the Sierpe River and down the Pacific Island to the resort which was NOT accessible by car!
On May 24, 2017, we left BWI airport and stayed at the Wyndham hotel in San Jose overnight before catching our flight the next day to Palmar Sur airport. We spent 5 nights at the Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge and again stayed at the Wyndham before our return flight to Baltimore on May 31, 2017.
The boat ride down the Sierpe River was beautiful and relaxing. It was a big unnerving where the river hit the ocean but the captain did a great job. He also managed quite well to manipulate through the cove to the resort. Many of the rocks were only visible at low tide so the captain really had to be experienced. It was obvious this was not the first time the captain had done this.
The landing is a wet landing – meaning you need water shoes or sandals. A tractor driven taxi transported us up a steep hill to the resort where we checked in. We were welcomed with a wet towel and cocktail (virgin) before sitting down for lunch. The resort is tucked away in the middle of nowhere! It was beautiful. During our lunch, we saw and heard monkeys as well as several macaws.
This resort offers a few packages visitoris can buy into. The standard package we chose came with the following: a bird tour (1 hour), a night tour (1 hour), a tour of Corcovado Park from San Pedrillo station, and snorkeling at Cano Island. At the suggestion of our travel planner, we added the Sirena Station Tour at Corcovado Park. This station, she said, was my best bet of spotting the elusive anteater.
Hiking Trails on the Resort
We hiked several trails on our own at the resort (see pictures below). One of the guides told us they had captured footage of pumas on these trails from their trail cameras. We had no such luck. The hikes were wonderful none the less.
Sirena Ranger Station Guided Tour
Our first excursion was to the Sirena Station in Corcovado National Park via boat. This hike was the highlight of our trip. There were very few people there and we saw a tapir and two anteaters! We also came across a family of Coatis that were indifferent towards us as they were gathering up their meal for the day along with many bird species and monkeys.
Snorkeling at Cano Island
Our next excursion was to Cano Island via a 45-minute boat ride. I was extremely hesitant about snorkeling as I have a slight fear of water in general. We were the only ones on the tour along with a guide and the manager (who had the day off and decided to join us). With a little encouragement I decided to go for it. The snorkeling was not really worth the trouble. We saw a couple fish, but the water was murky, and the reefs had seen better days.
We had about an hour relax on the beach before the ominous clouds moving in cut our visit short. The guide decided it was best to hustle back to the boat and return to the resort. Unfortunately, we did not beat the storm and ended up in the middle of a torrential downpour and lightning cracking all around us. Did I mention how small the boat was and we were in the Pacific Ocean? After a harrowing ride we made it back to the resort. We were treated with some sort of hot alcoholic drink which was perfect and greatly needed!
San Pedrillo Ranger Station Guided Tour
We went to another area of the park and had a guided tour around the San Pedrillo Ranger Station. From the resort, we were able to hike to this area of the park. It was raining during the tour which deterred the animals from making much of an appearance. We saw some agoutis, the Costa Rican turkey, and some birds. There were fresh tapir prints in the sand, but we did not spot one. After hiking up to a waterfall, we had lunch at the station.
As I mentioned earlier the other tours which were part of the package were the early morning bird tour and the night tour. Both were fantastic. I should mention we got lucky. We were the only ones staying at the resort for the majority of our time AND along with our guide we had a guide in training! Between the two of them, the wildlife spotting was exceptional. If you’ve never done a night tour before, try one because it is an amazing experience. I try to do them wherever I go now as there are so many different types of animals that come out at night. Unfortunately, I did not take pictures during our night tour. Below are some pictures of other things we saw while staying at Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge.
At sunset every night (provided it was not raining) there were appetizers and cocktails offered at the sunset bar. The view was amazing especially with the sun setting. This was a chance to mingle with the other guest and chat with the guides.
Did I mention we had our own personal beach? Tapirs were rumored to frequent the beach during the early morning hours. We did not have enough energy to get up early and see them in time, but we did see footprints.
After 5 nights, we left the Osa Peninsula and went back to San Jose for an overnight stay.
One last note: We went in May which is the rainy season. This did not deter any of our activities (except maybe lounging around the pool). We’ve been to Costa Rica three times and two were during the rainy season. There are more animals during the green season and fewer people/tourists. We were the only guests for 2-3 days out of our 6 day visit! The package was also cheaper. It’s a win-win in my opinion. I packed a rain jacket but did not wear it because even though it was raining, I was never cold since the climate is so warm. If you do go during the rainy season bring quick dry clothes (no jeans or cotton). More information on what to pack when visiting the Osa Peninsula can be found here.
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