Osa Peninsula, Corcovado & Golfo Dulce
Visit this area in the southwest for the very best of Costa Rica’s wildlife
Highlights included the boat ride through the mangroves, snorkelling and kayaking off Drake's Bay and watching humpback whales frolic in the Pacific Ocean.
Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula is in the southwest of Costa Rica with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Golfo Dulce on the other. Osa Peninsula is one of the most biodiverse area of Costa Rica and home to at least half of the species living in Costa Rica – 140 mammal species and over 400 bird species – many of these found in Corcovado National Park.
National Geographic said that Osa is “the most biologically intense places on Earth”. Its 700 miles2 are covered in rainforest (with about 700 tree species) reaching right down to the Pacific Coast. It’s very rare to find anywhere on the planet now where rainforest meets the sea.
Come to this area for this incredibly rich forest habitat, but you can also see whales in the Golfo Dulce, go snorkelling at Cano Island, or even go ziplining!
Fewer visitors come to Osa Peninsula as it’s a long way south and more expensive to reach than many other areas (such as Tortuguero National Park), so it’s also the perfect spot to view wildlife away from any crowds. We tailor-make wonderful wildlife holidays in Costa Rica including Osa Peninsula and Corcovado.
- Corcovado National Park: The park is home to all 4 species of monkey found in Costa Rica (spider, squirrel, howler and white-faced capuchin), and all 6 of the cat species (jaguar, jaguarundi, margay, ocelot, oncilla, puma). In addition, 4 species of turtle (green, hawksbill, leatherback, olive ridley) and 40 types of frog are found here.
Bird enthusiasts won't be disappointed with 400 species of birds recorded here including the largest number of scarlet macaws in Central America.
There are 39kms of beach in Corcovado which you can explore on foot, by bike, horse and sea kayak.
- Golfo Dulce: This 'sweet gulf’ is home to resident bottlenose and common dolphins and is used as an annual nursery by humpback whales and their young before they embark on their long ocean voyages.
It is an area of incredible biodiversity. It is estimated that 750 species of trees grow here, providing habitat to 367 bird species.
In 1992 35,000 acres of this forest became the Piedras Blancas National Park, protecting some of the last remaining stretches of lowland primary forest.
Much of the forest surrounding the gulf is a protected area and was previously known as the Corcovado Extension or Corcovado II.