Corcovado National Park
Everyone that wants to go into the national park needs a certified licensed guide and entrance permits. No one is allowed to enter Corcovado without a guide for day hikes or overnight hikes. Please contact the guides we recommend to arrange your tour and to buy your permits several weeks before your stay.
We recommend the following guides and tour operators to make your Corcovado National Park arrangements:
A highly recommended Corcovado Tour Operator that we work with is Surcos Tours. Top English speaking guides work with Surcos Tours year around. Contact them through Tel: (506) 8603 23 87 or Email them: email@example.com. Website: surcostours.com.
Osa Wild is a sustainable and rural tourism agency. They can set up day tours and overnight stays in Corcovado. Website: www.osawildtravel.com. (506) 2735-5848, Cel. (506) 8765-3330, Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Osa Aventura is another tour agency run by Mike Boston and his personally selected guides offer multiple day adventures to Corcovado National Park and can assist you with your reservations! Please visit www.osaaventura.com to book your reservation!
Our other local outfitter that we recommend is called Corcovado Guide. Please visit www.corcovadoguide.com for more info on Corcovado and on their hiking packages. Cafe-Net can process your permits for day hikes as well as offer guide services. This site also has Tons of great info about Corcovado National Park.
*Whichever travel agent you choose, please mention that you found their info through Cabinas Jimenez website.*
NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO ACCESS THE PARK WITHOUT A QUALIFIED AND CERTIFIED GUIDE. PLEASE INQUIRE ABOUT CORCOVADO OR CONTACT OUR ABOVE TRAVEL AGENT and GUIDE CONTACTS FOR RESERVING YOUR GUIDE – ESPECIALLY IN HIGH SEASON (DECEMBER – MAY, JUNE – AUGUST).
The Osa Peninsula is home to the world famous Corcovado National Park which has been described as “One of the most biologically intense places on the Planet” by the National Geographic Society. The park hosts 2.5 % of the world’s biodiversity and 25% of Costa Rica’s biodiversity and is truly the most spectacular activity on our Peninsula.
“Corcovado National Park is truly the crown jewel of Costa Rica’s park system.”
GENERAL INFO ABOUT CORCOVADO HIKES
Everyone that wants to go into the national park needs a certified licensed guide and entrance permits. No one is allowed to enter Corcovado without a guide for day hikes or overnight hikes. Please contact the guides we recommend above to arrange your tour and to buy your permits several weeks before your stay.
We have learned that many of our guests are not properly prepared for their visit to Sirena Ranger Station for multiple nights, and assume entry into this remote research station is available by “just showing up.” Following is some information that we recommend you review if your visit is to include a visit to Sirena Ranger Station.
Overnight Stay at La Sirena National Park Ranger Station
La Sirena Ranger station is the only place where guests can stay overnight in Corcovado National Park.
To arrive at La Sirena Ranger Station you’ll first have to book a guided hike through one of the above mentioned travel agents. Your guide will help you arrange transport to the park entrance. You’ll hike around 8 hours into the park from a place called Carate, which is the end of the “road” on the East side of the Osa Peninsula. If you take ground transport Carate will be where you’ll be “let off” the bus or taxi, from there you have to hike into the park for around 1 hour to a Ranger Station called La Leona. At that Ranger Station they’ll check that you’re with a guide and that you have park permits.
From La Leona Ranger Station it is another 6-7 hour hike (The map says 5, but this is for VERY fit and fast hikers.. normally it’s 6-7 hours). Hence usually the hike begins very early, so that you arrive in La Sirena in the afternoon.
The hike is through forest and along the beach. Be aware that it gets VERY hot during the day and you’ll sweat a LOT. You should bring at least 3 liters of water with you, and bring food to snack on. You should also wear good comfortable shoes and lightweight breathable clothes. In the rainy season it can rain anytime, so bring rain protection for yourself and your gear.
The entrance ticket to Corcovado National Park is $15 per day, meaning if you stay 2 nights in Sirena, you’d have to pay $45 for 3 days that you spent in the park. The park entrance tickets are ONLY available in advance through the travel agent or guide.
La Sirena Ranger station fills up fast – and often in the high season there are no beds or meals available anymore. Please contact the above mentioned travel agents to make your reservations. Cabinas Jimenez does not provide guided services into the park. Please contact the travel agents DIRECTLY.
How to get into the park
You may access the Corcovado National Park via plane or a hike – most guests decide to do a combination of both (flying and hiking). Either way you will need a travel agent and guide to set this up for you in advance.
Puerto Jimenez is located around 2 hours from the park entrance and the end of the road, a place called Carate. From Carate it is still a little hike to the park entrance (3.5 km). You can take private transport to Carate, which is often the preferred choice. You can also choose to go by public colectivo bus to Carate which costs around 9$ each way. The colectivo takes around 2 1/2 hours and is a very bumpy ride – it’s basically a cattle truck that now has two benches on each side to transport people. The colectivo bus goes twice a day, at 6 am and at 1:30pm from downtown Puerto Jimenez, around 5 minutes walk from us – Cabinas Jimenez.
You’ll have to take ground transport if you’d like to hike into the park or if you come out of the park (either private transport or colectivo bus).
However, there is also a different option: You can also arrange to fly into La Sirena Ranger Station from Puerto Jimenez. The costs are around 80$ per person per flight, and the airplane carries 4 people. The flight only takes around 30 minutes, and it’s a beautiful view all over the Peninsula and the National Park.
Most people decide to either fly into the park, then hike out (which takes around 8 hours), or they decide to hike into the park, then hike back out. There is also the option to hike in or fly in and then take boat to Drake’s Bay. The boat is around 35$ per trip.
Discuss your transport and hiking options with the guide/ travel agent before your hike.
General info about Day Hikes to Corcovado
Reservations are also required for day hikes into the park, which are usually around the La Leona Ranger Station. This requirement was introduced in 2010. You may also go for a day hike close to the park and hike along the park boarders – and avoid having to purchase the entry tickets. Along the Corcovado park border you may see similar wildlife and nature as inside the park.
Usually for a day hike you’ll enter the park at La Leona Ranger Station, hike for around 3-4 hours, and turn around to go back. You won’t arrive at La Sirena Ranger Station, but you’ll be hiking the same route.
Sirena Ranger Station is not accessible for day hikes from Puerto Jimenez. To visit Sirena Ranger Station, you need to make reservations with a Travel Agent or Guide who will take care of the reservations for you.
What guides recommend to bring for your hike
- Mosquito repellent
- Flashlight (important for the Station)
- Water – 3 liters for the first day. You can refill water for free at the Ranger station, or you can buy water as well, the price for a bottle of water at Sirena is $5
- Hiking shoes and water sandals for the river crossing
- Bring your own medication that you need
- Extra plastic bags/water proof bags to protect clothing and cameras from rain
- You can bring battery chargers/ camera chargers, there is electricity at the Ranger Station
- Mosquito net