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Carmen Naran

Puerto Jimenez

The Osa Peninsula is one of the most biodiverse places in the world. It is home to Corcovado National Park, the country’s largest park. It was established in 1975 and protects about a third of the Osa Peninsula. It is widely considered the crown jewel in the extensive system of national parks and biological reserves spread across the country. The ecological variety is quite stunning. National Geographic has called it “the most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity”. The park conserves the largest primary forest on the American Pacific coastline and one of the few remaining sizable areas of lowland tropical forests in the world.

After going down the Pacific Coast of the country, our next stop is Puerto Jimenez. We reach it by a combination of a 5:30AM public bus and hitchhiking a ride with big truck!

The town of Puerto Jimenez is actually quite enchanting. It is located on the bay of the Golfo Dulce. We stay one night there, and enjoy a nice walk around town, and try different kinds of foods and artisanal beers.

The next morning, we get up at 4:30am, to meet our guide, Carolina, which we found through OsaWild. This turned out to be one of the definitive highlights of this trip.

Corcovado National Park

This place is just amazing. To reach it, you need to drive on a pretty bumpy road, and cross several rivers. After that, it is a 20-kilometer hike to the ranger station of La Sirena. The hike is just gorgeous, taking us through secondary rainforest booming with wildlife. Our guide, Carolina, is  an amazing guide. It shows that she loves what she does and is very knowledgeable and loves to share this passion with her guests. We had an incredible time and we saw so many animals, birds, insects. The thing with wildlife, is that it is wild obviously, and the park is huge, so you will see different things during each visit.

We had a little tracking sheet that was provided by our touring agency, and with the help of our guide, here’s a non-exhaustive list of what we saw:


  • Yellow-headed Caracara
  • Great Curassow
  • White-tipped Dove
  • Cattle Egret
  • Collared Forest Falcon
  • Magnificent Frigatebird
  • Crested Guan
  • Common Black Hawk
  • Roadside Hawk
  • Long-billed Hermit
  • Charming Hummingbird
  • White Ibis
  • Rufous-tailed Jacamar
  • Green Kingfisher
  • Scarlet Macaw
  • Mealy Parrot
  • Brown Pelican
  • Short-billed Pigeon
  • Rufous Piha
  • Spoonbill Roseate
  • Ruddy Ground Dove
  • Southern Lapwing
  • Great Tinamou
  • Black-Throated Trogon
  • Yellow-Throated Toucan
  • Black Vulture

Reptiles & Amphibians

  • Osal Anole
  • Green Iguana
  • Salmon-bellied Racer
  • Central American Whiptail
  • Common Rain Frog


  • Agouti
  • Collared Anteater
  • White-nosed Coatimundi
  • Red brocket Deer
  • Howler Monkey
  • Spider Monkey
  • Squirrel Monkey
  • White-Faced Monkey
  • Neotropical River Otter
  • Collared Peccary
  • Brow-throated three-toed Sloth
  • Red-tailed Squirrel
  • Baird’s Tapir

Bahia Drake

We leave the park by boat, and head towards Bahia Drake, one of Costa Rica’s most secluded little towns. Until recently, you could only reach this bay by boat, and it is still the quickest way. There are no piers, so you have to jump on and off boats directly from the water so it is quite an adventure.

There is wildlife everywhere as it is barely a town, just a collection of houses in the middle of the rainforest.

We see also see dolphins and whales from the boats we take to reach it, and we also end up seeing a lot of colorful birds in the trees, while having breakfast. It’s definitely a place where you could linger a lot longer than the one day we stayed there.

There is also some wonderful snorkeling and diving nearby at the Caño Island Biological Reserve. We did not get to snorkel there because of bad weather but we heard great things!

After leaving Bahia Drake by boat, going through the wild mangroves of Terraba Sierpe National Wetlands, we reach the little town of Sierpe, and take a combination of two public buses to go to our next stop, the highlands of Monteverde!