Corcovado National Park

Corcovado National Park is located in southwestern Costa Rica as part of the Osa Peninsula. The park covers an area of 164 square miles (424 sq km). As the largest park in the country, the park boundaries cover about 33 percent of the entire Osa Peninsula.

Corcovado protects the greatest collection of primary forest on the American Pacific coastline as well as one of the few remaining lowland tropical forests of significant area throughout the world.

There are several rivers within the boundaries of the park. The level of tide can affect the rivers and create more challenging efforts to cross. American crocodiles and spectacled caiman can be seen along the river banks while bull sharks might be present in the mouths of the rivers where they dump into the Laguna. 

Other marine life includes green, hawksbill, leatherback, and Pacific Ridley sea turtles with the neighboring Ballena National Marine Park featuring humpback whale, Bryde’s whale, spinner dolphins, rough-toothed dolphin, false killer whales and killer whales. The majority of these are seasonal migrants.

The wildlife on land includes white faced capuchin, spider monkey, mantled howler, and the squirrel monkey accounting for all of Costa Rica’s monkey species. Predators include jaguar, cougar, jaguarundi, margay and ocelot. Sightings are challenging because of the elusive nature of each of these cats.

Some of the more intriguing species of wildlife include the two and three-toed sloths, coati, hermit crab, giant anteaters, and the endangered Baird’s tapir. The skies are colored with scarlet macaws, hummingbirds, and 220 species of butterflies.

Highlights

  • Rich biodiversity
  • Beach and tropical forest serenity

The rich biodiversity and tranquility of the lowland tropical forests combined with the serenity of the beaches makes hanging out at Corcovado a highlight itself. National Geographic once referred to Corcovado as “the most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity.”

The 5 miles (8 km) trail known as Sendero El Tigre meanders throughout the park providing encounters with flora and fauna and serenity. Although easily accessible, it is a long trail taking anywhere from 6 to 8 hours to complete.

Sources:

Britannica, Corcovado National Park, https://www.britannica.com/place/Corcovado-National-Park, retrieved September 2019.

Costa Rica, Visiting Corcovdado National Park, https://costarica.org/national-parks/corcovado/, retrieved September 2019.

Costa Rica Guide, Corcovado National Park, https://costa-rica-guide.com/nature/national-parks/corcovado/, retrieved July 2019.

Go Visit Costa Rica, Corcovado National Park, https://www.govisitcostarica.com/region/city.asp?cID=350, retrieved September 2019.

SINACA, Corcovado National Park, http://www.sinac.go.cr/EN-US/ac/acosa/pnc/Pages/default.aspx, retrieved September 2019.