Corcovado Overview

Corcovado National Park, located on the Osa Peninsula in southwestern Costa Rica, is one of the most biologically diverse places on earth. Established in 1975, the park covers an area of approximately 424 square kilometers (about 164 square miles), making it the largest national park in Costa Rica. This remote wilderness is celebrated for its pristine rainforests, unspoiled beaches, and its significant role in the conservation of rare and endangered species.

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Golfo Dulce, Corcovado National Park is a true treasure trove of biodiversity. It is home to 13 major ecosystems, ranging from lowland rainforest and highland cloud forest to coastal marine and beach habitats. The park’s dense jungles and vast wilderness areas provide a sanctuary for an astonishing variety of wildlife, including over 500 species of trees, 140 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, and 116 species of amphibians and reptiles. Notably, Corcovado is one of the last strongholds for the endangered Central American tapir and harbors significant populations of jaguars, scarlet macaws, and harpy eagles.

The park’s rugged terrain and remote location have helped preserve its untouched beauty, offering visitors an unparalleled opportunity to experience nature in its most raw and vibrant form. Hiking through Corcovado’s trails allows adventurers to immerse themselves in the heart of the rainforest, explore deserted beaches, and encounter wildlife in their natural habitat. The park’s rivers and lagoons also provide unique opportunities for wildlife viewing and are essential to the park’s ecological balance.

Corcovado National Park is not just a haven for biodiversity; it’s a living laboratory for scientific research and environmental education. Its conservation is critical for understanding tropical ecosystems and the challenges they face in the modern world. For those seeking an authentic wilderness experience, Corcovado offers a profound journey into one of the planet’s most spectacular natural environments, embodying the essence of wild Costa Rica.

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Park Map
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Corcovado National Park Highlights


Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica stands as one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet, a verdant paradise teeming with an extraordinary variety of wildlife. Its remote and unspoiled wilderness attracts nature lovers and researchers eager to explore its rich ecosystems and observe the incredible array of life thriving within.

Baird’s Tapir – The largest mammal in Central America, Baird’s Tapir is a gentle giant, often found near water bodies within the dense forest.

Scarlet Macaw – With vibrant red, yellow, and blue plumage, the Scarlet Macaw is a symbol of tropical biodiversity, flying across Corcovado’s skies.

Jaguar – The elusive Jaguar, the Americas’ largest cat, prowls the park’s vast landscapes, a magnificent predator atop the food chain.

Ocelot – Smaller than the jaguar, the Ocelot’s spotted coat helps it blend into the underbrush, where it hunts at night.

White-faced Capuchin Monkey – Intelligent and social, these monkeys are a common sight, foraging and playing in the trees above.

Squirrel Monkey – The smallest of the park’s primates, Squirrel Monkeys move in large troops through the canopy, their chattering and playful antics a delight.

Howler Monkey – Known for their deep, resonant howls that can be heard for miles, Howler Monkeys mark their presence at dawn and dusk.

Fer-de-lance Snake – One of the most venomous snakes in the region, the Fer-de-lance is both revered and feared, a master ambush predator.

Harpy Eagle – Although rare, the Harpy Eagle is one of the most powerful birds of prey, hunting medium-sized mammals in Corcovado’s treetops.

Red-eyed Tree Frog – Iconic for its vivid colors and bulging red eyes, this nocturnal amphibian is emblematic of Costa Rica’s rich amphibian life.

Resplendent Quetzal – Though more elusive in Corcovado, the Quetzal is revered for its striking beauty and long, iridescent tail feathers, a treasure for birdwatchers.

Corcovado National Park’s diverse inhabitants, from the stealthy jaguar to the flamboyant scarlet macaw, showcase the unparalleled natural beauty and ecological importance of Costa Rica’s protected areas, drawing attention to the need for ongoing conservation efforts.

Corcovado National Park Pictures

Engaging Corcovado National Park

Embark on unforgettable hiking and trekking adventures through Corcovado’s dense rainforests and rugged terrain. Explore a network of trails that lead to stunning waterfalls, hidden lagoons, and panoramic viewpoints, providing a glimpse into the park’s diverse ecosystems and captivating landscapes.

Join knowledgeable guides on wildlife tours to maximize your chances of encountering Corcovado’s iconic inhabitants. Learn about the park’s ecology, conservation efforts, and the behaviors of its resident wildlife while exploring its pristine wilderness with expert assistance.

Unwind on the park’s pristine beaches and enjoy the tranquil ambiance of its coastal areas. Take leisurely strolls along sandy shores, swim in crystal-clear waters, and admire scenic coastal vistas. Explore hidden coves, tidal pools, and rocky outcrops, or venture out on boat tours to discover the rich marine life that inhabits the surrounding waters.

Corcovado National Park Trails

La Leona to Sirena Trail

Rating: Difficult

Distance and Elevation Gain: 10 miles (16 km) one way with minimal elevation gain

Description: This trail connects La Leona Ranger Station to Sirena Ranger Station, traversing pristine beaches and dense rainforest. Hikers can expect to see an abundance of wildlife, including monkeys, coatis, and possibly tapirs.

The beach sections offer beautiful ocean views but require careful timing with the tides. It’s a challenging, full-day hike that immerses travelers in the untouched beauty of Corcovado.

Sirena Loop Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: Varies, about 3 to 5 miles (5 to 8 km) with minimal elevation gain

Description: Starting from Sirena Ranger Station, this loop trail offers a more accessible exploration of Corcovado’s interior, including river crossings and primary rainforest.

It’s known for high chances of wildlife sightings, including the elusive jaguar and Baird’s tapir.

The loop can be adjusted for length, making it a flexible option for day hikers based at the Sirena station.

El Tigre Trail

Rating: Moderate to Difficult

Distance and Elevation Gain: 11 miles (18 km) one way with significant elevation gain in parts

Description: This trail is less traveled and offers an adventurous route from Dos Brazos de Rio Tigre to the heart of the park.

Hikers will navigate through secondary and primary forests, experiencing the park’s biodiversity and potential wildlife encounters.

It’s a challenging route recommended for experienced hikers, offering solitude and a deep connection with nature.

Los Patos to Sirena Trail

Rating: Difficult

Distance and Elevation Gain: 13 miles (20 km) one way with minimal elevation gain

Description: Connecting Los Patos Ranger Station to Sirena Ranger Station, this trail cuts across the park through some of the most remote and dense rainforests in Costa Rica.

The path offers an intense jungle experience, with opportunities to see a wide range of tropical wildlife.

Due to its length and the challenging terrain, it’s recommended for very fit and experienced hikers.

San Pedrillo Waterfall Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 3.7 miles (6 km) round trip with some elevation gain

Description: Beginning from the San Pedrillo Ranger Station, this trail leads to a stunning waterfall deep within the rainforest.

Along the way, hikers can enjoy the rich flora and fauna of Corcovado, including diverse bird species and possibly monkeys.

The waterfall offers a refreshing swimming spot, making this hike a rewarding half-day adventure for those looking to experience the park’s natural beauty without the commitment of a full-day trek.

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