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LOOKING FOR A TRAVEL ADVENTURE IN OSA PENINSULA?
Extending out more than 50 kilometers into the Pacific, it protects Golfo Dulce from the tides and creates a magnificent natural port. Here you will find picturesque beaches and rocky Mountains; this area is also irrigated by the rivers and streams that contain water from the waterfalls that are scattered throughout the volcanic cliffs. The most majestic forests in Costa Rica cover the hills and the valleys of this Peninsula; there are a lot of species of flora and fauna that inhabit this area, endemic to the Pacific Coast of the county, which are in danger of extinction. The indigenous of this region the Diquis where the first inhabitants of the Peninsula. They were good goldsmiths, and made religious pieces and artifacts from gold that they found in the Tigre and Claro rivers.
Choose between these 17 exiting destinations in the Southern area
COSTA RICAN SOUTHERN AREA MAP
WHERE TO GO & WHAT TO DO
You are about to learn about 17 of the most important and exiting places in the Costa Rican Osa Peninsula and Corcovado.
2. DRAKE BAY
It is an area rich in history from the XVI century as well as natural history. It is said that Sir Francis Drake the first English sailor, sailed rounds the world and visited this bay in March of 1579. The bay is only a few kilometers to the north of the Corcovado National Park; you can visit it from here, as well as the Caño Island reserve. To the south of Drake Bay, there is the Marenco Biological Station with an extension of 500 hectares along the coast. Punta Agujitas is a village in the Bay with a grocery store, a public telephone, a school and cabins.
3. COCALITO BEACH
Some kilometers from the village, there is a road that takes you to Cocalito Beach. The majority of this coastal area is rocky, this beach is best for swimming, during low tide.
A 30-minute walk from Drake Bay, this isolated beach is only about 200 feet in length. Playa Cocalito is often completely deserted, despite its close proximity to the small hotels in the area. Monkeys inhabit the rainforest that borders the shore, and snorkelers can spot a slew of marine life offshore when waters are calm.
4. ROUTE DRAKE BAY TO CORCOVADO
You can walk from Bahía Drake to Corcovado, along the coast, it will take you around four to seven hours to arrive at the San Pedrillo forest post, and from there the footpaths continue through the park. Low tide is best for trips along the coast.
5. CAÑO ISLAND BIOLOGICAL RESERVE
It is located in the Pacific Ocean, opposite the Corcovado National Park in the Osa Peninsula, approximately 15 hours out to sea from San Pedrillo and 20 km to the west of Drake. Created by the Law Nº 6215 on the 9th of March 1978. It has an extension of 200 hectares of land and 2.700 hectares of sea. The island is of great archeological importance, during Pre-Columbian times it was used as an indigenous cemetery. Entry for visitors to the island costs 6 US$ per person and 3.50 US$ per person a day to go scuba diving.
6. CORCOVADO NATIONAL PARK
It is located on the Pacific Coast. Peninsula de Osa. Created by executive decree Nº 5357ª, on the 24th of October 1975. With an extension of 54.538.9 hectares on land and 2400 hectares of sea. It is an important sanctuary of biodiversity and species that are in danger of extinction.
7. CORCOVADO VIA PUERTO JIMENEZ
From the Interamericana to Puerto Jiménez. A 78 km road joins the Interamericana in Chacarita where there is a gas station, with Puerto Jiménez. It is an asphalt road which is bad condition for about 45 km of the way, this road will take you to the village of Rincón, continue for a further 33 km along a gravel road until you reach Puerto Jiménez. From Rincón, a road that is in very bad condition takes you to the Drake Bay coast, there is a daily bus from Rincón to Rancho Quemado, following this route, this route is only for 4X4 vehicles. Some 9 km to the southeast of Rincón there is the village La Palma, a road leads to the Los Patos forest post. In the village there are restaurants, grocery stores and hotels.
8. PUERTO JIMENEZ
To the east, on the outskirts of the Corcovado National Park you will find Puerto Jiménez, the most important population on the Osa Peninsula which is also the entrance to the park. It is a pleasant place, with a good tourism infrastructure; there is also an ecotourism chamber that can recommend guides and they organize visits to the peninsula. In Puerto Jiménez you can stay and eat here paying economical prices; you can also go on tours in the surrounding areas to suites all budgets. You can get here by car and by boat. It is seven hours from San José and the majority of the hotels and places to stay organize trips. You can also get here via water, take a boat in Golfito.
9. PLATANARES BEACH
About 5 km east of town, the long, secluded – and often deserted – Playa Platanares is excellent for swimming, sunning and recovering from too much adventure. The nearby mangroves of Río Platanares are a paradise for kayaking and birdwatching. Take the road that runs parallel to the airstrip.
10. CABO MATAPALO
Some 20 km on a dirt road, where you have to cross over three rivers, it is transitable but you will need a 4X4 at any time you choose to visit during the year.
The Osa Peninsula offers breathtaking beauty and a a huge amount of biodiversity – which makes it a perfect place for adventures! Osa Tropical can arrange any type of tour for you, from whale and dolphin watching, to snorkeling, hiking, birdwatching, and canopy tours. Browse through our tours on offer – and just let us know what you’d like to do. Cabo Matapalo is a small village on the very tip of the Osa Peninsula. The beaches around Matapalo, including Playa Matapalo, Backwash, and Pan Dulce, are known for being the best surf spots in the world. Matapalo is secluded and private, and makes for a perfect vacation spot. Osa Tropical works with the majority of vacation rental homes in and around Matapalo. Most of the vacation houses are located directly on the beach or just a short walk to the beaches, and have amazing ocean views. Matapalo is also close to Corcovado National Park, one of the most biologically diverse places on earth. Just an hour drive away is Carate, the entrance of the National Park. All of Matapalo is also surrounded by beautiful rainforest, which connects to the national park. You’ll see a variety of wildlife, such as monkeys, anteaters, agouties, and scarlet macaws – right outside of your vacation rental.
11. CARATE BEACH
Some 45 km along a dirt road that runs along the Osa Peninsula until it ends in Carate, close to the Corcovado National Park. The road is transitable but you will need a 4X4.
Lying in the gorgeous Osa Peninsula in the southern region of Puntarenas province, is located right next to the amazingly beautiful Corcovado National Park on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Is situated near the La Leona Ranger Station on the eastern end of Corcovado National Park, around 50 km south from Drake Bay. Surrounded by lush green tropical primary rainforests.
To the north of Golfo Dulce. Located on the west coast of the Golfo Dulce, is an area that is protected by islands and peninsulas that form a perfect port in the Gulf. In 1938, the United Fruit Company saw great potential in Golfito and built a cargo port. In 1955 more than 90% of banana exportation from Costa Rica was placed on the “Great White Float” that departed from this port. After several strikes and conflicts with the workers, the United Fruit Company decided to shut down and leave Golfito in 1985.
The deposit is a duty free area, where you can find televisions, fridges, stereos and electrical appliances 40% cheaper than in San Jose. You will need to spend 24 hours in the village.
La Capitanía de Puerto + 506 2775-0487, office hours from Monday to Friday 07:30 a.m to 04:00 p.m, the port captain is available after 04:00 p.m. The Migration Office + 506 2775-0423, Located on the first floor of the U.C.R after the hospital, open from 08:00 a.m to 04:00 p.m.
The Post Office + 506 2775-1911, Located in Bº Pueblo Civil opposite the plaza, it has a public fax service. Contact the Hospital de Golfito + 506 2775-1001, for any emergency.
13. CACAO BEACH
This beach is opposite Golfito, and the views of the bay and the port and surrounding rainforest make this an interesting journey by boat.
How to arrive and leave
The journey on boat from Golfito lasts only 5 minutes and costs 2 US$ per person.
14. SAN JOSECITO BEACH
To the north of Golfo Dulce. To the north of Punta Encanto, San Josecito beach, it is a quiet place offering accommodation. There are boat taxis that depart from Golfito and go along the coast to the North east of Golfo Dulce, passing by some beaches. At the edge of the coast there is a protected rainforest from the Piedras Blancas National Park.
15. ZANCUDO BEACH
To the south of Golfo Dulce. Next to the mouth of the Coto Colorado River, some 15 km to the south of Golfito, it is a sandy beach which is 6km long and has gentle waves. In the extreme south, the waves are large enough to go surfing. There are mangroves in the surrounding area of the river mouth where you will be able to see wildlife such as crocodiles, monkeys and birds.
16. PAVONES BEACH
Between the mouth of the Coto River to the south of Golfito and Punta Banco, where the coast goes out to sea before the Panamanian border, there is one of the most secluded beaches in Costa Rica. With an extension of 8 kilometers, and an excellent place to go surfing, on the Pacific Central American coast, it has the second largest left in the world; it is located 15 km to the south of Zancudo.
17. TISKITA JUNGLE LODGE PRIVATE BIOLOGICAL RESERVE
It is an experimental farm dedicated to the cultivation of fruit located in Punta Banco, some 80 km to the south of Golfito, 6 km to the south of Pavones and 10 km on the border with Panamá. It has an extension of 160 hectares, with 100 hectares being primary rainforest. It also has a coastline with natural swimming pools that fill up when the tide is in, and beaches that are perfect for swimming. It is managed by Peter Aspinall, who has a tropical orchard with fruits from all over the world. In the rainforest there are several footpaths, waterfalls and natural swimming pools.