Covering one-third of the Osa Peninsula on the Pacific coast near the Panamanian border, Corcovado is one of the country's wildest and most remote parks. Its thick forests, deserted beaches and swamps are home to most of the country's endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs, scarlet macaws, four kinds of monkeys, poison dart frogs and crocodiles.
Choose your accommodations carefully—there are quite a few lodges in the area, but many of them are basic (and not all have electricity). Each offers different activities, too—from horseback riding to deep-sea fishing. There are also bunks and camping space at the Sirena ranger station, but they must be reserved at the MINAE ranger station in Puerto Jimenez.
On the northern edge of the park, you'll find the Rio Claro National Wildlife Refuge (formerly Marenco Biological Reserve). This private reserve is sometimes visited by ships after they cruise through the remote Golfo Dulce, and passengers are brought in on small motorized boats.
Although the park is petite (1,235 acres/500 hectares), its location near the immense Corcovado National Park means there are many more rain-forest animals than you'd expect in so few acres/hectares. This area is especially good for seeing scarlet macaws. The most popular trail is to the Rio Claro's cascades and beautiful swimming hole.
The best time to visit is December-April. Contact the Corcovado National Park to inquire about park accessibility during the rainy season. Phone 506-2735-5036. http://www.anywherecostarica.com/attractions/national-park/corcovado.
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