Pura Vida Jungle Trip

14 days and 13 nights exploring Corcovado Nacional Parque and surrounding area

January 31 through February 10, 2023

 
This trip is only for those who are in excellent health and are capable of carrying a 30# pack 12 miles over difficult terrain in very hot weather. Thigh to waist high water crossings are possible.
Caesar, our guide, will lead guide us on a 10-12 mile hike to the Sirena Ranger station. This hike is the most strenuous part of the trip due to the combination of distance, heat, and difficult terrain. Most of the trail is relatively flat, but there are short distances that may require scrambling. There are at least 2 water crossings that vary with the tide, but could be thigh to waist deep, and at least 2 or 3 miles of the trail are on hot, sun exposed soft sand beach. We’ll be carrying our packs with lots of water for the hike, and the gear and clothing we need for the next 5 days. You must have recent similar or equivalent experience.

All the nitty gritty details and fun stuff!

This trip is strenuous in parts, but the payoff is awesome! It is PACKED with opportunities for wildlife viewing.  We’ll be hiking into the heart of the Corcovado National Park, dubbed “The most bio-intense place on the planet” by National Geographic. The Osa Peninsula is teeming with wildlife and the highly protected Corcovado is a sanctuary for most of the species found on the Osa. We’ll also visit Cano Island, located in a marine sanctuary, and will have the opportunity to snorkel protected reefs just off the island. We will also spend some time volunteering at a sea turtle sanctuary and touring the Gulfo Dulce watching for dolphins. If that’s not enough, we’ll also kayak the mangroves. All the details are listed below.

Other things to expect include mouthwatering, nutritious, farm to table meals, simple but clean and comfortable accommodations, expert guides, and the company of likeminded adventurers. Expect to be unplugged! No internet, A/C or blow dryers; and no worries!  And be prepared to be flexible. This part of CR is off the beaten path and has not been “Disney-fied” for U.S. tourists. I’ve been visiting the Osa since 2011, and no trip has ever gone exactly according to plan. But it is always fun and always an adventure! The outfitters are small but reputable. Safety is always top priority, and Costa Ricans are wonderful hosts. 

Tentative itinerary:

30 or 31st of January:

arrive in San Jose, CR; ON OWN. You will make your own travel arrangements to San Jose, CR.

Book your flight ...

Book your flight into the SJO airport. Right now, both American and United have fares around or under $800 RT. (I saw one American flight for $660!) If you can arrive before noon (often not possible), you’ll be able to catch a puddle hopper flight to the Osa Peninsula on the same day. But if you cannot arrive before noon, no worries… we have arranged for a special rate of $126/person at the Adventure Inn, near the SJO airport. If you are OK with sharing a room with someone in the group, the price drops to $74 per person. The hotel has comfortable rooms, free airport shuttle, a pool, and includes a full breakfast.

31st January:

Flight from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez; Transfer to Carate; 3 nights stay at Finca Exotica Eco Lodge with all meals included (tiki tents)

Finca Exotica, where you neighbors swing from the trees ...

Take the free airport shuttle back to SJO airport for your puddle hopper flight (Sansa Airlines) to the Osa Peninsula. As your 14-seater plane begins dropping down over the water to land on the small airstrip in the tiny town of Puerto Jimenez, you’ll know your adventure is about to begin. When the plane comes to a stop at the end of the runway, you’ll see a handful of trucks and 4WD taxis waiting just off the tarmac to pick up their clients. Someone will be waiting there for you! You’ll wait with the plane on the tarmac as your luggage is unloaded, then will pick up your bags and carry them to the waiting taxi at the end of the runway. Bienvenido a Costa Rica y Pura Vida!! Your driver will transport you to Carate where our eco lodge, Finca Exotica, is located. It’s about an hour’s drive over rutted dirt roads, that sometimes have pot holes big enough to hide a Volkswagen. There may be river crossings and the possibility of wildlife sightings on our way. Welcome to the jungle!

Finca Exoctica is just off the beach, is surrounded by primary rainforest and is adjacent to Corcovado National Park.  Don’t be surprised by wildlife visits! Monkeys, anteaters, and scarlet macaws, among others, are all locals here. Once we’ve arrived, we’ll settle into our assigned Tiki Tents; 2 people per tent, unless you’ve opted for a single upgrade. What’s a Tiki Tent you may ask? It’s a small, fully screened tent built on a bamboo platform, with either a double bed for couples, or 2 twin beds for singles. Simple and sweet!

Our 3-night stay at Finca Exotica will serve as a warmup for our trek into the heart of Corcovado that begins on day 5.

1st February:

Finca Exotica Eco Lodge

Our first day in the rainforest ...

It’s up and at ‘em early this morning! We’ll be hiking into Corcovado National Park for a guided bird watch. Corcovado is home to a staggering 450 species of birds, including the colorful (and loud!) scarlet macaw. Our guide will help us spot and identify birds by their behavior, their silhouette, their plumage, and their songs. Bring a good pair of binoculars if you have them!

The rest of the day will be spent your way… walk the grounds, beach comb, swim, nap in a hammock, hang out with new and old friends at the lodge… your choice! You might also want to consider a tour of Finca Exotica’s EXTENSIVE gardens. They grow more than 130 different tropical fruits, greens for salads, herbs and medicinal plants. Much of the food we will be served at Finca Exotica will be produce they have grown right there on their 90 hectares of property.

Or choose to hangout at the beach house where you’ll find towels, boogie boards, a pool table, books and other ways to have a blast. The day will go quickly!

2nd February:

Finca Exotica Eco Lodge

Spend the day your way ...

Today we’ll reverse things and have a leisurely morning and afternoon, spending the day your way. There is plenty to keep you occupied! But in the evening, we’ll gather after dinner for a guided night hike in the jungle. A walk in the rainforest after dark is an amazing experience. The sounds, sights and even the smells are different. Mostly we’ll see a variety of amphibians and reptiles, and lot’s and lot’s of insects and other arthropods. The jungle is even more fascinating after dark than during the lush and vibrant day time.

3rd February:

Transfer to sea turtle project site after breakfast; 2 nights’ accommodation at sea turtle project with all meals included.

Giving back – Sea Turtles ...

My friend Phoebe, who worked with me to make all the arrangements for this trip, is from Great Britain and originally came to Costa Rica to work on a sea turtle project as a marine biologist. She has relationships with several sea turtle project teams in the area and is making arrangements for us to spend 2 days learning more about these beautiful, endangered animals while providing volunteer service. The exact nature of our volunteer work will be determined down the road. It could be something like a “dawn patrol” search of the beach to look for new nests, or it could be providing some sort of manual labor at the sea turtle sanctuary. We’ll be “living” at the sea turtle sanctuary for a couple of days, spending 2 nights there.

4th February:

Volunteering

Day 2 of Sea Turtle volunteering ...

This is our second day at the sea turtle project, giving back and making a difference. We’ll get more information about what our service project will be when it is closer to trip time.

5th February: Transfer to Carate after breakfast; Guided hike from La Leona ranger station to Sirena ranger station; 4 nights stay at Sirena ranger station with dinner on first day to breakfast last day included (entrance pass included for all days)

Our drivers will pick us up in the morning and will transfer us to Carate – which is the very end of the road! From here, we will hike about 4K along the beach to the La Leona Ranger Station, the entrance to Corcovado National Park. Our guide, Caesar, will meet us at the ranger station with our admission passes. We’ve used Caesar several times over the past 10+ years and he is a skilled guide and exceptional wildlife spotter.

Repeat: Caesar will guide us on a 10-12 mile hike to the Sirena Ranger station. This hike is the most strenuous part of the trip due to the combination of distance, heat, and difficult terrain. Most of the trail is relatively flat, but there are short distances that may require scrambling. There are at least 2 water crossings that vary with the tide, but could be thigh to waist deep, and at least 2 or 3 miles of the trail are on hot, sun exposed soft sand beach. We’ll be carrying our packs with lots of water for the hike, and the gear and clothing we need for the next 5 days. This is not an easy hike.

Once we reach Sirena, we’ll be assigned to our bunks in an open-air, dormitory style building. Each bunk bed is enclosed in its own mosquito net. The station is set up to serve groups of students and scientists, and has a large, shared bathroom area with toilets, showers, and a bank of sinks. There is potable water, and a small sink where you can hand wash clothes if you need to. Meals are communal in the dining hall and each group will be issued a serving time. Don’t show up late or you may miss your dinner!

6th February: Corcovado National Park

Today and the next 3 days we will hike out with Caesar to spot and hopefully catch some great pictures of wildlife. The park and its wildlife are highly protected. There are technically 6 entrances into Corcovado National Park, but most of them are only accessible on foot or by boat. There are no roads in the park, no one may hike in the park without at guide, and camping is prohibited. This means that the animals there have little contact with people; and THAT means we can observe them behaving naturally, in their natural habitat. There are 4 species of monkeys, 2 species of sloths, at least 2 species of anteaters, and critters you’ve probably never seen anywhere such as tapirs, coatimundis and peccaries. We have seen all of these and many other animals in Corcovado over the years we’ve been visiting. If we are REALLY lucky, we could possibly see one of the 5 species of big cats that also call Corcovado home: puma, ocelot, margay, jaguarundi, and jaguar. They are nocturnal and very shy of humans, so actually spotting one is rare and cause for excitement for everyone.

7th February: Corcovado National Park

Today and tomorrow will again be spent hiking and spotting wildlife with Caesar. We’ll head off in different directions each day and the plan may change as Caesar gets reports of animals in specific areas. Depending on timing, weather, tides, and animal reports, we may have the opportunity on one of the 3 days to wade or swim in the Rio Claro. Hanging out in the shade with just your feet in the water is always an option as well. (You may get splashed, but you better believe that would feel good!)

8th February: Corcovado National Park

Our final day wildlife spotting with Caesar.

9th February: Transfer from Sirena ranger station to Cano Island; Cano Island snorkeling (entrance pass, snorkeling gear & lunch included); Transfer to Sierpe; 1 night stay at Hotel Cocodrilo with breakfast included

This morning we will depart Corcovado by boat. Expect a wet landing on the beach. Caesar will accompany us in our small boat about 20 kilometers offshore into the Pacific to Cano Island. The boat ride is about an hour in open ocean. If you’re prone to sea sickness, you’ll want to talk to your doctor about Dramamine or something similar before you come.

Cano Island is in the middle of another highly protected park. This one, a marine biological reserve. While at Cano Island, we’ll have time to snorkel a living (recovering) reef where marine life is abundant. Visibility is great and in previous visits, we have seen white tipped reef sharks, huge, swirling schools of jack fish, sea turtles, star fish, and scores of other species of fish, all colors of the rainbow and sizes ranging from teeny tiny to longer than your arm. If you’re not a snorkeler, you are welcome to wait on the boat, as we’ll all get back on board the same boat when we’re ready to move on. Here is a great blog post someone wrote about snorkeling at Cano Island. https://mytanfeet.com/activities/snorkeling-at-cano-island/

After boating and snorkeling, the boat captain will beach us on Cano Island where we have the opportunity to get out and hike up to an overlook. We’ll also eat our packed lunch near the beach.

Our small boat is perfect for the ride from Cano Island to the tiny town of Sierpe. The route takes us through a huge mangrove forest. We’ll travel by way of the main estuary but will have the opportunity to get up close to the mangroves and to learn a bit about the critical role they play in a healthy coastal ecosystem.

Sierpe is the jumping off point for many visitors heading to Drake Bay and to Corcovado for guided day hikes. You can expect it to be bustling! We’ll have dinner in town and will spend the night at Hotel Cocodrilo. This simple but comfortable hotel has a pool that might feel refreshing after our long day!

10th February: Transfer from Sierpe to Golfito with stop at Sphere museum; Sphere museum entrance pass; Flight from Golfito to San Jose

Today we say, “Adios y muchas gracias!!” to Caesar. We’ll be picked up by drivers who will transport us to Golfito. But first we’ll swing by Finca #6 to visit the fascinating Sphere Museum. If you don’t have a full 2 weeks for your trip, there is an option to fly out of Golfito on this day, making it an 11 day, 10 night trip. For those who have more time, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the activities of the next 2 days!!

10th February: 3 nights stay at Vista Castillo (all meals included)

Vista Castillo in Golfito is right on the water with beautiful views and its own pool. This will be “home base” for the last few days of our trip.

11th February: Mangrove kayaking

The mangrove forests of the Osa Peninsula play several vital roles in protecting the shoreline and the marine life of the Golfo Dulce. These dense forests that grow with their roots in the water along the shoreline help break up big waves dissipating their energy when storms hit the area. They protect against erosion and soil loss from storm surges, they provide important habitat for dozens of species of birds, and they serve as nurseries for marine life, giving young fish a better chance of becoming large enough to survive in a watery world full of predators.

We’ll spend a few hours on this day kayaking in Golfo Dulce and will get up close and personal with some mangrove species as we learn more about them.

12th February: Dolphin Watching & snorkeling boat tour with animal sanctuary visit

Today we’ll meet Phoebe, owner operator of Changing Tides Tours, and her boat captain for a boat tour and dolphin watch. We’ll spend most of the day cruising the Golfo Dulce looking for the 2 species of dolphins that live year-round here in the gulf, as well as any other marine life that might care to show itself. Golfo Dulce, translated “Sweet Water” is one of only 3 tropical fjords in the world. It’s depth and warm waters make it a perfect nursery for large marine animals, and whales from both the northern and southern hemispheres come here to have their babies.

The tour will include a visit to an animal sanctuary for one last chance to see and learn about more of the wildlife of the Osa Peninsula. We will also have the opportunity to swim and snorkel or to just enjoy being on the boat. There will be snacks and music and it is not unknown for spontaneous dancing to break out on the boat deck!

13th February: Transfer to Golfito Airport; Flight from Golfito to San Jose

Muy triste! Now it is time to say adios and Pura Vida to my favorite spot on the planet. We’ll be transported to the Golfito airport for our Sansa flight into San Jose. The Sansa flight times usually start early in the morning so it will probably not be difficult to book your flight from San Jose back to the US for the same day. However, if for any reason you do not leave San Jose on the 13th, you may again take advantage of the special arrangements we made for single rooms at Adventure Inn at $126/person; or double rooms for $74/person.

5th February:

Transfer to Carate after breakfast; Guided hike from La Leona ranger station to Sirena ranger station; 4 nights stay at Sirena ranger station with dinner on first day to breakfast last day included (entrance pass included for all days)

A challenging hike ...

Our drivers will pick us up in the morning and will transfer us to Carate – which is the very end of the road! From here, we will hike about 4K along the beach to the La Leona Ranger Station, the entrance to Corcovado National Park. Our guide, Caesar, will meet us at the ranger station with our admission passes. We’ve used Caesar several times over the past 10+ years and he is a skilled guide and exceptional wildlife spotter.

Repeat: Caesar will guide us on a 10-12 mile hike to the Sirena Ranger station. This hike is the most strenuous part of the trip due to the combination of distance, heat, and difficult terrain. Most of the trail is relatively flat, but there are short distances that may require scrambling. There are at least 2 water crossings that vary with the tide, but could be thigh to waist deep, and at least 2 or 3 miles of the trail are on hot, sun exposed soft sand beach. We’ll be carrying our packs with lots of water for the hike, and the gear and clothing we need for the next 5 days. This is not an easy hike.

Once we reach Sirena, we’ll be assigned to our bunks in an open-air, dormitory style building. Each bunk bed is enclosed in its own mosquito net. The station is set up to serve groups of students and scientists, and has a large, shared bathroom area with toilets, showers, and a bank of sinks. There is potable water, and a small sink where you can hand wash clothes if you need to. Meals are communal in the dining hall and each group will be issued a serving time. Don’t show up late or you may miss your dinner!

6th February: Corcovado National Park

            The most bio-intense place on the planet

Today and the next 3 days we will hike out with Caesar to spot and hopefully catch some great pictures of wildlife. The park and its wildlife are highly protected. There are technically 6 entrances into Corcovado National Park, but most of them are only accessible on foot or by boat. There are no roads in the park, no one may hike in the park without at guide, and camping is prohibited. This means that the animals there have little contact with people; and THAT means we can observe them behaving naturally, in their natural habitat. There are 4 species of monkeys, 2 species of sloths, at least 2 species of anteaters, and critters you’ve probably never seen anywhere such as tapirs, coatimundis and peccaries. We have seen all of these and many other animals in Corcovado over the years we’ve been visiting. If we are REALLY lucky, we could possibly see one of the 5 species of big cats that also call Corcovado home: puma, ocelot, margay, jaguarundi, and jaguar. They are nocturnal and very shy of humans, so actually spotting one is rare and cause for excitement for everyone.  

7th February: Corcovado National Park

            Day two of wildlife spotting

Today and tomorrow will again be spent hiking and spotting wildlife with Caesar. We’ll head off in different directions each day and the plan may change as Caesar gets reports of animals in specific areas. Depending on timing, weather, tides, and animal reports, we may have the opportunity on one of the 3 days to wade or swim in the Rio Claro. Hanging out in the shade with just your feet in the water is always an option as well. (You may get splashed, but you better believe that would feel good!)

8th February: Corcovado National Park

Day three of wildlife spotting

Our final day wildlife spotting with Caesar.

9th February: Transfer from Sirena ranger station to Cano Island; Cano Island snorkeling (entrance pass, snorkeling gear & lunch included); Transfer to Sierpe; 1 night stay at Hotel Cocodrilo with breakfast included

A day in and on the water

This morning we will depart Corcovado by boat. Expect a wet landing on the beach. Caesar will accompany us in our small boat about 20 kilometers offshore into the Pacific to Cano Island. The boat ride is about an hour in open ocean. If you’re prone to sea sickness, you’ll want to talk to your doctor about Dramamine or something similar before you come.

Cano Island is in the middle of another highly protected park. This one, a marine biological reserve. While at Cano Island, we’ll have time to snorkel a living (recovering) reef where marine life is abundant. Visibility is great and in previous visits, we have seen white tipped reef sharks, huge, swirling schools of jack fish, sea turtles, star fish, and scores of other species of fish, all colors of the rainbow and sizes ranging from teeny tiny to longer than your arm. If you’re not a snorkeler, you are welcome to wait on the boat, as we’ll all get back on board the same boat when we’re ready to move on. Here is a great blog post someone wrote about snorkeling at Cano Island. https://mytanfeet.com/activities/snorkeling-at-cano-island/

After boating and snorkeling, the boat captain will beach us on Cano Island where we have the opportunity to get out and hike up to an overlook. We’ll also eat our packed lunch near the beach.

Our small boat is perfect for the ride from Cano Island to the tiny town of Sierpe. The route takes us through a huge mangrove forest. We’ll travel by way of the main estuary but will have the opportunity to get up close to the mangroves and to learn a bit about the critical role they play in a healthy coastal ecosystem.

Sierpe is the jumping off point for many visitors heading to Drake Bay and to Corcovado for guided day hikes. You can expect it to be bustling! We’ll have dinner in town and will spend the night at Hotel Cocodrilo. This simple but comfortable hotel has a pool that might feel refreshing after our long day!

10th February: Transfer from Sierpe to Golfito, Flight from Golfito to San Jose

Return to Golfito, early departure day for some.

Today we say, “Adios y muchas gracias!!” to Caesar. We’ll be picked up by drivers who will transport us to Golfito. But first we’ll swing by Finca #6 to visit the fascinating Sphere Museum. If you don’t have a full 2 weeks for your trip, there is an option to fly out of Golfito on this day, making it an 11 day, 10 night trip. For those who have more time, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the activities of the next 2 days!!

10th February: 3 nights stay at Vista Castillo (all meals included)

Three more days of adventure

Vista Castillo in Golfito is right on the water with beautiful views and its own pool. This will be “home base” for the last few days of our trip.

11th February: Mangrove kayaking

The forest that protects

The mangrove forests of the Osa Peninsula play several vital roles in protecting the shoreline and the marine life of the Golfo Dulce. These dense forests that grow with their roots in the water along the shoreline help break up big waves dissipating their energy when storms hit the area. They protect against erosion and soil loss from storm surges, they provide important habitat for dozens of species of birds, and they serve as nurseries for marine life, giving young fish a better chance of becoming large enough to survive in a watery world full of predators.

We’ll spend a few hours on this day kayaking in Golfo Dulce and will get up close and personal with some mangrove species as we learn more about them.

12th February: Dolphin Watching & snorkeling boat tour with animal sanctuary visit

Another day on the water

Today we’ll meet Phoebe, owner operator of Changing Tides Tours, and her boat captain for a boat tour and dolphin watch. We’ll spend most of the day cruising the Golfo Dulce looking for the 2 species of dolphins that live year-round here in the gulf, as well as any other marine life that might care to show itself. Golfo Dulce, translated “Sweet Water” is one of only 3 tropical fjords in the world. It’s depth and warm waters make it a perfect nursery for large marine animals, and whales from both the northern and southern hemispheres come here to have their babies.

The tour will include a visit to an animal sanctuary for one last chance to see and learn about more of the wildlife of the Osa Peninsula. We will also have the opportunity to swim and snorkel or to just enjoy being on the boat. There will be snacks and music and it is not unknown for spontaneous dancing to break out on the boat deck!

13th February: Transfer to Golfito Airport; Flight from Golfito to San Jose

Muy triste!

Muy triste! Now it is time to say adios and Pura Vida to my favorite spot on the planet. We’ll be transported to the Golfito airport for our Sansa flight into San Jose. The Sansa flight times usually start early in the morning so it will probably not be difficult to book your flight from San Jose back to the US for the same day. However, if for any reason you do not leave San Jose on the 13th, you may again take advantage of the special arrangements we made for single rooms at Adventure Inn at $126/person; or double rooms for $74/person.

6th February:

Corcovado National Park

The most bio-intense place on the planet ...

 

Today and the next 3 days we will hike out with Caesar to spot and hopefully catch some great pictures of wildlife. The park and its wildlife are highly protected. There are technically 6 entrances into Corcovado National Park, but most of them are only accessible on foot or by boat. There are no roads in the park, no one may hike in the park without at guide, and camping is prohibited. This means that the animals there have little contact with people; and THAT means we can observe them behaving naturally, in their natural habitat. There are 4 species of monkeys, 2 species of sloths, at least 2 species of anteaters, and critters you’ve probably never seen anywhere such as tapirs, coatimundis and peccaries. We have seen all of these and many other animals in Corcovado over the years we’ve been visiting. If we are REALLY lucky, we could possibly see one of the 5 species of big cats that also call Corcovado home: puma, ocelot, margay, jaguarundi, and jaguar. They are nocturnal and very shy of humans, so actually spotting one is rare and cause for excitement for everyone.  

7th February: Corcovado National Park

            Day two of wildlife spotting

Today and tomorrow will again be spent hiking and spotting wildlife with Caesar. We’ll head off in different directions each day and the plan may change as Caesar gets reports of animals in specific areas. Depending on timing, weather, tides, and animal reports, we may have the opportunity on one of the 3 days to wade or swim in the Rio Claro. Hanging out in the shade with just your feet in the water is always an option as well. (You may get splashed, but you better believe that would feel good!)

8th February: Corcovado National Park

Day three of wildlife spotting

Our final day wildlife spotting with Caesar.

9th February: Transfer from Sirena ranger station to Cano Island; Cano Island snorkeling (entrance pass, snorkeling gear & lunch included); Transfer to Sierpe; 1 night stay at Hotel Cocodrilo with breakfast included

A day in and on the water

This morning we will depart Corcovado by boat. Expect a wet landing on the beach. Caesar will accompany us in our small boat about 20 kilometers offshore into the Pacific to Cano Island. The boat ride is about an hour in open ocean. If you’re prone to sea sickness, you’ll want to talk to your doctor about Dramamine or something similar before you come.

Cano Island is in the middle of another highly protected park. This one, a marine biological reserve. While at Cano Island, we’ll have time to snorkel a living (recovering) reef where marine life is abundant. Visibility is great and in previous visits, we have seen white tipped reef sharks, huge, swirling schools of jack fish, sea turtles, star fish, and scores of other species of fish, all colors of the rainbow and sizes ranging from teeny tiny to longer than your arm. If you’re not a snorkeler, you are welcome to wait on the boat, as we’ll all get back on board the same boat when we’re ready to move on. Here is a great blog post someone wrote about snorkeling at Cano Island. https://mytanfeet.com/activities/snorkeling-at-cano-island/

After boating and snorkeling, the boat captain will beach us on Cano Island where we have the opportunity to get out and hike up to an overlook. We’ll also eat our packed lunch near the beach.

Our small boat is perfect for the ride from Cano Island to the tiny town of Sierpe. The route takes us through a huge mangrove forest. We’ll travel by way of the main estuary but will have the opportunity to get up close to the mangroves and to learn a bit about the critical role they play in a healthy coastal ecosystem.

Sierpe is the jumping off point for many visitors heading to Drake Bay and to Corcovado for guided day hikes. You can expect it to be bustling! We’ll have dinner in town and will spend the night at Hotel Cocodrilo. This simple but comfortable hotel has a pool that might feel refreshing after our long day!

10th February: Transfer from Sierpe to Golfito, Flight from Golfito to San Jose

Return to Golfito, early departure day for some.

Today we say, “Adios y muchas gracias!!” to Caesar. We’ll be picked up by drivers who will transport us to Golfito. But first we’ll swing by Finca #6 to visit the fascinating Sphere Museum. If you don’t have a full 2 weeks for your trip, there is an option to fly out of Golfito on this day, making it an 11 day, 10 night trip. For those who have more time, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the activities of the next 2 days!!

10th February: 3 nights stay at Vista Castillo (all meals included)

Three more days of adventure

Vista Castillo in Golfito is right on the water with beautiful views and its own pool. This will be “home base” for the last few days of our trip.

11th February: Mangrove kayaking

The forest that protects

The mangrove forests of the Osa Peninsula play several vital roles in protecting the shoreline and the marine life of the Golfo Dulce. These dense forests that grow with their roots in the water along the shoreline help break up big waves dissipating their energy when storms hit the area. They protect against erosion and soil loss from storm surges, they provide important habitat for dozens of species of birds, and they serve as nurseries for marine life, giving young fish a better chance of becoming large enough to survive in a watery world full of predators.

We’ll spend a few hours on this day kayaking in Golfo Dulce and will get up close and personal with some mangrove species as we learn more about them.

12th February: Dolphin Watching & snorkeling boat tour with animal sanctuary visit

Another day on the water

Today we’ll meet Phoebe, owner operator of Changing Tides Tours, and her boat captain for a boat tour and dolphin watch. We’ll spend most of the day cruising the Golfo Dulce looking for the 2 species of dolphins that live year-round here in the gulf, as well as any other marine life that might care to show itself. Golfo Dulce, translated “Sweet Water” is one of only 3 tropical fjords in the world. It’s depth and warm waters make it a perfect nursery for large marine animals, and whales from both the northern and southern hemispheres come here to have their babies.

The tour will include a visit to an animal sanctuary for one last chance to see and learn about more of the wildlife of the Osa Peninsula. We will also have the opportunity to swim and snorkel or to just enjoy being on the boat. There will be snacks and music and it is not unknown for spontaneous dancing to break out on the boat deck!

13th February: Transfer to Golfito Airport; Flight from Golfito to San Jose

Muy triste!

Muy triste! Now it is time to say adios and Pura Vida to my favorite spot on the planet. We’ll be transported to the Golfito airport for our Sansa flight into San Jose. The Sansa flight times usually start early in the morning so it will probably not be difficult to book your flight from San Jose back to the US for the same day. However, if for any reason you do not leave San Jose on the 13th you may again take advantage of the special arrangements we made for single rooms at Adventure Inn at $126/person; or double rooms for $74/person.

7th February:

Corcovado National Park

Day two of wildlife spotting ...

Today and tomorrow will again be spent hiking and spotting wildlife with Caesar. We’ll head off in different directions each day and the plan may change as Caesar gets reports of animals in specific areas. Depending on timing, weather, tides, and animal reports, we may have the opportunity on one of the 3 days to wade or swim in the Rio Claro. Hanging out in the shade with just your feet in the water is always an option as well. (You may get splashed, but you better believe that would feel good!)

8th February: Corcovado National Park

Day three of wildlife spotting

Our final day wildlife spotting with Caesar.

9th February: Transfer from Sirena ranger station to Cano Island; Cano Island snorkeling (entrance pass, snorkeling gear & lunch included); Transfer to Sierpe; 1 night stay at Hotel Cocodrilo with breakfast included

A day in and on the water

This morning we will depart Corcovado by boat. Expect a wet landing on the beach. Caesar will accompany us in our small boat about 20 kilometers offshore into the Pacific to Cano Island. The boat ride is about an hour in open ocean. If you’re prone to sea sickness, you’ll want to talk to your doctor about Dramamine or something similar before you come.

Cano Island is in the middle of another highly protected park. This one, a marine biological reserve. While at Cano Island, we’ll have time to snorkel a living (recovering) reef where marine life is abundant. Visibility is great and in previous visits, we have seen white tipped reef sharks, huge, swirling schools of jack fish, sea turtles, star fish, and scores of other species of fish, all colors of the rainbow and sizes ranging from teeny tiny to longer than your arm. If you’re not a snorkeler, you are welcome to wait on the boat, as we’ll all get back on board the same boat when we’re ready to move on. Here is a great blog post someone wrote about snorkeling at Cano Island. https://mytanfeet.com/activities/snorkeling-at-cano-island/

After boating and snorkeling, the boat captain will beach us on Cano Island where we have the opportunity to get out and hike up to an overlook. We’ll also eat our packed lunch near the beach.

Our small boat is perfect for the ride from Cano Island to the tiny town of Sierpe. The route takes us through a huge mangrove forest. We’ll travel by way of the main estuary but will have the opportunity to get up close to the mangroves and to learn a bit about the critical role they play in a healthy coastal ecosystem.

Sierpe is the jumping off point for many visitors heading to Drake Bay and to Corcovado for guided day hikes. You can expect it to be bustling! We’ll have dinner in town and will spend the night at Hotel Cocodrilo. This simple but comfortable hotel has a pool that might feel refreshing after our long day!

10th February: Transfer from Sierpe to Golfito, Flight from Golfito to San Jose

Return to Golfito, early departure day for some.

Today we say, “Adios y muchas gracias!!” to Caesar. We’ll be picked up by drivers who will transport us to Golfito. But first we’ll swing by Finca #6 to visit the fascinating Sphere Museum. If you don’t have a full 2 weeks for your trip, there is an option to fly out of Golfito on this day, making it an 11 day, 10 night trip. For those who have more time, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the activities of the next 2 days!!

10th February: 3 nights stay at Vista Castillo (all meals included)

Three more days of adventure

Vista Castillo in Golfito is right on the water with beautiful views and its own pool. This will be “home base” for the last few days of our trip.

11th February: Mangrove kayaking

The forest that protects

The mangrove forests of the Osa Peninsula play several vital roles in protecting the shoreline and the marine life of the Golfo Dulce. These dense forests that grow with their roots in the water along the shoreline help break up big waves dissipating their energy when storms hit the area. They protect against erosion and soil loss from storm surges, they provide important habitat for dozens of species of birds, and they serve as nurseries for marine life, giving young fish a better chance of becoming large enough to survive in a watery world full of predators.

We’ll spend a few hours on this day kayaking in Golfo Dulce and will get up close and personal with some mangrove species as we learn more about them.

12th February: Dolphin Watching & snorkeling boat tour with animal sanctuary visit

Another day on the water

Today we’ll meet Phoebe, owner operator of Changing Tides Tours, and her boat captain for a boat tour and dolphin watch. We’ll spend most of the day cruising the Golfo Dulce looking for the 2 species of dolphins that live year-round here in the gulf, as well as any other marine life that might care to show itself. Golfo Dulce, translated “Sweet Water” is one of only 3 tropical fjords in the world. It’s depth and warm waters make it a perfect nursery for large marine animals, and whales from both the northern and southern hemispheres come here to have their babies.

The tour will include a visit to an animal sanctuary for one last chance to see and learn about more of the wildlife of the Osa Peninsula. We will also have the opportunity to swim and snorkel or to just enjoy being on the boat. There will be snacks and music and it is not unknown for spontaneous dancing to break out on the boat deck!

13th February: Transfer to Golfito Airport; Flight from Golfito to San Jose

Muy triste!

Muy triste! Now it is time to say adios and Pura Vida to my favorite spot on the planet. We’ll be transported to the Golfito airport for our Sansa flight into San Jose. The Sansa flight times usually start early in the morning so it will probably not be difficult to book your flight from San Jose back to the US for the same day. However, if for any reason you do not leave San Jose on the 13th you may again take advantage of the special arrangements we made for single rooms at Adventure Inn at $126/person; or double rooms for $74/person.

8th February:

Corcovado National Park

Day three of wildlife spotting ...

Our final day wildlife spotting with Caesar.

9th February:

Transfer from Sirena ranger station to Cano Island; Cano Island snorkeling (entrance pass, snorkeling gear & lunch included); Transfer to Sierpe; 1 night stay at Hotel Cocodrilo with breakfast included

A day in and on the water ...

This morning we will depart Corcovado by boat. Expect a wet landing on the beach. Caesar will accompany us in our small boat about 20 kilometers offshore into the Pacific to Cano Island. The boat ride is about an hour in open ocean. If you’re prone to sea sickness, you’ll want to talk to your doctor about Dramamine or something similar before you come.

Cano Island is in the middle of another highly protected park. This one, a marine biological reserve. While at Cano Island, we’ll have time to snorkel a living (recovering) reef where marine life is abundant. Visibility is great and in previous visits, we have seen white tipped reef sharks, huge, swirling schools of jack fish, sea turtles, star fish, and scores of other species of fish, all colors of the rainbow and sizes ranging from teeny tiny to longer than your arm. If you’re not a snorkeler, you are welcome to wait on the boat, as we’ll all get back on board the same boat when we’re ready to move on. Here is a great blog post someone wrote about snorkeling at Cano Island. https://mytanfeet.com/activities/snorkeling-at-cano-island/

After boating and snorkeling, the boat captain will beach us on Cano Island where we have the opportunity to get out and hike up to an overlook. We’ll also eat our packed lunch near the beach.

Our small boat is perfect for the ride from Cano Island to the tiny town of Sierpe. The route takes us through a huge mangrove forest. We’ll travel by way of the main estuary but will have the opportunity to get up close to the mangroves and to learn a bit about the critical role they play in a healthy coastal ecosystem.

Sierpe is the jumping off point for many visitors heading to Drake Bay and to Corcovado for guided day hikes. You can expect it to be bustling! We’ll have dinner in town and will spend the night at Hotel Cocodrilo. This simple but comfortable hotel has a pool that might feel refreshing after our long day!

10th February:

Transfer from Sierpe to Golfito, Flight from Golfito to San Jose

Return to Golfito, early departure day for some ...

Today we say, “Adios y muchas gracias!!” to Caesar. We’ll be picked up by drivers who will transport us to Golfito. But first we’ll swing by Finca #6 to visit the fascinating Sphere Museum. If you don’t have a full 2 weeks for your trip, there is an option to fly out of Golfito on this day, making it an 11 day, 10 night trip.

For those who have more time, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the activities of the next 2 days!!

February 10 – 13:

3 nights stay at Vista Castillo (all meals included)

Three more days of adventure ...

 

Vista Castillo in Golfito is right on the water with beautiful views and its own pool. This will be “home base” for the last few days of our trip.

11th February: Mangrove kayaking

The forest that protects

The mangrove forests of the Osa Peninsula play several vital roles in protecting the shoreline and the marine life of the Golfo Dulce. These dense forests that grow with their roots in the water along the shoreline help break up big waves dissipating their energy when storms hit the area. They protect against erosion and soil loss from storm surges, they provide important habitat for dozens of species of birds, and they serve as nurseries for marine life, giving young fish a better chance of becoming large enough to survive in a watery world full of predators.

We’ll spend a few hours on this day kayaking in Golfo Dulce and will get up close and personal with some mangrove species as we learn more about them.

12th February: Dolphin Watching & snorkeling boat tour with animal sanctuary visit

Another day on the water

Today we’ll meet Phoebe, owner operator of Changing Tides Tours, and her boat captain for a boat tour and dolphin watch. We’ll spend most of the day cruising the Golfo Dulce looking for the 2 species of dolphins that live year-round here in the gulf, as well as any other marine life that might care to show itself. Golfo Dulce, translated “Sweet Water” is one of only 3 tropical fjords in the world. It’s depth and warm waters make it a perfect nursery for large marine animals, and whales from both the northern and southern hemispheres come here to have their babies.

The tour will include a visit to an animal sanctuary for one last chance to see and learn about more of the wildlife of the Osa Peninsula. We will also have the opportunity to swim and snorkel or to just enjoy being on the boat. There will be snacks and music and it is not unknown for spontaneous dancing to break out on the boat deck!

13th February: Transfer to Golfito Airport; Flight from Golfito to San Jose

Muy triste!

Muy triste! Now it is time to say adios and Pura Vida to my favorite spot on the planet. We’ll be transported to the Golfito airport for our Sansa flight into San Jose. The Sansa flight times usually start early in the morning so it will probably not be difficult to book your flight from San Jose back to the US for the same day. However, if for any reason you do not leave San Jose on the 13th you may again take advantage of the special arrangements we made for single rooms at Adventure Inn at $126/person; or double rooms for $74/person.

Prices:

Total for 14 days and 13 nights: $2,655

Total for 11 days and 10 nights: $2,215

  • Prices are based on minimum of 8 participants

For detailed information on what prices include and how to register, click HERE and send me a message through the contact form. 

What’s included:

  • Puddle hopper flight from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez and return to San Jose from Golfito
  • All transportation from arrival in Puerto Jimenez through departure to San Jose from Golfito
  • All meals except where noted
  • All admission prices and fees for excursions
  • All taxes (there is a 13% tourism tax in Costa Rica)

What’s not included:

  • Airfare to SJO (San Jose) airport
  • Hotel in San Jose (but we have secured a discounted price for you of $126 for a private room at Adventure Inn; free transportation from the airport. Or share a room and it is $74/person.)
  • Tips for guides (typically $5-$10/ activity per participant, but optional)
  • Alcohol
  • Souvenirs or personal purchases

Extras:

  • Add $74 for a shared room at Adventure Inn in San Jose (includes round transport to SJO airport).
  • Add $126 for a private room at Adventure Inn in San Jose (includes round transport to SJO airport).
  • Add $50 extra for a private room at Vista Castillo in Golfito (per night).
  • Add $24 extra for a private room at Hotel Cocodrilo in Sierpe
  • Add $12 for a private tiki tent OR $90 a private cabin for 1 person / $51 a private cabin based on 2 people sharing (per person extra) at Finca Exotica Eco Lodge.

Secure your spot with a 25% deposit. Second 25% deposit due October 1. Balance due by November 10th. Deposits are non-refundable unless the organizers cancel or significantly change the trip itinerary.

Travel insurance that includes airline delays and cancellations, emergency medical care and evacuation is required.

We will have 2 planning meetings to review all the important details, work out room mates, answer your questions, and bring you any last-minute updates. Those meetings will take place in October and early January, at least one will be in person. Dates TBD.

 

If you’re interested in this trip, I have lots more information I’ll share with you regarding things like vaccinations, passport requirements, what to pack, trip insurance, safety rules, language, currency, etc. LET ME KNOW!

 

Cap’n Crunch (Nancy)

Nancy@SummitTrekTravel.com

513-260-5737