Corcovado National Park

World-famous Corcovado National Park is a beautiful hour’s drive away.

 You can:

Go on your own:

·         If you have a vehicle you can drive to Carate, which is at the edge of the park, and hike in.   If you don’t have a vehicle,  you can hire a taxi to Carate for the day;

·         You can take the collectivo (public transport – truck with bench seats), which passes by the Matapalo entrance each morning at around 6:45 AM and leaves you back at Matapalo between 4-5 PM. 

·         PLEASE NOTE: If you go on your own you will need to arrange for your park permits in advance.  Contact us if you need information.

Go with William as guide:

The ONLY way to get into the park is with a guide (new park rule) and we highly recommend our manager, William, who has his own tour guide business for our guests only.  Not only is he an expert, but William offers the area’s lowest tour rates, as a courtesy to our guests. William grew up playing in Corcovado since he was a small boy and knows it intimately.  He is such an expert that researchers from the University of Costa Rica have consulted with him on several occasions.  He also has an eagle eye and spots animals that you would never see otherwise. He will also ensure you have a safe journey into the wild.   William does not speak much English, but communicates well anyway.  He is equipped with high-powered binoculars, spotting scope, first aid kit, wildlife identification charts and a machete.

 We highly recommend this option, which includes the procurement of park reservations and permits.

Getting there: 

We recommend leaving by 5 AM for a cooler beach walk.  You’ll also be among the first visitors of the day, optimizing wildlife viewing.

Transportation options are:

·         Drive to Carate, if you have a rental car.  Then hike 45 minutes along the beach to the Corcovado Park entrance at La Leona Ranger Station.   

·         Take the collectivo (public transport). Catch it on the main road at around 6:45 AM and in Carate at 4 PM (about $8/person each way). 

·         Hire a taxi for the day; or for the way there and take the collectivo back.  Gas prices are high. Taxi fares are about $130, but are subject to change. Confirm prices with William.

·         $100 for William to provide vehicle

·         William will accompany you whichever way you choose.

    What to bring:

·         Food for the day (sandwiches, snacks)

·         Water (one and a half liters per person)

·         Sunscreen & hat (the beach hike can be hot and sunny)

·         Day pack

·         Comfortable, sturdy shoes

·         Money (dollars or colones) for transportation and park entry fee.

   Costs:

Guide fee: $100/day per group

Park permits:  If you book in advance, William can usually procure permits for $15/per adult; $5/per child under 12.  Sometimes he can’t, in which case it is $15/person. (If you arrange in advance and cancel, you may need to reimburse William for this expense, as it is not refundable or transferable). 

My daughters and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Corcovado with William and despite the language barrier he was able to teach us quite a bit.  His knowledge of the bush is remarkable.

Brian – Ontario, Canada

 

This time we got to Corcovado.  What an adventure.  And, believe it or not, thanks to William’s eagle eyes, we saw a tapir and even got a few pictures.  Also saw other animals with his guidance.  A hike with him is an absolute must-do when here; he’s the best guide around, not to mention he’s a love of a guy! 

Terri and Jeffrey – Tucson, AZ

 

Arrange with us in advance.

 

Canopy Tour and Zip Line

Zip through the rainforest canopy!  We have found the best and best-priced zip line/canopy tour around.  You will careen through old growth forest with an experienced, English-speaking guide, who is both informative and skilled.  This company is extremely attentive to equipment and safety and gets consistently rave reviews from our guests.

Children 4 years and up.

$40/person (credit cards accepted)

4 hours, including travel time

Arrange with us in advance.

Rainforest Hike

You don’t have to go as far as Corcovado to see amazing wildlife.  Primary forest is all around the house and every foray reveals natural wonders.  Just strolling down the road toward Matapalo Beach is a rich experience.  You are likely to see monkeys, all kinds of tropical birds, maybe a sloth, anteater or iguana.  You just never know!  There are various ways to do this, any or all of them rewarding.  We supply you with an area map, so you can find your way around.  Other options include:

Hike with William:

William can guide you through towering stands of primary forest to pristine waterfalls. With him you will visit places and see things you would never see on your own.   William offers a night hike, which is limited to people over 12-years old.  He does not speak English, but is very knowledgeable about the area and an expert at spotting wildlife. In addition, he is an absolute pleasure to be with.  Be sure to wear good footwear (no flip flops!)

 

Area hikes:  $40 per group. More with longer hikes, multiple waterfalls or with large groups.  There are hikes with one waterfall, and a longer one with two, as well as a night hike.

 

Arrange with us in advance.

 

William is a real gem.  He took us on a hike to the waterfall and on another hike to show us all of the "mucho animales".....it was great fun to speak in Spanish to him and to try and teach him a few words in English.  He is a great asset and his wife too. 

Fran and Peter – Quebec, Canada

 

A walk with William to the waterfall was great.  I swear the man has radar eyes.  We would have missed a lot of animals he pointed out to us.

Lambert & Carol – Denver, CO

 

Hike with English Speaking guides:

 

There are knowledgeable, English-speaking guides available, who can take you on fascinating, entertaining and informative tours of the area.  The hike, either with a trained biologist or certified naturalist, gradually ascends through a secondary forest rich with heliconias and hummingbirds. Continuing onward, you trek through riparian habitat underneath a gallery of giant tropical trees.  Among myriad of waterfalls you learn about the interactions of the animals and plants, tying together indigenous knowledge to current medical applications. You will leave with a greater understanding of our tropical forests and their importance to our future. It is never the same hike twice... bring your camera and questions!   About 3 – 4 hours.  Wear hiking boots or sneakers.

$50/person

 

Arrange with us in advance.

Waterfall Rappelling or Cliff Canyoning

Hike up and around a series of waterfalls nestled in lush rainforest (with nature education along the way). At the top of the falls you receive thorough instruction covering the equipment, its proper use and safe rappelling. 

The first waterfall is 45 feet and the second, King Louis, is 100 feet. You will descend them, backwards, often through rushing water.  During the drier months might be just a trickle or completely dry, but the wilderness amphitheater is no less dramatic and the rappelling just as exciting.  We can say first hand that this is a true adrenaline rush!

1/2 day. Snacks provided.

$95/person

We decided to rappel the 110-foot waterfall in the jungle.  What a rush!

Jack & Lisa – Prescott, AZ

 

Arrange with us in advance.

 

 

Tree Climbing

Scale the Cathedral, a 200-foot tall fichus, aka the largest jungle gym around!  Using top-of-the-line climbing gear, this tour takes you up this massive, user-friendly Strangler Fig (about 70 feet) for a unique perspective from a viewing roost 450 feet over the Golfo Dulce.  Then it’s a thrilling swing back down by rope, for an adrenaline rush!  2 – 3 hours, including informative rainforest hike with English-speaking guide.

$65/person

Bring camera/binoculars

Arrange with us in advance.

 

Combo Tour:

Tree Climb + Waterfall Rappelling + Hike/birding

Go for the gusto and do all three in the same day.

5 – 6 hours. 

$130/person

Arrange with us in advance.

 

Horseback riding

 

Ride on horseback through the rainforest, over area meadows and on the beaches.  This is a great way to see the surrounding area.  Depending on skill, this may include mountain riding with a waterfall.

$60/person.

3 hours

Arrange with us in advance.

Massage

There is a selection of massage available, from the rejuvenating Thai massage to traditional Swedish.   Any of them is an ideal way to unwind from your travels and pamper yourself.

Yoga

There are usually skilled yoga teachers and classes for all levels on beautiful yoga decks surrounded by rainforest.  For advance information on class times and locations,  google Matapalo Yogis.

 

Bird Watching

If you’re on the Osa, you’ll be bird watching, whether you like it or not!  As one of our guests said, “For a birder, this is paradise!”  You don’t even need to leave the house to see an amazing number of exotic birds:  hummingbirds, toucans, Amazon parrots, parakeets, scarlet macaw and hundreds more species.  With more than 850 species within a tight geographic area Costa Rica, and the Osa in particular, offers an unrivaled bird watching experience.