Corcovado National Park
Corcovado has been cited by National Geographic as "one of the most biologically intense places on earth" and our guided tours of the park are sure to prove them right. Our bilingual resident guides are the best Costa Rica has to offer. They are friendly and well versed about local flora and fauna and everyone will return from this tour with fascinating facts and with knowledge of the history of the area.
Corcovado National Park, the largest and most important of the parks on the Osa Peninsula, protects one of the most significant stands of virgin rainforest in Central America. Being in Corcovado can be an overwhelming experience; it’s one of the few places left on earth where humans are a minority. You’ll be shocked by the amount of life that exists and the complex relationships between all living creatures on the Osa Peninsula. If you're looking to get closer to nature, Corcovado National Park is the place to be. The Park has four ranger stations, Los Patos, Sirena, San Pedrillo, and La Llorona. You can enter Corcovado National Park from Drake Bay at the Sirena or San Pedrillo Ranger Station, which are both situated north along the Osa Peninsula coastline.
Corcovado National Park, also known as the Amazon of Costa Rica, spans over 100,000 acres of virgin and secondary rain forest. A 25 minute boat ride from the Lodge will land you at the northern entrance to the park. Prepare yourself for a wet landing, dry bags are recommended for camera gear! Trails begin along pristine beaches, wind through deep rain forest, and follow riverbeds to magnificent waterfalls and swimming holes. A typical tour consists of two hikes. The two hikes will be separated by a picnic lunch consisting of fresh fruit, sandwiches and dessert. The morning hike is usually a three and a half hour, slow paced hike in search of birds and animals. The afternoon hike is shorter, but includes an ascent to a waterfall where you may take a refreshing swim in the cool water. Please take CAUTION, be aware of your surroundings, stay on the trails, and listen to the guides! Going behind the waterfall is not recommended.
This is a full day tour including a picnic lunch, transportation to and from the Lodge, and a guide. Boas, scarlet macaws, reptiles, and several species of monkeys are creatures you might chance to see.
Sirena is considered the heart of Corcovado and the largest interior ranger station. It is also the most rustic. Because of its history and location, Sirena biological Station in Corcovado National Park is a keystone for science, education and ecotourism in the region. The extraordinary diversity and concentration of wildlife in the Corcovado Basin, which contains Sirena Ranger Station, means that spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities are liable to present themselves at virtually any time at nearly any part of any trail. None of the animals are hunted, so they do not have much fear of human beings. As a result, tapirs often cool off in nearby mud holes, and herds of peccaries frequently roam with a few hundred meters of the ranger station itself.
Sirena is over a one hour boat ride in a skiff. The coast line is scenic beyond belief. Once you arrive at the beach near the Sirena ranger station you will need reef walkers or sandals to walk to shore as it is rocky. The beach landing can be wild so be quick, alert and listen to your guide. Each trekker will carry lunch and snacks. There will be cold drinks for the end of the hike. The trip is not recommended for the faint of heart. Avid naturalists will enjoy seeing this remote station in Corcovado National Park. This guided tour leaves at 6:00 a.m and does not return until mid-afternoon. Tour requires minimum of four people.
What to Bring
All guests scheduled to go on a tour should meet at the clubhouse at the appropriate time. The tours leave in the early morning hour because that is when wildlife is most abundant. Please be considerate of other guests when planning your morning preparations and give yourself a comfortable amount of time to both get ready and eat breakfast. Tardiness could result in a forfeiture of your tour.
We recommend bringing a water bottle, sarong, swim suit or bathers, sunscreen, insect repellant, hiking boots or sneakers, dry bag and rain gear (during the rainy season).
The abundance of bird life right around La Paloma Lodge is amazing. The ideal time to walk is early in the morning or the late afternoon. Birding enthusiasts will be excited to view tanagers, hummingbirds, macaws, toucans, manakins, hawks, robins, flycatchers, honeycreepers, trogons, and woodpeckers just steps away from the lodge. Our naturalists guides are professionals in birdwatching. They have extensive knowledge of the area and the numerous bird species that reside here. Their keen eyes and expertise in bird calls will impress even the most avid birder. Your birding guide will be equipped with a high-powered spotting scope to aid in viewing the glorious feathered friends but we do recommend you bring your own binoculars.
Ride through primary rainforest or along empty beaches. You will be guided along our undeveloped coast line by local horseman. These tours are not only for experienced riders; anyone with an interest in exploring primary rain forest outside of Corcovado Park will enjoy this tour. This is a great way to get in touch with the Drake bay lifestyle. A beautiful way to end your afternoon is by going on one of the sunset horseback rides we offer. Set your own pace and walk, trot or gallop along pristine beahes as the sun slowly sets. For the more avid rider, half-day and full-day tours are available. The trails tend to be very steep, and especially in the green season, can be very muddy. Please note that the guide who will accompany you on the horseback ride does not speak English.
A half-day tour takes you to beautiful Rio Claro. Once there you can relax in the cool, clear water or rent a canoe. Total saddle time: approx: 2.5 hours. The full day tour total saddle time approx 3.5 hours
The sunset ride is a shortened version of the half-day one. Riders go as far as Punta Marenco, the point just before Rio Claro, riding along beautiful beaches as the sun begins to set. Total saddle time: approximately 1.5 hours
We offer private tours along the coast, into town, or wherever you would like to go. Let our excellent guides lead you in search of wildlife and birds! If you wish to hire a private guide to Corcovado please discuss this with the on-site manager.
Enrique’s Private Reserve
There is a beautiful, privately-owned, old growth primary forest close to the lodge. It takes approximately 35 minutes to walk to Enrique’s private reserve along the coastal trail; from the nice swimming beach in front of La Paloma head west. There is an entrance fee of $5 per person. You can explore these trails alone or you can request that a naturalist guide accompany you. This is a great activity for the first day, giving you a chance to stretch your legs and familiarize yourself with the terrain in preparation for your hike in Corcovado National Park.
San Josecito and Rio Claro
These two locations can be explored on the same tour. San Josecito is a 2½ hour walk or a 20 minute boat ride. The waters of San Josecito beach are unspoiled and protected by a bay, making it ideal for snorkeling. Many have also enjoyed the abundance of scarlet macaws in the area. Rio Claro (Clear River) is a 30 minute walk from the San Josecito Beach (heading toward La Paloma). You can canoe, walk, or swim up-stream to a few small waterfalls. This tour is available in many variations. Please let us know how you would prefer to spend your day.
Relax in soft sands and tropical sun on the beautiful beach of Cocolito, located a short trail away from the lodge. Take advantage of our boogie boards, masks, snorkels and fins for a delightful beach experience. Beach chairs are also available, please request them at the bar before going to the beach. We will also gladly give you a ride down to the beach with our small golf cart.