Beach palm tree, Casa Corcovado Lodge, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

South Pacific Coast

According to National Geographic, Corcovado National Park is ‘the most biologically intense place on the planet’.

This lush and verdant area of complex ecosystems ranges from freshwater swamps to cloud forest, with 8 different “life zones” and over 500 species of tree in an area of more than 40,000 hectares.

Wildlife includes all four species of Costa Rican monkey (Spider, white-faced Capuchin, Squirrel and Howler), all 6 cats and endangered species such as the giant anteater and tapir. Between December and February, it is not uncommon to observe the enormous tail flukes of Humpback Whales breaking spectacularly through the ocean surface. This area of outstanding natural beauty is a paradise for nature lovers and offers one of Costa Rica’s richest and most rewarding wilderness and wildlife experiences.

Rainbow Toucan
Rainbow Toucan

Costa Rican Wildlife

Birdwatching is tremendous here with over 370 recorded species including the opportunity to glimpse Costa Rica’s largest population of Scarlet Macaws and the magnificent Great Curassow. You have to put a little effort into getting to this remote corner of the country. Light aircraft from San Jose will treat you to tremendous views of mountains and volcanoes before following the Pacific coast south to a small airstrip at Palmar Sur or Puerto Jimenez. Some of the more remote lodges require a further journey by boat past crocodile inhabited mangroves along the Sierpe River and into the Pacific Ocean, followed by a wet landing and a final leg in a tractor-towed buggy to the lodge. However, you don’t have to compromise on comfort. The Osa Peninsula boasts some of the country’s finest forest lodges.

Resplendent Quetzal in flight
Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

The Osa Peninsula

A stay on the Osa Peninsula will typically include guided hikes into Corcovado National Park and a boat journey for snorkelling to Isla del Cano, a marine biological reserve with reefs and a huge variety of fish. Isla del Cano also contains an archaeological site that suggests the existence of a Pre-Columbian cemetery. The perfectly round stone spheres that are found on the mainland in the Diquis Valley can also be seen here. Nobody is sure how and why these mysterious over-sized marbles were created.

Coatimundi, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

What do our specialists recommend?

Spend as much time as you possibly can in and around Corcovado Park. There is no development permitted within the park but also no fences to restrict the movement of creatures and at some of the closest lodges, you’ll find yourself literally tripping over wildlife such as huge toads, snakes and coatimundis. Night is a magical time on the peninsula – grab a glass of courage, take a seat outside your bungalow and surrender yourself to the night time noise of the rainforest and the sense that something in that dark and dense wall of jungle is watching you.


What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Common dolphins jumping, Costa Rica

Golfo Dulce

Boat trips to seek out dolphins in this calm body of water

Suggested Holiday Idea

Black sand beach in costa rica

Volcanic Beaches of Costa Rica

Wander along deserted volcanic beaches fringed by almond trees filled with Scarlet Macaws.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Manta Ray off Cano Island

Cano Island

Snorkel in a natural tropical aquarium off Cano Island.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Corcovado National Park, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Hike through Corcovado Park

Trek through Corcovado Park, offering some of the best wildlife experiences in Costa Rica.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Need Inspiration?
Browse our Costa Rica holiday ideas.

Our Costa Rica experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something to spark ideas for a unique adventure.

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

SCP Corcovado Wilderness Lodge £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Set in a prime location and only accessible by motorboat, SCP Corcovado Wilderness Lodge offers a remote rainforest experience nestled within a 170-acre private reserve bordering Corcovado National Park. This intimate lodge has 14 bright and spacious bungalows constructed to blend in with the natural surroundings. A small area with a bench or hammock at the entrance of each bungalow is the ideal place to spot wildlife. The lodge has two lovely swimming pools; a sectioned pool with a shallow end for children, and a smaller, spring-fed pool. A secluded crescent-shaped beach is nearby.

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Playa Nicuesa Lodge £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is a tropical paradise constructed from naturally fallen trees and recycled materials. Here you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the rainforest from a hammock in the lodge’s special tree-top lodge, or retreat to the private terrace of deluxe cabins. Evening meals are tropical-Latino inspired and appetizers are served under a thatched candlelit bar. Access to the secluded Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is by water only and guests arrive by boat after passing through the dramatic mountainous scenery of the Pacific Coast. From snorkelling, kayaking and paddle boarding to canopy walks, horse riding and wildlife viewing, the Oso Peninsula and Golfo Dulce region offers something for everyone and is home to 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity making it one of the most wildlife-rich places on the planet.

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Playa Cativo £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Playa Cativo is a luxury eco-lodge offering excellent accommodation comprising of deluxe, luxury and premium rooms. Accessible only by boat, its 1,000-acre private rainforest reserve is surrounded by the Piedras Blancas National Park; a natural corridor between La Amistad and Corcovado National Parks. The waters in front of the lodge are also part of the protected area. All bedrooms are just steps away from the beach and all have views of the ocean. They have an open style allowing good ventilation, with king beds and ceiling fans. The property also has a freshwater pool with impressive views when the sun sets over the Gulfo Dulce.

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Lapa Rios £££££

  • Costa Rica
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Set in a private nature reserve spread over a 1000-acre tropical lowland primary rainforest, Lapa Rios is a deluxe jungle hideaway overlooking the point where Golfo Dulce meets the Pacific Ocean.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Clare Higginson

It was my passion for languages that first encouraged me to leave the UK behind and grab my rucksack. Since then, it’s been a mixture of intriguing cultures, jaw-dropping landscapes and the wonder of seeing animals in their natural habitat that sees me continuously extending my travel wish list.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

John Faithfull

Costa Rica is simply the best spot in Central America for nature lovers, and is always John’s top recommendation for those wishing to hike, swim, zip, raft, ride or float through outstanding scenery and rich biodiversity.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 880 980

Did you know?

Corcovado National Park contains 140 species of mammals, 370 of birds, 177 amphibians and reptiles and 40 freshwater fish.

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