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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.

Volcanic Beaches of Costa Rica

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

Suggested Holiday Idea

Cano Island

Snorkel in a natural tropical aquarium off Cano Island.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Hike through Corcovado Park

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

Suggested Holiday Idea

Golfo Dulce

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

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

Every captivating tailor-made itinerary needs a perfect base. Our team has handpicked this collection of properties to give you luxury options in styles to suit any adventure.

More luxury accommodation

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.

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
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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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We found it extremely helpful to visit the Steppes office and have a face to face discussion with James about what our requirements were for our adventures in Costa Rica. He really listened and made sure that the trip was tailored to our needs.

Destination: Costa Rica
Travel Expert: James

Great work from John. The additions of zip-lining and surfing lessons were exciting experiences that we would not have considered without his expert guidance.

Destination: Costa Rica
Travel Expert: John

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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