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“Amazing tour” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Corcovado National Park

Corcovado National Park
Parque Nacional Corcovado | Peninsula de Osa, Carate, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
84416612
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Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Carate
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Attraction details
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Amazing tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

We went to Corcovado National Park, it was a 3 days tours. Starting from carate after a bumpy ride on the collectivo transportation. The hike from Carate was very nice, couple things that we could see, but once we arrive to Sirena area, everything changed, lots of wild life.
We wouldn't be able to see them by our own, we hired a local guide Cristhian Jimenez, he was just amazing, able to hear the animals, even smell them before seeing them, patient and a huge knowledge of the area.
And on the way back, we were just by the end of the trail, when monkeys were just all exited, Cristhian said, it's the puma I know that sound, and from tones of bushes, there he was, a nice and beautiful Puma!!! we never expected to see it, we wanted to see it obviously, but, we thought.....neeeeh, to much.

Alex L
Georgia

Visited July 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica
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3 attraction reviews
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21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Corcovado National Park for the whole family”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2012

Kids and adults love a good adventure. If your planning a family getaway that will excite the kids and amaze the parents, Corcovado National Park on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula is sure to delight everyone.

It’s exciting for families to explore the heart of a tropical jungle together, and to see exotic wildlife in it’s natural habitat. Hiking in the tropical rainforest together as a family can help to build a foundation of love for the outdoors and create family experiences that will be remembered over a lifetime.

Hiking in the tropical rainforest jungle with kids and young adults is different experience than with a group of only adults. Kids hike slower, their perspective is from a place closer to the ground. Kids are curious and have many questions about the new environment. There is a real joy in discovering the jungle from a young persons point of view.

The most important consideration in undertaking a long hike with children is to keep them engaged and interested through out the hike. One great way to keep them engaged is to keep a list of all wildlife encountered, and then to review the list together over dinner. Both kids and adults will be amazed at the number of different species that they found in the forest. There are many games that can be played on the trail together to keeps kid’s engaged, another good one is to pick a letter and search for things in the jungle that start with that letter. For example, the letter is M, and they spot Macaw, Monkey, Motmot, Morpho, etc.

It’s important to remember that kids and young adults have different abilities and stamina and parents need to honestly assess if it’s both physically and psychologically possible for their child to make a major multi-day hike to Corcovado’s Sirena Biological Station or if a shorter day trip is more appropriate. Evaluate your child’s ability to walk on their own for 6-8 hours, and be sure your kids enjoy hiking and exploring.

TRIP DETAILS:
The best seasons for hiking are the dry season from mid December through April and the beginning of the Green Season in May, June and July. From mid August through mid November is the thick of the rainy season. The park is closed in October due to inclement weather.

Park reservations are necessary to enter the park, even for day trips, so be sure to arrange your reservation through the park office or your guide before hand.

Two great hikes for families into Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park both start at the La Leona Ranger Station, accessed from the small town of Carate. A third option is to charter a plane from Puerto Jimenez to fly you into the park.



Day trip to Rio Madrigal for kids age 6 and older and adults who prefer shorter walks - This hike starts in the morning at the La Leona Ranger Station, and takes hikers 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) to Rio Madrigal. Along the trail, look for scarlet macaws, monkeys, morpho butterflies, mushrooms, and other flora and fauna. While this hike can be made without a guide, guides are recommended as they can spot, share and explain the natural ecosystem and animals to the entire family. Bring a picnic lunch and your swimwear for a refreshing river swim and then hike back out to the La Leona Ranger Station in the afternoon.

Multi-day adventure (3 or 4 days) to Sirena Biological Station for kids ~12 years old and up and adults who enjoy serious hiking - This multi-day hike also starts in the early morning at the La Leona Ranger Station and takes hikers 17 kilometers (10 miles) from La Leona to Sirena Biological Station. Along the trail your guide will point out a wide range of flora and fauna from the forest floor all the way up into the rainforest canopy. This hike should not be made without a family friendly guide, as there are several river crossings and beach outcrops to navigate in collaboration with the tides. Day one is spent hiking to Sirena Biological Station, the middle day(s) are spent exploring the network of trails around Sirena, and can include river swimming, waterfalls, and nature walks, and the final day is spent hiking out to La Leona Ranger Station. 

A third option for families not able to hike into Sirena Biological Station is to charter a plane from Puerto Jimenez (seats 6) to fly in / and or / out of the park. This option skips the day long hike, and offers amazing arial views of the Osa Peninsula. The landing on the grass airstrip in the middle of the jungle is another experience you’ll not soon forget.

Hikes along the La Leona Trail meander from beach to forest, so be sure to bring plenty of water (3 liters per person is recommended), a hat and good sunscreen for this expedition.

Tips Before the Trip:
get your kids outdoors often to look around for the small stuff - insects, fungus, birds
let kids participate in practicing their hiking skills before the big trip.
share maps, pictures of animals, insects and plants found in the tropical rainforest
express and share your own sense of excitement with your kids

Trips During the Trip:
bring plenty of snacks to eat and water to drink
give kids their own daypack or camelpack filled with water, emergency whistle, flashlight and snacks
emphasize fun: spotting exotic wildlife, funny plants, or river swimming is always fun
embrace the pace set by the kids, stop often to let kids rest, watch, and fuel up
take lots of pictures to remember the fun
let kids be kids and be prepared to change the plan if it’s not working

What to bring:
plenty of water
snacks for hike in / out
hat & swimsuit
comfortable lightweight clothing
sunscreen & sunglasses
closed toe, ankle high footwear
insect repellent
camera / binoculars
sheets / tent for Sirena
flashlight / other essentials

CONCLUSION:
While it’s really a hike vs a stroll through the park, hiking in Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park is an experience of a lifetime. Corcovado is home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity and has been described by National Geographic as the most “geographically intense” place on earth. A trip into Corcovado will be a trip your family will never forget

Visited March 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
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8 attraction reviews
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29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Wonderful!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

We hired a local guide for a three day trip to La Sirena ranger station and back and it was awesome. We traversed neck deep through crocodile infested rivers, saw bull sharks from the beach and all sorts of mammals, reptiles and birds in and around the park.

This can be done without a guide but find out about the tide times for coast and rivers first or you may get stuck out there! Personally I think it is worth hiring a guide as you will see so much more wildlife, which is the whole point of going....surely.

Park fees were $10 plus accommodation at the ranger station. Book in advance for this....even the camping.

Visited July 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“An experience you will never forget”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2012

Although I found hiking through this forest extremely difficult, I've heard that elderly people and pregnant women as well as children have managed to do it. I think I should have trained a bit beforehand! None the less, this part of the world is amazing. It is definately a life experience everyone should have if they love animals and nature in general. Parts of the forest are completely untouched, and there will always be the opportunity to see beautiful birds, reptiles and mammals providing you have the patience. Go for the over all experience and consider seeing the animals you want as a bonus. We went in June and it was transition season from dry to wet. The weather was very warm and humid, but we were blessed with rain on the hikes across the beaches where the sun would have made this virtually impossible for me if it was full strength. Me and my boyfriend had a naturalist guide from Osa Aventura to show us around, and in total over 5 days we hiked over 70km. Make sure you bring a mosquito net wherever you're staying, as insect repellant for me didn't work and I ended up with lots of bites. Luckily, the main time these insects bite is at night when you're asleep when the net should be sufficient. However, this was well worth it. Do not forget high factor sunscreen as even staying in the sun for 10 minutes burned my fair skin. We managed to see a variety of different snakes, lizards, a sloth, all four monkey species, many birds and mammals including peccaries and an anteater and hundreds of insects. The plant life on its own is spectacular also.

Visited June 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Florida
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A hike to remember!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

This is a hike for intermediate to advanced hikers...the hike is long although not too intense...you must be in pretty good shape...I brought a friend who was not in shape at all and she could only get through about half of the hike before needing to turn around...the wildlife is spectacular and you really get a jungle experience...

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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