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best way to go?

Denver, Colorado
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best way to go?


I am planning to hike and camp in Corcovado in the middle of March. I am in the process of filling out the reservation request form and I´m not sure what to request as far as what ranger stations we want to camp at. We will be coming from San Jose. Is the best way to take the bus to Puerto Jimenez? Then what? And to where? Does it make the most sense to hike from San Pedrillo to La Leona, or the other way around? And how many days should I plan on taking to hike that distance? I´m on a tight budget, so low cost options are the best. Thanks for your help.

Chicago, Illinois
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for Costa Rica
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1. Re: best way to go?

Bad news. You can't hike most trails in Corcovado without a guide and you now need advance reservations for all hikes. These are relatively new rules but will make a big difference in your budget. See

osaaventura.com/guided-corcovado-treks.php for more info. as well as http://www.corcovadoguide.com/permitting.htm

Edited: 7:03 pm, February 10, 2011
San Jose, Costa Rica
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2. Re: best way to go?

Try to contact Jaguardman...in this froum...he is a local guide and really knows everything around OSA...agree 100% with crfan!


Cambridge, United...
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3. Re: best way to go?

Hi Vera,

it is no longer possible to hike from San Pedrillo to Sirena. In the past that trail was only open in the dry season but as far as I am aware the park authorities intend to keep it closed permanently.

Most poeple will do: Los Patos-Sirena-La Leona

or simply La Leona - Sirena - La Leona

depending on the trail conditions (usually more of a problem with the Los Patos - Sirena trail) it is normally possible to walk the trails without a guide. As March is dry season it is likely the trails will be fairly clear (by Corcovado standards). That said, it is inadvisable not only for your safety but also because a local guide sees SO much more than our untrained eyes ever would.... whichever you decide chat to the the park officers at the MINAE HQ in PJ when you arrive and they will be able to give you the best up to date advice.

Puerto Jimenez works as the best base for hikes to Sirena. To get to Los Patos it is best to go via La Palma. And to La Leona it is only possible to go via Carate.

Note you are only permitted to camp at ranger stations, nowhere else within the park. Currently it is not possible to camp at los patos but they are working on constructing a raised platform there. I think there is a camp site fairly nearby outside of the park however. Its c.18km Los Patos to Sirena which you have to do the first day. Then pitch tent at sirena from 1-3 nights and explore the trails around there. Walk out via La Leona (c.17km) and you can camp at the ranger station there or get straight back to PJ via the collectivo from Carate.

Note that permits and reservations must be sorted out in advance.

the best website for information on Corcovado is http://www.corcovadoguide.com/

any other qs reply here, but as the other post mentioned Jaguardman is the ultimate source of up to date information about Corcovado.

Puerto Jimenez...
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4. Re: best way to go?

Transportes Blanco Lobo has daily bus service to Puerto Jimenez leaving San Jose at noon.

It makes sense to make Puerto Jimenez your base. You can leave your extra luggage in your hotel there, making your pack as light as possible.

Depending on your fitness level, the two open trails are Los Patos and La Leona. Los Patos is the more challenging of the two. You need to be able to carry all of your belongings plus water for 8 hours in the heat and humidity of the jungle. You might consider opting for the dorm room over camping, as the extra weight of your tent could be more than you wish to carry. Also, consider taking meals in Sirena, this also helps to keep your pack light.

As mentioned above, the San Pedrillo to Sirena trail is closed and you can no longer walk to Sirena from Drake Bay.

If you have further questions, post them here and we can try to help you sort things out.

Pura Vida,

Ballardo Diaz, Jungle Guide

5. Re: best way to go?

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