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“Amazing 3 day trip through Corcovado”

Corcovado National Park
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8-Day Costa Rica Natural Wonders Adventure Hike
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Carate
Certificate of Excellence
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Amazing 3 day trip through Corcovado”
Reviewed May 28, 2013

If you plan to head down to the Osa, plan at MINIMUM a 3 day trip to Corcovado. I would love to go back and I would love to spend 3 or 4 nights at the Sirena ranger station.

Our trip started from Puerto Jimenez and took the colectivo to Carate and started on the La Leona trail. We spent 2 nights at Sirena, hiking around Sirena on the second day. Our third day we hiked out Los Patos.

The La Leona trail was beautiful. The combination of walking along the beach, to the dense primary and secondary forest and back again was awesome. There were birds everywhere and we immediately came across a family of spider monkeys. One of my main reasons for wanted to go to Costa Rica was to see monkeys, so I was delighted to see them so quickly. Shortly after we came across a family of capuchins. We also could hera the howler monkeys off in the distance, though did not see them until we got to Sirena. Our guide was also able to take us off the trail to see a few poison dart frogs (Nito from Surcos Tours, can't recommend him enough). The river crossings were easy at low tide, only having to take your boots off. I was expecting carrying your bag over your head type of crossings, but at low tide the water isn't even knee deep. Along the beach later on, we saw a tapir eating the leaves on a tree which was cool to see. As mentioned earlier, there were a ton of birds, including a ton of scarlet macaws. We came across puma tracks on the beach, but sadly no pumas (that day anyway). Later on, we came across a deer which only grows to be around 3 feet tall. They are very timid, so if you don't spot it immediately, they will vanish on you. Overall, the La Leona trail is relatively easy. It's long, but compared to Los Patos, it was a cinch. There is relatively minor elevation changes. There are a few steep sections to climb and rocks to maneauver around on the beach, but the climbing was aided by a ton of roots to grab onto and set your feet on. A couple sections of beahc are sketchy and would be impassable at high tide. There were also a couple sections where rock slides and trees falling had just happened, so you need to watch out for that when walking below a sheer cliff or steep, eroding cliff.

The Sirena ranger station was a welcome site after a long day of hiking. Right away, there were groups of howler monkeys and spider monkeys in the trees surrounding the station. There were a ton of large black vultures that were really neat to see hanging out in the trees. There are some incredibly large spiders with webs on your way to the sinks, showers, and bathrooms, but they don't seem to care to leave their webs so you don't need to worry about them. The showers are cold water, but that is fantastic when you are drenched in sweat and need an escape from the 35 degree weather and extreme humidity level. Hiking around the station is amazing. There are two beautiful rivers near by where you will see a ton of birds and the chance of seeing tapirs, caimen, puma, and bull sharks. Walking along the trails at Sirena, we came across all 4 types of monkey (squirrel was the last type we had not yet seen), a ton of birds, including the red-capped manakin, famous for its Michael Jackson-style mating dance, as well as toucans, great currasso, and several others, caimen, the deadly eye-lashed pit-viper, several large and strange bugs, basilisk lizards, which we witnessed run across the water, several times, tons of other lizards, frogs, collared peccaries (the non-dangerous type of peccary), and finally, a puma, which was absolutely amazing to see. Our guide was also able to show us the behaviours of a ton of different species of ants, which was actually very interesting to learn and witness. We saw army ants invading tiger ants and watched a full on bug warfare, army ants who build bridges by connecting themselves to allow others to walk across them faster, a swarm of army ants marching and eating everything in their path, followed by hundreds of birds hoping to pick up the ants' kills. There was so much more wildlife we saw that I couldn't possibly list it all.

There was still so much to see that we needed at leats one or 2 more days at sirena. While we were out seeing other amazing wildlife, others at the station came across a mother tapir and her baby, bull sharks in the river, the deadly fer-de-lance, and ocelots crossing right in front of the ranger statuion.

Our thurd day, we hiked out Los Patos trail. This trail lets you know you are in the dense jungle. Wildlife on this trail wa sa bit more sporadic and we did not see nearly as much as we did along La Leona. The trail is also significantly more difficult, with a ton of ups and downs, steep trails, and difficult footing as the rainforest has very poor soil quality and typically you are walking on very slick clay which will stick to your boots, giving you no traction. I ended up twisting my ankle pretty badly and would not have made it out without a walking stick my guide had found and picked up. If it rains, or has rained recently, this trail will be near impossible to navigate. To get out, you or your guide need to have prearranged a pickup from a 4x4 txi service which will cost you $80. The ride out will show you why it costs so much. There is no road. You must cross a river 22 times, which was pretty cool to experience. Because of this, it takes a special vehicle with a high clearance and the ability to pump water out of its engine. The ride was a blast.

If you want to see a different part of the park and experience thick, dense jungle and all the ups and downs of the small mountains/hills of Corcovado, then by all means do the Los Patos trail, but only if it has been relatively dry lately. When we did it, it had rained while we came in on the La Leona trail, so Los patos had 2 days to dry and was still very slick. If you want to see wildlife and have more picturesque views, stick to the La Leona trail.

I'm glad I experienced Los patos and you may be like me and want to see a different part of the park and nothing I say will change your mind, and that's ok too, it was an experience. But I can all but guarantee nyou will not have the same type of wildlife sightings you had on La Leona.

If I were to do it all over again, I would have taken the La Leona trail in as well as back out. Its an easier trail, with significantly more wildlife sightings, and very picturesque. I would have also spent at least 1, if not 2 more nights at the Sirena ranger station. If you are unsure if you want to hire a guide, get one. Without our guide, we would not have seen the amount of wildlife we did. We may have also missed the safe times to cross the rivers, or crossed in the wrong spots where it was significantly more difficult (one couple going it alone did this).

Visited April 2013
5 Thank Kevin T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
55 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Corcovado in one day”
Reviewed May 26, 2013

We visited corcovado on a day trip. I would suggest spending more time there. The trip on the boat was amazing as we followed playful dolphins. Monkeys play in the trees. We missed seeing a puma by minutes. Swimming in the waterfall was terrific on such a hot day. Our guide was not the best so get the names of a good guide. Be prepared for a lot of rain. We were drenched and cold on the boat coming back in the afternoon.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank sacarajane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“3 day hike in Corcovado National Park”
Reviewed May 17, 2013

Estela from Surcrostours was superb in organizing our permits and guide for the hike and also our accommodation in Puerto Jimenez for the evening prior to the hike. It all very last minute as we weren't sure of the exact date of our arrival but she was always in contact and the communication was efficient and easy.
We would highly recommend our guide, Keller Gonzalez! He was enthusiastic, entertaining and just a great guy. His knowledge of the jungle and the animals was fantastic. He was able to find animals and critters that we never would have been able to find on our own. Even in the pouring rain his enthusiasm didn't fail him, he was going to find us a Tapir if it was the last thing he did! Dinner and lunch was a highlight as he assisted us in buying ingredients prior to the hike for some local dishes which he enthusiastically prepared everyday and his coffee was always first class. We would highly recommend Surcrostours and specifically Keller as a guide!!!

Visited May 2013
1 Thank juliaandmontague
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“3 Day hiking in Corcovado”
Reviewed May 14, 2013

Just came back from a 3 day hike throught the incredible Corcovado Park in Costa Rica. We left from La Leona early morning. And although it's a hike of 19 km it's more than word every single step of it. Beautiful environment, loads of animals and hardly any signs of human activity here. It is great. We slept in La Sirena. This place is very basic but situated in the jungles and surrounded by animals. Our second day we were walking on several trails. Our guide Rodolfo Saenz really know the park and where are the best places to find the animals.

The guide showed us squirrel monkeys, capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, collared pecari's, white lipped pecari's, crocodiles, loads of birds and he even knew to locate a puma. We were face to face with this puma for many minutes. It was just great.

On our hike back he provided us with fresh coconuts. He cooked us meals. He arranged the entrance fees and provided us with gears for the camping. Even other guides told us he is one of the best. Planning to go to Corcovado... take a hike with this guy. rodolfosaenz@hotmail.com

And of Corcovado? This is really a must see, a must do, a once in a life time experience. WOW!

Visited May 2013
2 Thank Patrick_Gijsbers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfield, California
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great Hike!”
Reviewed April 17, 2013

Go early in the morning. THe hike to the entrance during peak sun light is brutal! Worth it though when you get to Corcovado and start the hike!

Visited December 2012
1 Thank Courtney A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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