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“Unbelievable wildlife! Amazing rainforest experience.”

Sirena Ranger Station
Essex/London
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Unbelievable wildlife! Amazing rainforest experience.”
Reviewed January 14, 2014

We came here in March 2013 and I only just realised I haven't left a review despite it being the highlight of our 4 week Costa Rica adventure- it's the part we find ourselves day dreaming over now!

We done a 2 night trip with Kenneth Mora who was a great guide, based right on the beach at Drake Bay. At first I was expecting it to be a private trip with just us and him and were surprised to be in a group of about 5 others but it actually made it so much more fun.

We came here for wildlife and that's exactly what we got. We thought we'd maybe see 1 tapir if we were lucky but had 7 sightings! My aim was to see a tamandua and we had 2 sightings!! We felt so lucky, the forest felt so alive and we saw new things and heard new sounds around every corner. The heat at times was unbearable especially in the middle of the day so be prepared.

We stayed in a 2 man tent on the raised platform, some of our group were in the rooms and by the sounds of it we had a much better sleep. I loved the feeling of being right in the middle of the forest just a meter off the ground with no walls around you. Apart from watching the wildlife one of my favourite parts of the trip were just hanging around the station and relaxing in the heat of midday- always keep your camera by your side though as you will never know what will walk by!!

At one point Kenneth spotted a fishing boat off shore and looked through his scope to see what was going on, he could tell they were fishing for sharks for their fins and were illegally within the national park boundaries. It enraged me and broke my heart that he defeatedly stated that there was nothing he could do, just goes to show Costa Rica definitely still has its problems especially when it comes to the finning industry (watch the film Sharkwater before you go).

If you are heading to Costa Rica for wildlife then a stay at Sirena is not to be missed, but only if you can handle the heat, lots of spiders, cold showers and blisters. But that's what made it so fun!!

Visited March 2013
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3 Thank ZookeeperAmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“incredibly amazing wild life during 3 days in corcovado”
Reviewed December 29, 2013

<I have to be honest and say that we have been there in 2011, not in 2013, but TripAdvisor won't allow me to set that date. Other than that, everything is completely true>

My wife and I spent 3 days of our honey moon hiking in the Corcovado National Park, and sleeping two nights in the Sirena Ranger Station.
There's not too much to say about the ranger station, other than it contains the basic facilities, such as cold showers, bathrooms, a very basic kitchen (bring everything you need with you), a wooden platform to sleep over, and a numerous number of creatures that can bite you at night. Yes, we had a mosquito net, and yes, sprayed ourselves with loads of local anti-everything stuff this is probably banned in EU :) To be totally honest, only 50% of us got bitten, but that 50% is in general lucky at attracting all kinds of animals (read next).
On the other hand there's a lot to say about the park itself. The wildlife is incredible. I have never been in anything similar in my entire life, not even the safaris in South Africa. We hiked 3 days, one day towards the station, one around the station, and one day back (half day to actually). Walking on the beach was hard, hot and humid, but worth every drop of sweat (and there were spent a lot of those). We had a great guide named Erick, who is young and quiet, but knows so much about the jungle, having lived there from birth. He could spot, name and explain everything from the smallest insect to the farthest sloth up high 20 meters above us. He would stop walking suddenly saying: "Ssshhh... I smell an ant-eater/Peccari/Tapir" and 3 minutes later we would spot it. He would listen to the sounds or the silent and say: "the monkeys are quiet, seems like there's a predator near by" and a few minutes later - Bam! a Puma is staring at us. Walking with him we had the chance to see animals at every size: leaf cutting ants line, through colorful poisonous frogs, lizards, tens of different birds, including tucans, voltures, curassow, roseate spoonbills ("the only pink bird in Costa Rica"); monkeys (yes the squirrel monkeys are incredibly cute), Sloths, Agutis, Coatis, Ant-eaters (and a baby one which we photographed from inches away), many Tapirs (including mother&calf and one that posed in front of us for more than an hour, walking, swimming, eating, diving), a huge heard of Peccaris that attacked us, forcing us to climb a tree, a crocodile and a Puma from a few meters distance!!! To tell the whole story, Erick saw a Puma on the first day, but we were too far behind him and couldn't catch him on time while he ran into the jungle. He came back frustrated and my wife told him: "don't worry, we'll find one tomorrow". He almost hit her, saying that no one sees two Pumas, as it is rare to see even one... but as I said, someone is attracting ALL the animals :)
I am sure I forgot a lot more, but seriously, it was one of the most amazing experiences of our life.

Visited June 2013
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5 Thank Daganesh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
holland
Level Contributor
149 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
“an extreme hike in paradise”
Reviewed October 8, 2013

we stayed one night in the ranger station at Sirena and had a two days hike under the guidance of the best guide ever Nito Castro. We camped in a tent under an open roof on a platform in the ranger station and experienced the sounds of the jungle in the night. We had close encounters with nearly all animals, insects and reptiles living in the Corcovado National Park. We had to cross rivers filled with crocodiles and bull sharks and were followed by a puma. Nito was incredible; his knowledge, fluent english and the way he guided us through the rain forest was exceeding our expectations. It was one exhausting impressing adventure which I can recommend to everybody to do. I am only sorry that we did not book an extra night so that we were able to stay 3 days.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank HollandWanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Astoria Queens NYC
Level Contributor
38 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Bio diversity”
Reviewed October 3, 2013 via mobile

Flew in on a small plane this ranger station is in th middle of the jungle along the park. Camped in a tent set up by our local guide Alavaro Montoya from Puerto Jimenez. Took a quick tour and saw a wild tapir! Camped out at the station,they have wifi but no smoking or drinking booze there (lame). Can't make a fire, so cold food if camping. Station has communal cold showers and toilets descently clean, with huge banana spiders. In the morning howler monkeys barking in the trees macaws squawking, the forest is alive here!! Left early on our 20km hike out of the park. It is a tough but fun and exciting hike. We saw a wild PUMA!!! Owl, hawks, cayman, croc, tucan, bats, monkeys, raccoon, snake, tiny frogs, leaf cutter ant, sloth, parrots, wild pig, and many more. I recommend getting a solid pair of hiking boots, water proof. Our guide had rubber fisherman boots and high socks. It was an amazing hike. Go here, stay at backpackers in puerto jimenez, hire Alavaro, fly in and hike out. Bring a nice camera (waterproof a plus) and pack light!!

Helpful?
2 Thank shwizz718
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Corcorvado”
Reviewed September 21, 2013

This was my second trip to Costa Rica in the rainy season. We were unable to get to Corcorvado the first time due to heavy rain. This year, the rain came late and we were able to fly into Puerto Jimenez and see Corcorvado. We hiked in from Carate and stayed two nights at Sirena. I can not even fathom making the 12.5 mile hike, then getting up and doing it again the next day. Maybe I'm a wimp, but I was definitely feeling that hike for days. There were people that hiked in without guides - I have no idea how they did it because the trail weaves from the beach to the forest, often with no indication. Tide levels are also an issue, as areas of the beach become impassible in high tide. We saw two girls on the beach that had gotten lost trying to get to Sirena on their own and ended up sleeping on the beach. Trail aside, like anywhere in Costa Rica, a guide is worth their weight in gold in terms of seeing animals and learning about what is around you. We went through Surcostours, they got us set up with a good guide with 48 hours notice. Keep in mind this is the low season, I'm not sure you could get away with that other times of the year, as the park only allows so many visitors in at a time. There are quite a few river crossings, and for the most part we were happy to be in our rubber boots. It would be really time consuming to take shoes and socks off for all of the water crossings, we only had to take our boots off 2 or 3 times for the 10+ water crossings. However I did get blisters. I would wear knee socks and make sure your boots are comfortable. Hiking boots will get wet and stay wet.
As far as food goes, we packed in breakfast and lunch, and opted for the $25 dinner ($12 for guides). The food was good and you could eat as much as you liked. Of course it is over priced, but I wanted a real meal with all that hiking. They do not allow any cooking at Sirena. For our other meals we took granola with powdered milk, granola bars, tortillas, peanut butter and refried bean pouches. Water is supposedly potable, but we drank bottled. It is sold there for $4/2 liters.
Sirena itself is pretty gross, dirty. Our guide says this is because the man at the front desk is also in charge of the cleaning, "And men are no good for that sort of thing.". We stayed in a tent on the platform. Our guide said this is the way to go - the dorm rooms are really dirty and have cockroaches. We didn't look in any of them, but the tent area was sufficient, although loud when everyone starts getting up at 4 am.
We saw many birds, crocs, a tapir!, peccaries, coatis, lots of monkeys, insects, ocelot tracks.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Erinandaaron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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