From Indigenous mystery to natural charm … Costa Rica South Pacific Coast
It’s lush and humid tropical forest shelters irreplaceable species, while its ocean hides numerous sea treasures. The Chirripo Mountain, with its 13.200 feet (4.000 meters), soars magnificently above any other in the country, displaying its patchy peak that hosts lakes of glacial origin. The enigma of the Spherical Stones – an indigenous legacy that has become infamous in Caño Island (in front of the Drake’s Bay coasts) -, captivates researchers all over the world.
Communities that preserve their traditions and lifestyles gather together in this interesting region of Costa Rica: the South Pacific. This is the most remote area in the Central Valley, as it was one of the last frontiers of colonization. It harbors major mountain forests, such as the National Park Corcovado, which is a living testimony of the humid tropical forest of the Mesoamerican Pacific Coast. It also includes the International Park La Amistad (Costa Rica – Panama), declared as “Patrimony of Humanity”, by UNESCO.
With the biggest extension of Mangrove forest in the country, this region also features the Sierpe and Terraba swamps which are of true scenic beauty. Furthermore, the Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve, considered scientifically as a real fiord – although tropical – is incomparable with its vast variety of wildlife specimens. And of course, we cannot forget the Osa Peninsula and the Caño Island, which is perhaps the best site for scuba diving in the country; as well as the Talamanca Mountain Range. Two of these are geological reminiscences of the Central American Isthmus’ formation and host exuberant biodiversity. A few millenniums ago, the Peninsula was an island, which explains its unique wildlife, very tall trees ( like the ceibo of almost 231 feet high), woods of great value and major populations of endangered species, such as the leopard. Further away, in the highlands, the Talamanca Mountain Range features a large and rich collection of rare forms. Some of the activities and sports most commonly practiced in this region are sport fishing, horseback riding, marine safari, rafting, kayaking, sailing, mountain biking, scuba diving, and snorkeling, whale and dolphin watching and orchid tours.
Osa and Talamanca are home to autochthonous Costa Rican people who are of Mesoamerican and South American influence. Surrounding the Corcovado National Park, the Hump Back Whales as well as their smaller cousins Spotted and Bottle Nose Dolphins, migrate through the transparent waters. Meanwhile, the Baula, Green, Lora and Carey Turtles nest on beaches surrounded by exuberant vegetation, whose sands feature an array of different color tones. Playa Dominical is the favorite spot among young people, where surfing is frequently practiced. On the other hand, Pavones, located in the Golfito area, is known worldwide as the beach with the “longest left break”. In this area, there are also solitary beaches perfect for long strolls while enjoying nature in perfect harmony; as well as rivers and waterfalls of magnificent beauty.