Osa Costa Rica Tours and Activities
The Southern Pacific Region of Costa Rica, where tropical forested mountains meet the sea offers some of the best eco-tours in the world. Some of the reasons being the Corcovado National Park and Hacienda Baru National Park, where there are many tours available that allow you to experience what a true Costa Rica vacation should be about. If you like to combine adventure with nature viewing, include this area in your Costa Rica travel plans.
Many Costa Rica travelers include a canopy tour while on vacation and are able to view the wildlife that lives high up in the Costa Rica treetops. There’s a good reason that one out of four Costa Rica vacations includes a canopy tour – zip lines, tree climbing, or hiking across hanging bridges, it’s fun to hang out with the monkeys! Want to check out the nightlife? Take a jungle night tour!
If you visit the Southern Pacific Region while on your Costa Rica vacation, it offers the fun adventure of white water kayaking trips, combining the excitement of white water with wildlife viewing. Sea kayaking to the impressive caves of Marino Ballena National Park is also another exciting activity that will make your Costa Rica vacation even more enjoyable.
If the challenge of sport fishing is what gets you going, Golfito’s the key. The area of Drake Bay has become the premier destination for many anglers while on their Costa Rica vacation. Those of you who would rather peer through a diving mask will find great adventure diving here. Whatever your adventure, the Southern Pacific Coast is sure to please.
The Osa Penninsula is filled with the rugged beauty of Costa Rica’s rainforest. National Geographic Magazine has called the Osa Penninsula of Costa Rica “one of the most biologically intense places on Earth.”
the Osa Penninsula of Costa Rica offers the adventurer hiking tours, rainforest tours, whale and dolphin watching tours, and plenty of relaxing beaches to lounge on.
The southernmost peninsula in Costa Rica, the Osa Peninsula is a secluded nature wonderland, playing home to many of the country’s rare and endangered animal and bird species including the puma, jaguar, Harpy Eagle, and Scarlet Macaw. With a large chunk of the peninsula forming the Corcovado National Park, this area has the single largest expanse of a lowland tropical rainforest in Central America and is one of the tallest rainforests in the world. If you do wish to explore this park, using a tour guide is your best bet as the Corcovado is also the home of Costa Rica’s most deadly snake, the extremely aggressive Fer-de-lance. A guide will not only keep you from getting lost but can also educate you on this incredible habitat.
The best way to visit the Parque Nacional Corcovado is through the town of Puerto Jimenez. An excellent place to start hiking as an extensive network of trails begin from here, there is a ranger station in town with detailed information for trekking and camping in the park.
Drake Bay is a preferred place to stay while visiting the Osa Costa Rica area. First discovered by Sir Francis Drake during his circumnavigation of the globe, the town of Drake Bay has a lot to offer. From here one can take a day trip to snorkel off the coast of the gorgeous Isla del Caño or one can go sportfishing or sea kayaking. For the more adventurous, there is a night tour about the fascinating bugs and other creepy crawlies in the area.
The main attraction of Drake Bay is the biological reserve of Isla del Caño. One of the most well-known and most inaccessible destinations in the Southern Pacific region, Drake Bay can only be reached by boat and has only a small offering of lodges – most run on solar power generators, making them true eco-lodges. The waters of this tiny island offer some of the very best snorkeling and scuba diving in Costa Rica. Rated by Skin Diver magazine as among the best diving spots in the world and one of the world’s newest hot spots for adventure diving.
Isla del Cano is not for the inexperienced diver or the faint of heart because not only will you get to swim with pretty tropical fish, playful dolphins, and gentle whales, you’ll also be swimming among white tip sharks that may average 6-10 feet! Diving guides assure us that because this is a reserve there is plenty of smaller and tastier fry to keep the sharks’ tummies full. Snorkeling on the surface is preferred by those not looking for shark encounters. Horseback riding on the beaches and excellent sport fishing off the coast are also popular activities at Drake Bay. If you’re into nature, take advantage of the fantastic bird watching opportunities, as well as hiking trails that lead to beautiful remote beaches.
The Marino Ballena National Park, also called Whale Park, is a major attraction with its protected coral reef and pristine, scenic beaches. If your Costa Rica travel is taking place anytime from April to December, when humpbacks mate and give birth, you can enjoy a whale watching tour. Throughout the year, sea kayaking tours are available (perfect for families) as well as snorkeling or diving tours that explore the coral reefs. Dominical also offers whitewater kayaking tours through class l, ll, and lll rapids on the Terraba River.
The Osa Peninsula and The Corcovado National Park
The Osa Peninsula offers pristine rainforests and rugged natural beauty. The peninsula is home to many of the country’s rare and endangered animals and bird species including the puma, jaguar, Harpy Eagle, and Scarlet Macaw. Bird watching and wildlife viewing are pure delights in this area. Declared one of the most biologically intense places on Earth by National Geographic Magazine, the Osa Peninsula along with Drake Bay has become the premier ecotourism destination for Costa Rica vacations.
Corcovado National Park protects a large percent of the Osa Peninsula, including the single largest expanse of a lowland tropical rainforest in Central America and one of the tallest rainforests in the world. A hiking tour guide is vital here, not just for the knowledge (and directions) you will gain but because living in Corcovado is Costa Rica’s most deadly snake, the extremely aggressive Fer-de-lance. One of the most remote parks in the country, Corcovado National Park is worth a look around.
Resting on the Osa Peninsula’s southernmost tip, this small surfing town is among the most beautiful and remote areas in Costa Rica. While the surf break is a bit inconsistent, the swells are pretty decent. One of the most pristine places in Costa Rica, the village offers inclusive hotels and resorts. Most planning for Costa Rica trips to this area are done so because of the close proximity to the Corcovado National Park and the adventure diving at Isla del Caño (see Drake Bay). Driving here in the rainy season can be treacherous, so make sure you take this into consideration when planning your Costa Rica vacation.
Golfito and Puerto Jimenez
A tropical hideaway, Golfito sits across from the Osa Peninsula on the Golfo Dulce. A typical bus ride from San Jose to here takes 8 or more hours, and there is the Golfito Domestic Airport if you want to fly in. Many Costa Rica travelers use Golfito as a stopover before heading to the stunning beaches of Playa Zancudo, Pavones, and Piedras Blancas National Park.
A remote and secluded region of the country, the amenities are rustic, but it is a place of incredible tranquility and beauty. However, not so tranquil is fishing. Golfito is a paradise to those who want to do some sport fishing on their Costa Rica vacation. Here one can land sailfish, blue marlin, dorado, roosterfish, barracuda, snook, tuna, and many others.
Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge
Billed as the best ecotourism spot in Costa Rica, the refuge protects 815 acres of a variety of habitats and offers a wide array of eco-tours, including canopy tours for every type of Costa Rica traveler. Adventurers can let an electric winch carry them up over 100 feet to a wildlife observation platform or they can use climbing equipment and scale an enormous, 109-foot rainforest tree. Experience the lacy green world of the canopy by day or take a night jungle tour and see the nocturnal wildlife.
Costa Rica Travel Tips (Southern Pacific Region)
When booking your Costa Rica tours and accommodations, be sure to book well in advance, especially if you’re planning a Costa Rica vacation during their high season. For more details, review the travel tips in our overview of Costa Rica travel.
• Sport Fishing
• Wildlife Fun/Sightseeing