- Hike the rainforest trails of Corcovado National Park
- Observe exotic flora and fauna in one of the most biodiverse places on earth
- Scuba dive off Isla del Caño, a reserve featuring an abundance of marine life
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According to National Geographic, The Osa Peninsula is one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth. This is due to the fact that the main protected area here, Corcovado National Park, is comprised of virgin rainforest. Due to the extreme location of the peninsula, the area has resisted modernization and thus serves as a throwback to a time when much of Costa Rica was little touched by human encroachment. In fact, the Osa village of Bahía Drake has only in the last couple of decades gotten access to electricity.
This itinerary is designed for those who want an off-the-beaten-path adventure whilst still enjoying some of the creature comforts included in luxury vacations. It's also a great way to commune with nature, as this hidden gem of a region is home to beaches and rainforest trails with fewer crowds and higher concentrations of wildlife. The peninsula itself contains over half of all species in Costa Rica, making this tour one of the best options for those who want to observe diverse flora and fauna both on land and sea.
|Day 1||Arrival in San José||San Jose|
|Day 2||Osa Peninsula - Free Day||Osa Peninsula|
|Day 3||Corcovado National Park Hike||Hiking|
|Day 4||Excursion to Isla del Caño||Scuba Diving|
Day 1: Arrival in San José
Welcome to Costa Rica! Upon arrival in the capital of San José, you'll check into your luxury hotel and settle in. If your flight arrives early enough, take the afternoon to head downtown and explore the city. San José features a wide array of leafy plazas and European-inspired architecture, which is exemplified in the stately post office building and the opulent Teatro Nacional (National Theater).
If you so choose, you can then tour the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum which houses an impressive collection of goldwork artifacts. Also, check out the National Museum, a former military barracks now painted bright golden hues and which recounts Costa Rica's fascinating history from indigenous times to present day. Regardless of your plans, around seemingly every corner in this rich city, there's bound to be something to capture your attention.
Day 2: Flight to Osa Peninsula - Free Day
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In the early morning, you'll catch a flight to the Palmar Sur Airport, located in southwestern Costa Rica. There, you will transfer by car and then motorboat to your luxury eco-lodge on the Osa Peninsula. This is one of the southernmost areas of Costa Rica, known for its jungles and hidden beaches. You'll have the remainder of the day free to explore and indulge in any of the region's available activities. These include scuba diving, a guided nocturnal nature tour, ocean and river kayaking, horseback riding, and more.
Additionally, the villages of Uvita and Dominical are just an hour to the north. Both feature palm-fringed beaches and some of Costa Rica's best wave breaks, making it an ideal spot if you're into surfing. Should you so choose, we can arrange a private transfer for you so you can kick back and enjoy your ride to the beach in style.
Find out more about your options by reading Best Things to Do on the Osa Peninsula.
Day 3: Corcovado National Park Hike
To arrive at Corcovado National Park, you'll embark on a 25-minute boat ride from your hotel down the western coast of the Osa Peninsula. After a wet landing a few feet from the beach, your rainforest adventure begins. You'll enter the primary rainforest, hiking along the clearly-marked and easily-navigable trails next to Corcovado's northernmost ranger station, San Pedrillo. Throughout the morning, your bilingual guide will identify many of the endemic species along the trail. Look out for white-faced, spider, and howler monkeys, as well as white-lipped peccaries, scarlet macaws, coatis, and countless other animals.
After a quick lunch break, you will continue the trek to a tropical waterfall. Along the way, you'll have even more opportunities to view the diverse flora and fauna of the region. Upon arrival at the waterfall, enjoy a break to snap photos and swim in the refreshing water. Later in the afternoon, you'll return to the ranger station and board the boat back to the hotel. If you're lucky, you might be able to see humpback whales or dolphins swimming in the sea.
Check out this article on 4 Regions to Visit in Costa Rica.
Day 4: Excursion to Isla del Caño
Today, you'll have the pleasure of exploring the waters of the Caño Island Biological Reserve on a scuba diving excursion. This protected marine area is located just off the northern tip of the Osa Peninsula, by Bahia Drake (Drake Bay). The area is home to an abundance of marine life including reef sharks, sea turtles, parrot fish, eels, manta rays, puffer fish, snappers, sea cucumbers, octopus, and more. There's also a wide variety of coral-building organisms and 19 different species of coral, such as fan, head, and brain coral.
To arrive there, you'll board a 30-foot Island Hopper and an expert will offer a safety lesson geared for all ages and experience levels. Then it's time to plunge into the water. Visibility is 30-100 feet throughout the year, making Caño Island a perfect site for underwater photography.
Learn more about the top nature experiences in Costa Rica.
Day 5: Departure
Time to say goodbye to Costa Rica. You'll fly out early in the morning to San José and connect to your flight home—or onward to the next adventure. Adios!
Looking for Other Ideas for Costa Rica?
Looking for other ideas for your trip to Costa Rica? We have some great ideas for how to spend 5 days in Costa Rica, plus a list of family-friendly 6-day itineraries. Read more about the best time of year to visit here.
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