The Osa Peninsula is located in one of the most remote areas of Costa Rica. It's brimming with beaches and virgin rainforest home to an abundance of exotic wildlife. In a mere five days, you'll fully explore this gem of biodiversity through nature hikes, scuba diving, and other adventurous activities.

Highlights

  • Hike the rainforest trails and waterfalls of Corcovado National Park
  • Observe hundreds of species of mammals, birds, and plants in one of the most biodiverse places on earth
  • Scuba dive off Isla del Caño a biological reserve featuring an abundance of marine life

Overview

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 Costa Rica was little touched by human encroachment. In fact, the community of Bahía Drake has only in the last couple decades gotten access to electricity.

This itinerary is designed for those who want an off-the-beaten-path nature experience. Visiting this hidden gem will allow you to experience 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 in the sea.

Brief Itinerary

Day Destination Overnight
Day 1 San Jose (Arrival) San Jose
Day 2 Osa Peninsula (Free Day) Osa Peninsula
Day 3 Osa Peninsula (Corcovado National Park) Hiking
Day 4 Osa Peninsula (Isla del Caño) Scuba Diving
Day 5 San Jose (Departure)  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival to San José 

Museo Nacional in San Jose Costa Rica
Museo Nacional in San Jose Costa Rica

Welcome to Costa Rica! Upon arrival, you'll check into your hotel and get settled in. If your flight arrives early enough, take the afternoon to head downtown and explore this nation's capital city. San José features a wide array of leafy plazas and European-inspired architecture.

Be sure to tour the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum as well as the post office building. If you're interested in architecture, you can visit the Teatro Nacional (National Theater), which many deem the most exquisite building in town. Also, check out the National Museum, a former military barrack painted in bright golden hues. At every turn and no matter the street, there's bound to be something to capture your attention. 

Day 2: Flight to Osa Peninsula - Free Day

The location of Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica
Location of Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica

Catch an early flight to the Palmar Sur Airport. There, you will transfer by car and then motorboat to your hotel 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 including scuba diving, a guided night 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 scenic white sand beaches as well as some of Costa Rica's best wave breaks, making it an ideal spot if you're into surfing. 

Day 3: Osa Peninsula - Corcovado National Park Hike

The coast of Corcovado National Park
Beach in Corcovado National Park

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 at the station 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 pristine waterfall. Along the way, you'll have even more opportunities to view the diverse flora and fauna of the region. Once you arrive at the waterfall, enjoy a break to snap photos and swim in the refreshing water. Later in the afternoon, 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.

Day 4: Osa Peninsula - Isla del Caño

Caño Island coral reefs
Caño Island coral reefs

Today, explore the waters of the Caño Island Biological Reserve through a scuba diving excursion. The area is home to a coral reef with a variety of colorful fish and rock formations. First, an expert will provide guidance for all ages and experience levels aboard the 30-foot Island Hopper before plunging into the water. Visibility is 30-100 feet throughout the year, making Caño Island perfect for underwater photographers as well as families.

Day 5: Departure

One last sunset

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.