The main hiking routes around Corcovado National Park are well marked and
well traveled. It is relatively easy to do these routes on one's own.
However, if you would like to develop some knowledge of the Corcovado area, including
the flora and fauna, it's a good idea to hire a guide. There are experts
available who have considerable knowledge and are good at spotting wildlife.
Sirena station to San Pedrillo in Corcovado National Park
From Sirena station, there is a trek to San Pedrillo station and a nearby
waterfall — Llorona. This trek requires planning, including an understanding of
how to read tide tables. There are three river crossings on this hike in Corcovado and these
are difficult to navigate during high tide. It is important to inform oneself
about the tides and leave two hours before low tide. Please note that sharks and
crocodiles are residents in these rivers at the zone where fresh and saltwater
meet. Crossing should be done with care.
The Corcovado National Park hike is 23-km (14 mi) and can take from 10-15 hours. The first 18-km (11
mi) is along the beach which can mean extreme sun and heat. Hiking part of this
at night may be an option to avoid heat exhaustion. The final 7-km (4 mi) are on
a trail that follows the coastal forest.
Sirena to La Leona in Corcovado National Park
A second hike goes from Sirena to La Leona, in Corcovado National Park, which is 17-km (10 mi) long
and follows the Pacific coastline. Corcovado's forest helps keep this hike cooler than
the San Pedrillo option. This second hiking option follows the shoreline through coastal forest
and along deserted beaches. It has one river crossing and there is a camp at La
Leona. Just past La Leona (2.5-km/1.5 mi) is a local lodge where hikers can take
a colectivo (collective taxi, e.g. share with others that get picked up along
the way) to Puerto Jimenez.
Sirena to Los Patos in Corcovado National Park
An 18-km (11 mi) route through the heart of Corcovado National Park, this
hike passes through plenty of forest. There is an uphill portion that is steep
for the last 6-km (3.75 mi) and it might be an idea to do the hike in reverse to
avoid this uphill haul. A beautiful waterfall is located at Los Patos. There is
a campsite and cold-water showers. If you don't want to camp at Los Patos, 14-km
(8.75 mi) beyond Los Patos is the town of La Palma. This portion is downhill and
is shady. It's likely to take 4 hours to hike.
An easy-to-follow public trail leads from Bahia Drake to Corcovado and is a
route dotted with pretty, sandy inlets, windswept beaches and secluded coves.
The coastline is craggy and stretches 10-km (6.25 mi) and the rainforest grows
along side the coastline. There's a great chance to see
wildlife and visitors will likely see a scarlet macaw.
Highlights on the route to Corcovado include:
- Playa Cocalito is a secluded cove which is perfect for swimming. It is just
west of Punta Agujitas and is a short detour of the main trail.
- Playa Las Caletas is in front of Corcovado Adventures Camp and is excellent
- Punta Rio Claro Wildlife Refuge offers a lovely waterfall. Be sure to watch
where the two rivers join.
- Playa San Josecito offers a long stretch of white sand beach which is great
for bathing, swimming and snorkeling.
- La Selva is a private reserve which is a short steep climb from the beach to
a lookout point offering fabulous views.
- Beyond this point on the path, which leads into Corcovado National Park, be sure to be self sufficient, especially
have enough water as there are no spots to purchase water or find lodging.
Weather in Corcovado National Park and on the Osa Peninsula
Forty meters (13 ft) of rain falls annually. Dry season is from January
through April. The wettest time is September and October.