A Crab-Eating Raccoon, another of the less shy, garb-and-run daytime mammals. Photo by Christophe Meneboeuf
Corcovado is arguably Costa Rica’s most diverse park, 200 sq. miles with a large range of habitats from heavy rain forest to seashore jungle, hosting 140 species of mammal from jaguars to tapir, 116 species of reptiles and 285 species of bird, from scarlet macaws thru hummingbirds to fishing bulldog bats!
However, Corcovado is in the distant SW and difficult to get to, very humid and tough hiking, but a superb wildlife experience, especially Sirena Station. To get there you can either fly in by light aircraft – not necessarily very expensive – or catch a boat from Drake Bay.
Stage one is to take a boat from Sierpe to Drake Bay, possibly stay overnight, and then catch a scheduled ferry the next day.
Booking these in advance is not advisable as bookings are unreliable and inflexible. It’s cheaper and easier to organise everything on the spot other than the obvious necessity of avoiding rip-offs from local intermediaries. Those with a fair budget and a desire for speed and lack of hassle should consider going through an official tour operator – foreign or local.
Corcovado is about an hour by boat from Drake Bay, which is in turn a kilometre from Sirena Station, a tourist hub and likely to be hot, sticky and packed with tourists.
A young Tapir nosing around Corcovado NP. Photo by Zielwasser.