“In a remote and lush corner of Costa Rica, lies a realm of giant trees, roaring monkeys, jaguars on the prowl, and breaching whales. This is one of the last places on Earth where virgin rainforest grows right to the high tide line, and a visitor might walk for hours – or days – along its isolated coast without meeting a single person. This is the Osa Peninsula and there is no other place in the world like it.” Osa: Where the Rainforest Meets the Sea by ecologist Dr. Trond Larsen and photographer Roy Toft.
For me, the Osa Peninsula is one of the most worthwhile places to visit in Costa Rica.
The small stretch of remote rugged jungle in the southwestern corner of the country, bounded by the deep blue Pacific Ocean to the west and the placid Golfo Dulce (Sweet Gulf) to the east, is renowned as an astounding paradise by scientists, explorers and nature lovers.
This last remaining stretch of tropical humid lowland rainforest in Costa Rica, covering an area of 700 square miles, is estimated to hold 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity. With more than 700 species of trees, the largest population of wild Scarlet Macaws in the country, exotic tapirs and jaguars, and more than 25 kinds of dolphins and whales, the Osa’s natural report card is impressive.
The southern Pacific Ocean and Golfo Dulce are vital breeding and reproducing areas for endangered hammerhead sharks and the world’s migrating Pacific Humpback Whales. Activists have begun a campaign to create a protected area for the waters along the entire coast of the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, to safeguard the abundant yet threatened marine life.
The Osa Peninsula protects more than 366,000 acres of land and sea in at least 13 national parks, wildlife refuges and private reserves – including the Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve, Corcovado National Park and Piedras Blancas National Park.
- Hike in one of the national parks and wildlife refuges
- Go dolphin and whale watching in Golfo Dulce
- Go snorkeling at the Caño Island Biological Reserve
- Surfing at Matapalo Beach
- Kayaking on Golfo Dulce
- Fishing in Golfo Dulce, or deep sea fishing
Where to stay by the Osa Peninsula
For a real jungle experience, you want to stay at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, an award-winning sustainable eco-lodge by the Osa Peninsula. Accommodations and facilities are very comfortable, well done, and best of all you don’t miss out on the beach because the Costa Rica lodge is located on the beautiful coast of the Golfo Dulce. Its 165-acre private preserve joins with the Piedras Blancas National Park and Osa Conservation Area.
The area is very remote and well worth it to experience real Costa Rica nature. Go for family vacations, honeymoon trips, nature and adventure vacations, and yoga classes and retreats.
Article by Shannon Farley