Corcovado National Park

World-famous Corcovado National Park is a beautiful hour’s drive away.  After the drive, it is a 45-minute beach walk to the park entrance.  This is a big day, so please gauge your endurance.  People who are not in shape, or children not up to a lot of hiking, should skip it.  We recommend leaving as early as possible, for cooler beach hiking and better wildlife viewing.  Be sure to wear good footwear and plenty of sunscreen.  You need to bring drinking water and lunch.

 You can:

Go on your own:

·         If you have a vehicle you can drive to Carate, which is at the edge of the park, and hike in.   If you don’t have a vehicle,  you can hire a taxi to Carate for the day;

·         You can take the collectivo (public transport – truck with bench seats), which passes by the Matapalo entrance each morning at around 6:45 AM and leaves you back at Matapalo between 4-5 PM. 

·         PLEASE NOTE: If you go on your own you will need to arrange for your park permits in advance.  Contact us if you need information.

Go with William as guide:

William, our manager, has his own tour guide business and is happy to accompany you to the park and serve as your guide for the day.  He has been visiting Corcovado since he was a small boy and knows it intimately.  He is such an expert that researchers from the University of Costa Rica have consulted with him on several occasions.  He also has an eagle eye and spots animals that you would never see otherwise.  We highly recommend this option, which includes park reservations and permits.

Costs:

Guide fee: $100/day per group

Park permits:  If you book in advance, William can usually procure permits for $10/per person.  Sometimes he can’t, in which case it is $15/person. (If you arrange in advance and cancel, you may need to reimburse William for this expense, as it is not refundable or transferable). 

Transportation: 

If you don’t have a rental car, there are the following options:

$75 for William to drive in his vehicle

$130 for taxi (subject to change)

$8/person/one way on collectivo

William will accompany you whichever way you choose.

My daughters and I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Corcovado with William and despite the language barrier he was able to teach us quite a bit.  His knowledge of the bush is remarkable.

Brian – Ontario, Canada

 

This time we got to Corcovado.  What an adventure.  And, believe it or not, thanks to William’s eagle eyes, we saw a tapir and even got a few pictures.  Also saw other animals with his guidance.  A hike with him is an absolute must-do when here; he’s the best guide around, not to mention he’s a love of a guy! 

Terri and Jeffrey – Tucson, AZ

 

Arrange with us in advance.

 

Canopy Tour and Zip Line

Zip through the rainforest canopy!  We have found the best and best-priced zip line/canopy tour around.  You will careen through old growth forest with an experienced, English-speaking guide, who is both informative and skilled.  This company is extremely attentive to equipment and safety and gets consistently rave reviews from our guests.

$40/person (credit cards accepted)

4 hours, including travel time

Arrange with us in advance.

Rainforest Hike

You don’t have to go as far as Corcovado to see amazing wildlife.  Primary forest is all around the house and every foray reveals natural wonders.  Just strolling down the road toward Matapalo Beach is a rich experience.  You are likely to see monkeys, all kinds of tropical birds, maybe a sloth, anteater or iguana.  You just never know!  There are various ways to do this, any or all of them rewarding.  We supply you with an area map, so you can find your way around.  Other options include:

Hike with William:

William can guide you through towering stands of primary forest to pristine waterfalls. With him you will visit places and see things you would never see on your own.   William offers a night hike, which is limited to people over 12-years old.  He does not speak English, but is very knowledgeable about the area and an expert at spotting wildlife. In addition, he is an absolute pleasure to be with.  Be sure to wear good footwear (no flip flops!)

 

Area hikes:  $30 - $40 per group, depending on hike, or more with large groups.  There are hikes with one waterfall, and a longer one with two, as well as a night hike.

 

Arrange with us in advance.

 

William is a real gem.  He took us on a hike to the waterfall and on another hike to show us all of the "mucho animales".....it was great fun to speak in Spanish to him and to try and teach him a few words in English.  He is a great asset and his wife too. 

Fran and Peter – Quebec, Canada

 

A walk with William to the waterfall was great.  I swear the man has radar eyes.  We would have missed a lot of animals he pointed out to us.

Lambert & Carol – Denver, CO

 

Hike with English Speaking guides:

 

There are knowledgeable, English-speaking guides available, who can take you on fascinating, entertaining and informative tours of the area.  The hike, either with a trained biologist or certified naturalist, gradually ascends through a secondary forest rich with heliconias and hummingbirds. Continuing onward, you trek through riparian habitat underneath a gallery of giant tropical trees.  Among myriad of waterfalls you learn about the interactions of the animals and plants, tying together indigenous knowledge to current medical applications. You will leave with a greater understanding of our tropical forests and their importance to our future. It is never the same hike twice... bring your camera and questions!   About 3 – 4 hours.  Wear hiking boots or sneakers.

$45/person

 

Arrange with us in advance.

Waterfall Rappelling or Cliff Canyoning

Hike up and around a series of waterfalls nestled in lush rainforest (with nature education along the way). At the top of the falls you receive thorough instruction covering the equipment, its proper use and safe rappelling. 

The first waterfall is 45 feet and the second, King Louis, is 100 feet. You will descend them, backwards, often through rushing water.  During the drier months might be just a trickle or completely dry, but the wilderness amphitheater is no less dramatic and the rappelling just as exciting.  We can say first hand that this is a true adrenaline rush!

1/2 day. Snacks provided.

$85/person

We decided to rappel the 110-foot waterfall in the jungle.  What a rush!

Jack & Lisa – Prescott, AZ

 

Arrange with us in advance.

 

 

Tree Climbing

Scale the Cathedral, a 200-foot tall fichus, aka the largest jungle gym around!  Using top-of-the-line climbing gear, this tour takes you up this massive, user-friendly Strangler Fig (about 70 feet) for a unique perspective from a viewing roost 450 feet over the Golfo Dulce.  Then it’s a thrilling swing back down by rope, for an adrenaline rush!  2 – 3 hours, including informative rainforest hike with English-speaking guide.

$55/person

Bring camera/binoculars

Arrange with us in advance.

 

Combo Tour:

Tree Climb + Waterfall Rappelling + Hike

Go for the gusto and do all three in the same day.

5 – 6 hours. 

$120/person

Arrange with us in advance.

 

Horseback riding

 

Ride on horseback through the rainforest, over area meadows and on the beaches.  This is a great way to see the surrounding area.  Depending on skill, this may include mountain riding with a waterfall.

$55/person

Arrange with us in advance.

Massage

There is a selection of massage available, from the rejuvenating Thai massage to traditional Swedish.   Any of them is an ideal way to unwind from your travels and pamper yourself. To arrange in advance, email Cecily at ccmamabee@yahoo.com. 

 

Yoga

There are skilled yoga teachers and classes for all levels on beautiful yoga decks surrounded by rainforest.  For advance information on class times and locations, google Matapalo Yogis.

You can also reserve a private individual or group class to begin or refine your practice, with therapeutic adjustments and personal assistance from our favorite teacher, Cecily.   Contact her at ccmamabee@yahoo.com.

 

Bird Watching

If you’re on the Osa, you’ll be bird watching, whether you like it or not!  As one of our guests said, “For a birder, this is paradise!”  You don’t even need to leave the house to see an amazing number of exotic birds:  hummingbirds, toucans, Amazon parrots, parakeets, scarlet macaw and hundreds more species.  With more than 850 species within a tight geographic area Costa Rica, and the Osa in particular, offers an unrivaled bird watching experience.