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Parque Nacional Corcovado


Archeological evidence indicates that this area was once inhabited by the indigenous Chiriquí people, as well as to some extent by the Bruncas and Quepos. These societies were advanced for their time, as they did not rely solely on hunting and gathering for subsistence, but also practiced cultivation. Unfortunately, most of the archeological sites in Corcovado were destroyed by people searching for gold in those areas.

Camping inside the park is illegal except within designated locations – namely the ranger stations. There are four ranger stations spread along the borders of the park in a circle: San Pedrillo – the northernmost station close to Drake Bay; Sirena – along the coast toward the south of the peninsula; La Leona – bordering the ocean and the mainland in the south, close to Carate; and Los Patos – the only station that lies totally inland, located near Rincon, La Palma and Puerto Jimenez.

Hiking from one station to another usually takes somewhere between six and nine hours, and most hikes are strenuous (see the hiking section for more information). Many tourists choose to enter the park from either Bahia Drake in the north or Carate in the south. Tours from Bahia Drake visit both San Pedrillo and Sirena and are usually half to full-day trips. From Carate, or as is more often the case Puerto Jimenez, the obvious destination is La Leona. La Leona and La Sirena are generally the most appealing destinations for tourists because along the beaches and in the surrounding area you have the chance of spotting Baird’s tapirs and a few other animals that cannot be found near the other two stations.

The best time to go to Corcovado is during the drier season, December to mid-April, with March being the hottest month. October is by far the rainiest month, with May coming in second. During the wet or low season, trails will be muddier and harder to navigate, and some may be closed due to flooding. This is also the time when the ranger’s stations perform any necessary repairs, which means they too may temporarily close. However, in low season that luxury jungle lodge will be more within your price range, and with less people on the trails it can be easier to spot animals.


Other places nearby Parque Nacional Corcovado: Bahia Drake (Drake Bay), Parque Nacional Piedras Blancas, Golfito, Cabo Matapalo, Ciudad Neily, Pavones, Sierpe, Zancudo, Puerto Jimenez and Carate.

By Laura Granfortuna
I've always had the travel bug - maybe it's because I've been traveling around with my family since I was an infant, but mainly I think it's because...
04 Mar 2009

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