Corcovado National Park, Osa Peninsula

Declared ‘one of the most biologically intense places on earth’ by National Geographic Magazine, Corcovado Park and the Osa Peninsula along with Drake Bay have emerged as the premier eco-tourism destinations in the county. Corcovado National Park, which covers about a third of the Osa Peninsula, is the largest national park in Costa Rica and is considered the ‘crown jewel’ of the country’s ecological treasures. With the largest expanse of lowland tropical rainforest in Central America and one of the tallest rainforests in the world, the Park is a secluded natural wonderland. It is also home to many of the country’s rare and endangered animal and bird species including the puma, jaguar, harpy eagle and scarlet macaw. Other animals in the park include Central American squirrel monkeys, mantled howler monkeys, both two-toed and three-toed sloths, agoutis, giant anteaters, great curassows, black hawks, spectacled owls, hummingbirds, 220 species of butterflies, golden orb spiders that build huge webs, otters and raccoons. Four species of sea turtle (green, pacific ridley, hawksbill, and leatherback) nest on the beaches.

In addition to Corcovado National Park, the Osa Peninsula itself is one of the most beautiful destinations in Costa Rica. Some of the key sights on the peninsula are Drake Bay, Cabo Matapalo and the Sitio Arqueológico Finca 6. First discovered by Sir Francis Drake when he circumnavigated the globe, Drake Bay is now a sprawling village with several upscale resorts, spectacular beaches and jungle trails. Visitors can go kayaking in the mangroves, diving, snorkeling, horseback riding or trekking on the various trails. Cabo Matapalo is a beach settlement that is frequently visited by surfers. Finally, the Sitio Arqueológico Finca 6 is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a museum which safeguards the precious pre-Columbian stone spheres created by the enigmatic Diquís civilization that once roamed the Diquís Delta between 300 BC and 1500 AD. The perfectly shaped stone spheres, Costa Rica’s most intriguing archaeological finds, can measure as much as 2.5 meters across and weigh up to a colossal 24 tons. Their purpose is as mysterious as ever. Some historians believe they were used as solar calendars or status symbols while others suspect they were ceremonial.


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