Interested in Costa Rica ecotourism?
There is a little known gem called Corcovado.
Know of it? No? Well, neither have most other people.
Corcovado National Park (Parque Nacional Corcovado) may be the Amazon of Costa Rica. With good reason. The little park, merely 42,000 hectares (about 100,000 acres) in size, is explored on the Osa Peninsula, situated along the south Pacific shoreline of Costa Rica, close to the Panama border.
This is the largest remaining primary forest in Latin America.
When Captain Christopher explored the Americas in 1502 he sailed the Caribbean from Mexico south on to a land he called 'Costa Rica', the 'rich coast'. For more than five centuries the name has remained.
Tremendous tropical forests blanketed the area from the Atlantic to the Pacific back then and there were such large numbers of marine turtles that sometimes seafarers, lost in the fog, found land by means of listening to the sounds of tens of thousands of paddling in to nesting beaches.
Sadly, the passage of 500 years hasn't been kind to either the forests or animals and today the majority of the primary forests from Mexico to South America have been cut down or simply burned. Happily, Costa Rica had the foresight to preserve Corcovado.
Columbus never visited Corcovado. The first Western traveler to see it was Sir Frances Drake.
Name strike a bell? He is the sea captain who demolished the Spanish Armada in 1588 and protected England from Spain. A few years before that famous encounter, he dropped anchor just north of the Osa Peninsula in a beautiful area today named after him: Drake Bay. The bay serves as the gateway to Corcovado.
Despite the fact that Corcovado is extremely little, merely about 20 miles in length and 8 miles wide----less than half the size of New York City--- it might be, as National Georgraphic says: the most biologically intense place on the planet.
Consider this: They're 400 various species of birds crammed within this teeny place. Compare that to the U.S. which has approximately 900.
The most significant remaining Latin America population of the magnificent, and increasingly scarce, scarlet macaws is still here.
The Corcovado mammal species account for 10% of the varieties of mammals found in all of the Americas and they exist on just .000101777 percent of the earth's land. Additionally, 116 kinds of reptiles and amphibians and 139 different species of mammals.
To put this park's size in context, it would fit it into American's Yellowstone National Park at least 22 times!
Yet, it hosts six types of wild cats, among them the impressive jaguar and puma.
For anybody who is a fan of amphibians (I am talking about frogs here) Corcovado is really a fantastic place to find the glass frog, poison-arrow frogs, and the rare red-eyed tree frog.
It is also one of the few places in Costa Rica you will find squirrel monkeys.
You might look for fishing bats hunting for fish above the estuaries and rivers in the evening. This park is believed to be one of the remaining stands of the Harpy Eagle which is quite possibly on its way to extinction in Costa Rica.
At Corcovado, you will discover kilometer after kilometer of apparently deserted beaches. I say apparently because, though they look deserted, in fact these beaches provide nesting grounds for enormous leatherback turtles (weighing more than half a ton), Pacific Ridley, green and hawksbill sea turtles.
Tapirs are abundant and provide prey for ferocious jaguars and crocodiles. The footprints of these large cats are frequently seen along the muddy trails around the Corcovado Lagoon and they may also be sighted frequently. Carry your camera and stay alert!
Corcovado is one of the greatest tropical rainforests remaining. On your Costa Rica vacation, you will see why it is referred to as the Amazon of Costa Rica since it is as extraordinary as any rain forest in Brazil, Indonesia, or Malaysia.
Torrential rains fall in the area from April to December so the best time to tour is in the dry months from January to April.
Victor C. Krumm writes from sunny Costa Rica in his beautiful Costa Rica Vacations site. Visit here to learn more from wonderful Costa Rica Eco Tourism opportunities.
Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.