ALSO PLEASE NOTE: ALL CORCOVADO HIKERS ARE REQUIRED TO HIKE WITH A GUIDE! No one is allowed to enter the park without a guide. Please consider making your reservations BEFORE arriving in Costa Rica/ Puerto Jimenez, to make all your arrangements and make sure guides are available! In High season guides are busy – and so is the park! So plan ahead to get the most out of your experience!
Corcovado National Park is one of the main highlights on the Osa Peninsula. Almost all of our guests are going into the park for a few days during their stay. And most people who arrive have no idea how to get to the park, how long they are going to stay in the park, and how to organize the park hike. So we thought we’ll give you a little more info on the park and “how to organize your Corcovado hike”.
Info on the Corcovado Hike and Preparation
You will need to come prepared with good (!) hiking shoes/ tennis shoes, a rain jacket (especially in the rainy season), a flash light, and of course – a good photo or video camera.
To sleep overnight in the ranger station Sirena (which is what most tourists do typically), you’ll need to have a park permit for the park (as an entrance ticket)
which costs 15 USD per day, and a reservation at Sirena for the nights you’d like to stay there for. Sirena offers camp-spots, tents, and dormitories, ranging from 4 – 8 USD a night.
Sirena Ranger Station recently has upgraded and renovated their facilities and now offers even more space for camping and sleeping. This is great news for us, as it increases the amount of tourists that can visit the park. Sometimes during high season it still gets tight – so we do recommend making your arrangements in advance. Read More in our separately published post here.
You’ll need your permit for the park and an overnight reservation at Sirena – both can be organized at the Corcovado Park Office, which is just around the corner from Cabinas Tropicales (see map)…
FOOD & TRASH RULES AT SIRENA RANGER STATION
La Sirena offers meals at a rate of 20 – 25 USD per meal. You will have to RESERVE the food in advance – usually at the same time as you make the overnight stay reservations. You cannot cook meals in Corcovado – only cold food is allowed! That means you can bring in your own cold food, that doesn’t have to be cooked, and eat it at the Ranger Station. Another new rule is that guests have to carry out their own trash that their bring into the park. No trash can be left in the park.
IT IS NOW REQUIRED THAT ALL GUESTS TO CORCOVADO NATIONAL PARK HIKE IN WITH A GUIDE. YOU CANNOT DO THE HIKE WITHOUT A GUIDE !
One of the reasons for this is that guides know more about the nature and animals, the trails, and the tides… ! This will mean, you’ll see much more than if you’d be hiking alone, and you’ll be hiking MUCH MORE SAFELY. The most important reason is that guides will see “dangers” much quicker than you (since they are used to spotting dangerous animals), such as venomous snakes or frogs. If you’d be hiking alone there is a higher risk that you’d step on a venomous snake.. which would certainly ruin your holidays.
The next reason is that guides will plan the entire trip for you, help you choose the right food (cold food) to bring into the park, help you with the organization of the permits and overnight reservation at Sirena, and calculate the tides for you and when it is safe to cross the rivers (which swell up a lot during high-tide, and there are crocodiles and bullsharks in the water… which you don’t want to disturb).
There are several options for the park – you can do a one-day hike only, without staying overnight in the park (La Sirena). This is one of the most popular options if the park station is fully booked for overnight stays. You can do a day-hike anytime, without much previous planning. We still recommend to make previous arrangements, since guides are busy during high season!
To get the most out of the park, we do recommend to stay overnight in La Sirena station. With previous reservations, you can stay at our Cabinas, do your park hike and overnight stay, then arrive back at our Cabinas to spend another night after the park. We are glad to store your luggage for you and help you get everything set up!
Most people choose to hike in and out of the park. You’ll be leaving from Puerto Jimenez either by Public transit (collectivo bus) or by private transport with your guide. You’ll arrive in Carate and hike to La Leona station, which is around 3.5 km from Carate (your first part of the hike). At La Leona station the guide has to present himself with you and your paperwork to the park rangers. They’re there to make sure that they record how many people are inside the park at all times – for security reasons.
If you choose a day hike only, you may hike several hours in the park, and come back out of the park in the afternoon, and take the collectivo or private transport back to Puerto Jimenez.
If you stay overnight at La Sirena station, you’ll hike to the Station which will take around 8 hours! You’ll stay a night at Sirena, and then hike back to Puerto Jimenez the next day.
Above image: Corcovado Map and hiking times/ distances.
Fly-in and Fly-out
It is also possible to fly into Sirena from Puerto Jimenez. If you’re pressed in time and money is not an issue, this is a great way to explore the park too. You can also decide to only fly in one way and hike one way – whatever you’d like can be arranged. Flights are around 70 USD one way per person (based on a flight filled with 4 people). Flights have to be booked in advance too, so please let us know if you’re interested in this option and we’re happy to arrange the flights for you.
We also have ready to go tour-packages available for you, which you can book through us. Currently, our most popular packages are:
Hike in and out of Sirena Ranger Station and stay at Cabinas Tropicales before and after your Corcovado Hike. This package is designed for 2 overnight stays in the park – but you can certainly add on an extra night if you like.
Fly into and out of Sirena Ranger Station and stay at Cabinas Tropicales before and after your Corcovado Hike. This package is designed for 2 overnight stays in the park – but you can certainly add on an extra night if you like.
Fly into or out of Sirena Ranger Station and hike into or out of Sirena Station and stay at Cabinas Tropicales before and after your Corcovado Hike. This package is designed for 2 overnight stays in the park – but you can certainly add on an extra night if you like.