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Experiencing the Heart of Corcovado National Park

Destination: Drake Bay

I am up early, again for my trip to Sirena Ranger Station, located in the heart of Corcovado National Park. I am very excited because everyone says that to really see and know Corcovado, you need to visit Sirena.

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We arrived in good time (normally the trip is 1.5 hrs, but we made it in 45 minutes because the ocean was calm). After a gentle, wet landing, we put on our shoes and were ready to hike. We were greeted by a happy pair of Trogons (some of the most colorful birds of tropical America).

We began our hike on the Naranjo trail and headed towards the Sirena Ranger Station. After few creek crossings and still dry feet, we arrived in Sirena. We found a sleeping sloth in a nearby cecropia tree and a white tailed hawk circled above the landing strip at the Ranger Station.

We spent the rest of our time hiking along the Las Ollas and Escondido trails. We observed several groups of the squirrel monkeys and small group of spider monkeys off in the distance.

As I walked through the mostly primary forest, the size of the trees amazed me. So many of them are so tall that I could not see their foliage. The shorter trees engulf the trunks of the taller trees and all I was able to see are tree trunks reaching up into the sky with no apparent end. It makes identifying the trees very difficult.

Chestnut-mandibled toucans, ant shrikes and several other trogon species filled our binoculars with colorful plumages. We hiked for about 5 hours, and after stopping for a rest at the Rio Sirena, we were ravenously hungry. We returned to our drop off spot by hiking along the beach and devoured our home-made bread and ham sandwiches, which Jinetes de Osa had prepared for us. Yum!

Throughout the hike, our guide was kind enough to help those of us without rubber boots across the streams and I managed to end the day with dry feet. Our unique find of the day was a very noisy Caracara high up in one of the tree tops.

We headed back to Jinetes de Osa by late afternoon - just in time for an afternoon rest and a few beers at the bar before dinner. We enjoyed another delicious, healthy meal accompanied by fresh bread.

Experiencing the Heart of Corcovado National Park in Pictures

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