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       tapir sirena ranger station corcovado national park
  - Costa Rica

Osa Peninsula Wildlife

Osa Peninsula Wildlife

One of the last wildlife frontiers in the world, the Osa Peninsula never fails to impress visitors.  Here, dramatic encounters with rare and elusive animals like pumas, tapirs and squirrel monkeys are nothing short of commonplace. Check out our definitive list of places to explore:

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Drake Bay

Situated on the Osa Peninsula’s northern tip, Drake Bay is an ideal destination for families, honeymooners, and solo tourists alike. The tranquil village offers easy access to the staggering amount of wildlife inhabiting the region.

  • Peek through any Drake Bay hotel room window to glimpse howler monkeys, coatis, sloths and other jaw-dropping wildlife. Try not to gawk at the vibrant scarlet macaws flying gracefully overhead, or at the humpback whales that breach in the bay between July-October and December-April.

  • Explore Corcovado National Park, named by National Geographic as one of the most biologically intense places on the planet. 

  • Look out for tapirs, peccaries and squirrel monkeys as you trek from the Sirena station, less than an hour by boat from Drake. Pedrillo station is slightly closer, and practically guarantees at least one encounter with a fer-de-lance snake.

  • Swim among billowing schools of tropical fish off Cano Island, one of Costa Rica’s hottest snorkeling and scuba diving spots. Daredevils can mingle with giant moray eels and white tip reef sharks – followed by rainbows of less intimidating creatures like sea turtles, octopus, and swirling clouds of jackfish.

  • Conquer your fears on a popular night tour, where naturalist guides uncover jumping spiders, red-eyed tree frogs and other nocturnal creatures. Tours last about four hours – so be sure to pack lots of insect repellent.


Sierpe is the mainland gateway to the Osa Peninsula and all its jewels. The area’s lush mangroves forests provide endless opportunities for birdwatching and river fun.

  • Join birdwatchers from across the globe and visit the mangrove forests of the Terraba-Sierpe Wetlands, located just minutes from Sierpe. Take a guided boat tour or explore the lush estuary by kayak.

  • Hike the rainforest trail beginning near the town of Sabalo to an enormous 80-foot waterfall. Look for poison dart frogs, crocodiles, and tiger-throated herons en route.

Puerto Jimenez

Puerto Jimenez is an excellent base for nature tours, and is located on the Golfo Dulce side of the Osa Peninsula. Backpackers, animal lovers, and eco-tourists are drawn to the inspiring wildlife and gorgeous beaches of this vibrant coastal town.

  • Admire the enormous population of resident scarlet macaws while wandering the vibrant streets of Puerto Jimenez.

  • After a sunny day, the night phosphorescence in the waters of the Golfo Dulce flicker like dancing sparklers under the sea. Sunset kayak tours are nothing short of magical – either disembark and watch your body turn to glitter, or remain in your kayak with eyes peeled for dolphins.

  • Get up close and personal with spider monkeys, kinkajous, and sloths at the unforgettable Osa Wildlife Sanctuary, located just across the bay from Puerto Jimenez. Learn about the refuge’s injured and orphaned animals, many of which will return to the wild.

Cabo Matapalo

The pristine beaches and isolated landscapes of Cabo Matapalo are second only to Corcovado National Park for serious wildlife watching.

  • Trek the short rainforest trails of beautiful Cabo Matapalo and spot green and black poison dart frogs, boa constrictors, and agoutis.

  • Scale a 100-foot strangler fig on a tree climbing tour – keep your eyes peeled for canopy dwellers like howler and white-faced monkeys and colorful toucans.

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