Calls only: +506 4070-2220 or +1 954-827-9345 | WhatsApp only: +506-8868-6481 or +506-8308-1900 info@osaaventura.com

Hello, My name is Luis and I’m a certified and prepared local guide with 36 years old and 5 years of experience, I was born and raised in the corcovado mountains and I know every corner and every species of flora and fauna, I met Mike and he motivated me to follow his conserving and educating legacy, which as a reward left me a great gift from OsaAventura, which motivates me every day to offer a unique experience of the natural treasure of the OSA Peninsula. And now in memory of him we don’t want to let the page or the legacy die, we also offer all kinds of tours inside and outside the corcovado national park, in memory of a great teacher and human being Mike Boston 8/21/21

 

OsaAventura by Luis.

Osa aventura

Your specialists in research support & education

 

Why the Osa?

It is the country’s best kept secret! It is certainly the most remote and least spoilt area of the country, and over one third of its pristine beauty is protected by Corcovado, the crown jewels of Costa Rica’s National Parks. And these forests are the most majestic in Central America, rivaling in grandeur the best that the Amazon can offer.

Stronghold of endangered species

It is the last stronghold in Costa Rica — indeed, in some cases, Central America! — for many endangered species. To name but a few:
*The Jaguar — these large, secretive cats are not often seen, but their foot prints are everywhere!
*Baird’s Tapir — a common sight in Corcovado!
*The White-Lipped Peccary — large herds of this aggressive species are regularly encountered in Corcovado!
*The Central American Squirrel Monkey — the Osa is the center of this species’ very limited distribution!
*The Scarlet Macaw — the Osa holds the highest population density of this rare bird anywhere in its range. It is not uncommon to see these colorful parrots in flocks of up to one hundred individuals!

National Geographic reference

The forests of the Osa are home to the richest assemblage of plants and animals anywhere in Central America. Over 700 species of trees, for example, have been recorded in the area, many times more species than found in the whole of the North American continent. The National Geographic described these forests as ‘the most biologically intense on earth’. Indeed, the stupefying abundance of wildlife in Corcovado will attest to this; there are monkeys everywhere; sharks and crocodiles feeding together in the Park’s river mouths; and jaguars patrolling the beaches for nesting turtles. And the birds? Wow!! Just being in these forests is like experiencing a living wildlife documentary!

11 + 5 =

our offer

Research Support

Scientists
Students
Documentary filmmakers
Photographers
Artists

Adventure Options

Hiking                     Camping
Birdwatching         Dolphins
Kayaking                Snorkeling
Canopy                   Canyoning
Horseback riding

Social Responsibility

Mindfulness 
Rural tourism
Cultural tourism

Destinations

Corcovado National Park
Caño Island Reserve
Piedras Blancas National Park

Your journey

Osa Aventura offers all inclusive high quality programs  expertly designed to fulfill the adventurous spirit in you. Reef and rainforest explorations are edifying and exhilarating – and often hands-on!

Our prices include all meals, transportation, park entry, accomodation and a bilingual expert, so that you can rest assured that everything has been taken care of.

Cindy read the detailed description and related information to optimize your time, as sometimes we are unable to answer email queries when we are out in the rainforest with limited internet connection. 

our values

The foundations of Osa Aventura’s operations are the ethics of professionalism, reliability and integrity. It aims to introduce people to fascinating natural richness and beauty of tropical rainforests, and thus to make a contribution, however small, to the collective awareness of the urgent need to conserve these precious environments.

The establishment of Osa Aventura was for me an indulgence. I am an adventurer by nature and all of my life I have had an insatiable passion for tropical rainforests. And it is, after all, human nature to want to excite our interests and passions in others. So Osa Aventura has formulated adventure and exploratory tours with this intention.


Osa Aventura is based in the provincial town of Puerto Jimenez, on the Osa Peninsula. It presents on this site a selection of adventures tours designed to explore the length and breadth of the remote Osa Peninsula (see “Why the Osa?”). Based on many years living and working in the tropics, and on an extensive knowledge of the Osa, I have tailored a selection of multi-activity, adventure itineraries to explore the most spectacular and exciting aspects of this pristine, wild Peninsula.

 

Tour #1

1 day to Leona

 

This adventure begins leaving Puerto Jiménez very early, from the first moment we will be surprised with the song of the birds, we will take our transportation to Carate, this tour will take us approximately 2 hours, on the way depending on the time, we will be able to observe a great variety of mammals such as the 4 types of monkeys, some birds such as the scarlet macaw, toucans and much more.

Upon arrival in Carate we will start the walk of approximately 1 hour, to reach the La Leona Park Ranger Station, where we will take a short break while we check in, at the Station you can refill the water bottles and use the restrooms.

After checking-in, we will resume the walk, but this time already inside the Corcovado National Park, the duration and route inside the Park will depend on the physical condition of each person and the weather condition of the day, We will explore in search of mammals and birds such as: the Anteater, Zainos, Pizote, the Tapir, Trogons, Sparrowhawks and much more.

During this tour we will take a break for lunch and depending on the time of year, take a dip in a river to regain strength, after a well-deserved rest we will start our way back to the car to return to Puerto Jiménez.

It includes:

● Transport Puerto Jiménez – carate – Puerto Jiménez
● Tickets to Corcovado National Park
● Certified Guide
● INS
● Satellite equipment in case of emergency.

 

 

 Tour #2

Overnight Sirena

 

This tour consists of going by boat from the Puerto Jiménez pier at around 5:30 am, making a journey of approximately 1 hour 45 minutes, arriving in sirena at approximately 7:15 am, we got off the boat and walked 20 minutes to the sirena station for a snack and then we went out to hike the sirena river trail and came back for lunch. Then at 2pm we hike on the orange tree path and take the opportunity to watch the sunset and then return to the station for dinner and later rest in the bed assigned to us to sleep and get up the next day at 5am to hike and so watch the sunrise and look for all kinds of flora and fauna, returning around 7:30 a.m. to have breakfast and then prepare our suitcases to vacate the bed and leave everything ready to go for a walk around 9 a.m. and return to the station to pick up the suitcases, rest at 11am and we went out to take the boat that leaves at 12:30pm back to the Puerto Jiménez pier.

 

 Tour #3

Matapalo waterfall half day or full day

 

It’s a tour that is very close to Puerto Jiménez, we leave early at 6am by car, we travel approximately 20 kilometers between lagoons and meadows with secondary forests, with exuberant fauna and flora until we reach Cabo Matapalo to refresh ourselves in a beautiful waterfall and there we end with the views of turquoise water beaches among many monkeys, toucans and scarlet macaws and some reptiles.

It’s a special tour for the elderly or families with small children because it’s a low intensity tour.

It includes:

● Round trip transport
● Water
● Certified Guide

 

 

 

 Tour #4

1 day to Sirena

On this adventure we will go from Puerto Jiménez to the Sirena Biological Station, located in the middle of the Corcovado National Park

We will sail through the waters of the South Pacific where at certain times of the year and depending on the sea currents, we will be able to come across humpback whales, spotted or bottlenose dolphins, swimming and jumping out of the water in a magnificent spectacle.

Upon reaching Sirena and due to the remoteness and wildness of the place, we will get our feet wet when we get off the boat, but a few meters away we will have a place to rinse our feet and put our shoes back on. Once we are ready, we will start the first walk of approximately 45 minutes. , by the path called Naranjos, which will take us to the Biological station where we will have drinking water to fill bottles and make toilets, we will take a short tour of the facilities to see the Sirena station. Then we will start the adventure through the different trails available in the tropical rain forest.

Depending on the weather and climatic conditions we will walk through some trails such as Espavel, Río Sirena or Guanacaste, through these walks you will be able to know and admire the flora and fauna such as the Espaveles trees, true giants of the forest or the coati, bay and of course the Danta emblematic icon of the park and much more of the secondary and primary forest in Corcovado National Park.

Once finished exploring the forest we will direct our steps back to the Sirena station, where we will enjoy a snack to recharge energy, after a break we will take the Naranjos path towards the beach to take the boat that will take us back to Puerto Jiménez.

SCHEDULE:

Meeting point: Monar Bakery 5:00 am Here you have 20 minutes to buy food and be at the dock at 5:25 am to leave by boat to Sirena.

It includes:

● Transportation by boat Pto. Jiménez – Sirena – Pto. Jiménez
● Certified Guide
● Snack at Sirena Station
● INS policies
● Tickets to Corcovado National Park
● Satellite Equipment (In case of emergency)

 

 Tour #5

2 days & 1 night

Route Leona – Sirena – Pto Jiménez

 

 

First day: We will leave very early from Puerto Jiménez, taking our transport to Carate, which lasts approximately 2 hours, along the way we will be able to stop to observe some mammals and birds, upon reaching Carate we will start the walk of approximately 20 km to the Biological Station Siren. This around 9 hour trek is known for its intense biodiversity and adventurous river crossings. The trail will take us through wonderful settings where the magnificent Pacific Ocean meets the incredible tropical rain forest.

Upon arrival at the Sirena station we will check-in and the beds will be delivered to us, after a good shower with cold water since they do not offer hot water, we will go to dinner to recharge energy and thus be in optimal conditions for the next day.

Second day: : We will wake up with the call of the howler monkeys, this will indicate that the adventure begins again, this day will be a little more relaxed, we will walk the trails that are around the Sirena station, depending on the weather and the physical condition of each person, we will go out for our first tour at 5:30 am to the mouth of the Sirena River, where many times we can be surprised by the wildlife that surrounds it, sometimes finding crocodiles, bull sharks entering the river at high tide, a variety of amazing birds and sometimes the Tapir crossing the river.

At approximately 7:30 a.m. we will return to have breakfast at the station and leave again at 8:30 a.m. for the second tour, where we will explore different trails such as the Espaveles: in this we will be able to see a bit of the primary forest and the gigantic size of the Spavel trees, which were used in ancient times to make canoes, then we will walk the Guanacaste trail: which will take us along the Sirena River and where many times it surprises us with rare amphibians and reptiles to observe, this trail connects with the Sirena trail, which will take us to the station for a snack or lunch.

At 12:00 noon we will return along the orange path to take the boat back to Puerto Jiménez. We will sail through the waters of the South Pacific where at certain times of the year and depending on the marine currents, we will be able to cross with humpback whales, spotted or nose dolphins. bottle, swimming and jumping out of the water in a magnificent spectacle, this tour will take us approximately 2 hours from Sirena to Puerto Jimenez.

It includes:

DAY 1

● Transport Puerto Jimenez – Carate
● Tickets to Corcovado National Park
● Certified Guide
● Dinner at Sirena
● Lodging in Sirena
● INS 
● Satellite equipment in case of emergency

DAY 2

● Tickets to Corcovado National Park
● Breakfast at Mermaid
● Lunch or Snack in Sirena
● Certified Guide
● Water transport Sirena – Puerto Jiménez
● INS 
● Satellite equipment in case of emergency

 

 

 

 

 Tour #6

2 days & 1 night

Route Leona – Sirena – Leona

 

 

First day: We will leave very early from Puerto Jiménez, taking our transport to Carate, which lasts approximately 2 hours, along the way we will be able to stop to observe some mammals and birds, upon reaching Carate we will start the walk of approximately 20 km to the Biological Station Siren. This around 9 hour trek is known for its intense biodiversity and adventurous river crossings. The trail will take us through wonderful settings where the magnificent Pacific Ocean meets the incredible tropical rain forest.

Upon arrival at the Sirena station we will check-in and the beds will be delivered to us, after a good shower with cold water since they do not offer hot water, we will go to dinner to recharge energy and thus be in optimal conditions for the next day.

Second day: We will wake up with the call of the howler monkeys, this will indicate that the adventure begins again, Sirena’s return time will depend on the tide, we will take the path to La Leona again and with this one more opportunity to find new species, as you already know this is one of the best trails to see the wildlife of Corcovado.

It includes:

DAY 1

● Transport Puerto Jimenez – carate
● Tickets to Corcovado National Park
● Dinner at Sirena
● Lodging in Sirena
● Certified Guide
● INS
● Satellite equipment in case of emergency

 

DAY 2 

● Tickets to Corcovado National Park
● Certified Guide
● Transport Carate – Puerto Jimenez
● INS
● Satellite equipment in case of emergency

 

 

 

 Tour #7

2 days & 1 night

Route Leona – Sirena – Patos

 

 

First day: We will leave very early from Puerto Jiménez, taking our transport to Carate, which lasts approximately 2 hours, along the way we will be able to stop to observe some mammals and birds, upon reaching Carate we will start the walk of approximately 20 km to the Biological Station Siren. This around 9 hour trek is known for its intense biodiversity and adventurous river crossings. The trail will take us through wonderful settings where the magnificent Pacific Ocean meets the incredible tropical rain forest.

Upon arrival at the Sirena station we will check-in and the beds will be delivered to us, after a good shower with cold water since they do not offer hot water, we will go to dinner to recharge energy and thus be in optimal conditions for the next day.

Second day: We will wake up with the call of the howler monkeys, this will indicate that the adventure begins again, this time we will leave for the Los Patos Park Ranger Station, we will cross the heart of the Corcovado National Park, through an exuberant primary forest that will surprise us with its impressive size, this trail is approximately 24 km long and in the last section of the trail we will have a lot of unevenness in it, when we arrive at Los Patos Station, depending on the weather conditions, our transport will be waiting for us in the station to return to Puerto Jiménez, but if we are in winter, we will have to walk approximately 6 km more to reach our transport.

In the rainy season (May to November) you may have to walk back through La Leona due to weather conditions and the rivers fill up.
This tour starts in Puerto Jimenez and ends in Puerto Jimenez.

 

It includes:

DAY 1

● Transport Puerto Jimenez – carate
● Tickets to Corcovado National Park
● Dinner at Sirena
● Lodging in Sirena
● Certified Guide
● INS
● Satellite equipment in case of emergency

 

DAY 2 

● Transport Puerto Jimenez – carate
● Certified Guide
● Transportation Patos – Puerto Jimenez
● INS
● Satellite equipment in case of emergency

 

 

 

 Tour #8

3 days & 2 nights

Route Leona – Sirena – Patos

 

 

First day: We will leave very early from Puerto Jiménez, taking our transport to Carate, which lasts approximately 2 hours, along the way we will be able to stop to observe some mammals and birds, upon reaching Carate we will start the walk of approximately 20 km to the Biological Station Siren. This around 9 hour trek is known for its intense biodiversity and adventurous river crossings. The trail will take us through wonderful settings where the magnificent Pacific Ocean meets the incredible tropical rain forest.

Upon arrival at the Sirena station we will check-in and the beds will be delivered to us (remember that it is a mixed dormitory), after a good shower (with cold water since they do not offer hot water), we will go to dinner to recharge energy and so be in optimal conditions for the next day.

Second day: : We will wake up with the call of the howler monkeys, this will indicate that the adventure begins again, this day will be a little more relaxed, we will walk the trails that are around the Sirena station, depending on the weather and the physical condition of each person, we will go out for our first tour at 5:30 am to the mouth of the Sirena River, where many times we can be surprised by the wildlife that surrounds it, sometimes finding crocodiles, bull sharks entering the river at high tide, a variety of amazing birds and sometimes the Tapir crossing the river.

At approximately 7:30 a.m. we will return to have breakfast at the station and leave again at 8:30 a.m. for the second tour, where we will explore different trails such as the Espaveles: in this we will be able to see a bit of the primary forest and the gigantic size of the Spavel trees, which were used in ancient times to make canoes, then we will walk the Guanacaste trail: which will take us along the Sirena River and where many times it surprises us with rare amphibians and reptiles to observe, this trail connects with the Sirena trail, which will take us to the station for a snack or lunch.

At the end of the snack or lunch we will have a break to get to know the station more thoroughly and recharge our batteries, the animals also usually hide at this time. At approximately 2:00 pm we will explore the area again, at this time the animals return to activity and depending on the weather conditions we will go for a dip in the river, so do not forget your swimsuit, then we will return to the beach , if the weather allows it we can appreciate a beautiful sunset.

At 6:00 pm we must be at the station to shower and have dinner, since the next day a new adventure awaits us.

Third day: This day we will leave very early at 5:00 am towards the Los Patos Park Ranger Station, we will cross the heart of the Corcovado National Park, through an exuberant primary forest that will surprise us with its impressive size, this trail has approximately 24 km away and in the last section of the trail we will have a lot of unevenness, when we arrive at Los Patos Station, depending on the weather conditions, our transport will be waiting for us at the station to return to Puerto Jiménez, but if we are in winter, we will have to to walk approximately 6 km more to reach our transport.

In the rainy season (May to November) you may have to walk back through La Leona due to weather conditions and the rivers fill up.
This tour starts in Puerto Jimenez and ends in Puerto Jimenez.

It includes:

DAY 1

● Transport Puerto Jimenez – carate
● Tickets to Corcovado National Park
● Dinner at Sirena
● Lodging in Sirena
● Certified Guide
● INS
● Satellite equipment in case of emergency

DAY 2 

● Tickets to Corcovado National Park
● Breakfast in Mermaid
● Lunch or Snack in Sirena
● Dinner at Sirena
● Lodging in Sirena
● Certified Guide
● INS
● Satellite equipment in case of emergency

DAY 3 

● Tickets to Corcovado National Park
● Transport Patos – Puerto Jimenez
● Certified Guide
● INS
● Satellite equipment in case of emergency

 

 

 

 Tour #9

3 days & 2 nights

Route Leona – Sirena – Pto Jiménez

 

 

First day: We will leave very early from Puerto Jiménez, taking our transport to Carate, which lasts approximately 2 hours, along the way we will be able to stop to observe some mammals and birds, upon reaching Carate we will start the walk of approximately 20 km to the Biological Station Siren. This around 9 hour trek is known for its intense biodiversity and adventurous river crossings. The trail will take us through wonderful settings where the magnificent Pacific Ocean meets the incredible tropical rain forest.

Upon arrival at the Sirena station we will check-in and the beds will be delivered to us, after a good shower with cold water since they do not offer hot water, we will go to dinner to recharge energy and thus be in optimal conditions for the next day.

Second day: We will wake up with the call of the howler monkeys, this will indicate that the adventure begins again, this day will be a little more relaxed, we will walk the trails that are around the Sirena station, depending on the weather and the condition of each person, we will go out for our first tour at 5:30 am to the mouth of the Sirena River, where many times we can be surprised by the wildlife that surrounds it, sometimes finding crocodiles, bull sharks entering the river in high tide, a variety of amazing birds and sometimes the Tapir crossing the river.

At approximately 7:30 a.m. we will return to have breakfast at the station and leave again at 8:30 a.m. for the second tour, where we will explore different trails such as the Espaveles de los arboles espaveles, which were used in ancient times to make canoes, then we will walk the Guanacaste trail: which will take us along the Sirena river and where many times it surprises us with rare amphibians and reptiles to observe, this trail connects with the Sirena trail, which will take us to the station for the snack or lunch.

At the end of the snack or lunch we will have a break to get to know the station more thoroughly and recharge our batteries, the animals also usually hide at this time. At approximately 2:00 pm we will explore the area again, at this time the animals return to activity and depending on the weather conditions we will go for a dip in the river, so do not forget your swimsuit, then we will return to the beach , if the weather allows it we can appreciate a beautiful sunset.

At 6:00 pm we must be at the station to shower and have dinner, since the next day a new adventure awaits us.

Third day: This being our last day in Sirena, we must make the most of it, so we will wake up very early at 5:30 a.m. to start our exploration of the area, we will go out again to the mouth of the Sirena river to wait sunrise and see what nature has in store for us, often we will return to the station to have breakfast at 7:30 am, when we finish we must pack our bags to deliver our beds and if we still have time we will go out again to enjoy the fauna and flora of the place, At 12:00 noon we will return along the orange path to take the boat back to Puerto Jiménez. We will sail through the waters of the South Pacific where at certain times of the year and depending on the marine currents, we will be able to observe humpback whales, spotted dolphins or nose dolphins. bottle, swimming and jumping out of the water in a magnificent spectacle, this tour will take us approximately 2 hours from Sirena to Puerto Jimenez.

In the rainy season (May to November) you may have to walk back through La Leona due to weather conditions and the rivers fill up.
This tour starts in Puerto Jimenez and ends in Puerto Jimenez.

It includes:

DAY 1

● Transport Puerto Jimenez – carate
● Tickets to Corcovado National Park
● Dinner at Sirena
● Lodging in Sirena
● Certified Guide
● INS
● Satellite equipment in case of emergency

DAY 2 

● Tickets to Corcovado National Park
● Breakfast in Mermaid
● Lunch or Snack in Sirena
● Dinner at Sirena
● Lodging in Sirena
● Certified Guide
● INS
● Satellite equipment in case of emergency

DAY 3 

● Tickets to Corcovado National Park
● Breakfast in Mermaid
● Lunch or Snack in Sirena
● Water transport from Sirena – Puerto Jiménez
● Certified Guide
● INS
● Satellite equipment in case of emergency

 

our teaM

Luis Jiménez

Luis Jiménez

Owner, Guide

C

Cindy Boulanger

Tour Coordinator

Cindy guzmán

Naturalist Guide

Ready for the Aventure?

FAQ

What are the regulations in Corcovado National Park?

Changes to Corcovado National Park Regulations
The following are changes to the regulations governing Corcovado. Guide Associations on the Osa Peninsula are trying to reverse these change, but for the time being they hold:
1. The trail from Los Patos to Sirena can only be hiked with a guide.
2. The trail from Sirena to San Pedrillo is closed for this coming dry season (normally it opens from December to April).
3. It is currently not possible to rent the canoes on the Rio Sirena.
4. For the time being, it is not possible to leave any rangers station after dark and, thus, it is not possible at the moment to do night tours.

When is the best time to visit Osa?

All year round. However, March is the hottest and November is the wettest,

Are the hikes difficult?

The hikes are about 20 km long. Both hiking trails, Sirena –Los Patos and Sirena – La Leona, are longer than most people have walked in their lives. They are not difficult technically, but they are demanding on your stamina. The weather is almost always hot and humid, and therefore you should ensure that you are well hydrated and have a good level of electrolytes before the hike. During the hike you will pass by several rivers where you have the chance to cool off.

What is the weather like?

Temperature
Remember that you are in the tropics: it is hot and humid, and there are snakes and creepy-crawlies. It is the latter though, which concerns people the most. Well, snakes and insects are not as bothersome as your imagination would have you believe. It is the combination of heat and high humidity that is the greater problem. On the Osa Peninsula temperatures seldom drop below 27oC (80oF), in the rainy season, and may exceed 35oC (95oF), in the dry season. Combined with the high humidity (60 – 100%), conditions here can become uncomfortable, even oppressive. Physical activity in such conditions is much more tiring than in cooler climes, and unless you take the appropriate precautions, severe sunburn, heat exhaustion, sunstroke and dehydration are likely consequences. Your guide will give you precautionary advice during adventure tours.

We recommend you bring with you:

  • Light clothing
  • An effective sun block
  • Sunglasses and a peaked cap or a wide-brimmed hat
  • Water bottle of one liter (2 – 3 pints) or more

Rainfall
On the OSA Peninsula rainfall is from 4 to 7 meters (160 to 280 inches) annually, and falls mainly between the months of April and November, heaviest in October. During this period–referred to by Costa Ricans as winter–it rains every day, though usually as heavy showers in the afternoon and evening. At times, rainfall can be torrential and accompanied by thunder and lightning. These thunderstorms, if they persist, can interrupt schedules as a result of swollen rivers and flooding. During such times Corcovado Park can be inaccessible and roads impassable. Throughout the rainy season forest trails will be muddy and in places slippery.

We recommend you bring with you:

  • Light washable hiking boots or rubber boots, both with good grips
  • sealable plastic bags and/or bin bags to keep your belongings dry
  • Light waterproof clothing
What about bugs?

Spiders
Spiders, like snakes, have an exalted position among people’s phobias. There are a lot of spiders here, but most are small and innocuous. Tarantulas are cryptic and seldom seen; they are harmless anyway!

Scorpions
Scorpions are not that often encountered, and none of the species found in Costa Rica are known to be dangerous. In fact, their stings are scarcely more harmful or painful than bee stings. However, shake out your boots before putting them on!

Biting insects
`Biting’ insects come in several groups, but only three are worthy of mention: mosquitoes, midges (or no-see-ms) and horse flies. Actually these flies (Diptera) don’t bite; they pierce and suck! – No matter where you are, or at what time of the day and night, they have you covered. But, their nuisance value is not that high (at least not anything like as bad as we have experienced in parts of North America and Europe), and most repellents confer effective protection.

Stinging insects
`Stinging’ insects, the bees, wasps, and ants (Hymenoptera) are very prevalent, and while their stings can be very painful, unprovoked attacks are rare. So called `killer bees’ do occur in Costa Rica, but the threat from them is no greater here than in any other area of their range.

We recommend you bring with you:

  • Insect repellent
  • Antihistamine tablets
  • Cream for alleviating insect bites and stings
Are there potentially dangerous animals?

Snakes
The word `jungle’ conjures up nightmare images in the minds of many people of a place seething with snakes. Well, the reality is quite different (alas!): you seldom see snakes! Most encounters with snakes are with non-venomous species. Nevertheless, the threat from venomous snakes does exist, and their bites can be very serious indeed, sometimes fatal. However, your chances of being bitten by one are about as improbable as being struck on the head by a falling coconut. Venomous snakes will rarely bite unless provoked, trodden on or grabbed. Your experienced guide is there to minimize that improbability and will take the lead on all treks.

Peccaries
Of the large mammals found in the Neotropics – of which there are surprisingly few – it is only the peccary that has a dubious reputation. They have been known on occasions when taken by surprise, to send the unwary hiker scurrying up a tree for safety. Encounters with peccaries (the larger white-lip peccary in particular), in herds of 20 or more, are common in Corcovado and, as yet, no casualties have been reported. Their foul smell and the loud cracking of their canine teeth when alarmed, make encounters with these beasts an awesome experience, and a memorable one! We recommend that you practice your tree climbing!!

Jaguars
Jaguars are large and powerful cats, but have never, contrary to expectation, been known to bother people. There is a relatively healthy population of these cats in Corcovado!

Pumas
Pumas, reportedly, have on a couple of occasions `tumbled’ people in Corcovado Park. No serious injuries resulted. Personally, we would rather see and be `tumbled’ by a puma than not see one at all!

Sharks
Sharks are prevalent in the coastal waters of the Osa Peninsula and the Golfo Dulce. And among their ranks are two of the three most infamous species: the tiger shark and the bull shark. While this area is not renown for shark attacks, they have been known to occur – though no fatalities as far as we are aware. Bull sharks are very often seen patrolling the mouths of the Rio Sirena and Rio Claro in Corcovado Park. The benign white-tipped reef shark is a common sight to divers off Caño Island.

American crocodiles
American crocodiles kill on average one person annually in Costa Rica. In recent years these have been tourists! This species does not have a particularly bad reputation, preferring fish to tourists. But large specimens of three and a half meters (12 feet) or more will take large mammals and even people. Because of Costa Rica’s rigorous conservation laws, specimens of this size and larger are common here – reportedly there are crocodiles of up to 6 meters (20 feet) in the Corcovado Lagoon. But the American crocodile is not a threat unless you are dumb enough (or crazy enough like me!!) to swim in rivers, lagoons and lakes where they are known to occur. 

What precautions should I take?

A Precautionary Note
Hopefully we have allayed some of your fears and phobias about the tropics; or at least put them in perspective. But please don’t become too complacent: there are hazards and dangers in tropical rain forests and coral reefs.

Getting Lost
Getting lost in rainforests, for example, is a very real possibility if you are foolhardy enough to stray from the trail and your guide. When surrounded by trees with visibility restricted to 30 meters (100 feet) or less, one has no point of reference by which to navigate. And while the adage that all rivers lead to the sea is true, in Corcovado many rivers have their seaward courses interrupted by crocodile-infested swamps! Slippery trails and protruding roots make real the possibility of tripping and breaking a bone. Some trees, especially some palm trees, have vicious spines which, can cause deep wounds, can be difficult to remove, and often cause suppurating wounds.

Some Perspective
Although perils can come from unexpected sources, tropical rain forests and coral reefs are not seething cauldrons of nightmares as some may fear. If entered with due respect and perceived for what they really are–incredibly diverse and complex interrelationships of living things–tropical rainforests and coral reefs are truly among the most fascinating and captivating ecosystems on Earth.

Medical Advice and Vaccinations
Costa Rica has had for several decades an excellent health service. As a consequence, many of the diseases prevalent in other tropical countries have long since ceased to be a problem here. Nevertheless, you should seek medical advice from your doctor or medical center about what vaccinations are required and recommended for Costa Rica.

Dengue Fever and Malaria
Dengue fever and malaria are both on the increase world wide, and have recently reappeared in this country. Dengue and malaria are transmitted from people to people by mosquitoes, with no other animal host involved. Risk from either disease is, therefore, greater in urban areas than in rural areas. The Osa Peninsula has seen only a handful of cases of these diseases in the last two years largely because it is mainly rural. Concern for dengue and malaria in Costa Rica is centered primarily in the urban areas of Puntarenas, along the Pacific lowlands, and in Limon, along the Caribbean lowlands.

Waterborne Diseases
Waterborne diseases, such as cholera and typhoid are virtually unknown in Costa Rica, and municipal water supplies throughout the country are for the most part chlorinated and potable. The incidence of hepatitis is 100 times greater than typhus and 1000 times greater than cholera. The protozoan Giardia and the bacterium shigella are widespread in natural waterways. Under no circumstances should you drink water from a stream. Avoid shistosomiasis by not swimming in very slow-moving water.

Minor Infections
Minor infections, common to all humid tropical areas, include fungal rashes, like athlete’s foot and jock itch. Wearing damp clothing on long hikes through Corcovado offers ideal conditions for these rashes to occur. Also, cuts and grazes can become more easily infected with bacteria in tropical conditions.

We recommend you bring with you:

  • Anti-fungal cream
  • Antiseptic lotion or swabs
  • These in addition to other items recommended by your medical center or Doctor
What should I bring and wear?

Please note that on these adventure tours through Corcovado Park we will be hiking, with backpacks, for 50kms (30 miles) or more along muddy trails and beaches. As we have explained, the greatest difficulty you are likely to experience is from the combined effects of heat and humidity, which, if you are not used to it, can be debilitating. For your own comfort, therefore, we strongly advise that you to travel as lightly as possible: bring only that which is essential to you. You will be advised on these matters during your pre-tour briefing, and arrangements to store excess baggage can be made.

The following is what we recommend you include when packing:

  • EQUIPMENT
  • Binoculars
  • Camera & film (asa 400 to 600 is best in rainforests)
  • Compass
  • Multipurpose penknife
  • Flashlight & spare batteries
  • Small zip-lock bag for your passport etc.
  • Bin-bags for clothing etc. (purchasable upon arrival)
  • Water bottle
  • MEDICINE & PROTECTANTS
    This list includes some items essential and recommended for inclusion in your personal medical kit. Tailor your medical kit to your own specific needs, and perhaps seek medical advice. But keep it light! Remember that your guide will be carrying a multipurpose medical kit on all tours.
  • Blister band-aides
  • Antihistamine tablets (good for suppressing irritation from insect bites)
  • Cream to alleviate insect bites and stings
  • Antiseptic lotion or swabs
  • Anti-fungal cream
  • Sun-block
  • After-sun lotion
  • Insect repellent

    CLOTHING & BEDDING
  • A light sheet (a sleeping bag liner is ideal)
  • Peaked cap or wide-brimmed hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sandals
  • Comfortable hiking boots or shoes with good grips (light ones that can be easily washed and dried are best). We wear rubber boots!
  • A 65 to 75 liter backpack of good quality. (Multipurpose backpacks which double as suitcases are not recommended). A large pack half filled is much more comfortable than a small pack stuffed full!
  • One pair of light trousers and a light long-sleeved shirt
  • 3 pairs of shorts and 4 T-shirts. (To save weight consider hiking in the same clothes each day, packing only the minimum of clothing you think you will need for a clean, dry change in the evenings)
  • Several pairs of good quality hiking socks
  • A light backpackers towel
  • As much underwear as you require
  • Swim-wear

What Osa Aventura Provides
We are equipped with a medical kit, flashlights, and binoculars, but we recommend that you bring your own. Osa Aventura is also equipped with the knowledge of the environment, the terrain and its potential dangers. It is important that you heed the advice given to you by your guide during these adventure tours.

Your recommendations for scuba diving?

Novices
PADI Resort Course instruction, prior to diving, is given to those of you who wish to scuba dive but lack diver’s certification. However, it has been our experience that many novices have pulled out of diving during the PADI instruction because of problems they have had using a facemask and snorkel, and/or a breathing regulator. It is a reflex action to stop breathing when one’s face is immersed in water, and to do so through a snorkel or regulator takes some getting used to. If you are unfamiliar with a facemask and snorkel, buy both and practice using them in the bath or your local swimming pool before your trip. And if your local diving club is willing, seek some practice with a breathing regulator as well.

Another problem, which we have come across, is with people who are near-sighted. It is not possible to wear glasses under a facemask; only contact lenses. So if you are near-sighted please don’t forget to bring contact lenses, and spares. Also, make inquiries about prescription facemasks.

Unless fear of water, feelings of claustrophobia, or other strong considerations prohibit you from scuba diving, we urge you strongly to give it a determined try. We of Osa Aventura have designed these adventure tours to introduce you to the beautiful, the awesome, and the amazing inhabitants of the world’s two most biologically rich environments — tropical rain forests and coral reefs. Not only would it be a great regret to you to miss experiencing one of them, but it would be huge disappointment to me as well.

Experienced Divers
If you have scuba dived before, beyond the level of resort diving, please bring whatever certification you have that will verify your experience. You may also use these dives on Caño Island to further your diving qualifications. We would need some prior notification if this is your wish, and you will incur an additional cost for the instruction.

Equipment
All diving equipment is provided. However, if you are planning to bring your own personalized facemask, fins or wet suit consider the additional weight which you will have to carry on the adventure tour that involves hiking through Corcovado National Park for several days.

Advisory Note
While diving you must keep within sight of your dive leader: stay close if you are a novice. And you must follow to the letter the instructions, warnings and advice he or she will give to you on each dive. None of the sea creatures you will encounter will be a threat to you if left alone.