The South Pacific region of Costa Rica is located in Southern Puntarenas, which extends from north of Ojochal to Golfito. The region is one of the least visited areas of Costa Rica, known for its rare wildlife and lush jungles. Most travelers to the region choose to spend their time in Corcovado National Park and Cano Island located in the Osa Peninsula. There are numerous outdoor activities for adventurous nature lovers- from camping in the middle of the jungle to swimming with sharks. Travelers seeking a quiet and regenerative experience, can also take advantage of the South Pacific’s seclusion from busier areas of the country. Perfect for relaxation or adventure, head to the South Pacific for some of Costa Rica’s wildest sights and most unique experiences.
Ojochal is a small town located in Southern Puntarenas province. Known for its great cuisine, Ojochal is also home to one of the largest expat populations in Costa Rica. Most foreign residents are from The United States, Canada, and France. However, there is also a growing population of foreigners from South America and Asia. The town’s diverse populations creates a wonderful mix of delicious cuisine, including Thai, French, Italian, and Mexican restaurants. There are also a number of stunning beaches nearby that are great for beginner surfers and swimmers seeking calm water. Playa Tortuga, Playa Ballena, and Playa Ventanas are the most accessible options for tourists. For vacationers who are interested in the idea of living in Costa Rica, Ojochal is a great place to visit for top notch cuisine and a welcoming community.
One of the most remote destinations in Costa Rica, the Osa Peninsula is an incredible example of the country’s lush rainforests, expansive mangroves, and unbroken coastline. This area is predominantly off the grid, with the exception of the Peninsula’s main town of Puerto Jimenez. Travellers who choose to explore the area will often be faced with rough terrain, expansive hiking trails, and water crossings. For many visitors, the Osa Peninsula’s seclusion is also its largest asset. The region’s rainforests are filled with an incredible number of rare animals, including jaguars and tapirs. For this reason, the Osa Peninsula is the best location for travellers seeking an adventurous experience.
Corcovado National Park
Located in the Osa Peninsula, Corcovado National Park is the most significant tourist attraction in the South Pacific region. The park is home to a tremendous amount of rare wildlife, including giant anteaters, the harpy eagle, jaguars and ocelots. For an interesting experience, opt to take an organized tour of the forest’s 40 different frog species, including the poisson arrow variety.
Visitors can choose to camp inside of the park, stay in an eco-lodge, or visit on a day trip from a nearby town. For this reason, Corcovado park offers an enjoyable experience for a wide variety of visitors- from experienced hikers to first time campers.
Located 20 km off the coast of the Osa Peninsula, Cano island is home to some of the clearest water and best scuba diving in Costa Rica. Great underwater visibility allows scuba divers and snorkeling enthusiasts to see some amazing marine life, including sea turtles, coral reefs, stingrays, eels, and barracudas.
Cano island is also home to a variety of sharks, dolphins, and whales that have been known to swim alongside visiting tourists.
For visitors interested in archeology, Cano Island also holds significant historical importance as a trading post and burial site for Pre-Columbian indigenous peoples.
Located on the Northern side of the Osa Peninsula, Drake’s Bay is a small village located close to the area’s two main tourism attractions, Corcovado National Park and the Cano Islands. The town consists of small restaurants, stalls, lodges, a school and medical clinic. Most tourist accommodations are spread out across the town’s coastline and nestled into the lush hills. A variety of interesting nature tours are also available in Drake’s Bay, due to the many biologists that reside and work in the area. Whether you’re coming to hike, scuba dive, or relax- Drake Bay is a great jumping off point for any activity in the Osa Peninsula.
Puerto Jimenez was originally founded as a logging and gold mining town during the 20th century. In response to the rapid environmental degradation from these activities, the Costa Rican government intervened and created what is now the Corcovado National Park. Due to the town’s proximity to the National Park, visitors frequently use Puerto Jimenez as a place to purchase camping and hiking supplies, as well as a nearby accommodation hub. In addition to Puerto Jiminez being a good place to book a registered tour guide for Corcovado hiking, travellers can also reserve whale watching and sport fishing tours in the town.
Golfito is a port town located on a small Gulf in Southern Puntarenas. During the 20th century, Golifto’s main industry was the growth of bananas by the United Fruit Company. However, once the company moved its operations to Ecuador, Golfito was reborn as a Duty Free Zone and growing eco-tourism hub. In recent years, Golfito has developed a number of eco-lodges that serve travellers visiting Piedras Blancas National Park, a sanctuary protecting the region’s lowland tropical forest. Golfito is also a popular sport fishing destination, where sailfish, swordfish, and marlin are common.
Located on the mouth of the Sierpe River, the town of Sierpe is a great jumping off point for areas in the Osa Peninsula. Visitors to the town have the opportunity to try various excursions including wildlife observation, boat tours, and watersports. One of Sierpe’s largest draws for nature lovers is the Terraba-Sierpe Wetland, which is home to Latin America’s largest mangrove reserve. Similar to Golfito and Puerto Jiménez, Sierpe is also a popular fishing destination, with dozens of fishing world records made in this area. Historical enthusiasts can also enjoy Finca 6, Sierpe’s World Heritage Site. The archeological marvel is a series of preserved residential constructions made of stone that dates back to the Pre-Columbian era.
Terraba Sierpe National Wetlands
Terraba Sierpe National Wetlands are home to the largest collection of mangroves in Latin America and the largest area of wetland in Costa Rica. Visitors to the park can see a wide variety of aquatic and migratory birds, as well as sharks that use the mouth of the Sierpe River as a breeding ground.
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