Corcovado: the easier way

Who decides to come back to Costa Rica after 4 months? Me. It was actually my third time in Costa Rica. I came back to see the humpback whales in Drake Bay and I took my parents and uncle on my trip to show them the beauty of this country. And to me showing them Corcovado National Park was a must.

When I visited Corcovado in April it was simply amazing but pretty tough too! The humidity. The blisters. The walking on the beach. Something that I imagined would be too much for my parents and uncle. So, this time I did it the easier way!

I booked the trip again with Surcos Tours, because I was really happy with the way they organized it last time. This time we didn’t have to take a car and then hike from Carate to La Sirena Ranger Station (like we did from Puerto Jimenez). We simply had to be at the main beach of Drake Bay at 6 am and we took the boat from there! At the beach we met our guide, Jose, packed with his bag ánd telescope. That’s another reason for me to book with Surcos Tours: all guides bring telescopes, which is a big plus. I think I became addicted of gazing at wildlife through telescopes. It reveals so many details. And most guides are really handy with taking pictures with phones through the telescope as well.

The boat from Drake Bay to Corcovado National Park

We took the boat to Corcovado National Park and along the way we saw a humpback whale with her calf. Wow! We stopped to take some (or a lot :-)) of pictures and then continued to the park. After a bit over an hour we stepped foot in the national park. We still had to walk 30-45 minutes on the beach to the ranger station. But no (big) river crossings this time!

At La Sirena Ranger Station, we dropped our bags and started walking. And again, our guide spotted so much wildlife! Howler monkeys, toucans, peccaries, a tapir and another anteater!

We went back for lunch and –after some time to recharge our (own) batteries- we started walking again in the afternoon. One of the highlights of what we saw was a king vulture. The ‘normal’ turkey vultures are like the impalas in Africa: very impressive but you see them everywhere! But the king vulture is a different story. An ornithologist’s dream apparently! And we were impressed as well. By the beautiful colors of its head, but also the way it lives up to his name. He was truly the king! The turkey vultures clearly respected his authority and didn’t eat from the dead anteater until the king vulture left.

Back at La Sirena Ranger Station we enjoyed dinner (again: not bad at all) and played some cards. A bit before 8 pm we went to bed and slept like babies.

A howler monkey alarm: good morning Corcovado!

The next morning it wasn’t our alarm that awoke us, but it was the howling of the howling monkeys. Cool!! And it makes getting up so much easier. I was excited for another day in Corcovado!

We started walking at 5:30 am until lunch. The pathway was slippery and therefor challenging. But again, so rewarding!

At one point the howler monkeys as well as the spider monkeys were screaming loudly! The guide wondered what it was they were afraid of. Maybe a puma? We walked around super excited to shortly after find out what is was: a ‘tayra’, a carnivore I had never heard of before! We saw it running away from us. Unfortunately too fast to take a decent picture. But it was so intense to feel the threatening atmosphere and to hear the anxious monkeys in the trees. This is jungle life!

After lunch, we walked a short route and saw a crocodile in the river and the remains of turtle eggs at the beach, probably eaten by a Coati.

We all agreed: Corcovado is amazing!

Around 1 pm we took the boat back to Drake Bay and my parents and uncle agreed: Corcovado is amazing! This way of traveling was easily doable for them! Not only could we avoid walking for hours to get to the ranger station, but we were also able to leave our backpacks at the ranger station while doing the hikes. We had another great experience, due to the crazy amount of wildlife in the park, a guide with eagle eyes and his telescope!

An even easier way to visit La Sirena Ranger Station is to arrive by plane, but when I was in Corcovado in August, somehow planes hadn’t been able to fly to La Sirena for a while. And in whale season you don’t want to miss out on the boat ride anyway!