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Corcovado and the Osa Peninsula, Osa Peninsula

Costa Rica's insider take:

The world-renowned Corcovado National Park draws adventurous types to the Osa Peninsula in the Pacific southwest. This remote and rugged area, home to the largest primary tropical rainforest in Central America, is laced with trails and incredibly rich in biodiversity. Look out for a wide variety of exotic animals and birds, from jaguars, tapirs, and scarlet macaws to pods of humpbacks and pilot whales, which hug the shores during their twice-yearly migrations. After sweating along the humid, often muddy and rugged trails, you can indulge and relax at the abundant eco-lodges outside the park, such as Lapa Rios. The twin gateways of Drake Bay and Puerto Jiménez—the last settlements before you reach Corcovado National Park—are best reached by plane, via flights from San José on Sansa or Nature Air. The tortuous eight-hour drive from the capital is not recommended. Visitors lodging in the laid-back village of Puerto Jiménez can opt to kayak the local mangroves (how does a Crocodiles by Candlelight tour sound?), scale a hollow strangler-fig tree to bungee jump from a treetop platform, or rappel down a waterfall on guided tours by Everyday Adventures.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.