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Corcovado National Park

The Corcovado National Park is one of those special places as all protected areas are but this park has the little extra touch. It might be the fact that it is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet in ratio to it's size. If you are looking for Costa Rica ecotourism there is no better place than the Osa Peninsula which is also home to the Corcovado National Park. The area around the park is home to some of our favorite Costa Rica ecolodges such as Lapa Rios, Tiskita Jungle Lodge, Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge, and many more. Many ecotourist visit this area because of the Corcovado National Park which has left much of the peninsula in it's natural state.

This park is a vast tract of wet tropical rainforest and marine habitat along the Pacific coast. It is one of the wettest parts of the country with 5500 mm of rainfall annually. One of the most obvious sitings of wildlife when you first arrive to the park will be the large populations of Scarlet Macaws as you can see and hear them in many parts of the park. This park happens to be the last original great tract of moist tropical forest in the Meso-American Pacific and is a total area of 42,469 hectares and another 5,375 hectares of marine life.

One of the most fascinating parts of the Corcovado National Park is the trees that grow up to 200ft in height making for a spectacular canopy. Many of these large trees are of a species known as La Ceiba or silk cotton tree. This is the largest tree in all of Costa Rica. The silk cotton tree grows very fast up to 4 meters a year. The seeds from the tree can be used for making lifevest, pillows, and other cushions from the kapok fibers on the seeds. There is an estimated 500 tree species in the park many of which are endemic to the park. We happen to know of one tree species that is endemic to just the property of Lapa Rios Lodge.

There are a total of 140 species of mammals in the park which include jaguars and the famous giant anteater which both are very hard to see. If you want to spend your nights hiking through the Corcovado National Park on your Costa Rica vacation you might run into the jaguar. If you don't see the jaguar chances are your picture will be taken by the many motion sensor cameras in the park to try and keep an eye on the jaguars. They have these cameras set up as part of a conservation project for the jaguar.

You can also see a number of different species of amphibians, snakes, and even turtles who enjoy visiting the beaches of this park. Remember many of the animals in the neotropics are small and you want to be patient, quiet, and with a guide to have the best chance to see some of natures top survivors. If you feel you will not make it down to this park for your Costa Rica vacation you can at least see some of the best pictures of the Corcovado National Park in a book by Roy Toft and Trond Larsen called"OSA Where the Rainforest Meets the Sea".

The best way to arrive to the park is to drive from San Jose or you can take the in-country flights. There are plans for an International Costa Rican Airport in the southern zone but it is still in the planning stage.

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