Osa Peninsula and Corocovado National Park

Jan 12, 2018 - National Geographic Quest

Today we woke up to the sound of howlers and the beautiful view of Caletas Bay, on the morning of our last night on board the National Geographic Quest.  To put the cherry on top of the whipped cream of our journey, we have arrived to the best kept piece of rainforest still remaining in the South Pacific side of Costa Rica: the Osa Peninsula.  Semi-isolated by two factors, firstly, far away from the main cities of the country and secondly, separated from mainland by a narrow isthmus, access to Osa was difficult to say the least.  Just like with Coiba Island, where the isolation from the main human populations kept it pristine, Corcovado National Park (Osa) managed to do the same to preserve its treasures of nature.  The one spot for a very healthy population of scarlet macaws, one could also encounter jaguars, pumas, white-lipped peccary and other quite rare species of animals if you could spend three or four nights in the park rangers’ camping areas. 

Off we went early in the day to Caletas Bay, onto the home of Mr. Enrique.  He allows us visitation rights and we can choose for this morning to walks the trails or gardens or even to take a ride on local horses to the Rio Claro’s edge and back to enjoy the forest from a different perspective.  All activities tried to look for animals, but as we know, tropical rain forests do not work as clockwork, more like good luck and proper timing.  Nevertheless, sightings of howler monkeys, white nosed coati groups, and various species of birds and insects were reported from all of the different activities. 

Back on board for a well-deserved lunch, our marine department repositioned the ship to a lovely place called San Pedrillo, one of the various park rangers’ station within the Corcovado National Park.  Two options for the afternoon: a longer walk with the goal to the waterhole, or the trail parallel to the beach concentrating in photography and wildlife search.  None of the groups came back empty handed: sightings of howler monkeys, Central American spider monkeys, big groups of white-nosed coatis, yellow throated toucans, scarlet macaws, and many more made for a fantastic farewell outing. 

We ended our trip with a northbound cruise towards the area of the port of Caldera where many of you will end your adventure, but others begin their second one with the land extension through Costa Rica.  Safe and sound travels to all, until our next adventure together.  

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About the Author

Isabel Salas Vindas


Isa Salas is a Costa Rica born biologist, who loves her country and teaching about it.  Known for her professionalism and experience in the field of animal behavior, Isa earned her master's degree in biology from the University of Costa Rica, where she also engaged in research for the chemistry and biology departments. Isa has carried out specialized projects on mantled howler monkeys for Costa Rica’s National Institute of Biodiversity (INBio), and is one of the country’s experts on howler monkey sexual and social behavior. 

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