You won’t find the Osa Peninsula in most mainstream Costa Rica itineraries. Thanks to the region’s remote location with limited connectivity to the rest of Costa Rica, most travelers skip this area altogether.
Which is perfectly fine by us! Here you won’t find any crowds, tour busses or big resorts. What you will find, however, is some of Costa Rica’s most pristine wilderness. This is truly one of Costa Rica’s best ecotourism destinations.
In fact, the Osa Peninsula is considered to be “the most biologically intense place on earth” by National Geographic. This is a wild, primitive paradise in the middle of the rainforest. And we’re not exaggerating to say that the extent of wildlife to be found here surpasses all other areas in Costa Rica!
Here are some of our favorite things to do in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica.
Corcovado National Park
The Osa Peninsula is home to the world famous Corcovado National Park. It encompasses the only remaining old growth wet forests on the Pacific coast of Central America, and 13 major ecosystems including lowland rain forest, highland cloud forest, jolillo palm forest, and mangrove swamps, as well as coastal marine and beach habitats in one relatively small area! Here you’ll find some of the most fascinating creatures on earth including scarlet macaws, bull sharks and tapirs. In addition to viewing tons of wildlife, you can also explore deserted beaches, experiencing fabulous hiking, and check out unique marine life.
Visit An Organic Cacao Farm
One my family’s favorite experiences in Costa Rica was touring a working cacao plantation. We wandered through the secondary forest, where the cacao trees thrive, got our hands dirty opening the pods, and watching the smoky aroma of freshly roasting cacao beans. Of course, tasting the final result was also a highlight!
But aside from the tasty end result, cacao also holds historical importance in Costa Rica and the region. Before the Europeans arrived in the Americas on the hunt for gold, the region’s indigenous people used cacao as currency. The Incas, the Aztecs and Costa Rica’s Chorotega people all used cacao as currency over the years. For them, it was worth as much as gold!
Consider including a private tour of Finca Kobo, a local organic chocolate operation, while you’re in the Osa Peninsula for a unique, and educational, experience.
Dolphin and Whale Watching
The warm, crystal clear waters just off the Osa Peninsula are home to a variety of whale and dolphin species. Thanks to very little water traffic and warm water temperatures year round, it’s possible to see dolphins and other marine life almost any time of the year. More specifically, the Costa Rican Thermal Convection, or Dome, is a shallow warm current that lies above low oxygen and cold currents making the water swell up, creating the ideal ecosystem for the survival of marine wildlife and providing a never ending source of food for whales and dolphins.
Don’t miss the opportunity to view humpback, pilot and false killer whales, or spotted, bottlenose and spinner dolphins in the Osa Peninsula!
Thinking about exploring Costa Rica this year? Check out some of our favorite custom itineraries here.