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The Osa Peninsula and the South Pacific Travel Guide

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  • Photo: Stacy Funderburke / Shutterstock

Plan Your Osa Peninsula and the South Pacific Vacation

Visitors go south to heed the call of the wild. The jewels in the South Pacific crown are the idyllic Golfo Dulce and the wild Osa Peninsula, brimming with wildlife and natural adventures. There is no place like it, especially when you travel off the grid, far from the sounds of modern civilization. With miles of undulating Pacific coastline, there is rarely a crowded beach. Up in the highlands,

the hiking and birdwatching are unsurpassed.

The South Pacific encompasses everything south of San José, down to the border with Panama, and all the territory west of the Talamanca Mountains, sloping down to the Pacific coast. Adventures abound in this rugged region. On land, hiking, bird-watching, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing are the main activities, along with some thrilling tree-climbing, zip-lining, and waterfall-rappelling opportunities. On the water, there's surfing, snorkeling, diving, fishing, sea-kayaking, and whale- and dolphin-watching, as well as swimming and beachcombing. There's even a sky option, flying in a two-seater ultralight plane.

What makes many of these activities special is that, given the wildness of the locations, the focus is more on nature than on entertainment. No matter what you're doing, you'll come across interesting flora and fauna and natural phenomena. Another key to what sets the Southern Zone apart is the large number of trained naturalist guides. Most eco-lodges have resident guides who know not only where to find the birds and wildlife, but also how to interpret the hidden workings of the natural world around you.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Bird-watching Spot beauties such as the scarlet macaw and resplendent quetzal.
  2. Enormous Corcovado National Park The last refuge of endangered jaguars and tapirs.
  3. Kayaking Head to the Golfo Dulce or along the jungly channels of the Sierpe or Colorado rivers.
  4. Mountain hikes Hiking paths here range from easy daytime treks around luxurious lodges to Costa Rica's toughest 3,820-meter (12,532-foot) Cerro Chirripó.
  5. Wild places to stay Relax in the country's top eco-lodges, rustic thatch-roof beach bungalows, and cozy mountain cabins.

When To Go

When to Go

Peak Season: January to April The dry season has the most reliably sunny weather. But be aware that the climate swings wildly in the south...

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Check historic weather for your trip dates:

Travel Tips

The Osa Peninsula and the South Pacific Travel Tips

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