Osa Peninsula and Golfo Dulce

If you look at a map of Costa Rica, and pay attention to the Pacific Coastline, you’ll see two very large peninsulas jutting out from the mainland, each with it’s own bay.

The larger of the two is Peninsula Nicoya, and the smaller the Osa Peninsula. Osa is much less visited than its big brother (yeah, corny) and is different in many ways. Nicoya is home to many posh resorts while Osa is more famous for its natural beauty.

There are two (count ’em) national parks in the area, Piedras Blancas and Corcovado. Both contain large tracts of unspoiled Pacific coastal rainforest that contain a multitude of species of plant and animal life. Also close by is the Silvestre National Wildlife Refuge.

Osa is an Unspoiled Paradise

National Geographic has called the Osa “the most biologically intense place on Earth.”

Among the species of special interest to wildlife enthusiasts are four types of monkeys, crocodiles and caymans, several species of wild cats (Jaguar, Ocelot, and Puma among others), along with countless bird species and many types of snakes, including the deadly coral snake and the fer de lance. There are also boa constrictors if you would rather be crushed than poisoned. Something for everyone.

You can fly into the airport in Puerto Jiminez or cross the Golfo Dulce by boat. There are many lodging options, though nothing as opulent as what you’ll find on the Nicoya Peninsula in terms of hotels. It should be noted that the area is hot and humid all year round. Though a few cases malaria and dengue fever have been reported, such cases are very rare. Still, industrial strength insect repellent and and sun block are highly recommended.

There is more to do in the area than watch wildlife, though. Among other attractions are kayaking, snorkeling, horseback riding, and some very good fishing both inshore and offshore.

If you want to explore the wilds, hiring a guide is a very good idea. It is very easy to get lost or injured if you are not familiar with the area. Don’t become a statistic just to save a few bucks.

I should mention the surfing in the area. Pavones in particular is noted for it’s extremely long and picture perfect rides. By the way, if my Spanish is correct, Pavones means ‘big turkeys.’ But that’s only if my Spanish is correct.

How to Plan Your Trip

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If you do not have a travel agent put together a complete package for you there are exactly two things apart from a plane ticket to Costa Rica that you will need.

First, you need another plane ticket on a domestic airline that can get you from San Jose to the Osa/Golfo Dulce! Nature Air is a popular option, but there are a few other options.

Keep in mind that some of the smaller airlines operate out of an airport in Pavas, which is not the same as the San Jose International airport.

You will also need to book a hotel, and since the area is so remote you will be counting on the hotel to provide an all inclusive experience, including your meals, and transfers for all your activities in the area. Keep in mind the Osa is remote, and your choice of lodging is basically the entire trip.

There will not be any other options as your hotel is basically an oasis of comfort and substance in the jungle. The choice of hotel will make or break your experience in the Osa.

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  1. Wow Dan, thank you for this extremely helpful info.

    What a great job you do and what a service to others.

    It sounds like a place i would love to go.