Osa Peninsula uncovered with Pura Aventura
Although covering an area no bigger than Greater London, the Osa Peninsula accounts for 2.5 per cent of the world’s biodiversity.
“If you only visit one area of Costa Rica, let it be the Osa Peninsula on the southern Pacific Coast,” advises Tom Power, MD of Latin America specialist Pura Aventura
Believing that the Osa Peninsula deserves much more time and attention than it normally receives within Costa Rica itineraries, Pura Aventura has launched a new itinerary opening it up to those looking to delve far deeper into this extraordinary area, rich in wildlife, tropical beaches and little-visited rainforest. This new 12-day self-drive Osa Uncovered trip costs from £3,790pp and includes stays in comfortable lodges and small hotels, keeping guests close to nature and introducing them to the daily life of the local people.
Drake Bay village on the Northern Coast (4 nights) – From Drake Bay, take a 45-minute boat trip to Caño Island to experience some of the best snorkelling in Costa Rica. En route, between June and November, passengers will see dolphins or even humpback whales. Highlights include a guided night walk in search of nocturnal wildlife or, during the day, a beautiful coastal path that crosses a hanging river bridge to reach a pretty beach with its own turtle rescue project.
Explore Corcovado National Park (2 nights) – Visitors arrive by boat in the Corcovado National Park, recognised by some as the most biologically intense place on earth. Pura Aventura arranges for a small plane to fly visitors off to the southern half of the National Park, where there are no roads, to the next lodge. Sitting high up in a valley on the edge of the National Park surrounded by a bird-filled forest, Pura’s intimate lodge is a great spot for relaxing. Swim in its own pool, follow trails to a swimming hole, stretch out in yoga sessions, or just stay put and be pampered with a range of local spa treatments. Leaving the National Park, the crown jewel of Costa Rica’s national park system, guests stop off at a conservation project. With a guide as company, they walk through the forest to spot wildlife before settling down for a family lunch in the farmhouse, followed by a refreshing swim beneath a waterfall.
Matapalo on the Southern Coast (4 nights) – The third location for this adventure is a rustic, chic lodge, where guests soak up the expansive ocean views and listen to the rainforest as it comes to life. The Corcovado forests are considered just as impressive as the very best forests in the Amazon basin, Malaysia and Indonesia. The well maintained network of pathways is a joy to explore while watching wildlife, including some of the 400 bird species. Lucky visitors can see all four of the monkey species, all six of Costa Rica’s felines, while on the beaches of Corcovado, all four of Costa Rica’s sea turtle species can be seen. For a more active experience, the nearby beaches offer some of the country’s best surf breaks and within the forest there is tree climbing and waterfall rappelling.
“The Osa Peninsula is among the earth’s most ecologically vibrant places and currently no other UK-based operator offers the region in as much depth as we do now,” says Tom Power. “The wildlife is something else. Everywhere you go there are colourful birds; you have to stop your car to let troops of monkeys cross the road, while crocodiles bask on the edge of rivers, pelicans fly overhead and coatis rummage for coconuts on a remote beach. Combine these unforgettable wildlife experiences with time relaxing in premium small lodges, and there is nothing quite like it.”
Pura Aventura (pura-aventura.com, 01273 676 712) offers the 11-night Costa Rica – Osa Uncovered from £3,790 per person based on two sharing, travelling in low season (May-December) including transfers, internal fights, comfortable accommodation on a full-board basis (except one night B&B in San José), activities, entrance fees and guided excursions. International flights to San José (SJO) cost extra, between £600 to £750pp. Family of four sharing (children 3-11 years) travelling in August would be £3,790 per adult and £1,980 per child.
TOP TIP – The best time to go is December to August. For families, it is ideal for Christmas holidays, February half-term and summer holidays. May can be a bit of a gamble, with potential for downpours, but this ‘green season’ has plenty of upsides, too.
Main image | Rainbow over Golfo Dulce, Osa Peninsula | © Matt Power