Corcovado National Park holds 2.5% of the global biodiversity and is described by National Geographic as one of the most biologically intense places on earth. The intensity of the biodiversity is even higher than in the Amazon region.
To get the most out of your time, we recommend a hike of 3 days and 2 nights at the Sirena Station inside the park, so you have extra time to rest and explore the area around the station.
It takes a while to get to the park entrance, so you will need to come to Puerto Jimenez the day before to start the hike. Most people also plan to spend the night of your return in Puerto Jimenez as well, as you do not get back to town until about 3:00 pm on the second day.
The guide meets with you in Jimenez; this meeting is usually at the hotel where you will stay the day before the tour, at 6:00 pm, to explain the dynamics of the tour.
So we ask, when you have booked the hotel, let us know. Also please let us know if you want information for accommodation in Jimenez.
You meet with your guide early in the morning around 5:30 am at the Monar Bakery in Jimenez and together will take a taxi (Collective) which takes you to the park entrance Carate. (Do not worry, on the day before the hike the guide will let you know where the bakery is located, so you won’t get lost!). This collective charges $ 15 per person and the trip is typically 1 1⁄2 hours. The bus drops us off at Carate.
From that point you hike 4km on the beach to get to La Leona station, which is the actual entrance to the park. At La Leona you present our paperwork showing that you have permission to enter. **The paperwork is very important. Corcovado controls visitor volumes to preserve the integrity of the park. From La Leona, you hike for an addition 16km to get to Sirena Station. Due to tides, weather and the abundance of wildlife we encounter, the entire hike takes about 7 hours from the time you leave Carate. You will be crossing rivers and walking in wet conditions, so proper footwear is important. You normally arrive at Sirena an hour or so before dinner, so count on the hike taking up most of Day One.
Is your hike out of the park. . You will return by another way which you began the hike, you will return by Los Patos Station, where a taxi picks you up and brings you to Puerto Jimenez. The trail from Sirena to Los Patos is 23km during dry season and 28km during the rainy season. This difference is caused by road conditions on the drive to the park. Taxis are unable to drive to the station, so the hike ends at 32km from Jimenez in Rio Rincon where you have to take a taxi to come back to Puerto Jimenez. This ride normally takes 1 1/2 hour to get to Jimenez.
We do not recommend this route during the rainy season, due to the risk of getting trapped by high tides and river water levels.
From Sirena Station to Los Patos station, you’ll start the first half of the hike, which takes about 5 hours (13km) through secondary forest. The trail is beautiful but you have to cross several rivers. This trail is best for birds and insects. Compared with some of the other trails in the park, there aren’t a lot of mammal sightings.
After this stretch you’ll take a break before starting the second half of the hike, which takes about 2 or 3 hours and you pass through primary forests. It is important to note that last 5km of the trail conditions are often rough in this second half of the journey. This part of the park has constant elevation changes with many fallen trees and river crossings too. It takes about 3 hours to complete. That being said, it is worth the effort. The trail is beautiful and you will passes through primary and secondary forests.
You will arrive at the park entrance Los Patos around at 1:00 pm. A taxi will pick you up and bring you back to Jimenez. The taxi normally gets back around 3:00 pm. It sometimes you will get between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm to the park entrance Los Patos. It will depend on the weather and the path conditions. The trip is typically 1 1⁄2 hours to get from the park entrance los Patos to Jimenez.
Take in mind:
The route to gets from Jimenez to Carate is taking a collective in the morning on the day of the tour. This collective costs $ 15 per person. The only way to gets from Los Patos to Jimenez at the end of the tour is with a cab 4wheel drive. It is because by Los Patos there is not collective. The park entrance is very remote by Los Patos and the trip to come back to Puerto Jiménez takes about 1.5 hours. This is important to know that the taxi charges $ 90 from park entrance Los Patos to Puerto Jimenez.
A reminder: the hike takes approximately 7 hours to get from Carate to Sirena for this reason we recommend you 2 options:
Make the tour in boat from Drake Bay to Sirena on the first day and the second day you can return through Carate or los Patos by foot. So you can enjoy all day in Sirena. You can go by plane from Puerto Jimenez to Sirena on the first day and the second day you can back through Carate or Los Patos by foot.If you want to include the boat or the plane in any of your routes, just let us know your request and it will be a pleasure to quote it for you. We look forward to sharing this experience with you, and hope that you enjoy your visit to Corcovado with Surcos Tours.