Green Life Volunteers Office
The Osa Peninsula is located in the southwestern part of Costa Rica within the Puntarenas Province. The largest town and “hub” of the Osa Peninsula is Puerto Jimenez, closely located to two little coastal villages Carate and Matapalo further South.
Puerto Jimenez is a place which used to be very quiet and remote with a history of gold mining and logging in the 1960s. Though, Puerto Jimenez has transformed into the largest town of the Osa Peninsula with an estimated population of 1780 residents.
This town has everything to offer for example: beautiful beaches, many hotels & resorts, travel agencies, rental tour companies, supermarkets, a hospital, a pharmacy, various gift shops, bars and restaurants. In addition, organizing your trip can easily be done with the various transportation possibilities like taxis, local and public busses, public boats to Golfito and even a local airport which is able to fly you all the way up to San José. Not to forget the many assortment of activities this town has to offer: sport fishing excursions, hiking, mountain biking, rappelling horse riding. Surrounded by the natural beauty you will be able to see scarlet macaws, crocodiles, monkeys and various colorful birds.
Puerto Jimenez is also the location of the GREEN LIFE VOLUNTEERS OFFICE, and also the main location of many of our projects, including the DOG AND CAT RESCUE PROJECT, ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION, BIRD CONSERVATION, VETERINARY VOLUNTEER, TEACHING CHILDREN, BUTTERFLY FARM, and THE SOLAR POWER WORKSHOP.
Watch a Video about Puerto Jimenez, by StepOut Entertainment
Corcovado National Park is one of the highlights of the Osa Peninsula. It hosts around 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity and is thus a biodiversity hotspot. You can book an overnight stay in the National Park (which is unique in all of Costa Rica). You have to have a guide that takes you into the park. The hike takes around 8 hours but it’s entirely worth it! The overnight stay is cheap and you can bring your own food into the park. The only more expensive part of the trip is the guide fee, which is around $100-$150 per day. The hike is only doable from Puerto Jimenez – from no other town can you do the 8-hour-hike into or out-of the park.
One of the most beautiful vacation spots on the Osa Peninsula is the coastal village Cabo Matapalo. This place is perfect for surfers, from beginners to advanced surfers. You will not find many facilities except the numerous amount of lodges but it is excellent for doing a day trip to explore the beaches, flora & fauna, wildlife and it also has a very impressive waterfall.
Moreover, it is recommendable to bring some food & beverages from Puerto Jimenez if you want to explore this place and also if you want to visit Carate which has a similar characteristics.
Another village is Carate which is located around 80 kilometers from Puerto Jimenez and only one hour half an hour drive from Matapalo. Around town are a number of accommodation options, including eco-lodges and nature resorts, which can provide guests with a comfortable experience while staying in a beautiful setting. Carate is close to the coast, so visitors can enjoy a day of relaxing in the sand at Playa Madrigal or a swim in the nearby Pacific Ocean. Other activities at this location are sport fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving. The best way to get to Carate is by plane, there are charter flights available to and from San José, which take about an hour.
Carate is also one of our PROJECT LOCATIONS, since our organic farming project located is located very close to Carate (on the way from Matapalo to Carate).
Drake Bay is also a beautiful place to visit, a small town on the north side of the Osa Peninsula. The main town of Drake Bay is Agujitas with a population of 1000 people. You could take a local boat to ride the Sierpe River and explore miles and miles of beautiful coastline with rocky crags and sandy coves that extend from Agujitas. Activities which can be done here are: bird watching, hiking, boat tours scuba diving, snorkeling, boat tours, Corcovada National Park, Osa River Riders. Another place situated in the Osa Peninsula is Golfito which lies nearby the border with Panama. The town lies on a narrow strip of land between the bay and a hill which consists of two parts, the proper town and shopping area to the south, and a residential area near the port. Various activities can be done in Golfito such as yachting and boating services, sport fishing and it is also a destination for cruise ships. This place also has also the following beaches which offers a perfect place to surf: Playa Zancudo, Pilon and Pavones.
On the way to Drake’s Bay is one of our PROJECT LOCATIONS, Rancho Quemado. We recently started sending volunteers to Rancho to help with teaching English, and a Bird and nursery/planting trees project. Another project which is close to Drake’s Bay is our NATIONAL PARK VOLUNTEER PROJECT. You’ll most likely come through Drake at some point when you’re on the National Park Volunteer Project.
There are numerous other activities to do around the Osa Peninsula that are accessible from Puerto Jimenez, some of them are:
- Canopy Zip Line
- Snorkeling/ Diving
- Dolphin/Whale Watching Tours
- Kayaking around the Mangroves
- Stand-up paddle boarding in the Gulf
- Visit to a wildlife sanctuary
- Crocodile watching
.. and more!
*SOURCE: Some content was derived from Anywhere Costa Rica’s website, https://www.anywhere.com/costa-rica/destinations/carate