Saturday morning is when it all began. Waking up at the crack of dawn, my brother (who came to visit!) and I headed over to the center of PJ to meet our tour guide Steven and begin our journey to Corcovado! In case you don’t know, Corcovado national park is located on the Osa Peninsula, and its land boasts over 2.5% of the entire world’s biodiversity. Just in one park! For our 2 hour drive to carate all 6 of us rode in one big car, until it failed to go up some hills. Another taxi just happened to pass by, only problem is three people had to sit in the truck. Funnily, it was just us girls that decided to give it a go. And boy was that a good decision. From the truck bed we were able to see all of the nature and the ocean views more clearly. The weather was perfect and the breeze made me feel like I was in paradise. This just made me even more hyped for the adventure.
We began our hike on the beaches of Carate, with the sun beating down on us. I wish I was able to accurately describe the abundance of vegetation and wildlife that filled Corcovado. It was absolutely beautiful, something I never thought I would have the chance to experience in my life. When you look at the included photos, you can practically feel the awe that came with the sight of each animal. I mean, how cool is it to be able to see such exotic animals in their natural habitats, unobstructed by mankind in any way? You certainly don’t get these kind of sights from a zoo.
A total of about 9 hours, the hike was a long one. With the sun beating down on us, the trip was in no way meant for beginners. The best example of this statement would have to be when we had to battle high tide. I know that no matter how far from now it may be, I will still remember this journey. I’ll remember the genuine excitement when I heard people shouting “1,2,3 RUN”. The fear when you realized just how strong the tide was, and how if you fell or didn’t make it, you would for sure be pulled out to who knows where. The climbing and scaling of the mountains to avoid the water. The 5 hour remaining hike after being completely soaked by the waves. This was definitely a crazy experience that I hope I one day have the chance to repeat.
The relief that my group felt when we finally saw the ‘La Sirena Ranger Station’ sign, where we would sleep that night, was immense. We were greeted by fellow hikers relaxing on chairs, taking in the beauty that is Corcovado. We spent the night unwinding after the tiring day. The following morning was another early start. This hike began at around 5am, where we found even more animals (I hadn’t thought it was possible for there to be more!). Our group explored casually for a few hours until we were meant to start the next leg of our trip.
Just when I thought the adventure was over, boy was I wrong! To get back to Jimenez, it was recommended that we take a boat to Drake Bay and a taxi back. I had not expected just how gorgeous Drake Bay was. Blue waters, sunny sky, and beaches as far as the eye can see. On the way to Drake our boat was met by 2 whales. I don’t mean we saw them way off in the distance, I mean we practically swam side by side. If I had to describe just how close they were, with no exaggeration, I would say I could touch them if I just leaned out of the boat. That night we all stayed in a Hostel with the most beautiful view of not the bay, but the trees of Corcovado. In the morning we all went snorkeling at Cano Island, a reserve known for its breathtaking underwater views. As I should have by now expected, it is never an exaggeration when people talk about Costa Rica’s beauty.
Honestly, when I decided to come to Costa Rica I didn’t even think about all of the cool experiences I would get. Every part of that weekend was an adventure itself, from the hiking, to the climbing, and even the snorkeling. I know that for the rest of my life, I’ll be able to look back at my time spent in Costa Rica with a certain fondness that only those who have experienced this treasure will understand.
Pura Vida! ~ Avery
Photo Cred: Steven, the best guide you’ll find in the Osa.