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This small peninsula, on the Pacific coast, is host to almost half of Costa Rica's species of birds, mammals, and reptiles and amphibians. Almost 750 species of trees have been catalogued in the area, more trees than in all of the northern temperate regions of the world combined. The 43,000-hectare Corcovado National Park occupies a large swathe of the peninsula, and its ecosystems comprise of rainforests, swamps, rivers, lagoons, marshes and beaches.

Osa peninsula is home to Corcovado National Park, and endless wildlife, including more than 400 species of birds and more than 100 species each of amphibians and mammals. This tropical primary forest is home to monkeys, scarlet macaws, coatimundis and an abundance of other wildlife. It's not cheap, but taking a private charter flight into the Corcovado National Park for a day tour is well worth it.

The park is home to a plethora of endangered species such as Baird's tapir, the white-lipped peccary, jaguars, ocelots, crocodiles, giant anteaters, scarlet macaws and the harpy eagle. The seas shelter three species of marine turtles and you can even witness the migration of humpback whales in December and January.

On the other side of the peninsula is the Golfo Dulce, which is a sheltered area of ocean ideal for kayaking, visits to mangrove swamps or hiking and wildlife viewing at the Piedras Blancas National Park.

Finally, forest-covered Cano Island is a biological reserve which offers superb snorkelling and, for experienced divers, superb deep freshwater experiences with large schools of jacks, barracudas, manta rays and sharks.

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What to do
When to go
Where to stay
When to go
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Osa Peninsula & Golfo Dulce
Osa Peninsula & Golfo Dulce
Best time
Low season
Off season

A Note on Price

Costa Rica is such a small country that it’s easy to explore different pockets for relatively good value. A two week holiday starts from £3,500 per person including international flights.