Costa Rica Day 4&5- Corcovado National Park

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At 715 am we had to walk down to the bottom of the hill in Bahia Drake to catch our ferry to Corcovado National Park.

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Most people that came here did day tours, which includes an hour and a half transportation to Sirena station at 715am, guided hiking until about 1, then a lunch before the boat leaves the island at 145pm. It also includes the $10 daily park entrance fee.

We had inquired about skipping the guide and only purchasing the boat ride there and back. This was $50, so we decided it was worth paying the few extra bucks for a guide with lunch. Our plan was to stay the night since we already had our camping reservations and we would catch a ride back with a boat the following day at 1:45. We figured it would be good to have a guide to show us the ropes bit also would be nice to be able to roam on our own.

The boat dropped us off at the island where we had a “wet” landing.

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We did a couple hikes very slowly and quietly. Apparently the morning around 8 is the best time to go as the animals are most active and prevalent. Later in the day it becomes too hot so they rest.

We saw a crocodile on the bank

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But when we got closer we scared him away.

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We saw an animal called a Taper which I guess aren’t normally seen there but the guide said the past months there have been a lot of them.

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We saw lots of different types of monkeys including the howler monkey which makes a crazy loud monster like noise in the jungle.

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We saw some different birds and spiders.

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We saw ant eaters and wild pigs but I didn’t have my camera with me the first day.

At the end of the day after we ate, my brother and I walked the 20 minute hike back to Sirena station.

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We had accidentally gotten a camping pass for the park instead of the dorm room accommodations that are also available. We were told that there would be mattresses out for grabs as well as drinking water.

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However when we got there we were told they don’t supply mattresses and that the only ones that were there were ones people had left in the past. We managed to scrap up a couple thin grimy ass foam pieces and were lucky enough to have brought our own sheets.

Although told there was clean drinking water, we were told it wasn’t 100% safe so we should filter it. Luckily we brought water purification tablets although we were also told there was bottled water for sale.

The next morning we thought we would wake up super early to be the first ones to the best locations so the animals wouldn’t be scared away by the other groups. Unfortunately, everyone else had the exact same plans.

We hiked along the beach

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And even climbed a tree to get some coconuts

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We saw more of the same animals we had seen the day before (can you see the gecko?)

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As well as Taper tracks

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We went swimming in Rio Claro, the only place you are allowed to swim because of the danger off crocodiles.

Overall it was a pretty cool experience in Sirena national park. It was very beautiful. However, for me, I didn’t like all the people there and the tour groups, we couldn’t escape them. The animals seemed like they were always in the same places so the guides knew exactly where to look, like a zoo. So in that aspect we were a little disappointed. The peninsula itself was beautiful.

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Costa Rica Day 2- Paso Canoas to Puerto Jimenez

In the morning we continued our trip to our destination of Golfito in the Osa peninsula.

We went to a nearby ATM to take out some local Costa Rican currency, Colones. The going rate was 500 Colones to 1 US dollar.

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The bus station was right outside our hotel. We were to catch a bus to Golfito which was the costal town then catch a ferry across the lake to Puerto Jimenez.

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The bus left Paso Canoas at 10:30 in the morning and ran us 2400 Colones each.
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The bus ride was an uneventful hour and a half or so. When we first got on the bus, we gave the driver 10000 Colones and he didn’t give us change. When we would go up to the front to ask him, he kept shooing us away. We became increasingly annoyed when it started to seem more and more like he was trying to screw us. We got a local to help us out and showed him and finally he gave in and coughed up our change.

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I knew Golfito was on the coast so we had our eyes open for the boat launch when we saw water.

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We double checked with the driver that this is where we would catch our ferry to Puerto Jimenez and he confirmed.

We thought we would be catching a small water taxi like those on the right but we were directed to walk out on a dock just to the left where there were others waiting in the shade.

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It was beautiful here.

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We were confused about the boat schedule until we realized we had changed time zones by an hour.

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We were on the 2pm ferry and had some Duros a lady was selling (sweet frozen fruit drink)

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The ferry ride was about 45 minutes and we arrived in Pto Jimenez, equally beautiful.
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Our mission here was to go to the ranger station, as our guide book said if we wanted to stay in Corcovado National Park we had to make reservations here ahead of time.

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It was an inconspicuous building so at first we walked passed it.

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But sure enough this was the place.

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The woman working here talked little English and was very unhelpful. We wanted to go to Corcovado park but she wasn’t offering much information.

The day we wanted to stay in the park was full so we reserved the following day that was open. She gave us a paper and sent us to the bank a 5 minute walk away in the center of town to pay for the reservation. It closed at 3 so we didn’t have much time to get there.

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The bank was interesting in that it had super high security; finger print scan to open door, that was similar to an airport scanner. After being scanned there was an armed guard who asked us to remove our hats. Intense.

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Anyway, we paid up ($10 per day park fee, then $10 to stay over night) and headed back to the ranger station. 

There were 3 options for us to get to Sirena ranger station from where we were in PTO Jimenez.

We could either fly there ($80), hike 20kms, or take busses. We didn’t have time to hike both ways and we didn’t want to have to hike with our gear so we ruled that out. Flying was expensive; we decided to take the bus. More on this later.

Now we had a plan, we had to find a place to sleep.

We asked around and found a hostel called Cabinas el Perezoso.

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The guy had rooms for $8 per night which we couldn’t beat so we took it.

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The hostel was very basic but the guy was super nice and accommodating and there were nice people there. At dinner time he took down coconuts for us.

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It had been a long ass day and we had to get up early so called it a night.