Costa Rica Ecotourism, The Gem Called Corcovado


Do your vacation plans include Costa Rica ecotourism?

There is a little known gem called Corcovado.

Have you ever heard anything about it? No? Well, don't fret because you are not the only one.

Corcovado National Park (Parque Nacional Corcovado) is referred to as the Amazon of Costa Rica. With great reason. The little park, barely 42,000 hectares (about 100,000 acres) in dimensions, can be explored on the Osa Peninsula, located along the south Pacific shoreline of Costa Rica, in close proximity to the Panama border.

This is the largest remaining primary forest within Latin America.

When Christopher Columbus explored the Americas in 1502 he traveled the Caribbean from Mexico south to a stretch of land he called 'Costa Rica', the 'rich coast'. For more than 500 years the name has remained unchanged.

Wonderful tropical forests covered the land from the Atlantic to the Pacific back then and there were so many sea turtles that at times seafarers, lost in the fog, located land by listening to the sounds of thousands of marine reptiles paddling in the direction of nesting beaches.

Sadly, the passage of five hundred years has not been kind to either the forests or animals and today the majority of the primary forests from Mexico to South America have been cut down or burned. Providentially, Costa Rica possessed the foresight to protect Corcovado.

Columbus never came across Corcovado. The earliest Western traveler to view it was Sir Frances Drake.

Remember him? He is the sea captain who destroyed the Spanish Armada in 1588 and protected England from Spain. A few years before that famous encounter, he came ashore just north of the Osa Peninsula in a very beautiful area now named after him: Drake Bay. The bay is the gateway to Corcovado.

Despite the fact that Corcovado is extremely little, no more than about 20 miles long and 8 miles wide----less than 50 % the size of New York City--- it may be, as National Georgraphic says: the most biologically intense place on the globe.

Consider this: You will discover 400 assorted species of birds crammed into this teeny park. Compare that to the U.S. which has approximately 900.

The most significant extant Latin America population of the striking, but increasingly scarce, scarlet macaws remains here.

The Corcovado mammal species account for 10% of the kinds of mammals still surviving in the Americas and they exist on just .one ten-thousandth percent of the globe's land. Additionally, 116 species of reptiles and amphibians and 139 assorted species of mammals.

To put this park's size in context, you could fit it into Yellowstone upwards of 22 times!

Despite its tiny footprint, it has 6 types of wild felines, including the impressive jaguar and mountain lion.

For anyone who is a fan of amphibians (I am talking about frogs here) Corcovado is really a grand place to see the glass frog, poison-arrow frogs, and the rare red-eyed tree frog.

It is also one of the few places in Costa Rica you can still see squirrel monkeys.

You might look for fishing bats hunting for fish over the estuaries and rivers during hours of darkness. This particular park is regarded as be one of the very last stands of the Harpy Eagle which is quite possibly on its journey to extinction in Costa Rica.

At Corcovado, you'll find mile after mile of apparently deserted beaches. I say apparently because, though they look deserted, in fact these beaches provide nesting grounds for giant leatherback turtles (weighing more than half a ton), Pacific Ridley, green and hawksbill sea turtles.

Tapirs are plentiful and provide prey for ferocious jaguars and crocodiles. The footprints of these large cats are regularly found in the muddy trails surrounding the Corcovado Lagoon and they can also be sighted frequently. Carry your camera and stay alert!

Corcovado is without doubt one of the best tropical rainforests on earth. On your Costa Rica vacation, you will see why it is called the Amazon of Costa Rica since it is as extraordinary as any rain forest in Brazil, Indonesia, or Malaysia.

Heavy rains fall in the area from April to December so the best time to hike is in the dry months from January to April.

Article Source:

Victor C. Krumm writes from sunny Costa Rica in his beautiful Costa Rica Vacations site. Visit here to learn more from wonderful Costa Rica Eco Tourism opportunities.

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