Corcovado National Park is
one of our planet's most remarkable expressions of life, an enchanted realm
where every turn of the eye welcomes new surprises. A journey into
this mysterious land is a passage into the most exuberant forests in Central
America, perhaps the world. Acknowledged by The National Geographic
Society as "one of the most biologically intense places on earth," Corcovado
National Park is a verdant kingdom where the jaguar holds court as spider
monkeys play jester. Her lands are rich, bejeweled with electric-blue morpho butterflies and scarlet macaws. With 367 species of birds, 139 species of
mammals, and 116 different kinds of amphibians and reptiles, Corcovado's
treasures are immense.
Drake Bay Rainforest Chalet vacation packages include a full-day excursion
to Corcovado National Park. Your Corcovado Adventure Tour includes:
round-trip boat transportation to the park, entrance fees, a picnic lunch,
and the services of a professional guide.
Guests of Drake Bay
Rainforest Chalet experience Corcovado on a guided day tour originating at
the San Padrillo Ranger Station. Located on the northernmost
edge of the park, San Padrillo is a 20-minute boat ride from Drake Bay.
On this leg of the journey your captain will cruise along the Osa
Peninsula's lush coast as the morning sun plays upon the Pacific. If
fortune has it, you might even spot a humpback whale or the aquatic-flight
of a sea turtle. After this brief but beautiful maritime
adventure, you'll tiptoe through the surf onto a land where time stands
First Impressions of Corcovado:
As you enter the forest
interior of Corcovado, you suddenly find yourself in a majestic cathedral of
trees the height of a seventeen-story building. Green twilight cloaks
the understory, only to be shattered here and there by sword-like rays of
light. Immediately you sense the humid breath of untold billions of
leaves. Resonating with the songs of birds and the clamor of monkeys,
the interior of Corcovado is home to more plant and animal species than
Canada and the U.S. combined.
While Corcovado does not
give up her secrets easily, with the keen-eye of your naturalist guide you
are likely to spot a wealth of wildlife including: coatimundis, agoutis, and
sloths. White-face, howler, spider, and squirrel monkeys are also
commonly seen. Every sighting, from frolicking toucans to laborious
leaf-cutting ants, is a very special gift and all part of an infinitely
rewarding experience at Corcovado National Park.
Did you know...
Coatimundis are familiar
denizens of Corcovado Park. These tropical members of the raccoon
family are often spotted traveling through the forest in small groups. As
they shuffle along in search of fruit and insects, they hold their tail
upright, much like a domestic cat.
Five hundred species of trees
live in Corcovado, including probably the tallest in the country, a ceiba
or kapok tree that sours to 230 feet (70 m).
Early European explorers
reported that some rain forest Indians had the curious custom of dipping
their feet in sap collected from a certain tree and then holding them in
the smoke of a fire. The tree in this case was Hevea brasiliensis,
the species from which almost all natural rubber is now obtained. By
holding their feet in the smoke, the natives coagulated the rubber on
their soles, producing a pair of perfectly fitted "proto" tennis shoes.
Among the endangered species
protected by Corcovado national Park are five species of cat (including
the jaguar and ocelot), giant anteaters, and the harpy eagle.
The largest American wildcat,
the jaguar is the only big cat that does not roar. Some jaguars are known to
weigh in at 400 pounds.
The rare harpy eagle stands
3.5 feet tall and is the largest bird of prey in the world.
People have long suspected
that animals use plants for medicinal purposes. Some of the most
extraordinary cases of plant use by animals involve plants which appear to
be eaten to regulate aspects of reproduction. Observations of
mantled howler monkeys revealed that these monkeys eat certain plants
before and after mating but not at any other times of the year.
Other work documented that births in particular troops were not random -
but were biased toward male offspring, or more rarely female offspring.
Biologist speculate that the plants contain estrogen-like compounds -
compounds which can alter sex ratios in humans. This raises a number of
provocative questions. Can howler monkeys pre-determine the sex
ratio of the troop based on a conscientious decision to consume a
particular species of plant?