The Osa Peninsula ventures out off of the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, and is known to be one of the most secluded, yet extreme places in the entire country. In fact, National Geographic called it “the most biologically intense place on Earth.” It receives over 23 feet of rain annually, has the highest forest tops in Costa Rica, some of the murkiest swamps, and is loaded with more bugs, plants, and animals that one could ever imagine!
Dense rainforest and uninhabited beaches scatter the Osa Peninsula, which remains to be one of the last portions of Costa Rica inhabited by people, relatively speaking. Paved roads are a very recent addition to the area, making a 4×4 vehicle a necessity when traveling the area. Much of the land, however, is restricted from settlement, since more than half of the peninsula’s ground and swampland falls within the Corcovado National Park and other reserves.
Home to the Osa Peninsula is a large portion of endangered species, including the scarlet macaw, the Central American squirrel monkey, the “Baird’s tapir, the white-lipped peccary, jaguars, the America crocodiles, and the harpy eagle (which has only recently been re-sighted).” Just on the peninsula itself, there are over 700 species of trees, 850 birds, 140 mammals, and over 140 amphibians and reptiles.
Within the past few decades, tourism has become more accessible in the area since a few luxury lodges have been built in the area, as well as accommodations for the travelers with tighter pockets. Also in varying degrees in price are the renowned adventure guides in the area. From marine viewing tours to rainforest exploration, or even guidance to mini secluded beach paradises, the Osa Peninsula is absolutely of the most magical places in Costa Rica.
The most popular place for tourists in the area is Drake Bay, which sits atop the northern portion of the peninsula (named after Sir Francis Drake, who discovered the bay on his first trip ‘round the world!). With an abundance of lodging in the area, including hotel and tour packages, many people flock to the area for the aforementioned beautiful land and activities, as well as kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, and horseback riding. For the few who actually love bugs and small critters that crawl and bite, there are night tours that revolve around the otherworldly creatures that are torturous most gringos in Costa Rica.
Though Drake Bay is the largest and most accessible place in the area, with some planning, there are certainly other regions to stay! Whether you’re looking for adventure or a beach and a drink, the Osa Peninsula is a prime location to experience the real Costa Rica!