South Pacific & Osa

A sloth mother and her baby in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica.

The southern Pacific area of Costa Rica includes the town of Golfito, the wild and rugged Osa Peninsula, and the epic surf break of Pavones. Costa Rica’s greatest and most elaborate eco-lodges are located in the Osa Peninsula, which is one of the world’s most biologically diverse areas. In a typical day you may see all four species of Costa Rica’s monkeys, a flock of scarlet macaws on the beach, and perhaps a sloth.

This part of the country is also home to Costa Rica’s best scuba diving, (at least within easy reach of the mainland) located off of the Drake Bay area on Isla de Caño (it would be called Cane Island in English but no one calls it that.) Here, divers find the clearest water, and an incredible abundance of fish, turtles, rays, and the occasional whale shark.

One of Costa Rica’s rarest animal, still lives here in the Osa Peninsula. The tapir, or “danta” in spanish, grows up to 600-700 pounds and is something like a large pig or a small cow, although it’s not particularly closely related to either. These animals have been hunted nearly to extinction, but trips can be arranged to see them in the wild.

Costa Rica’s largest mountain, Chirripo, is in the area, and climbing it is a rite of passage for many adventurers who are looking for some serious hiking. The long hike to the top may not be as strenuous as climbing Africa’s Kilimanjaro but it’s the tallest we have. One a particularly clear day, you could be one of the lucky few who can stand atop this peak and see the ocean on both sides – both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans at one.

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