On a trek through the Corcovado rainforest you will walk in the shade of over 500 species of tree. Some of these trees have gigantic leaves that look as though they are from an era when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. There's a good chance you will encounter the ceiba, a rare type of tree with buttressed roots, a long trunk, and a wide canopy high above the ground. You can encounter 400 species of birds along these trails, including the famed scarlet macaw. Your guide will point out hard-to-spot plants and animals, and tell you which plants are edible.
The Osa Peninsula has two main towns, Puerto Jimenez and Drake Bay. Altogether Osa has a population of approximately 5,000 people. Accommodations and tour companies here work hard to make sure their services don't damage the surrounding environment. This type of tourism is referred to as "rural tourism" or "community tourism," and it allows visitors to safety visit a delicate eco-system. Your visit here will also help support the small population of locals.
Members of the community have made it their mission to introduce visitors to their independent way of life. In Rancho Quemado for example, Juan Cubillo has set up a gold mining tour that demonstrates how Osa communities have been able to make a living off of the minerals that are just below the ground. In another rural tourism project, the Villalobos family offers hikes to pristine swimming holes and hours of exploring typically off-limits parts of the Osa, within their 1000 acres (400 ha) of private rainforest. In another community called Dos Brazos de Rio Tigre, Xiña Umaña will take you one and a half hours upstream to explore her farm, and spend the night in her mountainside cabin on the outskirts of Corcovado National Park.
Hiking up to Xiña Umaña’s cabin in Dos Brazos de Rio Tigre.
Juan Cubillo next to his mining tent tent during the ‘Finca las Minas’ tour.
Exploring Laguna Chocuaco in hopes of seeing upwards of 13 species of birds.
A not so rare ‘bird tree’ sighting.
The Osa in all its glory - a Ceiba tree.