Different levels of hikes are available from kids friendly to athletes looking for challenges.
Make sure you have a look on the list we send you. We do suggest you always bring appropriate clothing to fit the season and a day pack to carry snacks and water.
Wear clothing that will wick away perspiration and keep you dry and comfortable. The weather is hot and humid all year around. It is recommended to have sun protection (light long sleeved shirt, a hat and sunscreen). If bugs usually like you, bring some bug spray.
We recommend hiking shoes, sneakers or boots for your activities. Sandals or shoes with toe opening are not recommended, for your hiking tours as there are ants at many places on the ground.
In the rainy season, a plastic raincoat/poncho and a dry-bag will be useful.
For water tour, we recommend to use long sleeved swimwear.
What about overnight tours in Corcovado?
Please note that on these adventure tours through Corcovado Park you will be hiking with backpacks for several kilometers along muddy trails and beaches. As we have explained, the greatest difficulty you are likely to experience is from the combined effects of heat and humidity, which, if you are not used to it, can be debilitating. For your own comfort, therefore, we strongly advise that you to travel as lightly as possible: bring only that which is essential to you. You will be advised on these matters during your pre-tour briefing, and arrangements to store excess baggage can be made.
The following is what we recommend you include when packing:
• Camera & film (asa 400 to 600 is best in rainforests)
• Multipurpose penknife
• Flashlight & spare batteries
• Small zip-lock bag for your passport etc.
• Bin-bags for clothing
• Water bottle
MEDICINE & PROTECTANTS
This list includes some items essential and recommended for inclusion in your personal medical kit. Tailor your medical kit to your own specific needs, and perhaps seek medical advice. But keep it light! Remember that your guide will be carrying a multipurpose medical kit on all tours.
• Blister band-aides
• Antihistamine tablets (good for suppressing irritation from insect bites)
• Cream to alleviate insect bites and stings
• Antiseptic lotion or swabs
• Anti-fungal cream
• After-sun lotion
• Insect repellent
CLOTHING & BEDDING
• Peaked cap or wide-brimmed hat
• Comfortable hiking boots or shoes with good grips (light ones that can be easily washed and dried are best). Many guides wear rubber boots.
• A 65 liter backpack of good quality. A large pack half-filled is much more comfortable than a small pack stuffed full!
• One pair of light trousers and a light long-sleeved shirt
• 3 pairs of shorts and 4 T-shirts. (To save weight consider hiking in the same clothes each day, packing only the minimum of clothing you think you will need for a clean, dry change in the evenings)
• Several pairs of good quality hiking socks
• A light backpackers towel
• As much underwear as you require
What your Guide Provides
Guides are equipped with a medical kit, a flashlight, and optical equipment, but we recommend that you bring your own. Tropical Escapade guides are also equipped with the knowledge of the environment, the terrain and its potential dangers. It is important that you heed the advice given to you by your guide during adventure tours.
Spiders, like snakes, have an exalted position among people’s phobias. There are a lot of spiders here, but most are small and innocuous. Tarantulas are cryptic and seldom seen; they are harmless anyway!
Scorpions are not that often encountered, and none of the species found in Costa Rica are known to be dangerous. In fact, their stings are scarcely more harmful or painful than bee stings. However, shake out your boots before putting them on!
`Biting’ insects come in several groups, but only three are worthy of mention: mosquitoes, midges (or no-see-ms) and horse flies. These flies (Diptera) don’t bite; they pierce and suck! – No matter where you are, or at what time of the day and night, they have you covered. But, their nuisance value is not that high (at least not anything like as bad as you may have experienced in parts of North America and Europe), and most repellents confer effective protection.
`Stinging’ insects, the bees, wasps, and ants (Hymenoptera) are very prevalent, and while their stings can be very painful, unprovoked attacks are rare. So, called `killer bees’ do occur in Costa Rica, but the threat from them is no greater here than in any other area of their range.
We recommend you bring with you:
- Insect repellent
- Antihistamine tablets
- Cream for alleviating insect bites and stings
The word `jungle’ conjures up nightmare images in the minds of many people of a place seething with snakes. Well, the reality is quite different (alas!): you seldom see snakes! Most encounters with snakes are with non-venomous species. Nevertheless, the threat from venomous snakes does exist, and their bites can be very serious indeed, sometimes fatal. However, your chances of being bitten by one are about as improbable as being struck on the head by a falling coconut. Venomous snakes will rarely bite unless provoked, trodden on or grabbed. Your experienced guide is there to minimize that improbability and will take the lead on all treks.
Of the large mammals found in the Neotropics – of which there are surprisingly few – it is only the peccary that has a dubious reputation. They have been known on occasions when taken by surprise, to send the unwary hiker scurrying up a tree for safety. Encounters with peccaries (the larger white-lip peccary in particular), in herds of 20 or more, are common in Corcovado and, as yet, no casualties have been reported. Their foul smell and the loud cracking of their canine teeth when alarmed, make encounters with these beasts an awesome experience, and a memorable one! We recommend that you practice your tree climbing!
Jaguars are large and powerful cats, but have never, contrary to expectation, been known to bother people. There is a relatively healthy population of these cats in Corcovado!
Pumas, reportedly, have on a couple of occasions `tumbled’ people in Corcovado Park. No serious injuries resulted. Personally, we would rather see and be `tumbled’ by a puma than not see one at all!
Sharks are prevalent in the coastal waters of the Osa Peninsula and the Golfo Dulce. And among their ranks are two of the three most infamous species: the tiger shark and the bull shark. While this area is not renown for shark attacks, they have been known to occur – though no fatalities as far as we are aware. Bull sharks are very often seen patrolling the mouths of the Rio Sirena and Rio Claro in Corcovado Park. The benign white-tipped reef shark is a common sight to divers off Caño Island.
American crocodiles kill on average one person annually in Costa Rica. In recent years, these have been tourists! This species does not have a particularly bad reputation, preferring fish to tourists. But large specimens of three and a half meters (12 feet) or more will take large mammals and even people. Because of Costa Rica’s rigorous conservation laws, specimens of this size and larger are common here – reportedly there are crocodiles of up to 6 meters (20 feet) in the Corcovado Lagoon. But the American crocodile is not a threat unless you are dumb enough to swim in rivers, lagoons and lakes where they are known to occur.
A Precautionary Note
Hopefully we have allayed some of your fears and phobias about the tropics; or at least put them in perspective. But please don’t become too complacent: there are hazards and dangers in tropical rain forests and coral reefs.
Getting lost in rainforests, for example, is a very real possibility if you are foolhardy enough to stray from the trail and your guide. When surrounded by trees with visibility restricted to 30 meters (100 feet) or less, one has no point of reference by which to navigate. And while the adage that all rivers lead to the sea is true, in Corcovado many rivers have their seaward courses interrupted by crocodile-infested swamps! Slippery trails and protruding roots make real the possibility of tripping and breaking a bone. Some trees, especially some palm trees, have vicious spines which, can cause deep wounds, can be difficult to remove, and often cause suppurating wounds.
Although perils can come from unexpected sources, tropical rain forests and coral reefs are not seething cauldrons of nightmares as some may fear. If entered with due respect and perceived for what they really are–incredibly diverse and complex interrelationships of living things–tropical rainforests and coral reefs are truly among the most fascinating and captivating ecosystems on Earth.
Medical Advice and Vaccinations
Costa Rica has had for several decades an excellent health service. Therefore, many of the diseases prevalent in other tropical countries have long since ceased to be a problem here. Nevertheless, you should seek medical advice from your doctor or medical center about what vaccinations are required and recommended for Costa Rica.
Dengue Fever and Malaria
Dengue fever and malaria are both on the increase worldwide, and have recently reappeared in this country. Dengue and malaria are transmitted from people to people by mosquitoes, with no other animal host involved. Risk from either disease is greater in urban areas than in rural areas. The Osa Peninsula has seen only a handful of cases of these diseases in the last couple of years largely because it is mainly rural. Concern for dengue and malaria in Costa Rica is centered primarily in the urban areas of Puntarenas, along the Pacific lowlands, and in Limon, along the Caribbean lowlands.
Waterborne diseases, such as cholera and typhoid are virtually unknown in Costa Rica, and municipal water supplies throughout the country are for the most part chlorinated and potable. The incidence of hepatitis is 100 times greater than typhus and 1000 times greater than cholera. The protozoan Giardia and the bacterium shigella are widespread in natural waterways. Under no circumstances should you drink water from a stream. Avoid schistosomiasis by not swimming in very slow-moving water.
Minor infections, common to all humid tropical areas, include fungal rashes, like athlete’s foot and jock itch. Wearing damp clothing on long hikes through Corcovado offers ideal conditions for these rashes to occur. Also, cuts and grazes can become more easily infected with bacteria in tropical conditions.
We recommend you bring with you:
- Anti-fungal cream
- Antiseptic lotion or swabs
- These in addition to other items recommended by your medical center or Doctor
Some of the regulations governing Corcovado in alliance with Guide Associations on the Osa Peninsula are the following:
- You must to the hike with a certified guide by ICT (Tourism Institute of Costa Rica) that is registered with SINAC (National System of Conservation area of Costa Rica). All our guides that goes to Corcovado National Park are licensed and renew their permission to enter the park every year with SINAC presenting up-to-date documents.
- Smoking cigarette, entering the park with drug or alcohol is prohibited.
- Swimming in the ocean inside the park is strictly prohibited. There are crocodiles, sharks and the waves are get quite big.
- For the time being, it is not possible to leave any rangers station after dark and, thus, it is not possible to do night tours.
Yes. In Costa Rica, you need to have your passport with you if you are in a vehicle, because the police can ask for it. They want to know you are legal in the Country and do not extend the 90 days that are allowed with a tourist visa.
If you prefer not to bring your passport on a tour, bring at least a printed copy of the page that has your picture plus the page that shoes the stamp of your last entry in the Country.
Another important reason why we ask that you bring your passport is in case of any emergency. If you need to go to the hospital, you will need your passport.
If you go to restaurants, hotels or any shops and want to pay with your credit card, you may be ask to show your passport as a proof of identity, other IDs may not be accepted.