We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Corcovado with kids - appreciate your thoughts...

Takoma Park...
Level Contributor
165 posts
55 reviews
Save Topic
Corcovado with kids - appreciate your thoughts...

My family is excited to get to Corcovado. We've done a lot of jungle (and desert) hiking.

But my girls are 9 and 12, so there is a limit to what they can take. I want to design this trip for maximum animal sighting. I need to be careful about the walking distances too. We will definitely stay at least one night at Sirena ranger station, buy the meals and use a guide. We will be there the week before Easter 2012.

1) Getting in and out: Boat from Drakes Bay? Or Puerto Jimenez?

This is the hardest to figure out. We will be at Dominical/Uvita before Corcovado, and can easily get to either spot.

Drakes has some advanatages 1) beaches, some other activities and (I think) we can boat very close to Sirena station, which will put us deep into the park and save the legs of my daughters for the best animal area.

But Drakes lodging is expensive, and I'm intrigued by the Los Patos approach. Is that a great hike on it's own? I think the kids would find any beach approach - in the sun and sand - too exhausting.

2) Two nights or one night at the station?

I'm leaning toward two nights, but I'd like opinions. What do people do during the middle of the day there? They can't hike for 6 miles a day, three days in a row. It will be too much. One night might be best, but that doesn't leave much morning / evening time, which is best for animals.

3) We will have a hard time bringing much gear. What will we need? mosquito net, flashlight, towel, water and some snack food, we know. But what else? Rubber boots? We usually bring Teva's and hiking boots, but we needed rubber boots in the amazon.

4) To stay in the dorm or platform? I've heard pros and cons. The girls won't sleep well with bugs, and I don't sleep well in heat. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance. Sorry for the long post.

Mentioned in this post
Sirena Ranger Station
Sirena Ranger Station
183 Reviews
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Dominical
Dominical
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Uvita
Uvita
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
10,541 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Corcovado with kids - appreciate your thoughts...

1. It's a very long hike in from Los Patos (19 km) so IMO given the age of your kids you should plan on boating in/out of Drake Bay. The hiking around Sirena will likely be muddy but we did not find it tiring as there were a lot of breaks to look for and watch animals. The animals are much more active in the morning and near dusk so in the middle of the day you can sunbathe,chill out or try a picnic hike along the river to the south of the station.

Drake Bay has lodging in all price ranges. We stayed at Las Caletas and enjoyed it especially the wildlife sightings, the food and swimming in the beach below the inn. There are less expensive choices as well as high end lodges depending on what your budget is. Drake Bay is cheap compared to what the Sirena stay will cost once you add in boat costs, guide and meals.

2. Two nights is definitely a good idea. We only stayed 1 nite on the last trip and it rained from 5 PM til noon the next day, seriouslylimiting our chances to hike in the morning. This is serious rainforest and the more time you spend there the better chance you have of spotting wildlife on a sunny day.

3. We definitely needed rubber boots but our Drake Bay lodge let us borrow a couple of pairs. Our guide provided mosquito nets and brought snacks along. All this you can set up with a guide once you select one. Please remember that the week before Easter (Semana Santa) is the busiest travel week for Ticos so you do need to book arrangements asap. We stayed in the dorm under our mosquito nets and slept well (or as well as you can when there's a downpour and a tin roof directly above you).

Edited: 04 December 2011, 23:06
Mentioned in this post
Drake Bay
Drake Bay
Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Takoma Park...
Level Contributor
165 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Corcovado with kids - appreciate your thoughts...

great, fast response. thanks crfan.

Any other thoughts appreciated, but those sound like good options.

Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
812 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Corcovado with kids - appreciate your thoughts...

I don't have children, but I can't imagine doing the hike into or out of Sirena with kids that young. It's at least a 7 to 8 hour hike via La Leona and I think longer via Los Patos. I'd boat in and out (or fly from Puerto Jimenez if your budget allows).

Re: one or two nights at Sirena. Again, I just don't know what to suggest with children, but I wouldn't want to be there for less than two nights. It would seem too rushed for me -- unless, again, you can schedule the boat or plane in and out early and late to maximize your time (in early day 1, out late day 2).

I slept in a dorm room. It's not very comfortable (sleeping pills help!). I've heard a tent can be a bit cooler, but I can't imagine it's really that different. It's going to be hot and humid no matter how you cut it, I think. I had no problems with mosquitoes but they don't generally like me.

If you haven't already, check out this site for all the detailed info you should need: http://corcovadoguide.com/

Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
812 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Corcovado with kids - appreciate your thoughts...

Also, I don't think rubber boots will be necessary for mud at that time of year, but I might want them for snakes, just in case. Maybe your hiking boots would suffice.

Also, I'll just add that we saw plenty of wildlife around Sirena during the day. We saw different things early in the morning, particularly peccaries, but the sightings are definitely not restricted to morning/evening. With my guide, we did pretty much hike non-stop for three days -- I left utterly exhausted but satisfied.

Takoma Park...
Level Contributor
165 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Corcovado with kids - appreciate your thoughts...

Ok, we will definitely go from Drakes and boat in.

These answers help a lot thanks.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
Level Contributor
6,363 posts
148 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Corcovado with kids - appreciate your thoughts...

We boated in from Drake and stayed at a very lovely place for under $100/night, breakfast included (Finca Maresia). They also arranged our boat transportation and guide for Sirena, but we booked our park reservation permits and meals separately through the Sol de Osa website.

Mentioned in this post
Osa Peninsula
Osa Peninsula
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Finca Maresia
Finca Maresia
976 Reviews
Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
1 post
61 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Corcovado with kids - appreciate your thoughts...

Hi crfan,

Our girls are 7 and 9 and we want to go the week after eastern, So that would be in 1,5 week approximately, i would be very happy if you share with us what and how you did everything.. That would be a great help for us, enjoy!

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
10,541 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Corcovado with kids - appreciate your thoughts...

We took a boat from our lodging in Drake Bay (Las Caletas) to/from Sirena. We booked a guide thru Mike at Osa Aventura. Since you need advacne reservations for a stay at Sirena you should contact Mike at mike@osaaventura.com or Sol de Osa at reservations@soldeosa.com and see if either can arrange reservations for you on such short notice.

Mentioned in this post
Drake Bay
Drake Bay
Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Osa Peninsula
Osa Peninsula
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Takoma Park...
Level Contributor
165 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Corcovado with kids - appreciate your thoughts...

We booked with Kenneth from Corcovado Info center info@corcovadoinfocenter.com for next week.

He's been great to work with and very helpful with arrangements.

We are staying at a small hotel in Drakes and flew in and out.

Los Altos, CA
Level Contributor
660 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Corcovado with kids - appreciate your thoughts...

crfan, how did it go taking the kids to Corcovado? I am thinking of a day trip with husband and kids from Drake next summer. My kids will be 11 and 14 then, not crazy about hiking but do like animals (been to CR with them before and we all enjoyed the animals but not hiking too much!) Interested to hear how it was for your kids. Did you do a trip report?

Get answers to your questions about Corcovado National Park