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Changes at Sirena Station, Corcovado National Park

Puerto Jimenez...
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Changes at Sirena Station, Corcovado National Park

As of September 1, 2013, Corcovado no longer allows tourists or guides to cook foods within Corcovado National Park and Sirena Ranger Station. You are allowed to bring food that does not require preparation or cooking, but you MUST pack out any and all trash that you create.

As always, you can purchase your meals in advance from the park administration. No meals are sold onsite, only through prepaid purchase. The park does not have the ability to handle money transactions. Current rates for meals inside the park are:

Breakfast $20 per person per meal

Lunch $25 per person per meal

Dinner $25 per person per meal

Here is the notice from the park rangers in Spanish:

Por solicitud formal de la Administración del Parque Nacional Corcovado, y aprovechando la base de Datos del Programa de Turismo se les indica que a partir del 01 de setiembre del 2013 se prohíbe la preparación de alimentos por parte de turistas y guías en los diferentes sectores del Parque Nacional Corcovado en especial sector de SIRENA, esto en virtud de cumplir con normativa del Ministerio de Salud.

Pura Vida, Ballardo

Chicago
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1. Re: Changes at Sirena Station, Corcovado National Park

Why would they do this? It seems that the times for breakfast and dinner are the best time to be looking for animals and the prices are high. I have been all over the world viewing wildlife and Corcovado is a wonderful place but with this change I would not go back. How do the guides feel about this?. It will be a little easier for them because they will not have to cook for their guest.

Brighton, United...
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2. Re: Changes at Sirena Station, Corcovado National Park

I just got back :-)

My guide liked cooking! I think it gave him time to talk with just the other guides and he was an excellent cook. Meal times were great, I'm upset about this too. I'm going back next year, we're still taking food in, just not cooking it...

Good things- there might be less rubbish left behind! SO much is left for someone else to take care of, that's not right.

Bad things- Well apart from the possible benefit above, everything.

Without meaning to start another discussion on food prices, it's a bit pricey! I just got back from 2 nights there. ALL of our meals came to less than $15, because we bought food from a supermarket with some other people, prior to entering the park. We had pancakes, cereal, fruit, vegetable pasta, rice/ beans, Mexican tortillas, etc.... We did not go hungry!

You are restricted if you have specific diet requirements that aren't fully catered for/ appreciated.

You have to eat at certain times.

You can't even heat water for coffee. This is what the guides were really annoyed about. Also, some of the guides I met told me that they didn't get an input into this decision, and this isn't good if they bring so many people in to the station. They should at least have been consulted, surely!

I understand they want to make money, but it's such a shame :-(

Slovenia
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3. Re: Changes at Sirena Station, Corcovado National Park

Based on the report by catfee, trash is a real issue. Prices might be high, but I don't think that their times would interfere with wildlife viewing. For best activity one has to wake up at 5 am; and by 8 am first part of the hiking is already done. The rest of the day is even easier. And one can always skip at least one meal per day.

Kansas City
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4. Re: Changes at Sirena Station, Corcovado National Park

When we were there in July our guide said that might be coming. BUMMER! Having set times for meals means you must plan your hikes around the meal times instead of meals around hikes. We hiked several hours in the morning, and we would have had to cut our morning hikes short to make it back for breakfast or just missed breakfast altogether. Same for late morning hikes. One day our kids were having so much fun at the river that we stayed a lot longer than originally intended. We would have had to cut play time short to make it back for lunch or skipped the meal. With the high prices of the meals that would be a lot of money thrown away to skip the meals. Takes away all flexibility for hiking and exploring.

We've been to Sirena twice. The first time we did prepay and have meals there. This last time our guide cooked (very delicious meals) for us. The second was sooooo much better.

In the big scheme of life this isn't a major issue. Yes, a disappointment, but it won't keep me from returning.

Edited: 08 September 2013, 14:26
Kansas City
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5. Re: Changes at Sirena Station, Corcovado National Park

Okay, I just did the math. $70/day/person for meals. For our family of 5 that would have been $350 a day. That is a bit outrageous. Have they increased the prices?

I feel bad for any guide or tour operator who had prebooked tours with the understanding they would cook for their clients. They will have to go back to the clients and ask for more money to cover the cost of meals.

Chicago
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6. Re: Changes at Sirena Station, Corcovado National Park

I was there in April and my guide was Kenneth Mora and he made sure all the garbage was packed up and taken back to Drake Bay so I saw no garbage anywhere(the only garbage was on the beach that came from the ocean). It will interfere with the wildlife viewing like said above hikes will have to be cut short.

Kansas City
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7. Re: Changes at Sirena Station, Corcovado National Park

Well, when a group of us were sitting on the ranger station porch in July discussing the possibility of this policy change trash was never mentioned as a reason. The consensus was it was an administrative decision based on the desire to increase income for the park.

BTW, I didn't see anyone leaving trash. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen. It could be that the rangers are just really good at picking up after people.

Change is never easy. I'd prefer the option to cook or at least heat water. I wouldn't be very nice after a few days without coffee. :) If we are lucky enough to have another chance to stay at Sirena we would probably do our own breakfasts and lunches and purchase dinners. Dinner is late enough that we'd be done hiking for the day anyway.

Brighton, United...
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8. Re: Changes at Sirena Station, Corcovado National Park

Hey, I never said it was due to the rubbish- it's definitely about the money! EVERYTHING is always about the money!!

But there was rubbish everywhere. You were lucky to miss it! There was stuff left in the kitchen, plastic bags of rubbish hung up in the sleeping area, plastic water bottles around the sleeping deck, etc... I guess if people are walking out, it's just easier to leave it behind. My guide filled a big black binbag and we took it out with us on the plane.

Also, I'm not so nice without tea. I might take some teabags to smell, or suck, or use as shower scrubs...

Edited: 08 September 2013, 19:38
Chicago
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9. Re: Changes at Sirena Station, Corcovado National Park

Will the make more money if less people go?

Canada
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10. Re: Changes at Sirena Station, Corcovado National Park

I know this will upset some of you but let's put some perspective on this. You are talking about travelling to one of the most remote locations on the planet to experiennce what the vast majority of taxpayers in this tiny third world country who are paying to support this station will never have an oppoortunity to see, and complaining about a 20.00 meal that has to be flown in and the waste caried out? I am sure they will compromise on the meal times if necessary, but if you are going there you are likely one of the top 2 percent of the worlds wealthiest people so just be thankful! End of rant!

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