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“Camped for 3 days/2 nights with children - Most amazing experience ever!”

Sirena Ranger Station
Reviewed 6 February 2014

My husband, children (11 and 8yrs.) and I camped on the platform for 3 days/2 nights with Sabena(sp?), our guide through Corcovado Info Center out of Drake Bay (Kenneth Mora is the owner of Corcovado Info Center- highly recommended). We were there at the end of December (dry season). This is a hard trip- lots of walking, camping accommodations, cold showers, very early hikes (4am!), basic food... but we were rewarded with incredible biodiversity, glorious sunrises, surprise watering holes, and many amazing animal encounters. My husband kept saying that this was 'Jurassic Park.'

We arrived on a 1.5 hr. ferry ride from Drake Bay. The boat held about 12 people. On our way, we had a wonderful encounter with humpback whales! From the shore, it's about a 10 minute walk to the Sirena Ranger Station.

From the Ranger Station, we would take our hikes and rest about every 2-3 hrs., either during our hike for lunch or we would come back for meals. The great thing about the hikes is that much of it is shielded by the foliage, so we never felt like we were getting beat on by the sun.

Our first day in Sirena, we saw the following in their natural habitats thanks to our Guide: humpback whales, crocodile, caiman, tapir, boa constrictor, ice viper, sloth, amazing birds (too numerous to list), squirrel/spider/capuchin/howler monkeys, peccaries (wild pigs), lizards... we watched the boa constrictor from about 5 ft. away. We also saw a sleeping tapir- we were in its den, about 3 feet away.

The reason you camp there is so you can see so much, especially because you are waking up and doing the 4am hikes when it is pitch dark (see the bats) and then you come to this beautiful site to take in the sunset, see beautiful egrets, toucans, herons, crocodiles, and then watch the tapirs take their morning walk into the ocean for their bath and bathroom necessities. The mornings were so memorable and beautiful- a nice time to have a pastry that your guide hopefully brought you.

Yes, you can visit as a day-tripper- they arrived by around 7:30am and seemed to leave by around the late afternoon. But I don't think they see as much.

My tips:
- Rubber rain boots were the best footwear because there are many muddy and wet parts during the hikes. And, we were there in dry season. All the guides wear rain boots.
- Bring a pair of flip flops for using the Sirena facilities- you cannot wear rain boots in Sirena, but you can wear flip flops or sandals. Believe me, if you use the bathroom or showers, you want to wear flip flops.
- Hire a great guide. Read up on Tripadvisor reviews- having an excellent guide who can speak your language will make your hikes so much more interesting.
- Bring some favorite snacks- if you opt for the guides to take care of your food, you may want to bring other items. I brought some nuts, dried fruit and power bars.
- Sunscreen, good hats (we bought some insect shield clothing through Amazon and we think they helped a lot with mosquitos- we were never bothered by them) are a must.

We would go back in a heartbeat- it was worth all the effort!

9  Thank Cyndi-Ryan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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57 - 61 of 181 reviews

Reviewed 5 February 2014

My husband had been here three years ago, and wanted me to experience Corcovado and Sirena Ranger Station. We came in and out by boat, arranged by Kenneth Mora (who I highly recommend), guided by Jairo. The station and its accommodations are primitive, at best, but, hey, there's wifi and running water. The trails around the station are generally pretty flat and easy, and the wildlife-viewing, bird-watching opportunities are boundless. It is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience. Do it if you have a chance. [The only reason I didn't give Sirena the highest rating is that the humidity almost did me in; so, if that's an issue for you, think twice about going.]

4  Thank MTnative46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2014

Camped on the platform in a tent- foam is provided but it is still hard. Very noisy - had the loudest snorer EVER that kept everyone awake all night. A couple (unbelievably) brought their two infants in and camped with them. They cried at night, of course. When we got there another couple was moving their tent to the grass and told us "good luck!!" The toilets and showers are very dirty - they were never cleaned in the 2 days we were there. Termite nests in the rafters of the showers. 2L water bottles are for sale for $4 at the station. The food is not fancy but it is good and it is plentiful. You have to arrange meals in advance - they will not let you change your mind and pay for meals once you are there.
We were pleasantly surprised that there were almost no mosquitoes/bugs. We never wore bug spray hiking in and around Sirena. Got only a few mosquito bites around my ankles around dinnertime. Bring a headlamp - there are no lights in the toilets and it is dark!!
Overall I don't think it is worth it to do an overnight trip here. Would fly in (10 min flight from PJ) /hike out same day if you can, do a day hike from your lodge, or just hike around Cabo Matopalo instead. The only animal we saw around Sirena that we did not see outside the park was the tapir.

3  Thank LisaMinneapolis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2014

Only reason I have not given this excellent is we did not spend too long here. Nice information point and another incredible setting.

Thank MArk S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 January 2014

We came here in March 2013 and I only just realised I haven't left a review despite it being the highlight of our 4 week Costa Rica adventure- it's the part we find ourselves day dreaming over now!

We done a 2 night trip with Kenneth Mora who was a great guide, based right on the beach at Drake Bay. At first I was expecting it to be a private trip with just us and him and were surprised to be in a group of about 5 others but it actually made it so much more fun.

We came here for wildlife and that's exactly what we got. We thought we'd maybe see 1 tapir if we were lucky but had 7 sightings! My aim was to see a tamandua and we had 2 sightings!! We felt so lucky, the forest felt so alive and we saw new things and heard new sounds around every corner. The heat at times was unbearable especially in the middle of the day so be prepared.

We stayed in a 2 man tent on the raised platform, some of our group were in the rooms and by the sounds of it we had a much better sleep. I loved the feeling of being right in the middle of the forest just a meter off the ground with no walls around you. Apart from watching the wildlife one of my favourite parts of the trip were just hanging around the station and relaxing in the heat of midday- always keep your camera by your side though as you will never know what will walk by!!

At one point Kenneth spotted a fishing boat off shore and looked through his scope to see what was going on, he could tell they were fishing for sharks for their fins and were illegally within the national park boundaries. It enraged me and broke my heart that he defeatedly stated that there was nothing he could do, just goes to show Costa Rica definitely still has its problems especially when it comes to the finning industry (watch the film Sharkwater before you go).

If you are heading to Costa Rica for wildlife then a stay at Sirena is not to be missed, but only if you can handle the heat, lots of spiders, cold showers and blisters. But that's what made it so fun!!

3  Thank ZookeeperAmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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