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.
- 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!
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