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“Great wildlife, great guide, not so good sleeping conditions” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sirena Ranger Station

Sirena Ranger Station
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great wildlife, great guide, not so good sleeping conditions”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 March 2014

Just got back from a great four days at Sirena — made better by Bolivar, an excellent guide who not only has tremendous knowledge of the area, but also has a great love for the land and animals of Corcovado. I went to Sirena for the tapirs and wasn't disappointed. We saw a total of 5 different tapirs in the four days, including several sightings of a few of them. We also saw tamanduas (lesser anteaters), about 30 coatis, red brocket deer, porcupine, all four Costa Rican monkey species and a slew of reptiles, birds and invertebrates. No cats this time, but we did see quite a few puma tracks. My one complaint about Sirena isn't necessarily with the fact that you must camp (or stay in one of the shared bunk rooms), but with the set up of the camping. Tents are packed into a single area on a raised platform and you are virtually right on top of each other. It can be annoying with the snoring, late night chatting, and when your neighbor has to get up to go to the bathroom. Again, I didn't go there for the accommodations, so not really a big deal to me, just want to paint a picture of what the place is like. They do serve extremely mediocre meals in a cafeteria that need to be arranged ahead of time. And they don' t provide water. A large bottle will cost you an additional $5. They do provide juice and iced tea, however, with meals. So if you're after the wildlife, Sirena is hard to beat, but if you're after a relaxing stay, or even remotely luxurious stay, you might want to look elsewhere. A few photos I took of tapir, porcupine, tamandua, butterflies can be found at these links.

(Tapir) http://seancrane.com/2014/03/tapir/
(Porcupine) http://seancrane.com/2014/03/mexican-hairy-dwarf-porcupine/
(Tamandua) http://seancrane.com/2014/03/tamandua/
(Butterflies) http://seancrane.com/2014/03/mating-butterflies/

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
7 Thank seancrane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent tour guide to Corcovado National park”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2014

My friend and I spent two nights at the Sirena Ranger Station. Our guide took care of all the details. His name is Alvaro Montoya and his phone number is 8814 7663. We got his name and number from James Kieser's book on Costa Rica. Alvaro purchased reservations for our stay at Sirena plus a couple of meals even before he met us. We arranged to meet him at Sirena as we were coming from Drake Bay and he was arriving from Puerto Jimenez. He hooked us up with a tent and comfy blowup mattress. He prepared delicious meals for us too. Most excellent are his animal tracking skills and his knowledge and love of the park since he has been doing tours there for 9 years. We were able to see more wildlife than we ever imagined.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Flora P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lincoln, Nebraska
Level Contributor
59 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Wilderness !”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2014

This is the only place to be (literally) within 20 km. Jungle is the reason and humid and hot is the season. WOW

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Ruth T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
106 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Camped for 3 days/2 nights with children - Most amazing experience ever!”
5 of 5 bubbles 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!

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
9 Thank Cyndi-Ryan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Missoula, Montana
Level Contributor
65 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Amazing place”
4 of 5 bubbles 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.]

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank MTnative46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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