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“is what it is”

Sirena Ranger Station
Reviewed 17 April 2014

If you're visiting Corcovado and are interested in seeing as much wildlife as possible then you owe it to yourself to spend at least one night- and preferably two- at Sirena. This is your one and only option, and it allows you to be on the trails around Sirena in the early mornings and late afternoons, which taking a day-trip (either via boat, plane, or hiking) does not permit. Don't expect friendly rangers (if you're at Sirena at all that means by definition that you have a guide, so interacting directly with the rangers isn't really necessary anyway), nice bathroom facilities, free potable water (bottled water is available at $5 per two-litre bottle), or privacy but just remember where you are and how lucky you are for the chance to be very close to monkeys (especially squirrel monkeys), tapir, toucan, peccary, great curasow, blue morpho, etc........ Not to mention access to: primary rainforest, beautiful but rugged beaches, swimming in the Rio Claro, interesting foreign and local visitors (there was a group of Tico tourists there during my visit), etc.... Meals are very good (must be arranged in advance, and are not cheap) and worth it, as you'll greatly value a hot meal or two after days spent eating whatever basic food you pack in. Just do it.

3  Thank Choade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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47 - 51 of 174 reviews

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/

7  Thank seancrane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.

4  Thank Flora P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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

Thank Ruth T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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