What to See on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Costa Rica Vacations

What’s Not to See On the Osa Peninsula?!

isla del cano snorkeling
Reef off Shores of Isla Del Cano – twitter@OutdoorFamMag

Everything is what to see on the Osa Peninsula!

Untrammeled, the Osa Peninsula is the most beautiful coastal area in all of Costa Rica. There is no debate.

Costa Rica has 5% of the biodiversity on Earth. And, half of it is on the Osa Peninsula!

National Geographic called it, “the most biologically intense place on earth.”

airplane view of Osa Peninsula
Looking down at Osa Peninsula from Airplane – twitter@WanderlustChloe

The Osa Peninsula is home of, “The largest remaining tract of lowland rainforest in Pacific Mesoamerica [and] 2-3% of flora are found nowhere else in the world.” according to Osa Conservation.

The whale and dolphin watching, sailing, and deep-sea fishing are the best in Costa Rica as well.

And, the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica is home of the longest right surf wave in the world!

Of what to see in Costa Rica, the Osa Peninsula is the most spectacular of all!

The 4 Places to See on the Osa Peninsula

There are three things to know about the Osa Peninsula before planning a trip to see it.

Carete Beach Overview
View overlooking Carete Beach, Corcovado – twitter@Coolblogging_ch

First, the Osa Peninsula is the most remote vacation destination in Costa Rica. There are other places that are more remote in Costa Rica, but few of them have heavy tourist traffic.

The Osa a long distance from both Costa Rica airports. It is a long way from a major city. The closest two major towns are Dominical and Quepos and neither can be confused for a major metropolitan area.

Except for the largest protected area in Central America, La Amistad International Park to the east, the Osa Peninsula is by itself.

Carete Beach Tapir wading
Tapir in the Carete Beach Surf – twitter@worldtapirday

The second thing to know about the Osa is that the resorts, hotels, and lodging on it are among the most expensive in the country. Like the Nicoya Peninsula, the Osa is expensive.

And third, the roads on the Osa Peninsula stink.

The Osa is for people who love to hike!

View of Rancho Quemado
Rancho Quemado – twitter@erbinstitute

But, if you have the time, and you can afford it, the Osa is the best of Costa Rica. The following are the four places you have to see on the Osa


1. Carate Beach and Corcovado National Park, Life Changing!

If you are going to fly all the way to Costa Rica and then you are going to drive all the way to the Osa Peninsula, you may as well drive to the end of the


Coral Reef Osa Peninsula
Isla Del Cano Coral Reef West of Osa Peninsula – twitter@crteenamora

But, going to the farthest reach of Costa Rica is worth more than just bragging rights. The Osa Peninsula has the most beautiful jungle beaches you may ever see.

Carate is the beach at the trailhead to the southern entrance of Corcovado National Park. The jungle crawls out to the beach as a backdrop in thick droves unlike anything else in Costa Rica. Tucked away in a forested cove is a tropical lagoon. And, the virgin beach of Carate is clean, uninhabited, and beautiful beyond description.

Carate might be the most beautiful beach in Costa Rica.

Corcovado National Park River Ford
River Ford Corcovado National Park -twitter@emmasthomson

And, Corcovado National Park may be the country’s most beautiful public land.

In Costa Rica, with respect to an untrammeled forest, Corcovado National Park is second only to La Amistad National Park. The only reason its second is because it’s a fraction of the size of La Amistad.

Corcovado National Park is what Costa Rica and Central American lowlands looked like 200 years ago.

Corvocado is at the top of the list of what to see on the Osa Peninsula!

2. The Rock Spheres of Finca 6 Archeological Site

What you will find on the Finca 6 Archeological site rivals the scale of wonder of the Nazca Lines, the

Finca 6 Rock Spheres
Finca 6 Rock Spheres, Several of More than 300 – twitter@RadioMusic24

symmetry of Machu Picchu, and the precision of the pyramids in Mexico.

Finca 6 is one of the UNESCO’s World Heritage sites.

Evidence of pre-Columbian culture, the site includes paved roads, burial sites, and artificial mounds.

Most impressive, however, are the almost-perfect stone spheres that decorate the landscape. Some of the spheres weigh more than 20 tons.

Osa Peninsula Bird Watching
Bird Watching on Osa Peninsula – twitter@topreef

How a culture equip with stone tools created the spheres is a mystery.

So too is the purpose of the spheres carved out of solid rock.

3. What to See on and around Isla del Caño!

isla del cano sharks
Sharks near Isla Del Cano Coral Reef – twitter@emastef

The Isla del Caño is a national park as well as a wildlife reserve.

The island is strikingly beautiful. But, what lays just off the shores of the island is even more impressive.

About 10 miles of the northwest coast of the Osa Peninsula, Isla del Caño is 320 hectares large. The reserve protecting the live coral reef surrounding the island, though, is 5,800 hectares. The coral reef off the Isla del Caño is the most extensive off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. The reserve has five distinct coral reef formations.

Drake Bay Dolphins
Whale and Dolphin Watching in Drakes Bay – twitter@michael_backes

Three of the coral reefs are larger than a many of the national parks and reserves in Costa Rica!

Because of the coral reefs, there is no better scuba diving in Costa Rica than Isla del Caño.

When deciding what to see on the Osa Peninsula, do not fail to include Isla del Cano!

Corcovado National Park and Carete Beach
View of Carete Beach Near Corcovado National Park Trail Head – twitter@EscapingAbroad

4. View the Bioluminescent Plankton in Drake Bay!

There are few places in the world where bioluminescent plankton lives in the ocean. The Maldives, Mission Bay, Koh Rong in Cambodia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico and less than a handful of other places.

The Osa Peninsula’s Drake Bay has bioluminescent plankton.

There are two ways to see it: up close scuba diving or snorkeling or from above the bay on an overlook.

Of what to see on the Osa Peninsula, the bioluminescent plankton may be the most visually spectacular!

Osa Peninsula, a Small Sanctuary of What Costa Rica Was!

Sunset at Carete Beach – @blakeb07

The list above is a small part of what to see on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica. If you’re on the Osa, you’ll

want to go whale and dolphin watching as well. You’ll want to spend time in Puerto Jimenez and on the mainland in Golfito. Piedras Blancas is a must-see national park.

But, the four destinations and sites listed above will probably be the highlight of your trip to Osa!

If you need help deciding what to see on  the Osa Peninsula, call or email Ccosta Rica Vacations!

Or, quickly fill out a free custom itinerary request by clicking the link below and answering a few fun questions!

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