What Is Corcovado National Park?

Christina Edwards

Corcovado National Park is one of the many national parks in Costa Rica. It is located on the Osa Peninsula, and it was established in the 1970s. Tropical forests make up much of this park, and visiting Corcovado National Park is usually best during the winter and early spring, when less rain falls than usual. While hiking through or camping at this park, visitors will often catch glimpses of several beautiful and rare animals, including the harpy eagle.

Located on the Osa Peninsula, Carcovado National Park is one of the many national parks in Costa Rica.
Located on the Osa Peninsula, Carcovado National Park is one of the many national parks in Costa Rica.

Known by the locals as Parque Nacional Corcovado, this national park is often considered one of the most beautiful areas of Costa Rica. Corcovado National Park is located in the southwest portion of the country. Along with Piedras Blancas National Park, it is included in the Osa Conservation Area, located on the Osa Peninsula.

Since this area was once so remote, it took awhile for humans to begin exploiting its resources. It wasn't until the 1960s, for examples, that loggers began taking trees from this area. After many researchers petitioned to protect this area, Costa Rican President Daniel Ouber established Corcovado National Park in the 1970s. The Animal Welfare Institute later presented him with the Albert Schweitzer Award for his efforts.

Although the mining operations were stopped, gold miners were still allowed to inhabit Corcovado National Park. As their numbers grew, the Costa Rican government began to realize that they were beginning to pose a threat to the delicate ecosystem of this area. In the mid-1980s, a law was passed that evicted the miners from this area.

Corcovado National Park covers over 100,000 acres (40,468.5 hectares) of land. Most of this land is tropical rainforests. Since it is located just north of the equator, it is typically very hot and humid here. Generally, the mountainous areas of this park typically receive slightly more rain than the lowlands.

Visitors are usually better off visiting the park during the drier months, which usually occur from December until April. The rainy season in this park typically occurs during the months of September, October, and November. While visiting Corcovado National Park during the rainy season may be a bit more uncomfortable, the park is typically less crowded and visitors may get better views of the local wildlife.

Among the many animals that inhabit Corcovado National Park, several endangered species are still hanging on here. The Baird's tapir can be found here, for example, along with a few harpy eagles. Jaguars can also be seen every once in awhile. Other animals that can be found in this park include caiman and poison dart frogs, along with several species of monkeys, sloths, and snakes.

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