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  • Writer's pictureWeb Services Team

At the end of the road, you'll find Puerto Jimenez on the pristine Osa Peninsula.

A lone Pizote or Coatimundi taking a moment on the Osa Peninsula.
A lone Pizote or Coatimundi.

Three hundred and seventy-five kilometers distant from San Jose you will find the unforgettable small town of Puerto Jimenez, the capital of the pristine Osa Peninsula known for its mega diverse flora and fauna which include the following as cited by 'Osa Conservation':

  • The most significant wetland ecosystem and mangrove forests of Central America

  • The largest remaining tract of lowland rainforest in Pacific Mesoamerica

  • 2-3% of flora found nowhere else in the world

  • 323 endemic species of plants and vertebrates

  • The largest population of scarlet macaws in Central America

  • More than 4,000 vascular plants

  • More than 10,000 insects

  • More than 700 species of trees (which is more than all the Northern temperate regions combined)

  • 463 species of birds

  • 140 mammals, including 25 species of dolphins and whales

  • 4 species of sea turtles

If this conjures up images of insanely noisy jungles, crashing waves, screeching birds, swinging monkeys, flitting butterflies, and zooming hummingbirds then the Osa Peninsula is for you. It's like no other place in Costa Rica apart from Tortuguero in the far northeast of the country which comes a close second.

Many visitors to the peninsula get a thorough introduction to this diversity while visiting Corcovado National Park, the undisputed jewel in the Costa Rica Park system. Others get it in their backyard, while others get it at the beaches, because no matter where you go, you'll be surrounded by nature. It's inescapable!

The main town of the Osa Peninsula, Puerto Jimenez, is a throwback to the days of old, the roads have just recently been paved, streetlights are not glaring, and the locals smile and wave as you pass. However, it still offers modern amenities such as banks, grocery stores, a post office, telecommunications and Internet services, an airport, a seaport, and a bus depot. In other words, it provides all the infrastructure necessary to service tourists and locals alike.

The road to Puerto Jiménez from San Jose is passable by all types of vehicles, though a four-wheel drive is recommended for visiting sights off the main road. During the last 30 years, the Osa has managed to maintain its cultural integrity and individuality while at the same time welcoming visitors graciously and harmoniously.

The Osa is located off the beaten path in the South Pacific of Costa Rica. A tall ridge cuts through the Osa Peninsula dividing Corcovado Park and the Pacific Ocean to the West with the Golfo Dulce ("Sweet Gulf") to the East. Dolphins, turtles, whale sharks, and humpback whales reside in these waters either part- or full-time, and world-class fishing boasts some of the best opportunities anywhere to land marlin, sailfish, and tuna.

Most people must travel to zoos to witness the vibrant colors of a scarlet macaw, the playful leap of a capuchin monkey, or the lumbering crawl of a sloth. However, in Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, all you must do is step outside. The lush rainforest and abundant wildlife are the reasons the Osa Peninsula is recognized as one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth. It's truly a playground for the senses.

Surfing is prime in the Osa, especially at Matapalo. The beaches are exquisite, with hardly a soul to be seen. There's no fighting with other tourists for a spot to lay down your beach towel. And for those who like a little variety in the bodies of water they see, there are rivers, mangroves, and waterfalls aplenty.

To visit the Osa Peninsula is to savor the glorious splendor of nature at its finest. The Osa Peninsula's main claim to fame is Corcovado National Park and the "Golfo Dulce" or "Sweet Gulf" as it is known in English. The Osa is home to some of the most spectacular butterflies and birds in Central America, four species of monkey, coatis, kinkajous, ocelots, jaguars, toucans, scarlet macaws, parrots, whales, whale sharks, turtles, sharks, and dolphins to name but just a few of the many inhabitants that you might encounter when visiting the pristine Osa Peninsula.

The Costa Rican saying "Pura Vida", or "Pure Life" nicely sums up what awaits you in this wonderful location.

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