Best Things to Do on the Osa Peninsula

The Experts Recommend: Visit both sides of the Osa Peninsula for a complete wildlife and rainforest experience.

The Osa Peninsula, located on the Southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, is a world premier rainforest destination dubbed one of the most biologically intense places on earth by National Geographic. The pristine peninsula is bound on the northwest by Drake Bay, on the west by the Pacific Ocean, and on the east by the Golfo Dulce. The Osa Peninsula offers breathtaking, untouched scenery, secluded beaches, and abundant wildlife encompassing lush primary rainforest and a complex system of freshwater and marine resources.

Drake Bay on the Pacific Ocean

Osa Peninsula Costa Rica

Dray Bay from Aguila de Osa Inn

Situated along the western shores of the Osa Peninsula and accessible by boat or small airstrip, Drake Bay is the jumping-off point to two main attractions on the peninsula: Corcovado National Park & Caño Island Biological Reserve. Both will offer the adventurous traveler a truly authentic nature experience. Explore forest trails, waterfalls, spring-fed rivers, tide pools, and enjoy some of the best snorkeling & scuba diving in all of Costa Rica, all while staying in a first class jungle lodge surrounded by rainforest.

Corcovado National Park


The main natural attraction of the Osa Peninsula is Corcovado National Park on the western side of the peninsula. Corcovado National Park is one of the richest and most diverse tropical areas on the planet. It covers nearly half of the entire peninsula and has the largest lowland rainforest in Central America. Corcovado has one of the largest populations of scarlet macaws in Costa Rica, second only to Carara National Park. All four species of monkeys and both sloth species live in the park. Less commonly seen species of the park include the endangered jaguar and the puma. Beginning in 2014, all visitors must have a guide in the park. Nearly all of the lodges in the region offer day tours to the park.

Cano Island Biological Reserve


Cano Island Biological Reserve – accessible from Drake Bay

Twelve miles offshore of Drake Bay is Cano Island, home of Cano Island Biological Reserve. The island was once used as a cemetery in Pre-Columbian times and is where many of the mysterious stone spheres of Central America are located, thought to have been carved by Pre-Columbian natives by scientists. Today, Cano Island is especially popular for diving and snorkeling.

Related Article: 9 Best Costa Rica National Parks & Reserves

Drake Bay Attractions

  • Corcovado National Park
  • Caño Island
  • Pristine Rainforests & Beaches
  • Wildlife & Marine Life

Things to Do from Drake Bay

  • Corcovado National Park Hike
  • Snorkeling & Scuba Diving
  • Mangrove Boat Tour
  • Sport Fishing
  • Dolphin & Whale Watching Tour
  • Bird Watching

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Puerto Jimenez & the Golfo Dulce


Coastal views from Lapa Rios Ecolodge outside Puerto Jimenez

On the east side of the Osa Peninsula is the protected inner coast of the Golfo Dulce (Sweet Gulf), one of only three tropical fjords in the world. The gulf is a hidden gem in Costa Rica, ringed by secluded beaches and the wonderful biodiversity of the region. Of the many tourist attractions Costa Rica has to offer, the Golfo Dulce is the perfect destination for nature lovers, both those seeking a true adventure and those who want the peace and tranquility of an undiscovered paradise.


Dolphins and whales are commonly seen in the Golfo Dulce.

The gulf is a beautiful 80 degree turquoise oasis for dolphins, seasonal whales and great for swimming, kayaking, snorkeling and fishing. Circling the warm blue waters of Golfo Dulce is a tropical rain forest with abundant hiking trails, where one may encounter all four species of monkeys found in Costa Rica (spider, white-faced, squirrel and howler), Poison Dart frogs, Morpho butterflies, anteaters, agouti, coati mundi, jaguars, ocelots and margays.

Piedras Blancas National Park


Playa Nicuesa Lodge backs up to Piedras Blancas National Park

Piedras Blancas National Park contains 30,000 acres of primary and secondary forests. A boat ferry is available for visitors traveling to their hotel bordering Piedras Blancas across the Gulfo Dulce from Puerto Jimenez, namely Playa Nicuesa Lodge or Playa Cativo Lodge, or those traveling to the town of Golfito.

Puerto Jimenez Attractions

  • Pristine Rainforests & Beaches
  • Gulfo Dulce
  • Piedras Blancas National Park and the Esquinas River
  • Wildlife & Marine Life

Things to do from Puerto Jimenez

  • Waterfall Hike
  • Golfo Dulce Dolphin Watching & Snorkeling
  • Kayaking
  • Stand Up Paddle Boarding
  • Surf Lessons
  • Botanical Garden
  • Wildlife Sanctuary

Osa Peninsula Travel FAQ:

Dry Season- December to April, Green Season- May to November
High 90° F, tropical weather with afternoon daily showers from May to November; As this is the tropical rainforest, expect high humidity.
We recommend bringing beachwear, quick-drying clothes, bug repellant, hiking shoes or boots, and a rain jacket!
Wildlife at Corcovado National Park; the turquoise blue waters of the Golfo Dulce

Related Article: 7 Things to Know Before Visiting the Osa Peninsula