Birding on the Osa Peninsula Costa Rica Corcovado National Park

Corcovado National Park

Osa Peninsula Costa Rica

Being one of the closest lodges to Corcovado National Park, Luna Lodge has a birds-eye view of the Primary Osa Peninsula rainforest. This 360 degree view of the natural world allows our guests to experience…

“…the most biologically intense place on Earth”

(National Geographic Magazine).

Corcovado National Park is a 164-square-mile national park on the Osa Peninsula and is the jewel of the Costa Rica National Park System. It is one of the largest parks in Costa Rica and it protects one-third of the peninsula. Within its borders are diverse ecosystems, including montane forests, cloud forests, prairies and mangrove swamps.


In the mid-1960s, Joe Tosi first suggested this area as the most logical Osa park or research reserve, because while it was of relatively modest in size (compared with, for example, the Amazon basin) its “definable” and “defensible” natural boundaries encompassed so many habitats and animal species.

When Corcovado NP was created in 1976, there were about 300 active gold miners in and around the future park. The total population of cattle in the park was about 500 head. The Oreros (gold miners) spent most of their time panning for gold in the river watersheds. Most had no property, but traveled between claims, building temporary shacks along the rivers and streams. Their earnings averaged about US$15 a month. Few struck it rich, but many were caught with gold fever.

Costa Rican gold rush 1980s
Costa Rica's Gold rush 1980s Osa Peninsula
Costa Rica Gold mining 1960s Corcovado National Park

Establishing the park was one thing, keeping it was another…

The gold rush of the 1980s was the tipping point. The Osa exploded with a perfect storm of calamities that included: the collapse of the banana business in the gulf with widespread unemployment; the spillover from the wars of Nicaragua, and El Salvador, and the contagious narco-militarism of Panama; and gold peaked at atmospheric levels.

A government study confirmed that 1,500 gold miners were working illegally in the park in 1985 and an additional 3,500 were working in nearby areas (Evans 1999, 144). According to the estimate, the community above Madrigal Beach had approximately five hundred inhabitants living in two hundred makeshift houses.

In 1986, the Park Service obtained a court order under the Judge of Instruction in Golfito. The eviction of the miners was completed that year.


A 45-minute beach/jungle walk from the month of the Carate River brings you to the entrance of Corcovado National Park.

Then once in the park, hike with your guide through the tropical lowland rainforest to the beautiful Madrigal River. Learn about the flora and fauna.

Madrigal has some deep colorful history from the two gold rushes that occurred there in the 1940s and the 1980s. There are still remainders of that wild-west time hidden in the rainforest if you look closely enough.

You can enjoy a dip in the river that meanders down to the beach. And then a leisurely walk back to Carate along the beach or duck back onto the rainforest trail.

Included: round-trip transport to the beach in Carate from Luna Lodge, the park entrance fee, and a snack is included with this tour. You will return back to Luna Lodge for a nice Lunch.

US $100 per person 5-6 hours minimum 2 people

Corcovado National Park Costa Rica
Corcovado National Park Costa Rica
Corcovado National Park Trees
Corcovado National Park

At the end of the Corcovado tour, we will be waiting for you at Luna Lodge with a delicious dinner, a tempting spa treatment and a perfect place to rest after this wonderful experience.

Corcovado National Park is considered by many a must-see experience. We recommend you let us know if you are interested in visiting the park so we can organize your experience ahead of time.

Corcovado National Park

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