a VirtualTourist member
I am traveling to CR in a couple of weeks and going to head down to Corcovado national park. Whats the view on either doing the full hike into the park and camping at sirena, or do you think you see just as much if you stay in Carate and do day hikes?
You won't get all the way out to Sirena on a day hike that is for sure. Personally I would go out and stay the night - two if possible. When you stop in at the Leona/Carate ranger station make sure that you get the times for high and low tides and don't take too many breaks if you need to beat an afternoon tide. We had to wait out the tide at the Rio Claro and almost couldn't make it around a couple of the rock outcrops along the beach when the tide came up. Great adventure – loads of animals and birds and one of the few self-guided jungle adventures out there in the world. The trail is well defined most of the way and 'camping' at Sirena is actually on an elevated wooden platform, a deck off the back of the dormitory and research station, with a roof overhead. Bring a decent pad, I went without and slept pretty rough on that wood platform. Nicer digs than I expected though! Have a great trip - Corcovado is one of the few places in Costa Rica that still holds up to expectations.
One last not I just thought of –
Make absolutely sure that you tell the transportation service that you need a ride out and on what day. We made the wrong assumption that the service ran daily out to Carate. We were hanging out with some locals in pouring rain with the rivers rising waiting for a pick up. Our new friends were all very enthusiastic until they found out that we hadn't requested a pick up from Jimenez. Luckily a truck randomly showed up and we all got out as the rivers were reaching flood stage along the way. Anyway long story short request a return trip and I would suggest bringing some extra food in case you miss your truck or the roads flood out.
Thanks for the tips Scott - thats really helpful. I think we are going to do the full days/night hike. Did you book it all when you were in PJ or from home?
From Jimenez. There is a public transport service that is pretty much next to the bus station (as you walk out of the station it is to the right half a block if I remember right). You ride bench seats in the back of a pickup and they drop you at Carate then you walk the beach for a mile or two out to the park entry point. Here the rangers will check you in and give you a photo copied map and some quick details. Then you are off down the trail. If you do want a guide I am sure one can be set up from Jimenez. Also, there is a parks office in Jimenez where you should reserve camping, dorms, etc. The office is a little difficult to find because there is no real good signage on the front. Just ask around and eventually you will find it.