Activities-Corcavado National Park
The following is written by a guest who took the Sirena/Corcovado trip:
In 2015 Cindy and I took a day’s hike into Corcavado from Carate. Our appetites whetted, Sirena called. At 6:00 a.m. Terry drove us to the Rio Carate. We stumbled across its dry sands and into the forest beyond, led by Arnulfo Montes, our guide.
By 7:00 we reached the park entrance at La Leona. Park offices don’t officially open until 8:00, but an obliging ranger allowed us to register, and by 7:15 we’d topped up with water and were on our way. We’d been warned. Stops would be brief until we reached Rocky Point, which we needed to pass by mid-tide, and not risk being washed against its rocks. We briefly stopped to look at tent-making bats and XXX, forded the Rio Madrigal, replenished our water supply from a small stream at 9:15, then on to the spectacular but sun exposed Rocky Point and then the long (about half an hour) beach walk.
Our last walk on the beach was barefoot; the high tide lapped against the forest edge, and we skipped around logs when the waves retreated. We then sprinted across scorching sand, into the forest beside Rio Claro, where a tapir awaited in the shadows. We watched as it slowly moved from shrub to shrub, its prehensile lip snapping twigs and pushing them into its mouth.
At high tide the Rio Claro crossing was well over four feet deep. Cindy took the opportunity for a cooling dip. We arrived at Sirena just before 2:00 p.m. hot, tired, and wondering what we’d got ourselves into. Why would people our ages (59 & 71) take on such a challenge?
Camping in Sirena is on a large, roofed wooden platform. Alternatives are bringing a tent or using one of the mosquito nets available – first come, first- served. We chose a tent for its privacy. A net would have been cooler, and privacy perhaps over-rated. Lights are turned out at 8:00, and campers were in bed by then, many planning to leave well before sunrise the next morning. If you don’t bring your own food, meals can be ordered ahead at Sirena. Heaping plates were placed on a counter and we each took one. At both dinners, and each breakfast and lunch we hungrily consumed them in company with other campers.
We had several options for day hikes the next morning. We took one down to the Rio Sirena in the morning, seeing many birds, long-nosed bats and another large tapir. In the afternoon huge trees, a three-toed sloth and squirrel monkeys starred. Before dinner we sat on the Sirena porch and watched a pickup football game, along with a male great curassow and a black hawk that perched itself atop the flagpole for the grandstand view. Peccaries paraded across the landing strip in the background.
We left for Carate at 5:00 the next morning. Low tide enabled us to cross the Rio Claro on a fallen tree. Then along the long beach walk came the prize that made all our exertions worthwhile. Under bushes on the beach two young puma were resting, calm enough for us to take photos. Two anteaters and a red deer added to our viewing pleasure on the return. We took time to cool off in the Rio Madrigal waters, arriving in Carate and the Lookout Inn around 1:00 p.m., again hot and tired, but feeling triumphant.