Half and Full Day Tour Descriptions
After checking in with the Costa Rica Adventures Office, the journey begins at the docks of the small town of Sierpe. Your professional, bilingual guide will show you to the boat and load the gear. During the one-hour trip down the Rio Sierpe, keep an eye out for caimans and crocodiles basking on the riverbank or for one of the many local species of birds out for a morning catch. A silhouette in the morning sky may turn out to be one of the three types of sloth found in the area, or perhaps a white-faced capuchin monkey eating from a mangrove branch. Clusters of simple homes patch the tropical rolling hills as you near the ocean, where friendly locals use the river to paddle from one village to the next. Several more bends, and the river opens into the breathtakingly blue Pacific Ocean of Costa Rica, one of the most biologically diverse marine ecosystems on Earth. These waters form such an incredible sanctuary because the majority of Costa Rica falls under the core of the extensive and steady natural Costa Rican Thermal Convection Dome. Numerous maritime animals and plants thus thrive in this nourishing environment.
Caño Island Expeditions:
Just minutes from the mouth of the Rio Sierpe, the 740 acre Caño Island Biological Reserve waits for you to discover its mysteries. During your ride, whales and dolphins playing in the sea year-round often set the lively tone of the adventure. Brilliant tropical fish shimmer about the rock formations as you near the island, as if to welcome your arrival to this sacred area. Indigenous tribes must have used this land because of the existence of an ancient cemetery located on the peak of the island, although its location so incredibly distant from the village ruins of those buried remains unexplainable. Beyond local use, perhaps the island was also as an ancient trading ground for tribes as far travelled as Incans and Mayans, suggested by the strange variety of Pre-Columbian artefacts found here. On the trails that end at these archaeological sites, you are sure to encounter many of the species of marine birds found on and around the island, but strangely no other significant animals will cross your path. The Ranger Station at the park entrance offers shaded resting areas, public bathrooms, a cool freshwater outdoor shower, and a spacey storage room.
After experiencing up to two dives on our eight-hour tour, any scuba lover is guaranteed to surpass his or her conception of the underwater world. The warm clear water surrounding Caño Island is considered one of the best diving spots in Costa Rica and the world. Skin Diver Magazine contributes to Caño Island “the best diving of all the costal Pacific.” Shelter provided by the underwater rock formations is the base of a colourful tropical ecosystem that offers an extraordinary variety of sea life, including Reef Sharks, Porpoises, Sea Turtles, Crustaceans, Eels, Octopus, Large Pelagic, and four types of Rays. Barracuda, Trumpet Fish, Grunts, Groupers, Snappers, Amberjack, Tuna, Guitarfish, Puffers, Surgeonfish, Moorish Idols, Angles, Butterfly, Damsels, Parrotfish, Roosterfish, and Horse-Eye Jack create a panorama for you that extends as far as the eye can see, with up to 100 ft visibility in our waters. Your certified Dive Master Guide, who also specializes in marine biodiversity, will lead you amongst these species and many more. The trip is broken into two dives with a picnic in between on the pristine beach of Caño Island. The tour is for anybody with at least the minimum scuba diving licence, Open Water, and includes a full set of name-brand scuba equipment, refreshments, and lunch.
Discovery and/or Snorkeling:
Prefer to stay a little closer to the surface? Whether you would like to uncover ancient mysteries of the forest of the island above, snorkel amongst those in the rocks below, or both, the Caño Island Discovery and/or Snorkeling Tour is perfect for you! Your qualified guide who is skilled as much in animal and plant-life out of as well as in the water will accompany you during this day-long journey. Before lunch, you will have ample time to explore the islands many trails to the indigenous cemetery, the Indian archaeological site, and the exuberant cool fresh water stream. If you wish to escape the late-morning sun after your picnic, take part in the exciting snorkeling tour through the underwater gardens surrounding Caño Island. The dark, volcanic rock is host to countless species of marine life, situated right at your fingertips. This tour includes all snorkeling equipment, refreshments, and lunch.
Costa Rica is internationally known for its thrilling and challenging deep sea fishing, and the area around the Osa Peninsula is nationally known as one of the best spots of the country. Over forty I.G.F.A. sport fishing world records have been earned within an eighty-five mile radius of the mouth of the Rio Sierpe. The half or full day adventure is led by a local captain and at least one mate, both experienced anglers with a thorough knowledge of the local waters, and most importantly, exclusive fishing spots. Common ocean catches include: Yellow Fin Tuna, Wahoo, Dolphin Fish, Spanish and Sierra Mackerel, Sailfish, Cubera Snapper, Roosterfish, and Black, Blue, and Striped Marlin, to name a few. If you are more interested in fishing along the extensive and sufficiently wide Rio Sierpe, you are likely to find: Red Snapper, Snoop, Roosterfish, Grouper, Jack, and many more. Any legal catches may be saved or released, depending on your preference. The tour includes all professional sport fishing equipment, refreshments, and lunch.
Dolphin and Whale Encounter:
Watch the whales play and swim with dolphins all year round! This day-long tour takes place some fifteen miles beyond Caño Island, where the water is warm and crystal clear blue and the dolphins and whales ecstatic. Dolphin species found in the area are Spinner, Bottlenose, Common, Rough Tooth and Spotted Dolphins, and whales include Humpback, Pilot, Orca, Sei, Bryde’s and Pseudo Orca Whales. Groups of dolphins, sometimes approaching up to 500 members, are almost always found in these waters. In such case, your experienced boat captain and marine guide, both experts with dolphin and whales, will work together to maneuver the boat into the middle of the school. Surrounded by dolphins, you may observe from the boat or even swim with the friendly animals, using snorkeling equipment to watch them play as far as 20 meters under your feet! These lively creatures frequently jump into the air and ride the waves at the bow of the boat, showing off their graceful bodies just feet from your eyes. A picnic lunch will be served on the boat around noon, perhaps with a view of migrating humpback whales jumping in the background. When all are ready, your captain will quietly pursue whales sited to bring you so close that you feel as if you are riding on their backs. As the whales surface, they expel an incredible amount of vapor, creating an intense boom that you can feel vibrating inside of your body. Certain times of the year, the whales travel with their calves creating a most precious sight. The tour includes snorkeling equipment, refreshments, and lunch.
Corcovado National Park Expeditions:
Referred to by National Geographic as “one of the most biologically intense places on earth,” the renowned Corcovado National Park is situated just forty minutes from the mouth of the Rio Sierpe. The wildlife refuge covers one-third of the Osa Peninsula and contains some of the only primary jungle of Costa Rica, one of the reasons the entire park is protected specifically for scientific research. It is home to over 350 known species of birds, countless reptiles, rodents, and amphibians, the four species of monkey, and is the only place in Costa Rica where you can find the five species of wild cats, including the Jaguar. Other animal sightings in include Sloth, Peccaries, and a diverse range of insects, and plants. A long-time guide specialized in jungle plant and animal life will lead your tour. The Corcovado day tours are divided into two jungle hikes with an included relaxing lunch on the beach or at the Ranger Station. These posts offer shaded resting areas, public bathrooms, a cool freshwater outdoor shower, and storage rooms.
This is the parks northernmost Ranger Station. After unloading the boat, your guide will lead you into the rainforest, pointing out specific plant and animal life and its significance. This hike ends at a cool stream emptying into the sea where you may take a dip to relax. The walk back to the Ranger Station is along the beach, where you will find different types of wildlife from that of the first hike. Depending on how much time you would like to spend on the first walk, after lunch you may continue the tour inland, weaving up a stream to the large waterfall, a perfect photo spot and bathing location.
The Ranger Station of Sirena is at about a 45 minute boat ride south of San Pedrillo, well into the heart of the park. This tour is for the more adventuresome traveler, seeking dense tropical jungle. It is on the trails of this part of the park where you have the highest chances of finding the widest range of exotic animals. The tour begins on the beach at river mouth of the Rio Sirena. Your guide will leave the lunch coolers there, and the hike up the river begins. The Ranger Station is the next stop, where you may take a break in the shade and have refreshments. The second, slightly longer, hike leads deeper into the jungle until reaching the river’s edge that will lead you back to the beach where lunch awaits. During the entire tour, keep your eyes out for all types of animal and plant life as Sirena is known for being one of the thickest, wildest parts of the untamed Corcovado National Park.
San Josecito Beach:
In a word: bliss. This beautiful secluded cove is the perfect beach that comes to mind when you imagine tropical paradise. Palm trees shade the pure sand at the water’s edge. Crystal clear chest-deep water blankets the soft ocean floor. A coral arch encloses and protects the bay from incoming waves. San Josecito is just than half an hour from the mouth of the Rio Sierpe. Pass the morning gently swaying in a hammock under the shade of the palms. Perhaps you wish to snorkel before lunch; your guide can take you, or you may go on your own. Have a picnic on one of the tables out of the sun while looking for whales playing on the horizon. Take a dip in the temperate bay, and later you may go for a walk on any of the trails of the area. Maybe you would like to visit the cool Rio Claro, which gets its name from the incredibly transparent quality of its gently flowing waters. Take a refreshing swim or canoe trip up the river to its waterfall. Available for your use in San Josecito are shaded resting areas, public bathrooms, a cool freshwater outdoor shower, and storage rooms. The day tour includes snorkeling equipment and lunch.
Violines Island Horseback Riding and Beach:
Sit back and let yourself glide freely across the deserted beaches of Violines Island and through the rainforest behind. Until you dismount your horse, its tracks will be the only footprints in the sand for as far as you can see. During this day tour, your experienced horseback riding and wildlife guide will lead you from the beach back into a mountain and through a tropical forest, all the while pointing out and describing different types of animal and plant species. Iguanas and Snakes, Scarlet Macaws and Toucans, Hawks and Vultures. Florescent flowers and towering trees, berry bushes and Pipper Plants. Have a relaxed lunch at the old river farmhouse with the quiet roar of waves breaking in the distance. Take a rest and then perhaps a swim. The horses and saddles are waiting for you, and the guide will take your lunch.
Mangrove and Beach:
Weave through the labyrinth of canals in the middle of the protected Pacific Central America’s largest Mangrove forest. The branches above create a canopy over the narrow waterways that provide the only access to the soaring trees. The sprouting roots reach down into the water and curve under the boat as if to bring you closer to the heart of the tree. Traveling through this private tunnel in the comfort of the seat of your boat, your guide specialized in animal and plant life will identify the birds you encounter of the nearly 360 species of birds found in the forest, including the mangrove hummingbird that is found nowhere else in the world! The canals are also home to an abundance of Caimans, Crocodiles, Boas, Iguanas, Turtles, Raccoons, Crabs, and Tree Frogs. In the tree tops, look for sloth and monkeys including the Howlers, White Faced Capuchins, and Squirrels. Approaching noon, your captain will head to the secluded beach of Playa Blanca. This is where lunch is served and you may pass the rest of the day relaxing in the sun or bathing in the water during this day-long tour.
Poison Dart Frog and Bird Exploration:
The lush tropical environment of the Osa Peninsula provides an incredibly fertile breeding ground for innumerable species of birdlife and four types of poison dart frogs. This is a two-hour tour that you may take at any time of the day you wish, although best bird watching occurs in the morning hours. It all begins crossing the Rio Sierpe with your knowledgeable local guide who specializes in bird observation, frog location, and plant identification. The one-hour walk into the forest is an ideal place to spot birds such as Hummingbirds, Scarlet Macaws, Parrots, Toucans, Flycatchers, Egrets, Trogons, Hawks, Vultures, Robins, Flycatchers, and Woodpeckers. It is not uncommon to encounter other animal life like monkeys and coatis while on your journey. Once into the core of the local jungle, your guide will begin pointing out the different poison dart frogs. The last stop is a small waterfall where you may bathe if you wish. Make your way back to the boat, and cross the river to return to Sierpe. This tour includes snacks and refreshments. We recommend that you bring binoculars if you are able.
Crocodile Night Tour:
Unveil these wild creatures in their night habitat along the Rio Sierpe. This boat tour departs from the docks just after nightfall and lasts for two hours. Your captain will quietly maneuver the boat along the riverbank, while your experienced guide spots lurking crocodiles out for a night catch. The guide then uses a light bright enough to illuminate the animals but not so bright as to scare them into submerging, giving you a picture perfect image. Not plagued by the hot day sun, this is by far the most certain way to make a decent number of crocodile sightings.
Sierpe River Kayaking & Archaeological Discovery:
Begin your tour up river in Finca 12 amidst the indigenous esferas remains, only found in Osa, Costa Rica. The ancient use and significance of these large perfectly spherical stones remain mysteries to archeologists still to this day. After observing the different artifacts, your local guide will lead you kayaking on a discovery of the treasures of the tranquil Rio Sierpe. So physically close to the water in your kayak, you literally become a part of this flourishing ecosystem. Caimans and crocodiles glide into the river, eye to eye with you as you drift along. Try and catch a Jesus Christ Lizard on film, running effortlessly across the water. Geckos, Frogs, Crabs, River Snakes, Egrets, Hawks, Parrots, Kingfishers, Woodpeckers, Sloth, and Monkeys including Howlers, White Faced Capuchins, and Squirrels frequently show their faces. Paddle calmly along the bank under the constant shade of the dense canopy overhead or let go on the mid-river current. The choice is yours! The tour lasts about three hours and includes all kayaking equipment, snacks, and water. We also have kayaks available for rent if you would like to paddle on your own.
Horseback Riding to Sierpe’s Waterfall:
Take the short canoe trip to the opposite bank from town of the Rio Sierpe. There your horse will be waiting for you and off you go! Your naturalist and experienced riding guide will lead you back into the mountains on a small trail. On the trip you are bound to encounter a wide range of wildlife from monkeys and sloth, to birds, snakes, and frogs, to rare plants and trees, all of which your guide will identify for you. After about an hour and a half, the remote Sierpe Waterfall will reveal its natural beauty to you. Dismount and take a swim under the falls, recessing into the serene cove created by the rock of the falls and the water falling over the entrance. There is plenty of time to snap some photos and have a snack and refreshments before making your way back to Sierpe.
If you have any requests for combining tours or for creating some other type of special, personalized tour not explicitly listed in our brochure, we would be glad to accommodate your desires and help you create your own adventure. Please don’t hesitate to contact us!
Adventures - Sierpe - Costa Rica