Entries in #corcovado (5)


I Wanted To See Nature In Its Purest  Form

Sitting in the only café/bar within 8km of our conservation jungle camp I’m enjoying my first day off at the end of my first week here in Costa Rica.

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A Trip Into Corcovado National  Park

Landing in Puerto Jimenez the girl, who is also a fellow volunteer, climbing out of the small plane that held myself, three other passengers and the pilot turns to me and says “Even the air smells green”. She is right; I have never been anywhere where you are so surrounded by nature day and night before.

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The Life Of A Tour Guide

In the whole of the Osa Peninsula a lot of work and income revolves around tourism. Now that the rainy season is over, high season has started and tour guides are busier than ever and hostels and hotels are fully booked. So what is it like to be an actual tour guide?

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The Corcovado National Park Tour 

The camp in Costa Rica is located very close to the Corcovado National Park. (Voted the worlds No.1 National Park!)  During your time in Costa Rica there is a must to do a tour through the park. Our volunteers Ruth and Kim did the one-day tour last week and they are about to tell you all about it!

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Cleaning Corcovado National Park

Our day started at 5am with a quick bowl of porridge before an hour and a half hike to Leona Lodge just outside of Corcovado National Park. We trudged along like an army of ants down the beach and through the jungle, the sound of the bird’s dawn chorus and crashing waves filling our tired silence.

We arrived at Leona Lodge extremely sweaty and red faced to the sight of many tourists casually eating their delicious looking breakfasts after, most likely, having just rolled out of bed – not hammocks that’s for sure! We caught our breath for a short, but well needed 5 minutes, before heading into Corcovado. It was a big privilege being able to go into Corcovado for free that day, as the number of people able to enter the park daily is restricted and you can only enter with a guide. We walked for another 2 hours through the jungle, wading through rivers and along the beach as well as stopping on the way to look at a group of coatis roaming right next to the trail!

We arrived at the beginning point of our beach clean, marked rather impressively by a whale bone, and stopped for a quick snack. Our guide showed us to a pile of litter that the rangers of Corcovado had been collecting and we began to stuff it all into bags. You’d be surprised by the things we found including many abandoned shoes, a toy pig from a McDonald’s happy meal, huge chunks of foam and polystyrene and even a working pair of headphones (that may or may not have been nabbed by a volunteer)! After this, a few of us took full bags of rubbish back to the meeting point whilst the rest of us went on the mission of walking back along the beach collecting all the litter we could find. Baring in mind it was now about 10:30, 35 degrees and 90% humidity, you could say this was slightly challenging! Nevertheless, we trekked along the beach weaving between the palm trees and bushes picking up more foam, plastic bottles and many other interesting pieces of litter. We met with the rest of the group about 2 hours later, being greeted by ice cold water – an absolute luxury!

With the knowledge that a delicious lunch was waiting for us, we practically sprinted back to Leona Lodge, threw our shoes off (finally) and tucked into a tasty chicken stir fry with rice, beans and tortilla chips washed down with iced tea! After we all collapsed for power naps, we proceeded to sort through all the rubbish into piles of plastic bottles, other plastic, foam, metal and shoes. It was shocking to see how much litter had accumulated on just 3km of beach – the majority of which were plastic bottles and, surprisingly, shoes! We counted up each individual piece of rubbish and worked out that we had 1628 pieces all together. It was an extremely satisfying feeling knowing that we had made a difference to the pollution in the sea as the high tides coming within the next couple of days would have been washed everything we had collected back into the sea.

Although it was a very tiring and long day, hiking a total of 21km to and from camp, it was an extremely rewarding and unique experience to be involved in, whilst also making a small but effective difference to the pollution accumulating in the ocean that would have harmed many of the animals we’re trying to conserve.

We finished off the day very well with a group of white faced capuchin monkeys swinging and jumping through the canopy above us on the walk back to camp and, even better, a lovely cold shower!!  

By Sophie Marriot - Wildlife Conservation Volunteer

Find out more about Costa Rica Big Cats, Primates & Turtles Conservation.

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