Airport Transfer to Carate on the Osa Peninsula
Carate is located next to Corcovado National Park on the Peninsula de Osa, specifically near La Leona Ranger Station. Carate is no more than an airstrip and a “pulperia” (small grocery store) where you can buy a few necessary things if you plan to camp in Corcovado National Park. When you get to Carate, the owner of the “pulperia” will radio La Leona Ranger Station and a guide on a horse will pick you up to take you to the national park.
San Jose Airport to Carate on the Osa Peninsula
Liberia Airport to Carate on the Osa Peninsula
You can also leave your car at the store and camp on the beach in front of it, there are bathrooms and showers. Gold panners, or “oreros”, came to the area in the 1980s looking for gold nuggets. Even Costa Rica’s Central Bank established an agency in Puerto Jimenez to buy gold. These gold hunters caused damage to the area near Carate. They polluted rivers and dynamited riverbeds. In 1986 the gold panners were banned from continuing their activity in the area. After several protests in San Jose, the government decided to refund the money lost by these people and today gold panning is still a common practice on the Peninsula de Osa.
Corcovado National Park is a primary forest where Pre-Columbian groups once lived. Crafts and goods from this time can still be found in the park. The park protects 103,260 acres (41,788 hectares) that enclose 8 different habitats. You will find about 400 species of birds, 116 species of reptiles and amphibians and 139 species of mammals.
You will be able to spot squirrel monkeys in the tress and during the egg-laying season four species of sea turtles on the beach; Green, Pacific Ridley, Hawksbill and Leatherback. Be prepared for heavy rainfalls from April to December. There are three entry points to the park. On the northwest corner San Pedrillo, Los Patos on the northern end and La Leona on the southeast end about 2 miles from Carate. Due to its hot and humid climate, the trees can grow up to 230 ft. high. Camping in different areas of the park can take days, but if you are in a good condition it is worth it. You can visit the park on a one day tour and spend the night at a lodge outside the park in Carate.
From Puerto Jimenez to Carate you can take a regular taxi or a 4WD taxi. If you travel by plane you will land right in Carate and head towards Corcovado from there. There is no bus service to Carate so you only have these two options if you come here. Once in Carate or in Corcovado, you can visit Isla Del Cano Biological Reserve.
The island, about 9 miles (15 km) offshore from Corcovado, not only preserves its flora and fauna but its archeological treasure. Archeologists found that the island was used as a burial ground from 220 A.D to 1500 A.D. The mysterious stone spheres are what most attract tourists to the Isla Del Cano. These perfectly round stone spheres have thrilled scientists for years since they are not sure how they where so accurately made or their purpose.
Many theories have been developed over the years. Some say that the spheres were crafted as astrological instruments used to build calendars. Other theories involve past alien visitors who used the spheres as landing site locators.