In a few short years Corcovado National Park has changed from a remote and fabled research station to one of the world's most renowned and accessible wildlife viewing destinations. Today, a Google search of Corcovado will return hundreds of pages, many of them commercial eco-tourism sites but many more from conservation foundations. All these pages provide a series of stock clichés about the Park. The more one looks, the more one finds repetitions of the same hackneyed phrases. Nowhere online is there a single clearing house of the type of information that a visitor really needs to comprehensively plan an excursion into Corcovado, at least, not until now. This web site is intended to fill that void.
Here you will find as complete a history of the region and the formation of the park as I think is published anywhere. More importantly, you will find all the information needed to plan your trip to Corcovado National Park, including detailed information about the nearest towns, a complete overview of the trails maintained by the park service, a description of the ranger stations, and full information on pricing and how to secure parkpermits, lodging and food for a self-guiding tour or how to arrange for fully guided expedition. However, this guide is for anyone who finds it useful, and I welcome your comments and suggestions to assist me in making improvements to this and future editions.
This Corcovado Guide Book is intended to be the most comprehensive one stop source of information about Corcovado National Park online or in any publication. It is intended for lay visitors and seeks to present information that is useful in planning trips into the park. Correspondingly, you will find in these pages information about travel and lodging in the towns that provide the principal access points to Corcovado as well as activities that can be undertaken there, even activities that are independent of the park itself.
You will also find a detailed description of how the park came to exist and what the agencies, non-governmental organizations, and institutions are that ensure its protection and funding. I have made an effort to describe the importance of the park to sustainable development policies nationwide in Costa Rica and how the experience in Corcovado National Park dovetails with environmental protection and presents the local populace with economic incentives through eco-tourism opportunities to preserve natural resources instead of exploiting them. Costa Rica is on the cutting edge of a planetary awakening to the vitality of environmental protection, and in many ways Corcovado National Park is the most sensitive proving ground in this trend-setting nation for what is essentially a socio-economic test case and trial study of management plans likely to have implications and bearing around the world.
Each dollar generated by a park visitor contributes to the Corcovado fund and adds to the economic sustainability of both Corcovado Park in particular but environmental protection of wildlife habitat in Costa Rica and beyond in general.
Whereas I am a geologist and environmental engineer by training and can speak with some authority in the fields of tropical hydrology, geomorphology, and geology, this visitor's guide is intended as a layman's guide and does not pretend to be a biologic treatise nor to replace the extensive trove of scientific information and academic research concerning the plants, animals, and ecosystems of Corcovado. While I have made an effort to summarize the state of the science and what scientists tell us about the park and its relevance to the natural order of the world, please take me at my word that I am not an expert in that field. For those with greater interest in biologic research that has been completed or is underway in the park, you may want to track down the references that are given in the suggested reading lists.
A great number of people have helped with the compilation of the information contained in these pages. The list that will be forthcoming is inevitably partial. I thank everyone involved and give special thanks to those that provided authorization for content protected by copyright to appear on these pages. Except for the most arcane pieces of information, the content is not formally footnoted. The links page summarizes all the technical sources used in the compilation of this visitor's guide.
I welcome the reader's comments to determine how and where content can be updated and improved to provide continual improvement in the quality of information about Corcovado and about planning multiple day park excursions. Comments and suggestions may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.