The Osa Peninsula in a nutshell

The Osa peninsula, due to the fact that for long time the only possible access was by the sea, with irregular boats service from the far  Puntarenas, maintained its pristine conditions despite the frantic gold rush of the 50 and 60 decades and subsequent agricultural development.

Only in the 80 decade, a more or less established road opened the Osa Peninsula to regular land transportation, and until the first 90thies the wading of several river along the road from Chacarita, the cross intersection on the Interamericana Road, until Puerto Jimenez, the main “town” on the area, was normal, and during the rain season was common to have to wait for hours or days for the lowering of the level of the waters.

In the Osa Peninsula the average level of rainfall  is between 4 to 7 metres per years, so you can imagine how often people had to wait for to cross the rivers, situation that today is still common in the part of the road from Puerto Jimenez to Carate, the “door” of the Corcovado National Park.

Being the farest location in the country, from the central capital town, the arrival-departing hub of the international tourist routes, helped the Osa to preserve for all these years its natural jewels like the most extensive rainforest of the whole Central America, the most extensive mangrove swamp, the Sierpe-Terraba rivers with 32.325 hectares of surface , and the populations of endangered wildlife, extinct in most of the remaining country and Central American area.

 Jaguars, American crocodile, Baird’s tapir, White-lipped peccary, and the Harpy eagle, still lives in the Osa Peninsula, some of them with healthy, populations like the Scarlet macaw, common even in the same streets of Puerto Jimenez, or the Jaguar with an estimated healthy population of 400 specimen.

Other species are only a remaining of the past, like the Harpy eagle that re-appeared only few years ago after having been considered extinct from the 80thies, that, due to the enormous area that need for to survive, will never grow to large numbers.

All the four species of monkey registered in the country ( Capucine, Howling, Spider and Squirrel) live here and the Squirrel monkeys, an endemic species, represent the only population of all central America.

Almost 400 species of birds live and nest in the Osa, ( the 5% of all the species in the world!), amongst the 750 different species of trees cataloged until today and counting, sharing all the environment that vary from the coastal lowland and marshes, to the dense rainforest covering the sides of hills and mountains, with 140 species of mammals, 117 of reptiles and amphibians, 60.000 species of insects.

So, is not a surprise that, hosting the highest natural diversity per unit area in the world, the National Geographic Magazine defined the Osa Peninsula as” the most biologically intense place on earth”, creating a kind of trademark that is impossible to emulate.

Obviously the abundance of wildlife is not a prerogative of the land of the Osa but a common characteristic shared with the warm, clean waters of the Golfo Dulce, the sole Fiord of the pacific coast of the whole Americas, and the Pacific Ocean that surrounds the Peninsula.

Whale sharks, Humpbacked whales, dolphins, sharks and the most impressive list of record game fish are common the whole year round, with moments of abundance that call sport fishermen from everywhere in the world, while the bests spots of the country for diving, the Caño Island and surroundings, are always overbooked.

More than 2.100 species of plants have been registered in the South Pacific Area, the 22% of the entire country, over a territory that, with 4.104 Km2, is only the 8,6% of the Country.

The actual population is around 120.000 ( 29,23 Persons per Km2 ), mainly involved in the agricultural and cattle breeding activities.

Tourism is grooving really fast and represent the second source of employement in the region.

 The Guaymi Indians still live in the reservations located in the centre of the Osa Peninsula the north-east border of the Corcovado National Park, and in other municipalities in the Area, with a total population of 2.700 persons, living on a territory of 23.063 hectares, the 3.1% of the total surface of the municipalities territories.

The Osa Peninsula is part of the ACOSA Conservation Area, that cover the south pacific coast of Costa Rica, starting from Dominical, until the Panama border.

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