Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula
Costa Rica eco tours at Crocodile Bay on the Osa Peninsula are a great way to experience one of the most exotic places in the world. All of the tours are listed at the end of this article.
While many visitors come only to fish, we love this area as you can experience overwhelming raw nature along with world-class sport fishing. Every time you step outside, there is an abundance of life. During the day birds and insects, at night singing toads, frogs and insects. The rainforest is incredible.
No other resort offers this range of ocean and rainforest experiences. The Osa Peninsula is part of the largest remaining tropical humid lowland rainforest in Costa Rica covering approximately 700 square miles. The Peninsula protects more than 360,000 acres and contains thirteen national parks and other protected refuges and reserves. National Geographic Magazine described the Osa Peninsula as “the most biologically intense place on earth.” What better place to experience this unique ecosystem?
The Osa Rainforest Tour
For our first Costa Rica eco tour, we took the rainforest tour on a beautiful morning. Lisa took all of the photos in this article. This tour is by van along local roads through the rainforest. There was great scenery and we saw several sloths in the trees. We also saw three species of monkeys that day. It was really nice to see them in their natural habitat eating leaves, fruit and interacting with one another. Most weren’t paying any attention to us, but the spider monkeys were not happy with us at all!
Seeing wildlife from the local roads is actually very fruitful as the natural predators for monkeys and sloths avoid the noise of the occasional vehicle. It is much safer for them in these areas.
The White-Faced Capuchin Monkey
The white-faced capuchin monkey is one of the most intelligent monkeys.
They have been trained to assist disabled people and were a popular organ grinder monkey. They travel in small groups and live to be twenty years old in the rainforest. They eat mainly fruit and travel long distances when they forage. Seeing monkeys and sloths are many people’s main goal on Costa Rica eco tours. We were lucky that we saw the monkey Grand Slam–all four species of monkeys–on our two tours.
The Spider Monkey
Spider monkeys are very agile and swing through the trees (think Tarzan movies) very quickly.
Over time they no longer grew thumbs even though their hand has the thumb joint. Spider monkeys do not grip the tree branches when they swing—they cup the branch with their fingers and it is thought the thumb was actually an impediment to them. They eat fruits, berries, and also insects and small animals.
The Howler Monkey
Howler monkeys are very territorial and react quickly to a passing vehicle or any loud noise with their huge voices which can be heard from miles away.
Think King Kong, really – they are that loud! Experts say the howler monkey is the loudest land animal in the world. Howler monkeys live in close knit family groups and spend a great deal of time just resting. Howler monkeys eat mainly leaves and are finicky eaters often choosing only specific leaves or parts of a tree. Click here if you want to hear one.
If you only go on one Costa Rica eco tour, the Osa Rainforest tour is the one to experience. We also saw beautiful macaws and several sloths. Standing quietly on the side of the road, we watch a hummingbird just a few feet away. Costa Rica has over 50 species of hummingbirds. It is actually a great place to see many other bird species as well.
The Chocolate Farm Tour
The other must tour for us was the chocolate farm tour. Lisa visited Belize a few years ago and spent some time at a chocolate farm and wanted to see another. The farm is worked and owned by one family. The tour starts walking through the farm and seeing the many fruit trees and other native trees.
Then you start eating the rambutan fruit and it just seems you cannot stop. You break them open and the fruit is inside. These squirrel monkeys in the trees above us also like the fruit very much. Seeing these little buys completed our Costa Rica Eco tours goal of our monkey Grand Slam.
The cacao or chocolate tree is planted throughout the farm.
Chocolate trees, pineapples and other fruit trees are planted throughout the farm with the native plants. We also sampled many local herbs which had garlic, mint, rosemary, and other scents but did not look anything like the herbs we grow. Besides cacao, there are many other crops grown on the farm including sugar cane, rice, corn, pineapples, plantains, yucca, and sweet potatoes.
We had heard great reviews of the lunch prepared in the outdoor kitchen. We have a wonderful meals of grilled chicken, fresh salad, fried plantains, and mashed yucca. This was absolutely delicious!
Dessert and the Chocolate
We also had a very nice plate of fresh fruit and then got around to the real dessert—fresh chocolate. Rosy sorts the shells out from the roasted cacao beans and is ready to grind the chocolate. Notice it has started to rain—lucky we are under the roof.
The chocolate is put through a grinder and ready to be put into molds of small, bite size pieces. The taste was awesome and especially with the fresh squeeze sugar cane juice.
What Are Your Waiting For?
There is only one way to see your first macaw or toucan, hear a howler monkey, walk through the rainforest or catch a sailfish or marlin. You must GO! This is a trip people talk about all their lives and now is your time to go. We’ve made it easy taking care of all of the details so you can start adding to your “once in a lifetime” list of adventures. Below is a list of the Costa Rica eco tours at Crocodile Bay.
Experience the Osa Peninsula and a world-class bill fishing experience in February with Rob Endsley. Click here and complete the request form to see everything included in this great package price.
We are nearing the end of our article series about our trip to Costa Rica. Next up we talk about staying at Crocodile Bay—the lodging and cuisine. We hope to see you with us on the water this winter in Costa Rica.
Crocodile Bay Costa Rica Eco Tours
Crocodile Bay offers over 30 Costa Rica eco tours and expeditions designed into four distinct habitats with all skill levels in mind.
There are other Costa Rica eco tours at the resort. The great fishing also offers excellent opportunities to view the rainforest and coastline. You may also see humpbacks and other whales and dolphins we featured in our last article “Costa Rica Whale Watching August 2016 at Crocodile Bay.”
- Zip Line Canopy Tours in the rain forest. One of the most popular activities at Crocodile Bay and an exciting way to see the rain forest. There are a variety of tours in the day as well as at night.
- The Casa Orquideas Botanical Garden tour. A morning boat ride to one of the largest botanical gardens in the region.
- Osa Wildlife Sanctuary Boat Tour. Tour the Botanical Gardens coastline.
- Jungle Night Walk when rain forest animals are more active.
- Introduction to Bird Watching. Costa Rica has over 800 species of birds.
- Bird Watching in Depth. A two and a half day tour in a variety of forest, mountain, and aquatic habitats.
- Reptile and Amphibian Tour for those with a special interest in these unique creatures.
- Finca Kobo Chocolate Farm tour. One of the most popular tours where you see chocolate made from beans and plenty of wildlife and an abundance of fruit trees.
- Gold Panning. The Osa Peninsula was once famous for its high grade and abundant gold deposits.
- The Crocodile and Caimans Tour. Explore a beautiful lagoon where these large reptiles live naturally.
- The Playa Preciosa. The “Precious Beach” is nearby and a great place to swim, body surf or just relax.
- Cross Country Biking. A close up and personal view of the countryside.
- Golfo Dulce Excursions by Boat. The Golfo Dulce is one of the most pristine tropical gulfs in the world surrounded by lush mountain rain forest and mangrove wetlands.
- Snorkeling in the Golfo Dulce. Inviting eighty-degree waters where you visit a variety of marine habitats.
- Surfing on the Osa Peninsula. A thirty minute boat ride takes you to the “second longest left-hand curl in the world” at the Pavones Beach.
- The Butterfly Farm. Costa Rica has a wide variety of these colorful insects.
- Mangrove or Sunset Kayak tours. Paddle through rivers and estuaries near many beautiful aquatic birds.
- Corcovado National Park Rainforest tour. Corcovado is considered the crown jewel in the national parks and reserves of Costa Rica.
- The Osa Rainforest tour. Another of the favorite tours with a variety of monkeys, sloths, parrots, macaws and other birds.
- The Monkey Tour. See all four the monkey species on the Osa Peninsula.
- The Sea Turtle Rescue Tour. See how WIDECAST, an international organization, supports local sea turtle conservation.
- Rural Cultural and Conservation tours. See how people are supporting and experiencing the rainforest in a sustainable way so it can be enjoyed by generations to come.