Corcovado National Park – Overnight Stay At Sirena Station
A visit to Costa Rica is not fulfilled without experiencing Corcovado National Park, the Amazonia of Costa Rica. There is so much to explore in Corcovado, taking a day tour is definitely not enough!
No wonder Corcovado is one of National Geographic biologists, botanists, photographers, and videographers’ favorite place on Earth. Its jungle paradise offers thrilling moments at every footstep of incredible wildlife in action.
Experience Corcovado outside its ‘day tour hours’ taking an overnight tour. Wildlife is more active before 8:00 am and after 4:00 pm. Get the opportunity to walk deeper in the jungle, immerse yourself with the sounds of nature at night and enjoy delicious meals.
Staying overnight in this unspoiled tropical paradise of wilderness is somehow an experience out of this World.
Because Sirena Ranger station only offers dorm-style accommodation with bunk beds, some people are concerned about spending the night. Well, Sirena’s dorms, bathrooms, and whole installations are sparkling clean. It will presumably be the most luxurious dorms you have seen. My only recommendation is to bring an ear plug (just in case).
Sirena Ranger Station is a very secure place. There are cameras on the site. Park rangers have a radio communication system, and guides are experienced and certified to lead overnight tours. The following information might help to make your stay even more safe:
- Keep your valuable belongings in your hotel before starting the tour, or pay $4 for a locker in Sirena.
- Identify some of the gear that might be similar and create confusion with other travellers; for example, black rubber boots can be easily confused with the ones of someone else.
- There are some electric plugs in the common areas to charge your devices. If you do not feel safe leaving your camera or phone in the common area while charging, bring extra batteries or portable power banks.
Sirena is the only station offering food, and it is also the only station with accommodation facilities.
Please be aware that entering Sirena with your own food is prohibited and enforced. The only exception can be made if you travel with an infant or have a specific disease like diabetes. In these cases, it is essential to inform your tour operator about your special dietary needs to ensure that your ’emergency’ food for your specific diet will not be removed from your backpack by the park rangers.
- If you have special dietary needs, like allergies or intolerances, and the main reason why you avoid taking an overnight tour is that you can’t bring your own food and think that the park will not be able to serve something you can eat, you are WRONG. You will all be served a generous portion or a delightful meal whether you are vegans, pescatarians, gluten-free, allergic to peanuts, lactose, seafood, etc.
- You must mention your food restriction in your reservation, so the kitchen staff is aware of your dietary needs before your arrival. Note that you will not be able to choose what you want to eat ahead because the menu changes daily, and local ingredients are used according to the season. Breakfasts and dinners are cafeteria-type, and there are always different dishes to choose from.
If you travel with young kids, elderlies, or simply think you are not physically able to take an overnight tour, I am glad to inform you that Corcovado National Park offers itineraries for all physical levels (as long as you can walk, there are no facilities for disabled people in a wheelchair). The itineraries boat in – boat out offer several flat trails around Sirena station. They do not require much physical condition. Tourists have the opportunity to go back to the station and rest between each hike if necessary. Also, trails around Sirena offer the best possibility for observing wildlife in the park.
On the other hand, if you have a good physical condition, an overnight tour will allow you to travel from one station to another, entering and exiting the park in different areas, and walk more than 20 kilometres in a day if you want.
Night tours are currently prohibited inside the park. There are several locations outside the limits of Corcovado where you can take a guided nocturnal hike including in Carate, Matapalo, Puerto Jiménez, El Ñeque, El Tigre, Monterrey de Cañaza, La Palma and Drake Bay.
In Sirena, it is possible to hike until sunset and from sunrise. The lights are turned off at 8:00 pm in Sirena station so that you can contemplate the stars and the moon in an environment free from any light pollution.
Overnight tours considerably increase the possibility of seeing wildlife. You have much more time to enjoy the park and therefore enjoy nature. Many species are active at dusk and dawn.
On the other hand, a day hike goes very quickly, considering the travel time to the park by boat or 4×4. So that limits your time spent in the park. Moreover, depending on the time of the year, the sun is sometimes so hot between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm that the animals are often less active.
If you think it will be cheaper to take 2 one-day tours instead of an overnight tour in Corcovado, it will not be. After counting that you’ll need transportation twice to the park and pay for accommodation and food outside the park, you will realize that it is cheaper to spend the night in the park and appreciate the entire experience.
The benefits of taking an overnight tour are plentiful – moreover, spending a night in the middle of the rainforest is an incredible experience. By choosing an overnight tour in Corcovado National Park, you cannot go wrong. It should be the first thing on your bucket list for your Costa Rican trip!
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