Sirena Ranger Station is the headquarters of Corcovado National Park. It has extensive facilities for the support of academic research, park improvement and protection activities, and for camping, overnight lodging and meals preparation. It is served by both charter air and boat access. It is connected to all the other ranger stations by well maintained trails. There are also a number of wildlife trails that are maintained in the Sirena area that provide a variety of options of day excursions for visitors spending the night at Sirena. It has an extensive support staff and shifting populations of resident and visiting academic researchers. Sirena Ranger Station is located within the Corcovado Basin and boasts an unparalleled abundance of wildlife of all types. Unquestionably, Sirena Ranger Station is the best destination for maximizing wildlife viewing in Corcovado, and indeed in Costa Rica. Below is a description of the facilities to provide a full appreciation of what you may expect (and not expect) and what to bring to ensure that your stay is comfortable and enjoyable should you decide to embark on this overnight adventure.
You can visit the Sirena Ranger Station (and stay overnight should you choose) on our Osa Peninsula Wildland Adventure.
Dorm Lodging. Sirena is the only ranger station that offers overnight lodging in dorm style accommodations for up to 20 dormitory guests. Each bunkroom has two bunk beds plus an additional single bed. Each two to three rooms shares a common restroom which includes a very rustic shower, sink, and toilet. Groups of 4 or more are berthed together in individual rooms and are not expected to share rooms with other groups. Single or double passengers may get a private room if space permits, but will otherwise need to share a room with other visitors. The bunk rooms are spartan, containing only bunk beds and mattresses.
Unlike conditions at La Paloma, Lapa Rios and other ecolodges in the Osa Peninsula, when you are at Sirena Ranger Station you are in the wet, lowland jungle where mosquitoes are prevalent especially in the morning and evening so repellant is essential. Some rooms have mosquito nets for individual beds, but not all do, and there is no way to ensure in advance that you will get one with mosquito netting. However, all rooms are screened, though the screen size is not small enough to exclude no see-ums, which are only problematic when they swarm at certain times of the month and day based on humidity (more problematic from May-November).
The dorm lodging does not include sheets or towels, so we provide a towel and linen sleeping liner to ensure your comfort. Although rooms are screened in but you may want to bring a personal mosquito net if concerned about mosquitoes, and a small back-pack pillow or stuff sack you can fill with clothes for a make-shirt pillow. Since insect repellant is highly recommended for night hikes and some places during the day, visitors may opt to forego the mosquito net and rely exclusively on bug dope. The dorm capacity at Sirena Ranger Station is 20 individual beds divided among five rooms. Preference is always given to academic and governmental researchers and to MINAE employees and volunteers during park initiatives over visiting guests, so often dorm lodging is not available. To ensure availability it is always necessary to reserve in advance, and since reservations are not accepted more than 30 days prior to anticipated arrival, it is best to make reservations requests exactly thirty days prior to your expected arrival.
Hot Meals. Sirena Ranger Station has a fully equipped kitchen and staff that is responsible for the preparation of three meals per day for the MINAE employees stationed at the park, visiting researchers, and the visiting public. However, the kitchen has a capacity of around 30 persons, so meal service at Sirena is first come, first served. Beyond employees, meal priorities are extended first to researchers, then to dorm lodgers, and finally to campers and day visitors arriving by boat from Drake or that fly in from Jimenez on a charter flight. Meals are typical Costa Rican casados for lunch and dinner and gallo pinto (beans and rice) for breakfast. Portions are hearty, and the fare is simple but quite appetizing. Meals are served with cold water and cold fruit drinks made from dried mixes (like Tang, only not meant for astronauts) as well as coffee. Lunch and dinner typically includes: rice, bean, salad, some type of meat, fried bananas, and a fricassee palmito or potato dish or else stir fried mixed vegetables. Breakfast includes gallo pinto with eggs, cheese or ham, two types of fruit, toast and fried sweet bananas. Meals must be reserved in advance and are arranged as part of the Wildland Adventure. There is no provision for food sales outside of this structure.
Electricity. Sirena Ranger Station has both an array of solar panels as well as a generator. Power is turned on facility wide from 5:30 to around 8:30 in the evening to provide guests with access to lighting in the early evening hours. After lights out, visitors must rely on their own flashlights and lighting facilities for reading or getting ready for bed. No electrical outlets are provided for small appliances or the charging of batteries, so visitors should bring fully charged cameras and other tech gadgets and spare batteries for flashlights.
Communications. Sirena Ranger Station does enjoy cell phone communications with the outside world, thanks to an antenna that provides signal to a portion of Costa Rica that is not covered by existing cell tower coverage. This telephone is for the use of the administrative staff only and is not available to the public. It is available in case of emergencies, and there is case-by-case flexibility to allow communications for guests faced with changes in their circumstances. Plan to be incommunicado while in the park and resist the temptation to request access to the telephone facilities in anything other than an emergency.
Alcohol. Alcohol is not permitted at Sirena Ranger Station or anywhere in Corcovado National Park
Cold Drinks. Formerly, ice cold soft drinks were available for sale at Sirena. That practice has since been phased out, so prepare yourself in advance for this slight deprivation. This fact makes the cold fruit punches and water served at meal times all the more appealing.