If you spent the last night at La Paloma you catch an early morning launch for the short trip (45 min) to the Sirena Ranger Station in the heart of Corcovado National Park. Sirena is considered the best area in Corcovado National Park for wildlife viewing with an abundance of local trails that traverse a wide range of habitats, from wild tropical beaches to mountainous highlands covered in dense virgin rainforests, and the Sirena and Claro River estuaries where crocodile and bull sharks lurk. We begin the day early to maximize our time exploring this area. Depending on tides and conditions we begin the long, hot hike on out of the forest and palm-fringed white sand beaches (6-7 hrs) where monkeys, macaws and anteaters can often be seen in the trees overhead. If lucky it’s possible to see a harpy eagle, tapir, jaguar, puma or a crocodile! We enjoy a picnic lunch under the shade of a palm tree and refresh ourselves with fresh coconut water served up on the beach by a machete-wielding naturalist jungle guide.
From La Leona Ranger Station on the south boundary of the park we walk for 30 more minutes down the beach to Carate where a 4WD vehicle is waiting to take us to Lapa Rios Ecolodge, our home for the next 3 nights. Perched on a hilltop with stunning views to the sea, the Lapa Rios ecolodge offers 16 spacious open-air bungalows perched on a hillside overlooking the sea with queen size beds, hardwood floors, private bath and shower inside and out, and a tranquil private balcony with spectacular views and wildlife outside your door and on your roof. Lapa Rios is one of the first award-winning ecolodges in the world. Overnight at Lapa Rios Ecolodge.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The day hike to or from the Sirena Ranger Station is a spectacular tropical hike. However, it is rigorous requiring endurance to hike from 6-7 hours under sometimes extreme weather conditions including high temperatures in the 90s, humidity of up to 100%,walking on soft sand for extended periods of time directly under the hot sun, and ambling over occasional boulder fields while carrying your lunch with 2 liters of water. Trail conditions are generally flat and well-defined. It meanders in and out of the jungle; most of the time you walk under the shade of the forest, although you can't avoid walking on the open beach under the direct tropical sun. Dehydration and heat stroke are concerns on this walk especially for those who don't drink enough water or are not in top physical condition to endure the heat. You must make an honest self-evaluation if you are capable of handling this hike as there is no possible rescue by vehicle or aircraft on the trail. If you want to do the whole trip, but avoid the hike from Sirena Ranger Station to La Leona, you can transfer between La Paloma lodge and Lapa Rios by 4WD or on a charter flight (cost not included). Depending on your physical condition and endurance for the Sirena hike, you might not feel inclined to join activities the day after the hike if you need a day to recover from this hike. The boat ride takes approximately 1 hour and it can be pretty choppy, we highly recommend women to wear sport bras for the ride.