The Osa Peninsula – Costa Rica’s Biodiversity Hotspot
You may have heard the impressive stat that Costa Rica hosts approximately 5% of the world’s biodiversity. And given that Costa Rica only occupies 0.03% of the planet’s surface, this is an astonishing fact.
There are roughly 130 species of freshwater fish and 160 species of amphibians. Add to those 208 species of mammals, 220 of reptiles and 850 of birds. As for butterflies and insects, there are 1,000 and 34,000 species respectively! The little country is also home to 9,000 species of plants and 1,200 varieties of orchid. And new species are discovered on a daily basis.
Costa Rica’s oceans are still uncharted territories too. The biodiversity stats don’t take into consideration the abundance of marine life especially around the unexplored Isla de Coco, a remote “Jurassic Park” island.
Unlike other biodiversity hotspots in the world like the Amazon, Costa Rica’s flora and fauna can be easily accessed and observed with local guides on tours and excursions. Almost 30% of the country is protected in National Parks or Private Reserves.
Many people don’t know however that Costa Rica’s major biodiversity hotspot is the Osa Peninsula. Situated in the very south of the country on the Pacific Coast, it is home to Corcovado National Park, the “crown jewel” of Costa Rica’s national park system. The “Osa” region starts south of Manuel Antonio and stretches all the way to the border of Panama. Lush mountains housing tropical rainforest vegetation, gushing rivers and majestic waterfalls spill out onto pristine Pacific beaches that sprawl for miles.
If you’d love to explore this wild region of Costa Rica, the Cayuga Collection has several hotels and lodges that could be your perfect base.