If you're up for roughing it a bit, it's hard to beat actually staying inside the park at the Sirena ranger station. It's not unbearable or anything, just a bit barebones (and it's at least a 7 hour walk both ways). We can give you more info if you think you're up for that, but in the meantime, check out this website: http://www.corcovadoguide.com/
Otherwise, I do believe La Leona Lodge is the closest lodge to the park, but not actually in it. I'd certainly stay there.
And, as others have said, the animals certainly don't know the park's official boundaries -- so staying *inside* the park isn't necessary for seeing lots and lots of wildlife.
Thanks, do not need to stay right on the park just have the ability to access it with long drives every day. Looked at Drake Bay....
I would highly rec La Leona Lodge. The tents are very well kept, you can pay a little more for a private shower & ocean view if you like. Food was good & filling and the staff & guides well great as well. The entry to the park via La Leona is only a 5 minute walk. Best way to get there is to fly into Puerto Jimenez, then take a taxi or the colectivo to Carate (the latter is much cheaper, more fun but bumpier & can get crowded), then you walk along the beach for about 20-30 minutes to LL (a cart will carry your luggage). You can arrange a couple overnights from there if you wish and have a nice bed to come back to afterwards. You could also look into staying at Danta Corcovado, then come out at La Leona.
If you want access to the park every day you may not want to stay in Drake Bay as it may get pretty expensive going back and forth by boat.
The reference to "long drives" as the means of daily access doesn't fit what I've read about the territory. It therefore suggests that you would benefit from pausing to read the corcovadoguide.com site that Plumboy referenced (and its associated, broader soldeosa.com site), or similar guidebook-type material.
We did two nights inside Sirena. Amazing wildlife--tapir, two species of peccaries, four species of monkeys, dozens of scarlet macaws, bull sharks, etc. The accommodations there do leave a lot to be desired, but it's worth it. We boater in and out via Drake Bay, and hired a private guide through our lodge. Well worth it.
Hi Plumboy....I would love to have your advice about staying in the Park. We are coming from Australia, so would appreciate any tips about making arrangements, obtaining permits etc. After 3/4 days in the park we will be ready for a little bit of comfort....maybe aircon, or at least screened windows....and we are thinking about swimming, snorkling, kayaking etc.....my partner is an ecologist and fairly experienced in these things, but I am still in beginner mode. Any other suggestions for our stay...from about 9 March through to 26/27th.....where we can avoid the really touristy places but see the best of the nature....would be much appreciated.....Ozzie hostie.
Well, a lot of other people will have more recent and more experience, period -- but definitely thoroughly read through the website I posted above. The page specifically on making reservations, etc is here: http://www.corcovadoguide.com/permitting.htm
I don't know what your budget is for the after-park period, but you could really treat yourselves and stay at one of the nice lodges around Matapalo, like Bosque del Cabo, El Remanso or Lapa Rios. These would all be a nice treat after staying at Sirena for a few nights. I'm sure others will have more recommendations. Less expensive options in that area are Encanta La Vida -- or maybe Iguana Lodge, on the beach.
I guess MY only big tip about going into Corcovado is to absolutely hire a guide. If you're on a budget, it's worth cutting from elsewhere to spend your money on a guide -- absolutely, definitely.