Staying at Sirena Research Station

The extension we offer is special compared to other Costa Rica photo tours because we have an opportunity to stay in the heart of Corcovado National Park, at the famed Sirena Research Station. This is my favorite place for wildlife in all of the tropics. However, there are some things you should know about staying at Sirena before you commit to this special extension. Read on to learn more. If you're looking for more general details about the tour click here, or view itinerary and pricing information.

Getting There

Sirena is located at about the half-way point along Corcovado's Pacific shore, making it a difficult place to reach. To reach Sirena we will use chartered boat or aircraft. Arrival boat requires a "wet landing."

Accommodations: Not the Definition of Luxury

Unlike the lodging during the rest of our tour, a stay at Sirena could be thought of as "roughing it." There are no private rooms, only shared (covered) tent platforms. You will need to bring your own mosquito net to hang over your sleeping area (a tent is also an option, but ventilation is not as good as you may be too hot). The shared bathrooms and showers have cold running water. Water at Sirena is not considered potable, and must be filtered or disinfected with iodine tablets or UV light in order to drink.

Wildlife at Sirena Station
Though rustic, Sirena is home to bountiful wildlife.
The tour includes three basic meals a day, prepared by the kitchen staff. This is usually basic fare, with a staple of rice and beans accompanying most meals. Special accommodations cannot be made for those with dietary restrictions, so if you require a specific food you will have to pack it in with you (preferably in ziploc bags, so that the ants and other critters don't get to it!).

See a recommended list of supplies to bring with you for your stay at Sirena.

In summary, your stay in Corcovado will not be luxurious in any sense of the word, except perhaps when it comes to immersing yourself in nature. If you don't like mucking around a bit and sleeping in shared quarters, the Corcovado extension may not be for you!

Corcovado: Hot and Humid

During much of the year, but especially the dry season, temperatures can soar in Corcovado and the humidity is often much higher than visitors are used to. Temps of 90F/32C with humidity reaching 80% is not unheard of. Those opting for the Corcovado extension should be in reasonably good shape, as carrying photo gear in this type of tropical environment can be draining.

The Good News

Your stay at Sirena may be the wildlife highlight of the tour. Pumas are often seen on the trails near the station and the beaches and rivers nearby are a hotbed for tapirs. Monkeys roam the trees bordering Sirena's runway and scarlet macaws fly loudly overhead. Bull sharks and crocodiles meet at the mouth of the Sirena River a short walk from the station. During our recent tours we saw numerous tapirs and have had multiple cat sightings (and plenty of other wildlife).

We also have an advantage over other Sirena visitors: our guide Felipe Arias. Felipe grew up in the area where Sirena now stands (before the national park existed), and he knows the region better than anyone. Felipe's experience and expert tracking skills will help us in our search for Corcovado's bountiful wildlife.

A visit to Sirena is an unforgettable wildlife experience, and if you don't mind roughing it, it's one that's not to be missed!

Does Sirena sound too rugged for your tastes? Plan a custom extension!

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Tour Itinerary & Prices