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Gone Again It is a long drive from Colorado to Panama and back. Anything can happen.

National Parks

COSTA RICA | Wednesday, 16 January 2008 | Views [839]

Danta Lodge is like paradise, Corcovado NP

Danta Lodge is like paradise, Corcovado NP

National parks in the US are major tourist destinations and visitors expect a certain level of infrastructure: lodging, campgrounds, restaurants, and most important, access roads.  But the reason the parks were established was as preserves to protect the resources of the area.  In most parks only a tiny portion of the park is accessible to the average tourist.  Hikers, climbers, backpackers and their ilk are the only ones who visit the more remote spots.

When we visit other countries we realize how difficult it is to get to the national parks and how few facilities, if any, there are.  We tend to forget how little of our parks we actually see.  This is especially true in Costa Rica.  Monteverde, Santa Elena, and Los Quetzales national parks are reached only by the most difficult roads.  But the rewards are worth the effort.  How else can you find resplendent quetzal? The Osa Peninsula in southwest Costa Rica is one of the most remote and least visited areas of the country.  There are several tropical habitats, from coastal wetlands and lowland tropical rainforest to cloud forests making it one of the most bio-diverse places on earth.  The centerpiece of Osa is Corcovado National Park.  Its 300,000 acres are largely inaccessible except by boat or on foot.  There are few facilities and reservations for those must be made months in advance.  For those reasons we considered skipping it but at the last minute changed our minds. 

The ‘season’ is just getting underway and we were able to get a room at Danta (Danta is the local name for Baird’s tapir) Corcovado Lodge a truly amazing place.  For tonight at least we are the only guests of Merlyn, a Tico, and Laura from Michigan.  The lodge was once his family’s home but now sleeps thirty in five rooms and several cabins.  The wood floors gleam – shoes are removed at the entrance – the furniture is hand-crafted and the shared bathrooms are right out of “The Flintstones”.  We are not sure how long we will stay or even what we can do in the area but we have high hopes.                           

Tags: Relaxation

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