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  • Photos of South Pacific
  • Map of South Pacific
South Pacific
Find the best services to enjoy your vacations in Costa Rica
 
  • General information
  • About South Pacific
  • History
This is, without a doubt, a region full of contrasts, with incredible landscapes and adrenaline-pumping activities. The zone of the South Pacific is considered the last border to explore and the most extreme of ecotourism in Costa Rica, especially if you’re visiting places like the Corcovado National Park, the Isla del Caño or the Delta of Diquis, with its enigmatic stone spheres.

This region has amazing sceneries with beaches, mountain zones, valleys and exuberant tropical rainforests. Here you will find most of the protected zones and native reserves of Costa Rica, as well as pre-Columbian archaeological traces.

It extends from the banks of the Rio Baru, south from the Manuel Antonio National Park, to Punta Burica in the border with Panama. This includes the Golfo Dulce and the Peninsula of Osa, and from the western part of the Talamanca Mountain Range to the Pacific coast.

This zone shelters the impressive Corcovado National Park, which has an extraordinary biodiversity that has been recognized by the National Geographic magazine. It has high rainfall indexes and a great variety of flora and fauna in its 42.469 land hectares and 5.575 marine hectares.

It has mountain forests and swamp forests that remain flooded almost all year long, like the Lagoon of Corcovado. There’s also a very large mangrove swamp formed by the estuaries of the rivers Llorona, Corcovado and Sirena. 

Here you will find a wide variety of habitats that shelter its wild flora and fauna, which group the fourth part of all the tree species found in the country, more than 140 species of mammals, 367 types of birds and 117 kinds of amphibians and reptiles.

Another of the main attractions of this region is its irregular coast, with beautiful beaches surrounded by vegetation like Playa Dominical, with strong waves that make it popular among surfers. There’s also the peaceful Playa Uvita, with the Mangrove Swamp of Uvita, an ecosystem rich in wildlife, especially visited by sea birds.

Playa Ballena is part of the Ballena National Marine Park, visited by humpback whales and their young. They come from the north and south regions of the continent from December to April and from August to November. This place is perfect for diving and admiring the wonderful nature.

Many important rivers run through this valley, like the Grande de Terraba, the largest river of the country, which is 160 km long and echoes from several kilometers away. It begins its course from the Talamanca Mountain 
Range and flows into the plains of Diquis, in Boca Coronado. At the end of its course it connects with the Rio Sierpe, which results in the formation of a complex net of mangrove swamps and channels, the Terraba – Sierpe National Wetland.

This place is also known as the Delta of Diquis, and important native settlement. These old populations made crafts with great detail: gold pieces, pottery, stone sculptures and almost perfect stone spheres in many sizes. These spheres have an impressive finish, unique in the world, and have gained the interest of scientists and a great popularity.

Towards the south you will find Drake Bay, the main header of tourism development in the Peninsula of Osa. Its beaches are enclosed among rocky formations and it was named after the legendary English pirate Sir Francis Drake, who anchored in this bay in 1579. This is the starting point to different natural attractions, where you must use a boat for transportation.

In front of its coast you will see the Isla del Caño Biologic Reserve, which protects marine ecosystems, about 15 coral species and trees like the vaco, from where white latex is extracted. Several stone spheres of different sizes have also been found here, without any explanation of how they got there. It is a special destination for those who enjoy diving.

In the center you will find the Valley of El General, surrounded by evergreen forests, hills and plantations. The city of San Isidro del General was established here, which is currently the most developed city of the south zone of Costa Rica. This place has all the facilities you need and serves as starting point to visit many tourist destinations that the zone offers.

Parallel to the Valley of El General, the road that goes to the south region of the country reveals captivating panoramic views in different points. The Cerro de la Muerte (Hill of Death) has a moor forest, composed of short vegetation that tolerates strong winds and low temperatures typical of high altitudes above 3.000 m. In the Alto de la Asuncion you can see both oceans during clear weather.

Heading towards the highest parts of the South Pacific, in the mountains of the Talamanca Mountain Range, you will find the Chirripo National Park, which begins with altitudes of 1.400 m. It has viewpoints, glacial lagoons (Las Morenas and the lagoon of San Juan) and rocky formations known as the Crestones.

Here is where the maximum height of Costa Rica is located, the Chirripo Peak, at 3.820 m above sea level. From here you can also see both oceans during clear weather.

La Amistad International Park is located next to this park, declared World Heritage Site. It is a mountain system that includes territories of Costa Rica and Panama. It includes the Tapanti National Park, the Chirripo National Park, the Hitoy – Cerere Biologic Reserve, the Barbilla National Park and other forest and native reserves.

Other protected zones found here are the Rio Piro National Refuge, the Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve and the Guaymi Native Reserve of the Peninsula of Osa. All of them are part of the Osa Conservation Area.

In this south end of Costa Rica, you can also find the town of Golfito, located inside the Piedras Blancas National Park, unique town in the country located inside a protected area. From here you can visit the Corcovado National Park by land, in direction to Puerto Jimenez, first passing the exit for Chacarita and bordering the Golfo Dulce, or also by boat. Both routes display incredible charms for their visitors.

 
 
Weather
The strong differences in the territory affect the average annual rainfall. In the low parts the average rainfall surpasses 4.000 mm, while in the Valley of El General at 1.100 m the average rainfall is of 3.000 mm. In the section of the Peninsula of Osa, the average rainfall surpasses 5.000 mm per year. The coastal zone doesn’t experience a decrease in rainfall during July and August, while in the Peninsula of Osa and in the Valley of El General it rains less.

In the South Pacific both seasons are well defined, being the dry season a little bit shorter than in the North Pacific, beginning in late December and ending in April. The month with the heaviest rainfall is October, while the driest one is February, but it’s not entirely dry like in the North Pacific.

Temperature
The average annual temperature remains close to 26°C in the zones near to the coasts, while in the highest areas of the Talamanca Mountain Range the temperatures are close to 10°C. At dawn, from December to February, in places like the Cerro de la Muerte and the Chirripo Peak, the temperatures can get as low as below 0°C.

Geography
In the South Pacific you can find many contrasts. The mountain areas of the Talamanca Mountain Range, which is a very long chain of mountains, the largest one in Central America, have strong irregularities and steep hills that enclose deep valleys, such as El General, crossed by many rivers. Then you can find intermediate heights, like the Brunqueña Row and the Hills of Salsipuedes (located in the Peninsula of Osa), with lower valleys. Finally, there’s a large number of plains like those of Parrita, the Terraba and Coto Colorado, and are found along many large rivers. The rivers Grande de Terraba and Sierpe form the Delta of Diquis, the largest one in the country. In its shores, the coastline is irregular and has rocky formations.


 
 
 
 
 
Cities
Dominical-Uvita-Ballena
Dominical is one of the favorite destinations of the most experienced (...)
Golfito
The community of Golfito is located in the southwest end of Costa (...)
Osa Peninsula
The Peninsula of Osa is a land extension surrounded by the ocean that (...)
Sierpe-Drake-Rincón
Sierpe is a small and peaceful town that produces banana and is (...)
News
Live the great adventures of Dominical Beach!
November 03, 2012

This is an attractive destination for surfers due to the strong waves. Besides, the beach is a great place for birdwatching, kayaking, diving or snorkeling
Enjoy your vacations in Puerto Viejo to the rhythm of calypso and reggae
November 01, 2012

This paradise offers the perfect dose of comfort to enjoy this beautiful zone, in hotels designed with a Caribbean style
Corcovado National Park, a unique center for environmental education
Octuber 18, 2012

The Corcovado National Park offers endless fun in middle of nature for those adventurous tourists who would like to spend their vacations in Costa Rica
Live a great adventure in Costa Rica among whales
September 27, 2012

The ocean breeze caresses your face as you live with your family or friends a unique experience among the whales and dolphins that migrate to the waters of the Ballena National Marine Park
Come this weekend to the IV Whale and Dolphin Festival
September 12, 2012

There will be 1.5-hour tours to observe this natural show each day from 8:00am to 4:00pm, as long as the weather allows it
An agreement for implementing the Forest Conservation Program was signed
July 24, 2012

Besides improving the conditions of the different Conservation Areas and National Parks, they will invest resources in high-technology equipment to prevent forest fires
Costa Rica has 96 beaches with clean waters
March 30, 2012

The study is made every year to determine the level of cleanliness of the waters of 100 selected beaches
Celebrate the National Parks Day in Costa Rica
March 27, 2012

The main objective of the celebration is to project the need to preserve and use rationally part of the forests, wetlands and wildlife the country has
Costa Rica wins again the award to the best stand in Germany
March 19, 2012

The graded aspects to give the award were design, use of technology, service and the activities arranged to attract the visitors to the stand
Costa Rica is the fifth most ecological country in the world
March 08, 2012

One of the aspects that contributed with the choice was that the country produces very low levels of carbon dioxide, which affects in global warming