COSTA RICA  |  Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica Travel Guide
Saturday, September 30, 2023

Zona Sur, Costa Rica

Red-eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas) in Costa Rica (cc)

Costa Rica's Zona Sur: The South Pacific

Zona Sur, the southwestern corner of Costa Rica, is the least populated, and by far the least visited, area of the country. It borders a largely unpopulated part of Panama; consequently, large sections of primary rainforest have been spared from development. More than of the peninsula’s forests are set aside as a huge park called Corcovado. Sizable areas of the coastline are also undeveloped, especially north and south of Golfito. And, in a cooperative effort with neighboring Panama, a huge chunk of Costa Rica and a part of Panama were set aside as La Amistad International Park, a mountainous wooded area that straddles the Continental Divide. Contiguous with Chirripó, Hitoy Cerere, Tapantí-Macizo de la Muerte, and other parks, the total area under an umbrella of protection is 340,000 hectares/839,800 acres.

On the other hand, the southern mountain slopes from San Isidro in the Valle de General, down through Buenos Aires and south to San Vito in the Valle de Coto Brus, have been extensively cultivated for agriculture, especially pineapples and coffee. Banana and oil palm plantations line the hot lowlands from Golfito south into the Valle de Colorado.

It’s a wild country in parts – with deluges of warm rain. Dress appropriately. The South Pacific region boasts wonderful scenery, fabulous beaches, dramatic mountains, endless rainforests, big tube waves, white sand beaches, dark green hillsides of coffee, plus a dolphin and whale playground – with tons of budget hotels as well as remote luxury ecolodges to enjoy.

Whale watching season is best from August through November, when whales pass in migration, breed and frolic in Golfo Dulce. Many tours and hotels offer whale watch cruises. Off the coast from Drake Bay is the Isla del Caño Biological Reserve, a popular, year-round day-trip to explore and hike, visit the cemetery of a prehistoric peoples, or snorkel and dive in the clear waters. Difficult to reach and far from San José, the south of Costa Rica is a very special, out-of-the-ordinary vacation. You can go with a wide range of package stays that include transportation from San José, or just wander around on your own.

Last updated October 29, 2010
Posted in   Costa Rica  |  Osa Peninsula
No votes yet
Explore the Destination
Amenities and Resources
  • No weather for this city
Trending Themes:

Guides to Popular Ski Resorts

  • Ischgl is a small mountain village turned hip ski resort, with massive appeal among the party-hearty young crowds. It is... Read More

  • Andorra la Vella is its own little world, and not just because it’s a 290-square-mile independent principality (a fifth the... Read More

  • Bariloche (officially San Carlos de Bariloche) is the place to be seen. It is to Argentina what Aspen is to the... Read More

  • Aspen is America's most famous ski resort. And that's an understatement. For, as a ski complex, Aspen is unsurpassed. Its... Read More

  • Zermatt is a small but glamorous mountain resort town, with a population of approximately 5,700. It is one of Switzerland's... Read More

  • St. Moritz is a glitzy, alpine resort town in the celebrated Engadin Valley of Switzerland, with huge notoriety as the... Read More

  • Lake Tahoe is the premier lake resort of America, and the largest alpine lake in all of North America. It is an absolutely... Read More

  • St. Anton, Sankt Anton am Arlberg in German, is Austria's premier ski-bum resort! It's actually a small village cum... Read More

  • Kitzbühel, a small, Tyrolian resort town in the Kitzbüheler Alps, comes with international renown and huge snob appeal, and... Read More


Copyright © 2010-2013 Indian Chief Travel Guides. Images tagged as (cc) are licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license.