We woke up at 6am and saw the most beautiful sunrise over the deserted beach. It started out as a good day, but things changed.
Corcovado, the most bio diverse place on earth, says National Geographic. It sounds like Gwyn's dream, but all day he moaned about being too hot, too thirsty and too tired. God help us when we get to the Amazon then!
At 8am, we left Cabo Matapolo. An hour later, after driving off-road and through rivers (you need a 4WD) we arrived at Cavate. The journey is an adventure in itself. A local offered to let us park in his garden for free all day. If you can't do that, just park near the air strip and walk along the beach to the first ranger station.
It took us 90 minutes to walk the 3.5km to Leona ranger station, as Gwyn was already dragging his feet at this point. You can fill up with drinking water here. From Leona station, we walked along the trail which skirts between jungle territory and immaculate white sand beaches. The beaches are gorgeous, with misty mountains in the background. Within 5 minutes of being in the jungle we saw macaws, monkeys, coatis and snakes. At lunch, we napped on the beach, so Gwyn could snap out of his mood and then we continued to head towards Sirena, wading through thigh high rivers. It was very humid and we'd drenched our clothes in sweat, so be prepared for that. The trails are well maintained, signposted and mostly flat, so it's doable without a guide (they're pricey, but worth it apparently). We walked about 4 hours from Leona station, then turned back. Tiredness had eventually got to me and I started shouting at Gwyn. Due to this, we ended up walking past the exit to where our car was parked for a further 2km. We then had to turn around. In essence we added a good 90 minutes onto our hike, all because we were arguing and not concentrating on the turning off where we left the car. We were exhausted, but managed to catch sunset and find beers from a makeshift shop that a resident had set up to trap day hikers and charge extortionate prices on drinks (eg a can of coke was $3usd). After arguing all day, we made peace after finally eating.
We drove out towards Puerto Jimenez and spent the night in the van there.
Minus the couple arguing thing it's actually an easy trek. Corcovado is beautiful and definitely worth the hassle getting down there if you love nature and wildlife. We had no issues with insect bites (think we are getting immune to them now), but they strongly advise to take repellent with you. We both agreed that we would have loved to have spent more days in Corcovado and camped overnight at Sirena station, then gone to Los Patos. Around Sirena is 'the place to be' for wildlife. You have to reserve head for a permit by ringing them (she told us to email), emailing them (they never responded) or by going to the Conservation Office in Puerto Jimenez (by that point they only had availability in a week, even though we had our own camping equipment and didn't require meals). The only other way to go for a longer duration is to book onto an organised guided tour. We saw prices for $300usd for a 2 night trip. We didn't account for this cost, so didn't sign up to one. You should splurge on this one though, as it'd be a shame to miss out. If you're on a budget or doing long term travel, then just do what we did for a taster.