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Campanario Biological Station

The Campanario Biological Station is a Pacific moist forest site on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula—a place National Geographic described as “one of the most biologically intense places on earth.” With over 50 percent of the country’s recorded species found on this small strip of land, that description is apt.

Within the buffer zone of Corcovado National Park, the area is home to iconic mammals like Jaguars and Baird’s Tapirs, which are seen quite frequently, as well as an incredible reptile, amphibian, bird, insect and mammal diversity. All of this is set against the backdrop of the ruggedly beautiful Pacific coast of Central America, where black sand meets lush green jungle.

“Campanario,” the biological station’s website contends, “is not for everyone.” The area is remote and accessible only by boat. Movement around the reserve is purely on foot and often constrained by the tide. There are no TVs, phones, aircon or internet connection.

What you will get, Campanario boasts, are “warm weather, warm rain, and warm surf on a secluded tropical beach, cool waterfalls, cool showers, and cool nights,” as well as access to the surrounding and very well-preserved Pacific lowland rainforest and its world-renowned wildlife watching opportunities.

The coastal waters just off the station, in addition to forming part of one of the richest marine ecosystems in the world, are uncharacteristically calm for Latin America’s Pacific coast, meaning there is excellent snorkelling to be done as well.

The station can also organize dive trips just offshore to the beautiful Isla del Caño Marine Protected Area—a place that rivals Pacific coast dive sites like Cocos Island National Park and Colombia’s Malpelo—for certified divers. Activities include kayaking through well-preserved mangrove ecosystems, birdwatching, guided day and night hikes, bat cave monitoring, and dolphin and whale watching.