There are a couple of towns that are possible jumping off points for Costa Rica’s dazzling Corcovado National Park. But the best gateway town title arguably goes to Puerto Jimenez. Situated on the east coast of the Osa Peninsula and sitting on the Dulce Gulf, Puerto Jimenez is the last town before you enter the lands of the magnificent Corcovado National Park.
In the town, you will find the park’s administrative office, where you can acquire a map and get more valuable information about this outstanding national park. While many tourists use this town to stock up on supplies, Jimenez is also a place where you can relax, rejuvenate and enjoy the beach life. It offers an unhurried lifestyle as well as a plethora of activities and accommodation options.
Puerto Jimenez has grown fast over the last decade, and has now become the largest town on the peninsula. Since it attracts a lot of tourists, particularly those who love the outdoors; the town developed a flourishing tourism industry. Based here are a number of outfitters and tour operators that offer varied trips around the region. One of the popular destination is the remote and serene village of Cabo Matapalo (Cape Matapalo), which offers waves and breaks perfect for surfing. The short drive to Matapalo from Jimenez is very scenic as you will discover as you travel along the coastal route that highlights the clear blue sea.
Jungle trekking, powerboat cruises, scuba diving, and exotic wildlife watching are just some of the fun activities that can you arrange in Puerto Jimenez. Sport fishing excursions have also become a favorite activity as the waters around the peninsula are teeming with a range of huge fish species! If you desire a more tranquil yet memorable activity, take a dolphin watching tour around the Golfo Dulce and the Pacific Ocean.
You don’t have to wander really far from here to experience what Mother Nature has to offer. In town there is a nice beach where you can relax and enjoy the seascape. Puerto Jimenez also boasts one of the best sunsets in Costa Rica. If you head south of town, along the picturesque coast, you will encounter a series of beautiful white sand beaches perfect for swimming and aqua sports like sea kayaking and snorkeling. Playa Sombrero and Playa Tamalas are two prominent sandy stretches in this region. These beaches are tranquil and don’t usually have a beach crowd, although you will see a couple of lodges and vacation homes overlooking them.
The accommodation options available at Puerto Jimenez range from luxurious to affordable and this is the reason it is such an excellent gateway destination. The downtown area is filled with fine hotels and boarding houses. If you like to be closer to nature, there are also some eco-lodges located in a lush verdant forests setting. The nightlife here is vibrant but can get a rowdy in some places.
The fastest and most convenient way to get here is to fly to the town’s domestic airport from the San Jose International Airport or from the airport in Pavas. The flight from San Jose only takes about an hour. The other alternative to get to Jimenez by bus and car; but be prepared to endure a 9 to 10-hour drive from San Jose.