Points North

Points North Costa Rica - Osa Peninsula

The stretch of highway from Chacarita to Puerto Jimenez is one of the most picturesque and captivating hour and a half drives on the planet.  Way regions include the wet highlands of Mogos, the breathtaking view of the Golfo Dulce just north of Rincon, where the Drake highway cuts off, and La Palma, the second largest community on the peninsula, and the alluvial plane communities of Amapola, Cañaza, Agujas, Ñeque, Sándalo, Gallardo, Bambú, and Dos Brazos a few miles up the Rio Tigre off the main highway.  Bridges crossing the major rivers were put in in 1992 by the US Army Corps of Engineers, and before that, 4WD access to the peninsula was only during the dry season.  While the road is still primitive, it is the peninsula of the lifeline and as storied in its infancy in its own way as the famed Silk Road is storied in its antiquity.Mogos remains forested, steep, and wetter than the lowland alluvial plane below.  There is essentially no economy in this region outside of real estate speculation, the odd eco-lodge, and illegal logging.  Agriculture and cattle are dominant industries along the alluvial plane.  Historically gold mining has been important to the regional economy.  Currently, tourism is the rising economic star.

Points North Costa Rica - Osa Peninsula

RENTAL CAR:  From San Jose, the shortest route is the Panamerican-Costanera route, but there are three routes that can be taken, described below.

  • Panamerican-Costanera:  Take the Panamerican Highway (Hwy 2) from San Jose to San Isidro.  Turn right on Dominical Highway.  At the end turn left on the Costanera Highway.  Drive through Dominical, Uvita, and take a right on the Panamerican Highway at Palmar Norte.  Take a right 45 minutes later at Chacarita, and gas up at the intersection as needed.  Proceed to Puerto Jimenez.
  • Panamerican:  Take the Panamerican Highway (Hwy 2) from San Jose to Chacarita, passing through San Isidro, Buenos Aires, and Palmar Norte en route.  Take a right at Chacarita, and gas up as needed.  Proceed to Puerto Jimenez.
  • Costanera:Take the Puntarenas freeway west past the airport and pick up the Jacó exit and from the coast, pick up the Costanera.  Be prepared for abysmal road conditions between Quepos and Dominical, but push on happy from Dominicall all the way to Palmar Norte and your right on the Panamerican.  Take a right 45 minutes later at Chacarita, and gas up at the intersection as needed.  Proceed to Puerto Jimenez.

AIR:  There are 5-6 daily commercial flights between San Jose and Puerto Jimenez between two airlines, Natureair and Sansa.  The charter airline Aero Taxi Alfa Romeo also provides charter air service between Puerto Jiménez and any domestic airport desired.  Seasonal flight schedules and rates for 2005 for Natureair and Sansa are shown below.  Alfa Romeo’s rate schedule for different routes are presented as well.  From Puerto Jimenez take a taxi north.  You can also fly into Palmar Sur, which is a closer access point than Jimenez for the Mogos region, though not by much.

BUS:  Below is a listing of all the bus schedules originating and finishing in Puerto Jimenez.  Please note that there are three actual bus pickup points for the different lines, so ask in town to make sure you’re at the right place.  There is the Main Bus Station, the Carate Bus Station, and the La Palma buses pick up on the corner beside El Regalón in downtown Puerto Jimenez.

TAXI:  You can secure a van and driver for up to six people and luggage from San Jose for around $400


    Wilderness Hikes: The mountains rising out of the alluvial plane are all virgin forest rising to Corcovado. A full range of tours include both day and night virgin rain forest nature experiences with bilingual naturalist guides. Other popular local touring destinations include the Los Patos park station environs, the Indian Reservation, the Rancho Quemado area,
    Your guide, Liz Jones, is the Osa´s most recognized birding authorities and operates a full-services lodge that welcomes all but caters to birders. Tours daily depart six a.m. at Bosque del Rio Tigre Lodge, just upriver from Dos Brazos on the Piedras Blancas fork. Habitat includes primary and secondary montane tropical rain forest, riverine and montane physiography. Within the Golfo Dulce Forestry Reserve adjacent to Corcovado National Park. $40
    Dos Brazos is a former placer gold boom town with a population that at its peak in the mid eighties rivaled that of present day Puerto Jimenez. Learn the regionally unique design of the Costa Rican style gold pan and it´s tail feather elegance. Work as hard as you want. Colors guaranteed. Local hand miners with a sluice and good claim have a banner day when they can wrest two grams a day, about $75 worth or any time they land a nugget of any size.
    Horseback tours can be arranged pretty much anywhere in the region. Every region has horses and horsemen that intimately know all the coolest spots in their various regions. $10 per person per hour is the standard base rate of this tour, with half day tours of $55. Horseback from La Palma to Los Patos: $50 per person.

Regional all-inclusive eco lodges include the following.  For more information on the lodge of your choice or to make reservations, click on the link beside the lodge and let me know your dates.  If you would like general advice simply write me with your questions.  For budget hotels in the town of Drake, see the following section.


Points North Costa Rica - Osa Peninsula Points North Costa Rica - Osa Peninsula
Danta Lodge
Garden Hacenda 
Points North Costa Rica - Osa Peninsula Points North Costa Rica - Osa Peninsula
Casa Playa Agujas
Casa Cuna
Points North Costa Rica - Osa Peninsula Points North Costa Rica - Osa Peninsula
Bosque del Rio Tigre 
Finca Kobo

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