If there is only one thing you can do in Costa Rica then visit Corcovado National Park.
I read this somewhere and it stunk in my mind and went for it! I confess it was one of the most excited trips I ever done!
I planed a perfect trip to Costa Rica last December: Totuguero, Arenal, Corcovado, Cerro de la Muerte, but I ended up with nothing in Panama City. With lost luggage, lost Lonely Planet, leaving Panama to Costa Rica, I had to trust my life on locals and my Spanish.
Thankfully Costa Ricans are living travel guides, born to take care of tourists. All my stay there I felt like a super special kid visiting the grandparents who make true all your wishes, but because they are glad you came to visit them.
Coming back to the best of Disneyland: Corcovado National Park. Located in Puentarenas there are several entrances in the park. The recommended one is Puerto Jimenez because from there you can take the pass.
You can get to Corcovado National Park from the south and get out on the north, or from the same point. Anyhow I suggest you to stay 2 days, because you can’t get too deep in 1 day. The entrances to the National Parks are small villages where people go to sleep at it gets dark. Don’t be surprised you see your host in pyjamas at 7-8 PM, or to don’t find any bus outside the village after 5 PM.
2. National Park Pass
You have to take it from the village, Puerto Jimenez for example, one day before entering the park. It is very important to book your ticket online at least 2 weeks in advance. You should take it early in the morning because it may take you the full morning.
If you run out of time and you decide to do only one day trip to the Corcovado National Park, you can take the day pass (not applicable for multiple day passes) from the lounge near the entrance in the park, where you have to show your ticket. Locals may not know about this possibility, but if you research the internet you will find it.
There is only car which leaves to the park, leaving Puerto Jimenez bus station at 6 AM in the morning, returning at 4 PM, before high tide. You can also rent a 4×4, but it is highly expensive. The trip is around 2 hours. The road is bad, worst than you can imagine. There will be even rivers crossing the road which the car will pass through. So I don’t recommend you go to the national park by rented car.
By plane is the 2nd option, not that expensive and with a stunning view. It takes 20 min against 2 hours of drive till the national park and one day of waling though the national park.
The accommodation inside the park is very basic and there are not many options. Depending on the season you’ll have to book a place well in advance. If you go on low season – minimum 2 weeks, or even months in advance.