Pining for the tropical fjords? Then come over and do some kayaking in Golfo Dulce. Some people say there are only three or four tropical fjords in the world — and one of them would be the Osa Peninsula where this particular gulf is located. Others say that the very words tropical fjords are an oxymoron. The correct answer is that when you are paddling away, it doesn’t even matter. This place is unique and there is no other like it in the world, period. In Werner Herzog’s film Aguirre, the Wrath of God they say of the Orinoco and Amazon, “on this river, God never finished his creation.” You know why that is? Because he was busy putting the finishing touches on Golfo Dulce.
Let’s just look at a few numbers:
• 400 species of birds
• 140 species of mammals
• 116 species of amphibians and reptiles
• Over 500 species of trees
• More than 6000 species of insects
In addition to the diverse wildlife, there are many stops along the way, including the Corcovado National Park, secluded beaches, stunning rivers, mountains, waterfalls, and farms in and around the last remaining rainforest on the Pacific coast of Central America in the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. The mangrove however, is the star of kayaking in Golfo Dulce. Home to monkeys, raccoons, otters, iguanas, lizards and innumerable insects and birds, it is itself a living, breathing wall of nature in its purest state. It may evoke memories of Apocalypse Now or The African Queen, but to me it brings to life the words of Costa Rican author Carlos Salazar Herrera:
Celso Coropa picked up a sunbeam on the palm of his hand and sighed.
“Sometimes I don’t like life.”
In front of him there was a torment of roots and reeds.
“And sometimes I do.”
Among the torment of roots was a flower.
Golfo Dulce is the perfect combination of ocean and river, just like the Osa Peninsula brings the best of island and continent. As such, you will think you have entered an enchanted land, and in many ways, you have. Water is the cradle of all life on earth, and in one of the humidest parts of the country, you will experience a return to the where it all began.