Tropical rainforest at La Leona
An important and almost incredible fact is that rainforests cover only six per cent of the world’s surface but account for more than half of the global biodiversity.
Now our guests at La Leona Eco Lodge have the chance of experiencing these most complex relationships of tropical flora and fauna in the private rainforest of our ecolodge. Many of the incredible animals live in the rainforest right next to our tent-cabins.
Along the trails at La Leona Eco Lodge you can also admire the most beautiful Green and Black Poisonous Dart Frogs, also called ́jewels of the rainforest’.
Another highlight is watching marine turtles; the beach at La Leona Eco Lodge provides critical nesting habitats for four species of sea turtles – Pacific Green, Leatherback, Hawksbill and Olive Ridley turtle. You have the chance to see turtles at La Leona Eco Lodge mainly during the season from June to December.
Tropical rain forests are also characterized by a huge diversity of species of fauna with trees reaching a height of over 100 feet; for example, the Kapok Tree can grow up to 200 feet. At La Leona Eco Lodge you can admire the huge Garlic Tree and Shoemaker Tree as well as Guayabón, Nispero Chicle or Naked Indian Tree.
In case you are a passionate bird watcher we have good news for you: the Neotropical rainforests have the greatest diversity of birds; here you can find about 40% of the world’s species. Costa Rica alone has over 860 species of birds, more than the entire North American continent.
While walking through the rainforest you can see beautiful Trogons, members of the Quetzal family as well as Flycatchers, Wood Creepers and, of course, the Scarlet Macaw.
This is an excellent opportunity for every bird lover. The Osa Peninsula inhabits more than 367 species of birds; it’s a great place for birding and learning about birds!
Throughout the country, representative sections of all major habitats and ecosystems are now under protection. Today the National Conservation Areas System (SINAC) is responsible for more than 186 protected areas, comprising 32 national parks, 8 biological reserves, 13 forest reserves, and 51 wildlife refuges, being most of Costa Rican territory protected
The Osa Peninsula is relatively small with only 700 square miles. Due to its remoteness and the fact that the area was one of the last settlement regions, at least 70% of the rainforest on the Osa Peninsula remained intact. Almost 75% of these remaining forests are now protected within the Corcovado National Park and its surrounding private nature reserves. It is almost unbelievable that the Corcovado National Park habits around 2.5% of the global biodiversity.
During a visit on the Osa Peninsula you can see all four species of monkeys of Costa Rica; the Central American Squirrel Monkey for example is the smallest specie of monkeys in Costa Rica and its population is restricted to the Osa Peninsula and parts of the bordering mainland. Howler Monkey, White Face Capuchin Monkey, as well as the Spider Monkey are commonly seen in the area.
Jaguars, pumas, ocelots, jaguarondis, and margays can be spotted in these pristine lowland rainforests. Jaguars, as being top predators, are particularly vulnerable to a loss of their habitat; for this reason their existence in Central America is endangered. Only small fragmented populations still exist; one is on the Osa Peninsula with an estimated population of 30 to 50 jaguars.
You can find some endemic animal species in all parts of Costa Rica and on the Osa Peninsula; one exemplar is the glass frog. The special ability of the glass frog is that it is the only frog in the world which can expose its inner organs located on the ventral part of its body. The glass frog belongs to the Centrolenidae family, and these little animals are just fabulous!
As you can see. . . the diversity of flora and fauna on the Osa Peninsula can hardly be outnumbered by any other region of a similar size in the world!
Corcovado National Park
Corcovado National Park, our neighbour, is the experience of a lifetime. Here you can find the only remaining old wet forests of the Pacific Coast of Central America. The national park habits 13 major ecosystems including lowland rain forest, highland cloud forest, Yolillo palm forest, mangrove swamps as well as costal marine and beach habitats.
Corcovado National Park has the biggest population of tapirs in Costa Rica. Tapirs, like the rhinos, are an ancient group of odd-toed ungulates. They are the largest mammals of the Neotropics; adult males can have a weight up to 550 pounds.
Rainforest at La Leona
The rainforest of the private reserve of La Leona Eco Lodge is a mostly untouched, dense and evergreen forest. Here you have the chance of watching almost the same biodiversity as in the national park.
Some of the majestic inhabitants of our reserve are ferns, palms, epiphytes, lianas, shrubs and the lush trees of the primary forest like ajo, cedar, and surá; additionally you can spot an abundance of wildlife such as Black Howler Monkeys, White Face Capuchin, Monkeys, Spider Monkeys, Coatis, wild hogs, jaguarundi, toucans, Scarlet Macaws, anteaters, just to name a few.
Saving the rain forest
The destruction of tropical rainforests has two severe consequences: the loss of this inestimable biodiversity and the effect on our local and global climate. Despite its former extensive deforestation Costa Rica has become a pioneer in rainforest research and alternative sustainable exploitation methods of its natural heritage. The extensive system of national parks is world famous; and Costa Rica has become a dream destination for a growing number of eco-tourist For us at La Leona Eco Lodge it is a privilege that you come to experience the complexity and fascination of our tropical nature. Thank you for staying at our lodge; we feel you share our goal of preserving the natural resources of this pristine place and protecting and maintaining it in a sustainable way for our future generations.