25 Feb The Osa Peninsula: A unique place for research and education
Located in southwestern Costa Rica, the Osa is hailed by many as Costa Rica’s “last frontier” as it remains a largely untouched, remote wilderness. The Osa’s high level of biological diversity coupled with its unique combination of 13 distinct tropical ecosystems have made it a high global conservation priority. With a total area of only 300,000 acres, the Osa is home to 50% of species found in Costa Rica, including many endemic species. When one considers the small size of the Osa, there are few places left on earth that rival its intense biological diversity. It is here one can find the largest intact mangrove ecosystem in Pacific Mesoamerica, the most significant remaining areas of lowland Pacific tropical rainforest, and one of only four tropical fjords on the planet, the Golfo Dulce. These ecosystems, and numerous others, provide habitat that is essential for the Osa’s plentiful wildlife.
Piro Research Center
Piro Research Center is our Costa Rican biological field station and has:
- Three cabins, each with three rooms and a bathroom (total capacity 36)
- Laboratory/classroom area
- Reference library
- Dining hall/common area
Staying here will give you quick access to mature rainforest as well as to the coastal habitat along the Pacific, making this campus ideal for researchers, field biology student groups, and sea turtle volunteers.
Greg Gund Conservation Center
The Greg Gund Conservation Center is an educational campus located on the Cerro Osa property. Here you have the option to stay in the bunk house or on a camping platform; no matter which you choose, you won’t regret the breathtaking view looking west to Corcovado National Park and the Pacific Ocean.
- Bunkhouse with two bathrooms (total capacity 12-16)
- Three screened-in platforms (total capacity 12)
- Dining area
- Education Center (under construction)
The Cerro Osa property where this campus is located, is a 1,500 acre tract of land that is contiguous with the Piro Research Center property. You can get here either by walking the Cerro Osa trail or by car on the access road. While the Greg Gund Conservation Center isn’t as close to pristine rainforest as the Piro Research Center, the land use history of Cerro Osa makes it an ideal location to study tropical forest regeneration since the forest directly surrounding the campus is recovering plantation.