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New rule requires guides to accompany visitors in Corcovado National Park

By Lindsay Fendt/The Tico Times

An already pricey visit to Corcovado National Park on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula just got more expensive. Costa Rica’s National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) announced in January that starting today visitors to the country’s most biodiverse national park must be accompanied by a certified guide.

According to a letter sent to tour operators, guides must be approved by the Costa Rican Tourism Board. Exceptions will be made for guides who present sworn statements on their knowledge of the park’s trails or who are members of groups with permission to enter the park.

The new regulations will not apply to reservations made before Feb. 1, but SINAC recommends all visitors use guides. Violators of the new policy could be sentenced to up to one year in prison.