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Osa is the fifth canton in the province of Puntarenas in Costa Rica. Located on Osa Peninsula, the canton covers an area of 1,930.24 km2,[1] and has a population of 29,892.[2] Its capital city is Ciudad Cortés, formerly known as Puerto Cortés.

Flag of Osa
Location of Osa Canton in Puntarenas Province
Location of Osa Canton in Puntarenas Province
CountryCosta Rica
Founded29 July 1940
 • Total1,930.24 km2 (745.27 sq mi)
 (June 2013)
 • Total29,892
 • Density15/km2 (40/sq mi)


The canton begins at the Río Barú near Dominical on the central Pacific coast. It continues as a narrow strip of land southward to include the area around Palmar and Sierpe, finally widening to take in the entire neck and upper portion of the Osa Peninsula, where significant gold mining operations are located. As its name suggests, humpback whales and dolphins migrate into the waters to calve, mate, and to rest. Whale watching is available along the coasts. Isla del Caño is part of Osa canton.

The canton of Osa is subdivided into six distritos (districts).

  1. Cortés
  2. Palmar
  3. Sierpe
  4. Bahía Ballena
  5. Piedras Blancas
  6. Bahía Drake

In the canton are parks suited in the Osa Conservation Area such as Corcovado National Park, Ballena Marine National Park and Piedras Blancas.


The canton was created by law on July 29, 1940. In pre-Columbian times was populated by Boruca which left legacies such as fields and stone walkways.


  1. ^ Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN), 2001.
  2. ^ Estadísticas Vitales 2013 - INEC

Coordinates: 8°53′38″N 83°30′51″W / 8.89389°N 83.51417°W / 8.89389; -83.51417