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Drake Bay

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Drake Bay is a city in Osa Peninsula region of Costa Rica.

Get in

Plane: Fly in to the Drake Bay Airport with Nature Air (Pavas Airport) or Sansa(Juan Santamaria Airport) from San Jose. Fly in to Palmar Sur with Nature Air or Sansa from San Jose, take a taxi or bus to Sierpe, take a boat down the river to Drake Bay. Your hotel can make arrangements for you. If you fly you will be limited to 30 pounds (15 kilos) of luggage. In the dry season the very rough road from San Jose may be passable all the way to Drake bay, or at least to Sierpe.

Public Transport: Take the TRACOPA Bus from San Jose to Palmar Norte, from there you can take a collective Taxi or Bus to Sierpe where Boats leave twice daily (except October) to Agujitas (Main town in Drake Bay) 11:30am -$15 & 3:45pm -$20.

From Puerto Jimenez: Take a Bus to La Palma and from there there is a Bus twice daily (depending on the rain!) to Agujitas (Main Town Drake Bay). Bus leaves arround 11 am and 4 pm.

Driving: ONLY 4X4 !! Head south on the Interamerican Highway at the Gas Station in Chacarita (fill up your tank!) turn right and follow the signs. Before you cross the first Bridge at Rincon de Osa turn right again. From there it's a gravel road and you will have to pass several rivers. If you are not sure about the depth wade through first and if it's ok, drive SLOWLY and steady downriver through it. Not recommendable in the rainy Season as if it starts raining you can get stuck in Drake. Leave your car at Las Vegas Restaurant in Sierpe ($6/day for parking) and take the boat.

"From Manuel Antonio:"

You can get a local bus from anywhere along the road between Quepos and Manuel Antonio national park. They run every 15 minutes and can be identified as they are big and white. The journey to Quepos is approx 350 Colons (as of 2019).

This will take you to the bus station in Quepos. From here you can buy a ticket to Sierpe or Palma Norte. NOTE: the coach that this ticket is for is not from the bus station where you buy the ticket. The coach to Sierpe/Palma Norte goes from the large hospital on the edge of Quepos. (Max Terán Valls Hospital) (There is a bus stop directly opposite the main gate to the hospital). The coach to Sierpe/Palma Norte picks you up at approx 1130 but it is a good idea to get there a little early.

The coach will take you to Sierpe/Palma Norte with a 20 minute enforced stop for the driver halfway along.

NOTE: If the coach takes you to Palma Norte then you need to get a local bus to Sierpe.

At Sierpe there is a large cafe/resturant and a jetty. The boat between Sierpe and Drakes bay goes regularly and costs US$20 per person. The ride is around 40 minutes and will take you through mangroves.

NOTE: when you arrive at Drakes Bay you have to disembark directly onto the beach (no jetty) so make sure you are wearing shorts and can remove your shoes.

A typical journey from Manuel Antonio would go: Local bus to Quepos bus station > local bus to Quepos hospital > coach to Sierpe > boat from Sierpe to Drakes Bay.

Get around

On foot. For tours, transportation is usually by boat and can be arranged through your hotel. You can ask people to give you a ride or pay a collective taxi to the location of your choice (Note: Almost anybody who has a car is a taxi drive!)

See

Corcovado National Park is the main attraction. There are 3 primary ranger stations which serves as the entry point into this park. Tour guides are highly recommended. "Dry Season" is a subjective term. Be prepared to get your shoes soaked and hike through ankle deep mud.

As of 2014 all visitors to Corcovado National Park are bound to be accompanied by an official guide

NOTE: You can only access San Pedrillo Ranger Staion on Foot from Drake Bay. There is a trail to Sirena but it's almost 30 km on the beach, with 2 big river crossings and NO shade. Your Lodge will take with a Boat to Sirena.

San Pedrillo: Closest entry from Drake Bay. It is accessible by either a 4 hour hike or 1 hour boat ride from Drake Bay. Boats can be arranged with your hotel. The hike comprises of beach and mountain hikes. You will also walk past various eco-resorts. There is a beautiful waterfall with a great swimming hole near this station. Ask the ranger for directions or guide to take you there.

Sirena: 2.5 boat ride or 8-10 mile hike. Please be warned hike from Drake Bay to Sirena ranger station is considered extremely strenuous and difficult. The stretch between San Pedrillo and Sirena is mostly beaches with almost no shade. You can camp at the Sirena Station which has showers and wide decks to sleep to keep you out of the rain. NOTE: Ask Sirena Station for food when you apply for a permit. They can arrange a light meal for you for a nominal fee. Very beautiful hikes around the area and highly recommended.

La Leona: Most Southern ranger station.

Los Patos: Only accessible by 2 hour car ride from Drake Bay. If you are hiking this to the beach, it is almost all decline and will take up to 7-8 hours to the beach. Better approached from Puerto Jimenez or Carate, not Drake Bay unless by plane.

There is also the Cano Island Biological Reserve. The scuba diving can be cloudy but the snorkling is excellent. It is about 1.5 - 2 hour boat ride from Drake Bay.

The little town is off the grid and very quiet, but walking around can make for an interesting afternoon.

AGUJITAS (Main Town Drake Bay): You can do the poisonous Dart Frog tour with Martin.

LOS PLANES: The little town of Los Planes is around 5km from Agujitas. It's a rainforest town with a lot of jungle hikes and a perfect spot to horseback. Check out Naguala Waterfall, refresh yourself in the natural pools and fish some tilapia. They also offer Restaurant Service. Oro Verde, is Alfredo's Place, a Rainforest Hermit who lives in the middle of the Jungle and has the biggest collection of 70' rock music in the area! Tesoro Verde has a own private 12 Hectares Reserve.

ALONG THE COAST: If you keep walking along the coast to the direction of San Pedrillo Ranger Station you will pass many secluded beaches where the rainforest meets the ocean. Coatis, Anteaters and Monkeys are often seen. At Rio Claro River mouth, lives "Clavito" who rents out kayaks to paddle up river. The next beach is called San Josecito and is a perfect place to Snorkel as there is a rock formation which forms a calm bay. There is a coral reef so bring your mask!

"PLAYA DE SAN JOSECITO WALK"

The walk to San Josecito is an excellent way to experience the jungle around Corcovado very cheaply to compliment a day in the national park.

The route is approx 7km and is mostly in shade and hugs the beach for the majority of the way round (usually not more than 100meters from the beach). The trail can be walked in flip flops but trainers are a good idea. You will be walking through rainforest with Macaws, White Faced Monkeys and various other wildlife.

Make sure to start walking by 0700 in the morning otherwise the heat can get unbearable by the time you are half way. Various tours stop in Playa (beach) San Josecito for their lunch. These boats will bring you back around to Drakes Bay for $10 per person. Make sure you are at San Josecito by midday at the latest in order to get a goat ride back otherwise you will have to walk.

Sometimes dogs will join you for the walk, they are very good natured and respond well to being petted.

The route is not particularly well marked but there are many hotels/houses along the way and people to ask for directions (the locals are very helpfull). A good suggestion is to download the route from Google maps on your phone and keep it open. The hiking trail is marked to a point on Google maps but is not completely accurate.

In order to start, go to the beach where the boats drop off and facing the sea turn left. Walk along the beach with the sea on your right. At the end of the beach you will reach a small (8m) bridge, turn right at the end back towards the beach and the trail continues.

There are several bridges across rivers which are kept in good condition. You will pass various hotels (la Paloma lodge/cabinas vista/Corcovado jungle hostel) on your way.

Around 500m from San Josecito beach there is s river with a whistle to get the attention of a boat man. You can either pay him $2 per person or you can walk down to the beach and cross the river on the beach (if you are wearing shorts you will be fine).

You can not buy snacks or drinks on San Josecito beach as there is no one there to sell anything.

REMEMBER: take 2 litres of water per person minimum!

Do

Snorkel at Cano Island. Hike at Cano Island to see pre-Columbian stone spheres. Take a Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour. Scuba Dive in the Caño Island Biological Reserve. Fishing. Swim and Boogie board. Surf. Birdwatching. Hike in Corcovado. Sea kayak, in Drake bay and on the Rio Agujitas. Horseback Riding.

  • Corcovado Info Center (Corcovado tours Drake Bay), Drake Bay (Aguijitas), (506) 8846 - 4734, [1]. Well established tour operator in Drake Bay for tours to Corcovado (day tours and overnight tours) and Caño Island.  edit


Buy

There is not much to buy, other than souvenirs from your hotel. About money, make sure to withdraw enough cash from the ATM before getting to Drake Bay (last ATMs are in Palmar Norte as there are not any in Drake Bay.

Eat

There are several restaurants and sodas options in Drake Bay. They all offer different food options, environments, and prices.

Drake Bay Cafe is a beach side restaurant. It offers meals cooked only using natural ingredients and is the only place in Drake where you can get a specialty coffee (espresso, frappes, cappuccinos, etc).

Drakes Kitchen, Casa El Tortugo is a beach side restaurant. It offers excellent whole fish dishes and many Costa Rican meals.

Restaurant Jade Mar is a bar & restaurant located in Drake Bay downtown. It offers may fast food options and many alcoholic drinks.

Restaurante Delicias Bahia Drake is located in downtown. It offers a large variety of meals, including pizza.

Sodas in Drake Bay:

Margarita's Marisqueria

Soda Mar y Bosque Restaurant

Drink

The bar of your hotel. This is a very small and quiet town. La Jungla Bar, locally called "Tureca" is a friendly bar which serves good drinks and plays nice music. They have outside balcony with a view right into the rainforest. Across the street you will find Jade Mar, which serves drinks and food.

Sleep

  • Drake Bay Getaway Resort, (150 meters southeast from Jinetes de Osa), 506-6003-7253, [2]. Drake Bay Getaway Resort is a beachside resort offering rustic luxury and adventure travel. It is also home to the largest public butterfly garden in the Osa Peninsula (8.689358,8.689358) edit

Hostel & Finca (affordable cabins in little paradise, with a great tropical garden and 5-minutes walk to the beach). [7]

Marenco Eco Lodge part of the Punta Rio Claro Wildlife Refuge

La Paloma Lodge is a pricy but charming eco-lodge.

Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge.

Drake Day Wilderness Resort.

Delfin Amor Eco Lodge.

Aguila de Osa.

Jinetes de Osa.

Pirate Cove & Caño Divers.

  • Amaya Family Cabins, (near northern border of Corcovado National Park), [3]. Local Tico owned and operated eco resort on the beachfront portion of the Amaya family farm (37 hectors).  edit

BUDGET OPTIONS:

  • Jungla del Jaguar (The Jaguar's Jungle), (5 miles south of Drakes Bay next to San Pedrillo), [4]. Jungla del Jaguar hostel is nestled deep within 130 acres of rainforest nestled between Drake Bay and Corcovado National Park (Parque Nacional Corcovado). In this beachfront jungle paradise, you will experience what it is like to coexist with other marine and terrestrial animals who have made Costa Rica’s stunning Osa Peninsula their home.  edit

Cabinas Pura Vida - Agujitas

Cabinas Murillo - Agujitas

Rio Drake Lodge - El Progreso - at the airport in front of the beach, best sunsets!

Tesoro Verde Hostel - Los Planes - You can cook your own, have all included or camp. Free use of private Rainforest Reserve!

  • Marenco Eco Lodge (Marenco Eco Lodge), Punta San Jose (South of Agujitas), +50688777794, [5]. Marenco Eco Lodge is part of the Rio Claro National Wildlife Refuge, which is a private government regulated conservation area in between Drake Bay and Corcovado National Park. The lodge was created more than two decades ago in a effort of his owner to preserve this pristine and beautiful part of Costa Rica. $65.00.  edit
  • Hakuna Matata Hostel (Drake Bay hostel), Aguijitas (In front of Cabinas Jade Mar), [6]. Affordable hostel with dorms and private rooms, free wifi and hot water. Prices range from $12 to $25 per person.  edit

Get out

The main excursion from Drake Bay is to backpack through Corcovado. Adventurous backpackers can plan a one way trip from the first ranger station to one of the more remote ranger stations, and arrange for a boat to drop off and pick up. It is not allowed to hike in the park without an official guide.

Scuba divers can arrange for a trip to Cano island.

Drake Bay offers a lot of things for adventures souls, if you like to hike and camp you can stay quiet a while and explore everyday something new!

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