The best highlight of a Costa Rican adventure would definitely be Drake Bay. Here’s everything you need to know.
The mystical destination of Drake Bay, Costa Rica, is one of the most significant, most biologically diverse sections of lowland rainforest in Central America. Here, you’re going to miss all the pressures of your daily life. With the jungle full of tropical animals and warm ocean waters, a playground for sea life, it’s impossible not to be at ease with nature.
Although this remote village is not a destination for everybody, if you’re the kind of traveler who’s smiling instead of squealing when a gecko strolls across your wall, Drake Bay tours could be right for you.
When is the best time to visit?
The best time to take a trip to the Osa Peninsula is during the dry season, from January to April, when the weather is bright, and there is little to no rainfall. During the green season, May through August, afternoon showers are widespread, but you’ll get the best value for your money as lodges lower their prices dramatically. Avoid September and October, when most of the accommodations are closed during the two rainiest months of the year.
How do you get to Drake Bay?
As part of your Costa Rica wildlife tour, Drake Bay is a great place to take a trip to. You’ll find Drake Bay on the northwest side of Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. You can get to Drake Bay by rail, by car, by bus, or by cruise.
Airplane: This is the simplest, cheapest, but still the most expensive way to get to Drake Bay. You might want to take a local flight to Drake Bay local airport. This flight has beautiful views of the Osa Peninsula and the coast. The 1-hour flight from San Jose airport costs around $110 for one way, depending on the year.
Ship or Boat: This is a very interesting and exciting way to fly. You should check out the taxi boat from La Perla Restaurant in Sierpe to Drake Bay, which sails twice a day: 11:30 AM and 4 PM. It costs $15 for 11:30 AM boats and $20 for 4 PM boats per user. It takes about 1 hour, and you get a fantastic view of the mangroves of Sierpe and the coast.
Bus: While the cheapest, this is not the most effective means of travel. However, if you want the whole Drake Bay experience, you can travel via bus at San Jose headed to Palmar Norte. Get off the bus, then take another ride to Sierpe, and then take a ferry. If you want to catch a bus to Drake Bay, we recommend taking another bus from San Jose to Puerto Jiménez. There, you’ll get off at La Palma and take a nearby bus to Drake Bay at 4:45 PM.
Car: You must have a 4X4 for this path. Once you’re off Route 2, you’ll be driving on unpaved roads and almost into the rainforest. It would be best if you were not driving during the rainy season because you have to cross three rivers that will flood when it rains. They fixed a bridge to the airport, but there are still rivers to cross, and the road is still not in good shape, particularly during the rainy season. We don’t advocate driving for visitors. However, if you must, drive down Route 34 past Dominical and Uvita and proceed on the road to Puerto Jimenez. You’re going to see a turn to Drake Bay on the right. Continue along this path past the village of Rancho Quemado, and you will come to Drake Bay.
What are the most popular activities you must not miss in Drake Bay?
If you get to the village, nature surrounds you. Drake Bay is a spot where you could swing in a hammock all day and still see more beautiful animals than about anywhere else in the world. But to make the trip even more accessible, many outdoor experiences will teach you even more.
Swim and experience snorkeling at the next level in Caño Island.
This tour starts from Drake Bay at 7:00 AM and involves two dives off Caño Island. Your guide will take you to some of the most famous dive sites in the region, where you can see many pelagic fish and manta rays. Divers treasure this site because it is so well preserved – no one can fish or gather shells in a 3-mile radius of the island.
Explore nature and wildlife in Corcovado National Park.
Don’t miss your opportunity to visit Corcovado National Park when traveling to Costa Rica as it’s one of the most biologically rich areas on Earth in Drake Bay. Take a day trip to San Pedrillo Station or Sirena Station to see animals such as tapirs, four various monkeys, birds, and more. Sirena Station in Corcovado National Park is next to Drake Bay and provides the best opportunity to see mammals. You might even see your first tapir on the hike of the day!
Take a look at the marine mammals in Drake Bay’s Marine Mammal Observation.
Marine mammals frequent the waters around Drake Bay, and the purpose of this trip is to look and observe animals in their natural environment but not to harass or interrupt them. It’s popular to see whales, dolphins, manta rays, and sea turtles. Traveling to Drake Bay provides you with a wide range of activities from the land to the seas.
Experience a once in a lifetime Night Tour with professional tour guides.
It is a different place as night falls, and you can see the biodiversity that thrives on a walk at night. See snakes and butterflies with the bug lady Tracie or other creatures on various night trips. Another kind of night trip is bioluminescence snorkeling and kayaking which is available only at certain times of the year.
Hike the longshore of San Josecito Beach.
Many wanting to do some exploration on their own would enjoy a lengthy 2.5 hrs. walk to San Josecito Beach. This beach also has a great snorkeling beach, so make sure to wear a mask to explore the reefs. You can reach this remote beach by walking along the jungle trail at the south end of the town that crosses several secluded beaches. You’re sure to see plenty of birds and even creatures like lizards, chimpanzees, or coati in the forest surroundings. You’re going to have to wade across or take a little rowboat through the Rio Claro before you end up at this beautiful beach, but it’s worth the effort.
Drake Bay, Costa Rica is a dreamland adventurer and explorer. Only a few places on Earth deliver such natural bliss and harmony. The dispersed lodges and hotels fit in wonderfully with their surroundings, making it the perfect destination for people in need of a quiet place, away from the crowd and hurry. But that doesn’t mean you’re going to have a hard time finding something to do!
Traveling this place is so rewarding—discovering miles of desolate coastlines and sandy beaches. Swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and camping are also on the agenda. Even go for sport fishing, watching whales and dolphins, or bird watching.
Louie is the father behind the travel blog Browseeverywhere.com. He has a background in photography, E-commerce, and writing product reviews online at ConsumerReviews24. Traveling full time with his family was his ultimate past-time. If he’s not typing on his laptop, you can probably find him watching movies.