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Best things to do and places to see in Drake Bay

Have you ever dreamed of entering a lush jungle, surrounded by fascinating wildlife and dreamy virgin beaches? If the answer is yes, then Drake Bay is the perfect destination for you. In this article, I’ll take you on a virtual journey through the hidden treasures of Drake Bay, revealing exciting activities and breathtaking places you won’t want to miss. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure in one of the most captivating corners of Costa Rica!

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Here is what you will find:

What to see and do in Drake Bay

Drake Bay, located on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, is a tropical paradise that attracts adventurous travelers from around the world. Surrounded by the Corcovado National Park and the Marino Ballena National Park, this region is known for its unique biodiversity and pristine landscapes. Here, you can immerse yourself in nature in its purest state and enjoy a wide variety of exciting activities. From exploring tropical jungles to snorkeling in crystal clear waters, Drake Bay offers experiences that will take your breath away.

Hiking through the Corcovado National Park:

Delve into the virgin jungle and discover an incredible diversity of flora and fauna. Explore trails that will take you to hidden waterfalls, monkey sightings, and exotic birds. Get ready for an unforgettable hiking experience.

Snorkeling and diving in Isla del Caño

Immerse yourself in the crystal clear waters of Isla del Caño, a paradise for diving lovers. Explore the coral reefs and marvel at the rich marine life, including sea turtles, sharks, and colorful tropical fish. An unforgettable experience for lovers of the underwater world!

whale watching

Embark on an exciting maritime adventure to witness the majestic show of humpback whales. These giants of the ocean migrate to the waters of Drake Bay, providing an opportunity to observe their impressive acrobatics. A unique and inspiring experience.

mangrove exploration

Delve into the mysterious mangroves of Drake Bay by kayak. Discover the intricate network of canals and estuaries as you marvel at the wealth of wildlife that inhabits these marshy areas. A peaceful experience full of natural beauty.

Hiking the Drake Bay Trail

Explore the natural charms of the area by following the Drake Bay Trail. This hiking trail will take you through lush tropical forests, offering you panoramic views and the chance to encounter a variety of wildlife. Walk at your own pace, breathing fresh air and enjoying the tranquility that only nature can provide. The Drake Bay trail is perfect for those who want to further immerse themselves in the natural environment of this impressive destination.

Paradise beaches

Relax and enjoy the beaches of Drake Bay, some of the most beautiful in Costa Rica. From San Josecito beach to Caletas beach and Cocolito beach you will find yourself surrounded by white sand, crystalline waters and impressive landscapes that invite you to relax and unwind. If you want a place further away and with few people, you can try walking to Ganadito beach.

bird watching

Drake Bay is a bird lover’s paradise. With more than 350 recorded species, including the famous toucan and the colorful quetzal, this region offers excellent bird watching opportunities. Hit the trails and keep your eyes and ears open for unique encounters with these beautiful winged creatures.

Night trekking

Immerse yourself in the darkness of the night and go on an exciting night walk through the jungle of Drake Bay. Accompanied by an expert wildlife guide, you’ll have the chance to search for nocturnal animals like frogs, snakes, kinkajous, and maybe even spot more elusive species like an ocelot, puma, or tapir. This experience will allow you to discover the nocturnal life of the jungle and discover the mysteries that awaken when the sun sets. Get ready for an adventure full of emotions and unforgettable encounters with the local fauna!

Turtle release + boat trip on Rio Claro

Join a unique experience by participating in the release of sea turtles in Río Claro. This activity allows you to be a part of conservation efforts by helping these incredible creatures return to the sea. Accompanied by conservation experts, you’ll learn about the importance of protecting sea turtles and have an exciting time watching hatchlings make their way to their natural habitat.

In addition, you can also take a boat trip on the Rio Claro. Observe the exuberant vegetation on the shores, go tubing while you glide through its calm waters and bathe in the waterfalls. This excursion gives you a unique perspective on the natural beauty of Drake Bay and is a perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Tours and activities in Drake Bay

In Bahia Drake, there is a wide variety of tours and activities available for all tastes and ages, from hiking in the rainforest to diving in the crystal-clear waters of the Pacific. Explore the unique fauna and flora of the region and learn about the culture and history of Bahia Drake.

Where to stay in Drake Bay

The Bahía Drake tourist hub is situated in Colorada Beach and has a variety of hotels and hostels, as well as two supermarkets and a few restaurants to choose from. Although there’s enough to cover daily essentials, the dining options aren’t exactly extensive.

Staying on Isla del Caño is prohibited, as it is a nature reserve and doesn’t offer any accommodation on the island.

Staying at Colorada Beach

Regarding Bahía Drake, I believe the only compelling reason to stay near the tourist zone is if you need to have access to a nearby supermarket.

Furthermore, one disadvantage is that the majority of accommodations are not located on the beach, but rather on an uphill road that’s not visually appealing.

JINETES DE OSA HOTEL (👉price) boasts a prime location with direct beach access and rooms offering sea views. It comes with a complimentary buffet breakfast and massage services, ensuring a relaxing stay.

JACAMAR (👉price) is a hotel close to the restaurants area and has the added convenience of free private parking. It provides massage services and rooms with private balconies, ensuring a comfortable stay.

SUKIA (👉price) is a hostel that only offers shared dorms and is surrounded by nature. It has a hammock area for socializing and relaxation, as well as a small restaurant for mealtime enjoyment.

Staying at another beach

If you’re only planning on staying in the area for a few days, I believe it’s a better option to choose another beach where you can experience a more relaxed atmosphere, immerse yourself in nature, and have the ocean right in front of you.

Staying in the center of the trail will be extremely convenient for shorter hikes, allowing you to explore the beaches along the trail at a more leisurely pace.

At OCEAN FOREST ECOLODGE (👉price), you’ll be staying in charming wooden cabins located right on Rincón de San Josecito beach. The property boasts a garden and a restaurant that serves up local cuisine, as well as a variety of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.

SUNSET TUCANO LODGE (👉price) features cabins with breathtaking views of the sea and comfortable hammocks for you to relax in. The room rate includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and parking is provided for free.

BELLA VISTA CORCOVADO (👉price)) is situated on the gorgeous Rincón beach and offers accommodation that includes a garden, free private parking, and a bar with amazing views of the bay.


GITANA HOTEL (👉price) is the perfect place to rest and relax and it also features a restaurant serving delicious meals. The rooms come with a terrace or sea views, allowing you to enjoy a surroundings close to nature.

LIFE FOR LIFE (👉price) is also the home of a sea turtle conservation project on San Josecito Beach. It offers options for private rooms and shared dorms and has a restaurant serving local food.

CORCOVADO JUNGLE HOSTEL (👉price) is a unique place in the middle of nature, located right next to Caletas Beach and has its own restaurant. It offers options for 2-person camping tents and shared dorms.

How to get to Drake Bay

The road to Drake Bay is a bit long and you can do it by bus, plane (only from San José), transfer or car.

How to get to Dake Bay from SAN JOSÉ

You can get to Drake Bay from San José in three ways: TRANSFER (👉 PRICES), plane and bus. The journey by road takes about 6 hours and 30 minutes; and, if you decide to go by air, the flight lasts 50 minutes.

Here you will find detailed information on how to get to Drake Bay from San José, Sierpe and Manuel Antonio.

How to get to Drake Bay from PUERTO JIMÉNEZ

You have two ways to make the journey from Puerto Jiménez to Drake Bay and vice versa: by TRANSFER (👉PRICES) or by bus.

In the case of the transfer, you can do the tour in two hours. If you choose to go by bus, the journey will be longer, since you will have to change at La Palma.

Here you will find detailed information to get to Drake Bay from Puerto Jiménez.

Best time to visit Drake Bay and Caño Island

Drake Bay is located on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. In this area the seasons are divided into the dry season (from December to April) and the rainy season. With heat peaks between November and March.

If you are interested in snorkeling or diving in Caño Island, the conditions are better during the warm season. Since the rainy season takes place from May to November and the visibility to enjoy the underwater life gets worse.

In order to better decide when to visit Drake Bay, you have to know that the whales arrive in Costa Rica twice a year: from July to November, and from December to March. It is an ideal time to plan your trip and observe these incredible animals in their natural habitat.

Is Costa Rica SAFE to Travel? 

Costa Rica is a moderately dangerous country, where nothing should happen to you if you go carefully and take precautions. Remember to follow these recommendations:

  • In case of robbery, do not resist physically.
  • Do not show a high purchasing power, that is, do not go with jewels, bags, etc … that are expensive.
  • Be careful if you go out at night, and stay in crowded places where you are surrounded by other people.
  • Thefts are usual, so don’t go with the camera or mobile in your hand or hang out of your neck.
  • Try to avoid carrying the backpack on the back. Put it in front of you, or use a belt pouch or a cross bag.

Personally, I spent 3 months traveling alone in Costa Rica (I visited San José, Puerto Viejo, Tortuguero, Dominical, Uvita, Bay Drake and Puerto Jiménez) and I did not find myself in any really serious situation.

Going down the street with the camera, several Costa Rican people approached and warned me that they were carefully with robberies, since they told me that they are very frequent.

In my case, during the trip they tried to steal 2 times and, luckily, I realized on time and I could avoid it. In any case, it is always a good idea to have travel insurance (👉5% discount) that can compensate you financially and help you if a medical emergency occurs.

If you are interested in traveling alone, I recommend this article about the reasons and benefits of traveling alone and this other article with tips for traveling alone being a woman. I encourage you to try it since it is a great and very profitable experience for oneself.

Eating VEGAN in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is not a country faced with vegan food. Anyway, they have some traditional dishes that are vegan or that you can ask without egg or sauces such as the pico of rooster (rice with beans for breakfast), black bean soup or rice with vegetables.

You should always ask if the purés or soups are made with some type of dairy product or meat broth, since at first glance they might seem vegan dishes but not be.

In San José you can find some vegan restaurants, but when you leave the capital the offer is very limited or non -existent. Next, I make three recommendations and in this link you can read tips to travel vegan.

  1. Try to stay in hotels that are characterized by cooking vegan and vegetarian dishes. This is the best option and the most practical for not having to be looking for places where to eat comfortable without always repeating the same dishes.
  2. Before going on a tour that includes a meal, always mention that you are vegan or vegetarian, so that they can adapt the food.
  3. Costa Rica is a country where you can find a variety of fresh products (fruits and vegetables) to prepare salads and breakfast with fruits. In any city or town, you will easily find some supermarket or stalls on the street where you can buy groceries.
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