Are you going to visit Drake Bay and want to see playa San Josecito (Costa Rica)?
I tell you how to get to San Josecito beach, what the beach is like, where to stay and what to do in San Josecito and Drake Bay
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San Josecito in Drake Bay (Costa Rica)
If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica (👉COSTA RICA GUIDE), you should know that it is a country characterized by the beauty of its beaches, mountains, volcanoes and the diversity of its wildlife.
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Drake Bay is an inaccessible destination located in the south of Costa Rica. Its main attraction is its wild and incredibly preserved beaches. It is a perfect destination if you are passionate about the sun, the sea, wildlife and hiking, and especially if you are looking for a little adventure!
In addition, Drake Bay is one of the best known accesses (along with Puerto Jiménez) to visit the CORCOVADO National Park.
In Drake Bay itself you can also go on a night hiking or watch birds in their natural environment. Without forgetting about SNORKELING in Isla del Caño and, for the most daring, you can go DIVING between columns of corals!
San Josecito (Costa Rica)
San Josecito beach is located in the final section of the Drake Bay trail, and is quite far from the central area of the Bay (Colorada beach); Don’t worry though, it’s easy to get to.
The sand is golden in color and huge chunks of coral can be found! In addition, the environment is clean and well preserved.
If you like to swim, keep in mind that in general the waters in the area are quite strong and the water is deep. Try to be careful, especially when the tide rises.
What to do at San Josecito beach
I tell you the most important things you need to know to organize your excursion to San Josecito. Here’s what you can do at the beach, and some tips to keep in mind:
have a picnic
If you decide to hit the trail and explore this part of Drake Bay, San Josecito is a nice place to stop and grab a bite to eat.
Right next door, if you walk away a few meters, there is a pebble beach with very nice views (the one in the photo below); also, since there is a lot of shade, it is cool compared to tropical temperatures.
I have to add that in San Josecito you will find coconuts! You can pick up some to refresh yourself and, if you want to learn how to open coconuts with your hands, in the previous link I tell you my tricks.
A man who lived there told me that you can snorkel when the tide is low, and if you’re not afraid of swimming, you can go to the small islets in front to watch the turtles.
I didn’t try it, but he told me very convinced. It has to be a beautiful experience (bearing in mind that there are not many places to snorkel in Drake Bay); but ask before at the hotel lest there be strong currents.
In case you want to do the Caño Island tour to snorkel or scuba dive, this is where you will have lunch.
They will give you about a full hour to enjoy the food and the beach, and you can take the opportunity to see San Josecito without having to specifically plan an excursion.
Bearing this in mind, if you organize your own excursion to San Josecito, it is better to go before or after lunch time, this way you avoid finding it crowded and you can be more relaxed.
In general, there are not many people in the area, except for those who come from the tour and people who explore the trail and enjoy the nature of the place.
Rincón de San Josecito
Rincón de San Josecito is a very long beach that is located right next to San Josecito beach.
It is visually very beautiful and has the advantage of being very calm, you probably won’t find anyone lying on the sand. Also, hopefully you will see horses freely grazing!
This beach also has some offers in accommodation and restaurants, and it is a nice option to take into account to spend the night.
How to get to San Josecito
I am going to tell you first how to get to San Josecito if you are already in Drake Bay, and below how to get there from different parts of Costa Rica.
How to get there From Playa Colorada (Drake Bay)
It can be reached on foot following the coast along the path (it is very beautiful and I recommend it), and the level of difficulty is low, since the terrain is flat and the path is well marked.
If what you want is to do the trail quietly, and enjoy the beaches that you find along the way, it will take a long time to get to San Josecito. I recommend that you take the boat that leaves from Playa Colorada.
This option is faster and will allow you to enjoy the area’s beaches more calmly. They have stipulated times to come and go (ask at the hotel or at Playa Colorada), and the entire journey will cost about $20.
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.
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.
Useful stuff for your trip to Costa Rica
Below, you will find some products that will be very useful during your trip to Costa Rica.
In addition, the options that I recommend are committed to the environment/social causes and are vegan.
Carrying a waterproof windbreaker in your suitcase is essential in case temperatures drop, it rains unexpectedly, or to go hiking.
When traveling, it’s important to choose a jacket that is lightweight, takes up little space and that you can use in different situations; that is to say, that transpires, is waterproof and has a hood to protect you properly from bad weather.
Gopro 11 Black
The GOPRO 11 (👉 PRICE) is a great choice if you are visiting natural areas, practicing adventure sports or want to make videos underwater, e.g. while scuba diving or snorkeling.
In addition, with its stabilization and Horizon Lock function, it will allow you to make incredibly stable videos even in adverse situations (such as walking, running or riding a motorcycle). In addition, it comes with an amazing 5.3k image quality.
👉 GOPRO 11 PRICE + specs
3-in-1 hiking shoes
These La Sportiva shoes are designed to run in the mountains, thanks to this you can use them for hiking, go out to run and do tourism ; saving space in your suitcase.
They are made with goretex, which means they protect you from the inclement weather weather (such as rain, ice or cold) and are adherent to the ground. This makes them ideal for traveling due to their versatility.
STAYING IN SAN JOSECITO
If you want to stay on a quieter and more relaxed beach, in Rincón de San Josecito you will find accommodation and restaurants; In addition, you will avoid meeting the tours daily.
You won’t have any problems with transportation either, since you can talk to the hotel for directions or ask at the Sierpe pier to be taken to Rincón de San Josecito.
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.
What to do near San Josecito
The main attraction of Drake Bay and its surroundings are the paradisiacal beaches, the fauna, and scuba diving and snorkeling. I will tell you about some of the places and activities that you cannot miss during your stay.
Río Claro (river)
Río Claro is located on the Drake Bay trail, and flows into a beautiful beach where turtles nest.
There is a small refuge there that accepts volunteers to work with the sea turtles and, if you pass by around 4 in the afternoon, you can also see the release and make a small donation.
The people of the refuge also organize boat trips on the river to finance their expenses and, when the tide is high, they can cross you to the other side for a small fee.
Playa Cocolito is one of the beaches on the trail, and it’s pretty quiet. It is divided in two by a small stone wall and provides a little more privacy.
There is a grassy area to lie down where people usually gather, and it has a hotel where you can spend the night.
Playa Caletas seemed to me to be one of the best beaches in Drake Bay, and although it has a hotel on the beach itself, it is not at all noisy, but you can easily find yourself alone.
It is super neat and tidy, and you can peacefully swing on a wooden swing while admiring the views. When I went, I could see two eagles trying to catch a pelican with no luck.
Isla del Caño
Caño Island is a protected park that is located just off the coast of Drake Bay.
Tours are organized for snorkeling (70 $US) and diving (2 dives for 135 $US) and a short stop is made on the island. The seascape is very beautiful, it is full of towering columns of coral.
Warning: it is not a type of snorkel that I would recommend for people who are afraid of deep water, since you will be swimming in the open sea and the depth is about 10m.
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.
- 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.
- Before going on a tour that includes a meal, always mention that you are vegan or vegetarian, so that they can adapt the food.
- 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.
¡Espero que te encante Bahía Drake y aproveches al máximo tu estancia!