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Drake Bay Costa Rica

Drake Bay Costa Rica is a beautiful, rugged inlet located on the north side of the Osa Peninsula along the southern Pacific coast of the country.
Drake Bay Costa Rica
Bahia Drake starts at the mouth of the Sierpe River which is the northeast end. It spans down to the southwest where you'll find the dense jungles of Corcovado National Park. The forests and beaches around the area are dotted with various eco-lodges ranging from rustic to luxurious.

Drake Bay Costa Rica (Bahia Drake in Spanish) is named after British Explorer Sir Francis Drake who, according to the annals of history, anchored his famous ship the Golden Hind here in March of 1579.

The bay consists of a string of beautiful beaches and rocky, volcanic outcroppings, which are all butted up against lush, tropical rainforest. The town of Drake (pronounced Dra-kay in Spanish) is just a tiny, rustic village. They didn't even have electricity until 2004.

Nonetheless, Drake Bay is one of the best bases for sport fishing and scuba diving on the Osa Peninsula. Both Costa Rica Adventure Divers (506/2231-5806 or US (866) 553-7070), located at Jinetes de Osa hotel, and Pirate Cove (506/2234-6154 or 506/2234-6154) specialize in dive tours, with Isla del Caño being the most popular site. The Isla del Caño Biological Reserve also has great snorkeling at the two rocky points at each end of the main beach.

As for other activities, there is a zipline tour with the Corcovado Canopy Tour company (506/8810-8908), which has 13 platforms and 11 zipline cables. You can also do waterfall rappelling with the Osa Canyoning company (506/8875-0696). For a slew of other fun recreation options such as kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and dolphin spotting, check out Corcovado Expeditions (506/883-2384).

If you're looking for a truly unique experience check out the Night Time Insect Tour with Tracie "The Bug Lady." She'll take you on a 2.5 hour tour starting at 7:30pm showing you some of the rare and exotic species of insects of the rainforest. Her tours are fun, witty, and exciting offering a glimpse into the often-unexplored world of insects. Make reservations ahead of time (506/8867-6143).

For nature and fitness buffs, you can hike the 18km/11mi from Drake Bay to the northern entrance of Corcovado National Park, though this is next to impossible during the rainy season - September to December.

Drake Bay Costa Rica Hotels

Most hotels are located in a tiny, one-road town at the southern end of the bay called Agujitas. There are few budget options here - there are more in the even tinier town of Drake - but you'll find plenty of stunning eco-lodges to choose from. Regarding prices, almost everything here is generally more expensive because it must be shipped in. Here are a couple Drake Bay Hotel options.

Getting to Drake Bay Costa Rica

You can fly into Drake Bay from San Jose on SANSA and Nature Air, both of which have regularly scheduled flights to Agujitas.

There is also a bus that departs Rincon for Agujitas at 11am daily, and a bus from Agujitas to Rincon at 3:45am. However, bus service to Drake Bay is only available in the dry season and even then it's spotty so it's best to inquire locally.

Another option is to take a water taxi from Sierpe to Drake Bay. They typically depart at around 10am each day. From Agujitas to Sierpe the water taxis leave at around 7am daily.

If you want to drive your rental car, make sure you get a 4x4 with plenty of ground clearance. The road is a grueling 20km/12mi with three river crossings, which get particularly interesting during wet season. Always wade the rivers prior to crossing to find the shallowest route. On the way be sure to check for crocodiles and tapirs at the Laguna Chocuarco, a large lake you'll be passing on the journey.

More on the Osa Peninsula

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