Drake Bay, Costa Rica is an ideal travel destination for any nature lover. Be ready to be humbled by the giant ecosystem that surrounds this paradise. Resting on the northern side of the Osa Peninsula, this destination is definitely a nature lover’s paradise. With scattered hotels and lodges, Drake Bay is an ideal vacation spot for those wishing to relax and re-connect with nature.
There is plenty to do if you need more of an adventure such as: scuba diving, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, horseback riding, hiking, visiting Corcovado National Park, and bird-watching.
**This is an ethical wildlife travel destination**
Drake bay is a very small town, much different than other Costa Rican vacation destinations such as Manuel Antonio. The one dirt road is lightly lined with a few convenience stores (aka sodas), an ice cream shop, and a few restaurants.
Things to do in Drake Bay Costa Rica
Snorkeling or Scuba to Cano Island
Spend a half or full day snorkeling or scuba diving. Most hotels will book these tours for you. Many of the tours offer a visit to Cano Island which is a biological reserve. The island only allows a certain amount of visitors daily so not to harm the wildlife. The boat guides will usually go to 2 or more different dive spots before going to the island. There is an abundance of marine life in these waters. Dolphins, sea turtles, false orcas, and sharks are usually seen. If you opt for a half day tour, lunch will be included back in Drake Bay at a local restaurant.
Nature hikes. Day and night.
Day hikes and night hikes are a must when visiting Drake Bay, Costa Rica. There is a hiking trail that weaves in and out of the jungle to a few other hotels. The trail starts at Hotel Jinetes de Oso, which is the closest hotel to the main beach. This trail also leads to a few secluded swimming holes where you can spend hours alone. The trail does gets a little skinny so be careful if walking with kids.
If you choose to venture farther into the jungle around Drake Bay, there are day and night tours to Corcovado National Park offered through tour operators. The hotels have more information.
Have you seen pictures of blue glowing water? This is caused when bioluminescent plankton organisms are disturbed. These organisms live in mangrove rich waters, referred to as bio bays. Even after much research on Drake Bay, bio bays were not mentioned. There is a tour operator that offers a guided night swim with these ‘fireflies of the ocean’. This is a family friendly tour and the best time to see these is when there is no moon out. For $15/person, this tour is worth it.
The tour starts at dark with a nice walk on the beach with the tour guide. The guide gives information about bio bays and spends extra time talking with kids. Once at the beach, life vests are handed out and the guide tells you what to expect. Swimming in the ocean at night isn’t the most calming experience and the water is a little rough at first. Once you wade past the break, the water calms down and then the magic happens. This is not the brightest bio bay, but a fun experience for people of all ages.
*Other Travel Tips*
- Fly in and out of Drake Bay Airport
This is the easiest and quickest way of travel, but also the most expensive. FYI..The planes are very small. Flights are through SANSA airways. This is a picture of the Drake Bay Airport:)
- Boat taxi to/from Sierpe
This travel option is longer but cheaper. I recommend this route of travel if time allows. The boat ride is about 1.5 hours to/from Sierpe and includes a short tour of the mangroves.
Where to eat
Since Drake Bay is so remote and there are not many restaurants, meals are usually included with hotel stay. Be prepared to eat A LOT of rice and beans! If looking for something else to eat, there is a sports bar or 2 in town.
**If following our 2 week Costa Rica itinerary, Drake Bay is the final destination. Talk about saving the best for last!**