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Remote and rustic, Drake Bay opens the door to the wild side of Costa Rica.
A tiny village on the north side of the Osa Peninsula, Drake Bay fronts the ocean with craggy rock formations and quiet beaches, with a view of Caño Island just offshore. The warm waters of the bay teem with marine life.
Surrounded by verdant rainforest bursting with exotic wildlife, Drake Bay is one of two entry points for Corcovado National Park and adjacent Piedras Blancas. Sleepy and remote, Drake Bay is for eco-tourists and nature lovers in search of adventure and discovery.
Drake Bay is best reached by air; it takes 35 minutes from San Jose as compared to 7 hours by driving.
The area can be reached by private plane or helicopter. Once you land in Drake all the hotels offer transportation to their properties, as you need a 4×4 and boats to access many of these places and it takes approximately 30 minutes to the hotels once you land in Drake.
You can also get there by boat from Palmar Sur by the mouth of the Sierpe, which makes a great tour also! Finally, you can drive in by using a 4x4during the dry season, but it is challenging.
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Copa de Arbol
Aguila de osa
Most of the town’s accommodation caters to budget-minded visitors; higher-end resorts are all-inclusive because of their remote and difficult to reach locations outside the town. Advance booking is strongly recommended.
La Paloma’s air-conditioned rooms and ranchos nestled in the rainforest and offering ocean views. Beautifully crafted native wood adds to the spacious, upscale feel.
Copa de Arbol is a newer, get-away-from-it-all resort located on the trail to Corcovado. Well outside of town, it’s accessible only by boat. The nearby and nearly deserted beach is a beachcomber’s dream.
Aguila de Osa is set in the jungle near Río Aguijitas, a 10-minute walk to town and the beach, with sweeping ocean views. Built with native wood, the high-ceilinged rooms have balconies.
Dining in Drake Bay is a very casual affair, but Casa Tortuga is a bit more up-market. With an extensive menu, the casados (typical Costa Rican dishes) are a good choice. One of the house specialties is pescado entero—whole fried snapper served on a traditional banana leaf.
Soda Bahía Azul serves the Costa Rican classics. Their Arroz con Camarones (rice with shrimp) gets rave reviews.
Also typical of Costa Rican restaurants, Mar y Bosque opens early (5 a.m.) for pre-tour breakfast and stays open through dinner. The menu is big, and the food good: fresh fruit smoothies, homemade bread, pastries, and coffee made Costa Rican-style. Enjoy the ocean views from the second floor.
Explore Corcovado and Piedras Blancas national parks on a multi-day trek. The park is a protected area consisting of both primary and secondary rainforest.
Smaller Piedras Blancas is one of the last stands of virgin lowland rainforest in the world. Both are only accessible by hiking. Day tours are also available. All-access to the parks requires a registered, bilingual guide who knows the rainforest and its rare birds and exotic animals.
Ten miles offshore, uninhabited Caño Island’s coral reefs and ledges are made-to-order for snorkelers and scuba divers. The island is also an important archeological site; it was a burial ground and trading post for pre-Columbian indigenous peoples.
A night tour (Tracie, the “Bug Lady” is highly recommended) is an excellent way to learn more about the rainforest after dark. From sleeping birds to tent-making bats, there’s plenty to learn about the Costa Rica jungle at night.
The 2.5-mile trail to Playa San Josecito for snorkeling winds through the jungle and several secluded beaches. The last stop before arriving at the beach is Río Claro, which is crossed by rowboat or wading.
Terraba-Sierpe National Wetlands is the largest mangrove forest in Central America. The intricate river systems make a boat tour the only way to explore its unique ecosystem.
San Pedrillo- Corcovado National Park, also known as the Amazon of Costa Rica, spans over 100,000 acres of virgin and secondary rain forest. A short boat ride from most hotels in the area will land you at the northern entrance to the park. Trails begin along pristine beaches, wind through the deep rain forest, and follow riverbeds to magnificent waterfalls and swimming holes. A typical tour consists of two hikes; the two being separated by a picnic lunch.
Adventure Air can help you book your tours, lodging, private charters, and much more in this amazing destination.