Believed to be a port used by Sir Francis Drake in the seventeenth century and location of one of the British pirate’s fabled hidden treasures, Drake is one of the most remote and primal tourist destinations in Costa Rica. The town of Agujitas (Drake) has a population of about 1,000 residents, and tourism is the economic base of the community. Drake is not on the beaten track, and is a destination. It can be reached by highway only during the dry season. Boat service up the Sierpe River and air travel connect Drake to the rest of the world during the rainy season. See our sample itinerary below for what’s best to do when you visit DRAKE BAY!
There are miles and miles of beautiful coastline with rocky crags and sandy coves that extend from Agujitas Bay, where the village of Drake is located southward toward the boundary of Corcovado National Park about 12 miles to the south. Along this stretch of beach are located some of the most remote and spectacular ecolodges in Costa Rica. All of these all-inclusive destinations require boat transport, which is provided by the lodges for their guests. Near Drake, is the famous Caño Island which is rated as one of the best destinations for scuba-divers in the world.
Typical Drake travelers book package trips that include round trip airfare out of San Jose and several days at the all-inclusive lodge of their choice, where gourmet meals are included in the package. Most destinations offer a robust package of tour alternatives departing right from the hotel. For tours departing from other destinations, boat pickup is provided. Prices for these resorts beyond the end of the road range from a budget rate of $85 per person per day at Bahía Paraíso to as much as $400 per person per day at the incomparable La Paloma Lodge.
Drake is best enjoyed with reservations in advance. Nearly all inclusive lodges offer multiple day packages including transport and tours. Since communications are still primitive, and many destinations cannot even be reached except by boat or on foot, Drake is a notoriously awkward destination for arriving visitors that do not have pre-arranged accommodations. The Drake Bay Lodging options are some of the best in the country.
The town of Agujitas (Drake) is accessible by vehicle during the dry season but is cut off in the rainy season by rivers too large to ford. There is daily riverboat access from the town of Sierpe. Boats depart in the mornings from Hotel Oleaje Sereno, which offers secure parking for visitors that prefer to leave their rentals behind. At the time of this writing (April, 2005) the fare was $20 one way. Drake is serviced by daily flights from San Jose by both NatureAir and Sansa. Charters by Alfa Romeo are also available from Puerto Jimenez and San Jose. During the dry season there is bus transport between Drake and La Palma, where buses can be caught either into Puerto Jimenez or off the peninsula. Taxi fare from Drake to Puerto Jiménez is $100-120.
Tours and Activities
In addition you will find an ample assortment of wilderness hiking tours with specialty tours that focus of birds, insects, nocturnal life, sea turtles and more. There are a considerable number ofhorseback tours offered by a variety of outfitters. Sea kayaking and canoeing are readily available. At some lodges kayaks and canoes are made available to guests at no extra charge.
Regional all-inclusive eco lodges include the following. For more information on the lodge of your choice or to make reservations, click on the link beside the lodge and let me know your dates. If you would like general advice simply write me with your questions. For budget hotels in the town of Drake, see the following section.
A WORD ABOUT PRICING: Too avoid the possibility of dated information, Sol de Osa, no longer publishes prices for lodges. We rate accommodations as budget (BUD), mid-priced (MID), and top-shelf (TOP) according to the relativities of the class of destination. Most lodges are all-inclusive and are priced per person. Others do not include taxes in their pricing structure, and hotels and vacation rentals are normally priced per night based on double occupancy. Please inquire for current pricing.