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Off the Beaten Path: Exploring Drake’s Bay, Costa Rica

Do not stay in the town of Drakes Bay. It is a dusty, steep dirt road lined with a disarray of budget accommodations, sodas, and abandoned buildings. Just past the water-side trash pile, a tourist gift shop will greet you with the thick air of mold that can also be found in at least one of the Air BnB’s, regardless of a “rare find” status. There are several well-stocked markets, and every place takes credit. Get what you need and get out of town. 

The dirt road to Drakes Bay.
There’s better. Drakes Bay has great places to stay, but not in town.

Excellent accommodations, ranging from home-style to positively posh, can be found south along the Cocolito Beach trail, north on the way to the airport, and deep in the jungle. Taking a boat from Sierpe through the Térraba river delta, your departure from the boat will be exciting. While the captain backs into the steep gravel beach, the crew hops into the water to hold the stern steady as the bow bounces in the breaking waves. At just the right moment, they will yell for you to jump in the water and head for the dry beach in your pebble-filled sandals. Every excursion into the jungle or out to the island will gain your trust in this loading and unloading routine.

A boat in the surf offloading luggage.
Jump! When the crew says so, leap from the boat and run for shore. They will bring you your luggage.

Regardless of the town, mold, or boat landing, Drakes Bay lives up to its reputation for biological diversity and minimal human presence. The Tapir’s Trail will connect with nature; tours into Corcovado National park are focused on spotting wildlife, snorkeling, or diving at Caño Island, reveal life in the sea. Experience all three for epic adventures that are hard to find these days.

The town of Drakes Bay.
The town. Credit cards are accepted at the stores and restaurants.

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Hi. We are Paul and Cindy, two biologists, fit and over 50, who enjoy exploring, photographing, and blogging about our outdoor travel. Our journey is to find outdoor activities that are away from crowds, kind to nature, and authentic. We carry backpacks, stay in clean accommodations, and feel that good food is as important as good friends.

The African savanna with three acacia trees.
Kenya
Amazon Jungle
Costa Rica
California
Italy

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