Things to do in Drake Bay
Drake Bay Costa Rica is a town on the Osa Peninsula and home to the famous an incredibly bio diverse Corcovado National Park. It is also one of the most secluded areas in the country with almost untouched forests. It is really hard to get there; you can only access by boat and during the dry season trough a bumpy road. This makes it a great place for travelers looking to go off the beaten path.
The Original Canopy Tour: This is a short, but fun canopy tour. Includes 6 cables and 9 platforms.
This area is a bird watcher’s paradise. Early morning and late afternoon tours are available. Due to the variety of vegetation types found in the Drake Bay area, the variety of birds encountered is astounding.
Common sightings include toucans, hummingbirds, scarlet macaws, hawks, flycatchers, tanagers, euphonias, honeycreepers and antbirds. Tours usually last for two to three hours. The black-cheeked tanager is endemic to the Corcovado area and may also be sighted.
Full or half day trips can be arranged for a wide variety of fitness levels, from easy to difficult. Swimming holes and dirt trails contribute to the fun. It is hilly in the Drake Bay area, so a reasonable level of fitness is required.
There is not much in the way of shopping in Drake Bay. There is a small gift shop located along the dirt road in front of the beach near where the road ends near the elementary school.
The Terraba Sierpe National Wetlands are nearby. Half day or full day tours can be arranged through most hotels. Kayaking tours of the mangroves are also available.Bird watching tours are especially good here during the migratory months. Monkeys (four species), sloths, anteaters and other wildlife are often spotted in the park.
The river mouths are where most of the surfing is done here, and most of these locations are reached by boat. The Rio Claro has a rocky bottom surf break and is one of the best. The river mouths of the Ganado and Sierpe Rivers and Playa Rincon offer a sandy bottom beach breaks. The Rio Llorona is also a well-known surf break with waves sometimes reaching 5 meters. Most of these surf breaks are reachable only by boat. The best time to surf these river mouths is from half-low to half-high tide.
The Rio Agujitas is good for kayaking when the tide is high. The Rio Drake is a three-hour journey to the top through a mangrove forest. Only doable at high tide (½ low to ½ high). The Bay’s waters are calm enough to kayak in as well. Most hotels have kayaks for use.
Dolphin and Whale Watching Tours
The waters near Drake Bay boast “the longest season of humpback whales in the world, as they get migrations from both North and South America” (Delfin Amor). In all, over twenty-five species of dolphins and whales are either resident or pass through the area on migration.
The most common sightings include spinner, spotted and bottlenose dolphins along with humpback whales. The Costa Rican spinner dolphin and the bottlenose dolphin, when found, often perform acrobatics and ride the bow of the boats. A resident pod of 1000 bottlenose dolphins are often encountered not far off shore.
One lodge, the Delfin Amor, specializes in dolphin and whale watching tours and have an on board hydrophone and use a flying rubber dingy as an ultra-light plane to find the pods to assure dolphin sightings.
Both inshore and offshore fishing trips are available. Rooster, jacks, black tuna and mackerel are popular inshore catches while sailfish, marlin, mahi mahi, yellow fin tuna and snapper are caught offshore.
Corcovado Expeditions offers catamaran trips aboard a 65 foot catamaran. Sunset cruises, Cano Island tours and private charters are available as are weddings aboard the catamaran.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
Cano Island is the hot spot for snorkeling and diving. Year-round warm water and good to excellent visibility make Cano Island worth the trek to get there. The best time to go is during the dry season, but it is usually decent all year long.
The Drake Bay, Costa Rica, holds a Festival annually in April. It is a community wide event, drawing residents of nearby villages and the lucky tourists who happen to be in town. Activities include volley ball, soccer and various foods. Proceeds benefit Agujita’s schools, clinic and other public facilities.
• Puerto Jimenez
• Cano Island Biological Reserve
• Corcovado National Park
• Terraba Sierpe National Wetlands
As I have mentioned before, there are many activities in Costa Rica for travelers, and Drake Bay is living proof of that. In this region you won’t have time to get bored with all the tours available.