Sitting on the northern side of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica is Drake Bay, a small hidden gem packed with natural beauty that’s well worth checking out! As the gateway to Corcovado National Park, it’s a tropical paradise for nature enthusiasts, adventurers, and explorers alike.
Drake Bay may be a small remote village, but it does have a wide range of accommodations to choose from. In Drake Bay, you’ll find no-frills cabins to luxury beachfront resorts and hotels, and everything in between. And with many hotels spread throughout the area, picking the right place to stay in Drake Bay may be a bit difficult unless you’ve already determined the kind of accommodation you want.
But, there’s no need to panic as this guide will help you plan your visit. I’ll first break down the best areas to stay in Drake Bay before providing information about the absolute best hotels. I’ve included a huge range of different priced hotels, so no matter if you’re a backpacker or a luxury traveler you’ll find the perfect hotel in Drake Bay for you right here in this blog.
The BEST Areas to Stay in Drake Bay, Costa Rica
- Agujitas de Drake – The main town area is best for those on a budget or who want to be able to walk to stores, restaurants, or the beach.
- Rincon del San Josecito – The best beach. Stay here if you are a beach lover who wants to escape the main town area but still have access to restaurants.
- Near Sierena Station – Stay close to Corcovado National Park entrance if being one of the first to enter the park is important to you, or if you plan on visiting the park more than once.
Since the town is located in the Osa Peninsula, the most remote part of Costa Rica, Drake Bay is off the beaten track and that’s what makes it special. It is accessible by car (a 4×4 vehicle), boat, and plane during the dry season. While driving is possible, it is not recommended for visitors due to lack of bridges and flooding (during the rainy season) that causes roads’ closure. Besides those, unpaved roads and several river crossings are needed to get to the bay. For this reason, many people get to Drake Bay via boat from Sierpe, and as such, don’t have their own transport.
Drake Bay’s main town is Agujitas de Drake and is home to only around 1,000 residents. Getting around town is super simple thanks to its small size. Just by walking, you can get to everywhere you need to go. If you don’t have your own transport, staying in town is perfect since you can walk to the beach restaurants, and stores.
With that said, most people visit Drake Bay to escape to nature, so if you’re one of them, it’s best to stay on the town’s outskirts either in the hills or close to one of the other more remote beaches. But, keep in mind that more modern and high-end hotels are mainly situated outside town and you would rely on most of them for meals and activities. If you don’t have a car, you’ll be pretty much stuck in your hotel when you aren’t booked on day tours.
Meanwhile, budget hotels tend to be concentrated in the main area of town, just within easy reach of restaurants and small grocery stores.
If you’re a beach lover and you would like to stay outside Drake Bay, Rincon del San Josecito is a nearby area that boasts a beautiful beach. Additionally, the place offers better sunsets. It is even quieter than Drake Bay, but still has a small town with restaurants to choose from.
One of the main reasons people stay in Drake Bay is to visit Corcovado National Park as the Sirena entrance is closest to the town. Driving to the park is possible during the dry season, and finding accommodations is easy as many Drake bay hotels are very close to the attraction – which can give you the advantage to be the first into the national park.
Tip: Be sure to withdraw enough cash before traveling to Drake Bay as there are no banks or ATM machines in the town and many businesses don’t accept credit cards.
3 BEST Hostels and Budget-Hotels in Drake Bay
Life for Life Hostel Drake Bay
Life for Life Hostel Drake Bay is one of the best budget options outside of Drake Bay town near Rincon del San Josecito. On-site facilities include a garden, a shared kitchen, BBQ facilities, and a designated smoking area. What’s more, the hostel has a restaurant that serves three meals per day, so there’s no need to leave the property for food. Complimentary Wi-Fi is also available in common areas.
You can find an array of rooms available here such as family rooms, dormitory rooms, bungalows, and tents of different sizes. A bunk bed in a dormitory room costs roughly $50 USD/night while rates for a family room start at almost $140 USD/night.
This budget-friendly hostel sits along the seashore near Rincon del San Josecito’s beach. This makes it ideal for beach lovers! Besides that, you can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, and tours in nearby areas.
If you wish to spend a day in Drake Bay’s town center, a 9 km (5.6-mile) drive is required. On the other hand, getting to Corcovado National Park, which lies more than 20 km (12.4 miles) away, includes a boat trip from Drake Bay to the entrance to the park.
Corcovado Foundation BioHostel
Corcovado Foundation BioHostel is one of the best hotels in Drake Bay when it comes to offering a quiet atmosphere, away from the bustling streets of the main town. It is a unique and off-the-beaten-track hostel located amid a rustic jungle in the tranquil village of El Progreso– perfect for those who want to get away from it all!
Within the property, you can find a bar and restaurant with vegan and vegetarian options along with a yoga deck overlooking the river, a garden, and a private parking space with extra charge.
A family room, a quadruple room, and a mixed dormitory room are available for reservation here. One bunk bed costs nearly $18 USD/night, while room rates start at nearly $36 USD/night.
What you will love most about Corcovado Foundation BioHostel, especially if you’re into water activities, is that they offer surf lessons at a private surf spot. You can also enjoy beach bumming whenever you like as the nearest beach is only a 20-minute walk away.
The other activities the area has to offer are hiking, walking tours, and bike tours. You may also pay a visit to Drake Bay’s main town (Agujitas) and Corcovado National Park, which are 6 km (3.7 miles) away and over 20 km (12.4 miles) away respectively.
Corcovado Jungle Hostel
Corcovado Jungle Hostel is the last budget-friendly property on the list of the best places to stay in Drake Bay. Set along the beach, the hostel is only 5 km (3.1 miles) away from Drake Bay’s town center. So, if you prefer to stay near both the beach and the town, then this is the best option for you.
The hostel features a variety of facilities including water sports facilities, a terrace, a shared kitchen, and a garden. A bar and restaurant are also available on-site, where guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Additionally, Wi-Fi is free throughout the property.
Room types here include economy double rooms, economy twin rooms, a female dormitory room, and a male dormitory room. You can reserve one bed in the dormitory at approximately $12 USD/night, or a room for two at roughly $63 USD/night.
As a beachfront property, Corcovado Jungle Hostel is naturally ideal for water sports like snorkeling. Hiking, horseback riding, and walking tours can also be enjoyed in the area. You also shouldn’t miss exploring the renowned Corcovado National Park, which is situated over 20 km (12.4 miles) from the hostel.
3 BEST Mid-Range Hotels in Drake Bay
Cabañas Bajo Bosque Drake
In terms of mid-range Drake Bay hotels, Cabañas Bajo Bosque Drake is one of the top picks. I personally love this place as it is tucked away in the jungle outside the town, offering a quiet atmosphere, a chance to see monkeys and birds up close, and a great view of nature! Taking this into account, the hotel is a perfect haven for nature lovers.
Another great aspect of staying at Cabañas Bajo Bosque Drake is that the town and beach are only a short drive away. In particular, Drake Bay’s town center is nearly 5 km (3 miles) away while the closest beach is 1 km (0.6 miles) away from the hotel.
Within the property, guests can find a patio, a balcony with mountain views, a garden, a dining area, a kitchen, a designated smoking area, and a free private parking space. Complimentary Wi-Fi is also available.
Here, only double rooms with mountain views are open for reservation. Room rates start at approximately $55 USD/night.
The area is known for various water sports including diving and snorkeling, as well as hiking and cycling. A tour around Corcovado National Park, which is located just 4 km (2.5 miles) away, is also a must!
Jungla del Jaguar (The Jaguars Jungle Lodge)
Situated in San Pedrillo, The Jaguars Jungle Lodge is the closest mid-range hotel to the must-see Corcovado National Park in this blog. The park is only 1 km (.6 miles) from the property, which gives guests the chance to explore the unspoiled area easily and as often as they want.
While the lodge is situated in the middle of a jungle, the beach is only a walk away. The town of Drake Bay, on the contrary, is roughly 15 km (9 miles) away so transportation is required.
When it comes to the lodge’s on-site facilities, you can expect a garden, a terrace, a bar, and a restaurant. Moreover, Wi-Fi is available in public areas and guests can use it for free.
At The Jaguars Jungle Lodge, visitors can choose from its wide selection of accommodations, such as double rooms, quadruple rooms, family rooms, plus a dormitory room. A bed in the dormitory can be reserved for nearly $75 USD/night. Meanwhile, room prices range from $197 USD/night to $324 USD/night.
Besides exploring and hiking in the Corcovado National Park, the other activities you can enjoy are canoeing, snorkeling, and fishing among others. You certainly won’t be bored here!
You should book The Jaguars Jungle Lodge online in advance.
Bella Vista Corcovado
Bella Vista Corcovado offers some of the best accommodations in Rincon del San Josecito. Situated along the ocean, the property is a great spot to enjoy the pristine beach and a beautiful sunset.
This mid-range hotel offers a garden, a terrace, a shared lounge, and a free private parking space. You will also find a bar and restaurant where guests can enjoy the three main meals of the day as well as a high tea and cocktail hour. Guests are also given free access to Wi-Fi.
Three types of rooms can be found here including double rooms and family rooms. Room prices start at approximately $70/night.
What makes Bella Vista Corcovado a great choice for where to stay in Drake Bay are the various activities in the area, including hiking, diving, snorkeling, and bike tours among others. So, adventure seekers and beach lovers would absolutely love it here!
In addition, the property provides convenient access to Drake Bay’s town center and Corcovado National Park, which are 9 km (5.6 miles) and 20 km (12.4 miles) away respectively.
4 BEST Luxury Hotels in Drake Bay
Hotel Las Caletas Lodge
If you’re looking for a luxury Drake Bay hotel, Las Caletas Lodge is one of the top choices to consider. It is perfect if you’re wanting to escape from the hustle and bustle of Drake Bay as it is situated in the middle of the rainforest, and only accessible by boat – talk about a secluded getaway!
The lodge is complete with a variety of facilities, which will ensure you have an amazing stay even though you are quite literally in the middle of nowhere. The onsite bar and restaurant serves delicious meals made with as many locally sourced ingredients as possible.
The lodge only has 8 rooms on offer, making it a small boutique hotel where you can enjoy personalized service. For something luxurious, you simply have to opt for their Superior Room. If you don’t mind “roughing it” a little, try one of their glamping tents.
Right from the property you can book all of your activities and tours in the area. Although, the remote location means that you will be hotel-bound when you are;t on organized day trips. For some people, this is a negative point, for those who really want to relax in nature, this is entirely a positive.
Punta Marenco Lodge
Another luxury and remote hotel that’s one of the best places to stay in Drake Bay is Punta Marenco Lodge, which is located in a National Wildlife Refuge that is 7 km (4.3 miles) away from Drake Bay. The property is completely surrounded by tropical vegetation and offers easy access to a private beach, which makes it a go-to haven for both nature and beach enthusiasts, as well as those seeking a peaceful vacation.
Punta Marenco Lodge features a picnic area, a garden, and a terrace. There’s also an open-air restaurant where family-style meals and local and Latin American cuisine are served. Guests are also provided with Wi-Fi at no extra charge.
When it comes to accommodation, they offer only bungalows, which offer either garden or sea views. The rates for a two-night stay start at nearly $230 USD.
While here, guests can enjoy activities like snorkeling, hiking, fishing, and walking tours. If beach bumming is your thing, the closest beach is only 100 m (330 ft) from Punta Marenco Lodge. Don’t miss out on seeing the spectacular beauty of the Corcovado National Park as well – it is over 22 km (13.7 miles) away from the accommodation.
Poor Man’s Paradise Lodge
A luxurious accommodation experience is also guaranteed at Poor Man’s Paradise Lodge. Besides the top-notch service and convenience the place offers, I believe the aspect that makes this lodge one of the best hotels in Drake Bay is its location. The property is situated right in the popular Corcovado National Park, so if visiting this attraction is your main reason for going to the town, then this is the best accommodation for you!
Inside the property, you can find a garden, a bar, and a restaurant. Facilities for disabled guests and complimentary Wi-Fi in all areas are at guests’ disposal as well.
About the accommodations they offer, Poor Man’s Paradise Lodge has triple rooms with either garden or sea views. Room prices start at roughly $116 USD/night.
Apart from spotting wildlife, hiking, and others in the Corcovado National Park, guests can also enjoy their time on the beach, the nearest one is just a hop, a skip, and a jump away! Another option is to visit Drake Bay, which lies 9 km (5.6 miles) away from the lodge.
Hotel Rancho Corcovado
Hotel Rancho Corcovado is another property perched on a hill with many towering green trees and lies close to the beach. In fact, the beach is only within walking distance from the hotel – some rooms are only a few steps from the sand! Also, it is not that far from Drake Bay, with the town center being only a short walk away.
If you’re looking for a retreat with quieter surroundings, but still close to town, I think you’ll really enjoy this hotel!
Once you step into the property, you will find a garden, a free private parking space, and a restaurant that is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For additional comfort, the hotel provides complimentary Wi-Fi in public areas. Hotel Rancho Corcovado’s accommodation offers include standard rooms, quadruple rooms, superior rooms, and deluxe suites. Room rates start at about $46 USD/night.
For something really special, book the deluxe suite with an ocean view. You’ll enjoy a sunset right from your balcony over the water each night!
Things to do in Drake Bay
Corcovado National Park – This stunnning national park in the Osa Peninisula should be at the top of your list while staying in Drake Bay. It’s home to 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity so as you can image there is lots to se here! From Drake Bay you can take a water taxi and then join a walking your OR choose a guided tour such as this one. Whatever you do make sure to reserve your tour in advance as there is a daily cap of 150 visitors.
Visit the Caño Island Biological Reserve – This is a must visit island right off of the coast of Drake Bay and it is the dreamiest place to go snokeling or scuba diving with brighly colored fish and turles galore! This snorkeling tours to the island costs $107 USD include lunch and a visit to Playa San Josecito. If you plan on diving, this two-dive tour costs $186 USD and visits deeper sites where you can even dive with dolphins. It also includes lunch!
Go on a night wildlife tour – Straight from the town of Drake Bay you can embark on a night hike with a local guide who will yelp you search for noctural animals including frogs, snakes, kinkalou, ocelot, puma, tapir, and more. It’s definitely a local expereince not to miss!
Hike the Drake Trail – This free trail stretches 10 kilometers/6.21 miles (one way) from Drake Bay to Playa Rincon and the views along the way include the coastline, rainforest, hanging bridges and beaches. It’s also common to spot macaws, vultures, capuchin monkeys. It’s an easy walk and you can go as little or as far as you want but it can be muddy so wear boots. Or if you’re planning to go swimming at any of the beaches, hiking sandles would be a better option.
Getting Around Costa Rica
How you choose to get around Costa Rica is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make when planning your holiday here! How you do it depends on your budget, travel style, and comfort level.
Renting a Car
Without a doubt, the number one way to explore Costa Rica is in a rental car. We book rental cars on the Discover Cars website as we have had good experiences with them in the past.
One of the things you need to watch for when renting a car in Costa Rica is the mandatory insurance that the government requires you to have. There are a lot of very cheap rentals that don’t include this mandatory insurance (TPL) in the original booking price, but there are also ones that do. To avoid additional surprise charges when you pick up your rental car, be sure to rent a car that includes the mandatory insurance when you book.
Thankfully, on Discover Cars it’s easy to tell apart the companies that include the mandatory insurance and those that don’t. The trick is you can’t pick any car on their website. In the picture below, you can see this rental car, with pick up in Jaco, includes the TPL. That means the mandatory insurance is included in the price. Any cover you get above that is extra.
Of course, I still suggest getting the full coverage offered by Discover Cars, which covers you even more.
You can browse cars on Discover Cars here.
If renting a car isn’t in your budget, you don’t feel comfortable driving in Costa Rica, or you just don’t like driving, shuttles are the next best option. There are hundreds of shuttle routes available all over the country, and they are very affordable.
Shuttles in Costa Rica are specifically for tourists and often include pick up and drop off at your selected hotels and airports. The drivers also speak some English, and the vehicles have air conditioning. You’ll also be guaranteed a seat when you book a shuttle (which isn’t the case with the public bus system.)
To get the best price, use the website Bookaway. They compare all the offers and prices of shuttle companies in Costa Rica so you get the best price! Honestly, we have saved so much money using Bookaway!
You can search for shuttles online on Bookaway here.
Lastly, you can use the public bus system. On short journeys, such as from San Jose to La Fortuna or Uvita to Manuel Antonio, this system is great. However, the longer the journey the more hassle and time spent on a bus. It’s undoubtedly best to save the public bus in Costa Rica for short and straightforward trips!
The public buses are definitely the cheapest way to get around Costa Rica, but they are not always very reliable and schedules often change without notice and delays are to be expected. The buses can also be very crowded and hot – so just be prepared!
It’s also good to speak some Spanish if you plan on riding the public bus since most drivers and ticket booth operators don’t speak English.
Invest in Travel Insurance
Paying out of pocket for trip interruptions or medical treatment will add to what might already be a stressful situation. Not to worry, SafetyWing is here to help!
This affordable travel and medical insurance is perfect for digital nomads, long-term travelers, and remote workers. The best part is that it only costs $45 USD per 4 weeks.
To start coverage you must purchase it after leaving your home country. We usually purchase it as soon as we land at the airport.
Since using SafetyWing we’ve been reimbursed thousands of dollars when we’ve gotten sick. During the pandemic, they’ve even gone as far as to pay for our last-minute flights back to Canada before the border closed!
I hope that after going over each one of the hotels, you were able to pick the right accommodation for your trip to Drake Bay! Choosing where to stay in Drake Bay could get tricky despite the small size of the place, hence, it’s important that you know first how you would want your vacation in the town to go – would it be on the beach or in the jungle or in between?
If you have any other questions concerning where to stay in Drake Bay or anything else concerning Costa Rica, don’t hesitate to reach out!
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