Please contact Drake Bay Backpackers and let us know how you will be arriving in Drake Bay, so that we can organise transfers if needed. If you have any problems, call, email or ask for the Corcovado Foundation office in Drake Bay.
Drake Bay Backpackers is located 6kms (15 minutes drive) from the main tourist area of Drake Bay (known as Agujitas). Our village offers a totally different experience to travelers who want to truly immerse themselves in rural Costa Rican culture and jungle life. In addition to offering all the classic tours that you can get in the main town, we have many other unique community activities available. We are located 20 minutes walk from the nearest beach, which offers the best vantage point for watching the sunset in all of Drake Bay. Free transfers are available for those who arrive by plane to Drake Bay airport, and a transfer service from the boat landing is available for $20 round-trip per reservation group.
Both Nature Air and Sansa offer daily flights from Juan Santamaria International Airport, San José, to Drake Bay (weather-permitting). We offer a free airport transfer service for our guests arriving or departing from Drake Bay airport, situated just 5 mins away in the village of El Progreso.
For those guests wishing to volunteer with the Corcovado Foundation it is possible to provide a special discount pass ($45) for Nature Air flights (subject to availability); please contact Drake Bay Backpackers to find out more.
Two boats leave daily from Sierpe (near to Palmar Norte) to Agujitas (Drake Bay) at 11:30am and 3:30pm.
From San Jose, take any bus going to Palmar Norte (5.5 hours) departing from the TRACOPA terminal or take the Transportes Alvarez and Morales shuttle service directly to Sierpe.
At Palmar Norte you can take a taxi to Sierpe. A ‘colectivo’ taxi is much cheaper ($4) than a private one (up to $20). The boat journey (1 hour) costs $15-$20.
When you arrive in Agujitas (Drake Bay) you can make use of our transfer service, straight from the beach to the hostel, make sure to let us know which boat you will be arriving on! This service is $20 round-trip and is a flat rate per reservation (a normal taxi costs $20 each way)
From San José take either the coastal highway (via Quepos; route 34) or the mountain route (via San Isidro and Buenos Aires; routes 2 and 237) to Palmar Norte, before continuing on the Pan-Americana highway (route 2) toward the Panama border. At Chacarita turn West into the Osa Peninsula toward Puerto Jiménez (route 245). At Rincón de Osa, turn West onto the unsealed road and follow signs to Drake Bay. Once you have passed through the village of Rancho Quemado you will climb over the last mountain range and begin to see the sea. Immediately after the third river crossing you will see the hostel on your left.
Note: There are three rivers to cross and some steep inclines and so it is highly recommended that you have 4WD. It is not recommended to attempt the journey at night.
From San Jose, you can also arrive at the hostel by taking the 8am bus to Puerto Jimenez. Ask the driver to drop you off at La Palma de Osa. From the bakery at 4.30pm, a collectivo bus will arrive which can drop you right at our door. The collectivo costs around $10 and takes 1.5 hours from La Palma. If you wish to take this route, please inform us the day before, as the local bus does not always run and we will need to confirm it with the driver!
What to Bring
Drake Bay Backpackers is located in a remote jungle area and, although many amenities and modern conveniences are now available, it is important to still come prepared. Below is a list of the items you should consider bringing with you:
Footwear: Sandals or flip-flops are ideal for wearing around the hostel but a sturdy pair of boots is recommended for going on treks and excursions
Headlamp: A headlamp is a useful piece of equipment as you will need one when walking around at night (for example after watching the sunset on the beach).
Poncho: A waterproof jacket or poncho is a must in Costa Rica during the rainy season, and a good quality lightweight Gortex® jacket is ideal.
Clothing: You will generally live in shorts and t-shirts in the day as it is so hot, and it is wise to assume that whatever you wear will become pretty dirty by the end of your stay. If you want to volunteer with the sea turtle program, or take a turtle tour, please bring some dark clothing to wear. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants can be great to keep off the insects and to provide a bit of warmth during the cooler nights, but you will rarely need them.
Insect repellent: You will need it, and you should bring plenty since it is expensive to buy in the village. We recommend Mosi guard® since it is less toxic, but DEET is always reliable.
Medicine: If you are taking any specific medication, including those for asthma or allergies, please ensure that you bring enough for the duration of your stay. Guests should ideally bring their own personal first aid kit too as supplies are limited at the hostel. Please note that there is no malaria in the region, so guests do not need to take anti-malarial tablets.
Cash: There is no ATM machine in Drake Bay, so please bring enough cash with you for your stay. Dollars are accepted everywhere and it is possible to pay for your stay at the hostel and for some tours by credit card; however, cash is preferred and recommended.
Other recommended items: Sun hat, sunscreen, sun glasses, a padlock, a photocopy of your passport, a small backpack for excursions, water bottle, camera, ear plugs (there are lots of wild animals here), mp3 player, movies to watch on the cinema screen, Ziplock®-type plastic bags or folding dry bags to protect your gear, and ideally sachets of silica gel to combat the humidity.