Drake Bay – ‘Bahía Drake” in Spanish – is a bay located in a remote area on the coast of southwestern Costa Rica, and is a one-in-a-lifetime place to see, especially if you’re a nature lover. This hidden gem is (almost) only accessible by boat. There’s also an unpaved road that leads to the main town, but I would only advise it if you drive a proper 4×4 vehicle and if weather/storms allow it. That is precisely why many tourists can’t be bothered to get there, making it a more secluded spot, away from the crowds of other more popular destinations in the country, such as Manuel Antonio. At Drake Bay one can sit back and relax, surrounded by incredibly well preserved nature.
Nevertheless, Drake Bay is not a boring spot where you can only go on a spiritual retreat. Quite the contrary – there’s so much to do! Not only does it have some of the best virgin and secluded beaches in Costa Rica, but you can also sign up for all sorts of tours and activities. Keep reading to find out about the best things to do in Drake Bay, with a special mention to one activity that completely blew my mind.
What to Do in Drake Bay
The choice is wide and there are activities to suit all tastes. But better not go on a tight budget – Drake Bay is one of the most expensive locations in the country and tours can be quite pricey.
Tours can often be booked directly at your accommodation. Just ask for information at the reception desk upon arrival. Below you’ll find some of the best things you can do.
Day Trip to Corcovado National Park
Corcovado National Park is one of the must-sees in the area. The park is known for housing the greatest biodiversity in the world. During the tour, you’ll get to see myriads of flora and fauna species while you listen to the explanations of a knowledgeable guide.
Sounds like a great plan, right? Well, sorry to spoil the fun, but this tour can be as expensive as $100-140 per person. As mentioned before, Drake Bay is not exactly a budget-friendly holiday location. But I must say that it is worth every penny. It’s one of those one-in-a-lifetime experiences that you’ll never forget.
Quick tip – if possible (and if he hasn’t retired yet), ask to have Carlos as a guide. You’ll experience the place in a much more authentic way.
Caño Island Snorkeling Tour
One of the most popular activities in Drake Bay, along with the Corcovado tour, is a half-day snorkeling trip to Caño Island. You can expect to pay around $85-100 per person for this tour. If you ask me, this one can be skipped if you’re on a tight schedule/budget. No one can guarantee you’ll see any animals (for instance, we booked the tour because it was sold to us as a dolphin watching tour, but we barely saw any). So stick to Corcovado National Park if you need to make a choice between the two!
Other Activities in Drake Bay
Other than the two tours that I mentioned above – which are often the most popular – there’s a wide range of activities to choose from. Horseback riding, kayak, bird watching, night tours… Simply ask your hotel what they offer.
And if you’re on a tight budget – don’t worry! You’ll also find something to do. Just go relax on one of the best beaches in the area. Playa Colorada is a long white sand beach, surrounded by lush vegetation. Most accommodation properties and restaurants are concentrated around this beach. If you’re looking for more privacy, I recommend going on a small hike to Cocalito Beach, a remote virgin beach. The hike to get there is also absolutely fantastic.
Best Tour in Drake Bay
While all the above-mentioned tours are absolutely amazing, there’s nothing like the plankton tour. In case you hadn’t heard of plankton before, these are tiny organisms that float in the water and can glow in the dark. That’s why this is a night tour, where you’ll go snorkeling at night in the biolumenesence. This is how it works: you’ll be picked up from your hotel and driven to the beach. Put on your life jacket, get in the water and… let the fun begin! In order to see plankton, all you need to do is move your arms. Everything around you will start glowing. It’s simply breathtaking.
If you’re lucky enough to do it on a clear day, you’ll get to enjoy the most beautiful starry sky you’ve ever seen in your life. Remember Brake Day is a remote spot, so pollution is almost non-existent. Floating on your life jacket while taking in this amazing view is possibly one of the closest feelings to floating in space. I even struggle to find the words to describe it. It was hands down the highlight of our trip.
But here’s the best part: this tour is just $20 per person!
Despite the high prices, Drake Bay is definitely a sight to behold. I hope this post helps you choose what to do during your stay in this little paradise. And if you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment below and I’ll be more than happy to answer 🙂
|TO-DO LIST BEFORE YOUR TRIP
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FURTHER CONTENT ABOUT COSTA RICA TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP
👉 Full Guide to Visiting Manuel Antonio Park. Tips and Recommendations
👉 Costa Rica: 10-Day Itinerary