How to get to Drake Bay
The Public Boats "Lancha de Drake" departure 2 times per day.
Sierpe to Drake Bay.
There are 2 schedules per day 11:30am & 03:30pm.
Drake Bay to Sierpe
There are 2 schedules per day 07:30am & 02:30pm.
The cost is $20USD per person.
It is good to arrive 15 to 30 minutes in advance so as not to miss the boat.
You will pay the captain once you have arrived at your destination. It's important to get a captain that goes directly to Drake Bay only.
The boat ride is very exhilarating through the NATURAL RESERVE SIERPE-TERRABA, taking you down the longest river in Central America, through a mangrove estuary, then out into the Pacific Ocean, dropping you off on the beach in Drake Bay after about one hour and fifteen minutes.
Two local airlines operate direct flights from San Jose to Drake Bay
The flight lasts approximately one hour or less.
We can organize the pick-up and book a taxi for you for $10 dollars per person.
By Bus - taxi & boat
The basic route is the following: Bus from San Jose to Palmar Norte, Taxi from Palmar Norte to Sierpe, public boats from Sierpe to the beach at Drake Bay.
Bus to Palmar Norte
The bus is operated by the TRACOPA bus company, whose station is located in the old bus station in neighborhood. Ask any taxi driver in San Jose to take you the "Parada" (bus station) TRACOPA and they will know where to go. At the bus station buy a ticket to Palmar Norte. The trip takes 5-6 hours and costs about $15USD. We recommend catching the 5am, 7am or 8:30am buses in order to get to Sierpe on time to catch the 11:30 am or 3:30 pm boats to Drake Bay. However, you should check the bus schedule before planning as it may change.
Taxi to Sierpe from Palmar Norte
Once you arrive in Palmar Norte, there will be taxi drivers "collectivo" at the bus station offering to take you to Sierpe.
Oleaje Sirena Restaurant in Sierpe, where the public boats leave from. If you have questions, talk to Jorge, the owner.
Public Boats to Drake Bay
There are 2 schedules per day 11:30am & 03:30pm and the cost is $20 dollars per person.
Highway to the Sun
From San Jose, take Highway 27 from near La Sabana and the National Stadium to the coast, also called The Highway To The Sun or "Auto Pista del Sol". As you drive towards the coast, just past Orotina, turn left (south) on the coastal highway called the "Costenera", Highway 34. Continue on this road all the way to Palma Norte.
From Palma Norte to Drake Bay - 4 wheel drive only
When you get to Palma Norte you carry on over the Terraba River south on the Pan American Highway towards Panama to a turn off at Highway 245 at Chacarita (which is no more than a gas station, and the last gas station) following the signs towards Puerta Jimenez. You are now in the Osa Penninsula on a mostly paved highway with occasional treacherous pot holes, be careful driving, including watching out for logging trucks. It's a hilly drive towards the Golfo Dulce. Shortly after you drop to sea level at Rincon, just before a new concrete bridge and across the street from Montana Rio Restaurant turn right, leaving the pavement behind on the road to Drake Bay. There will be small signs for Drake Bay. You will pass a small village Vanegas and go up and down a mountain ridge towards the village Rancho Quemado and up over another ridge higher and drop down towards Drake Bay. As you drop back to sea level you will pass a small village called Progreso where the Drake Bay Airport is. Right there you will have to ford the Drake River which can be a challenge. Usually an arc downstream is better than straight across. If you are unsure, wait for a car to follow, or walk across first. After a small rise you will see Drake Bay. Drive all the way through the village, stopping for supplies if you wish, until you reach the beach, turn left and in 150 meters is our driveway, just between the school soccer field and the school. Call us when you are there to explain how to go up, because the road is very high and narrow.
Chacarita to Drake Bay
is about two hours, depending... and from San Jose that makes it about eight hours total which can be broken up into two days, staying economically in San Isidro, a non tourist town with cool evenings, and surrounded by mountains.