What do I need to bring to Costa Rica for my vacation? Well, Costa Rica is known by its beaches and beautiful nature, but a few people would expect to find places with very low temperatures and cold winds, so it is very important to come very well prepared depending on the season and the place that you will be visiting.
Something that calls my attention a lot as a tour guide is to see people who come to visit Corcovado National Park and wear open or sport shoes or even sandals in a place that by nature is home of powerful ants ant venomous snakes as well trees with spines that eventually fall to the ground, and even though we have no accidents I find it very smart to prevent.
When hiking in the forests of Costa Rica the best shoes are hiking shoes and if they are waterproof it would be way better. The gripping is also very important since Sometimes I see people sliding and therefore not being able to really enjoy the activity.
So, even though when you hear about to Costa Rica it comes into your mind to bring sunglasses and bathing suit it is also important, depending on the place you visit to take into account several things more that will make of your experience in Costa Rica something really enjoyable, for example during the wet season (this seasons can be variable depending on the place of Costa Rica you visit) it is very important to bring a poncho and a plastic bag or dry bag to the electronics in case that it rains.
In volcanoes, Cerro Chirripo, Monteverde, Cerro de la Muerte, for example, it is during some parts of the year and in some cases always very cold, so it is necessary to bring the right equipment to not freeze.
It is also very important that if you are doing sport fishing, diving, snorkelling or whale and dolphin watching to bring long sleeve shirts and something to cover your head.
Drake Bay has two supermarkets and several smaller ones called pulperias. At the supermarkets you will find a varity of products that are essential and also some which are not essential. One must understand that because of the culture difference you might not find all you want.
Also there is even a little drugstore and fruit shops where you can find fresh vegetables and fruits. Due to our fruits and vegetables do not have to be frozen to move around Costa Rica everything is tasty, since the freezing process diminishes the taste of them.
The prices in Drake are the same for tourists and locals.
Corcovado National Park
Drake Bay is the point of departure to Corcovado National Park which you can visit for a day trip or for an overnight experience. The stations of the park that you can visit for a day are San Pedrillo Ranger Station, Sirena Station, La Leona Station, Los Patos station and El Tigre Station. And the stations of the park to stay overnight are San Pedrillo Station and Sirena Station.Corcovado National park hosts a 3.5% of the biodiversity of the planet and has the highest concentration of wildlife also, it is also always good to have in mind that it is also a matter of good luck to be able to find a wide variety of animals on a trip since animals are moving around and food season varies during the year. All the stations offer different panoramas and movement by wildlife.
- Los Patos Ranger Station offers an impressive primary forest, many birds and not so much mammal activity.
- La Leona Ranger Station is done mostly close to the beach and its forest is not so impressive, but in a good day you could see a great deal of species of animals.
- San Pedrillo Station has a very old and untouched primary forest and there are chances to see some animals during a day tour.
- Sirena Station hosts a great deal of animals and it is done thru recovering forest, old growth secondary forest and part Primary forest.
It is always recommended to stay overnight at any of the stations available for it or to do a 2 stations overnight tour and sleep at one of the stations.
Caño Island is home to huge number of different species of fish, turtles, sea stars and much more. On the way it is possible to see dolphins and whales during their two different migrations of the year.
The island is a biological reserve and it is only 300 square hectares. In the island it is possible to find bats, rats, snakes, mice, birds, lizards, crabs and many species of tree and plants among others.
The snorkeling and diving at Caño Island is considered to be second best one in central america after Cocos island.
How do I get to Drake Bay from San Jose ?
- By bus:
In San Jose you have to look for Tracopa Bus Station. It is located in between the 5th street and 2oth avenue in Plaza Viquez, and the phoner number is +5062221-4214. Their office is open from 4:00 am to 6:00 pm. There is a non stop bus departing from Tracopa to Sierpe at 8.30 am. If this is not possible to take that bus you can simply get one of the next ones that drop you at Tracopa station in Palmar Norte (5 hours along the coastline or 6 hours thru the mountains). From Palmar Norte you can go by taxi collectivo to Sierpe Town (20 minutes) or get the bus from Palmar Norte to Sierpe (30 minutes) at 9.00 am or 2.30 pm. The boats from Sierpe to Drake Bay depart at 11.30 am and 3.30 pm from Donde don Jorge and lasts around 50 minutes to Drake Bay.
- By car:
- This can be done thru the Cerro de la Muerte (mountain of death in english) and it would take 6 hours to Palmar Norte or along the costanera (coastline-5 hours to Palmar norte). Both offer beautiful views. Thru the mountains the cloud forest will impress you with its magnificent forest and thru the coast line you can find beautiful beaches to stop by. After You get to Palmar Norte there are two different options, the first one would be to go to Sierpe Town which is around 20 minutes by car. Once there look for ”Donde Don jorge” he has a parking lot and charges very cheap per day. The boats from Sierpe to Drake Bay depart at 11.30 am and at 3.30 pm. It takes 50 minutes for the boat to get to Drake Bay.
- Other option is to get into the ferry from Sierpe Town and get the new road to Drake Bay which is around 2 hours from there to Drake Bay. This road offers beautiful views. including the view of the mangrove (biggest mangrove of Central America) and Caño island and Violines Island on the back ground.
- The other option is to keep going from Palmar Norte until Chacarita which is around 30 minutes and then fork to the right and keep going until Rincon which is around another hour and fork to right again and follow the road for 1 more hour more or less until Drake Bay. Do not try to do this road during the heavy months of rain, go until Sierpe and leave the car there and take the boat to Drake Bay.
*Note: During wet season do not risk coming until Drake Bay by Car. Only until Sierpe (where you can leave your car at Donde Don Jorge for $5 a day in a fenced place).
- By airplane:
There are two companies that fly to Drake Bay, Sansa and Nature Air. They flight from San José to Drake Bay and vice versa. Check their websites to see the availability of their flights and if they are suitable for your needs. Once you get to Drake Bay airport you will need a taxi to take you to town.