Welcome to the jungle!

I’ve been living in the town of Aguajitas, Drake Bay for the past few months and it’s been quite the experience! Here’s what’s great about this place, for those of you lucky enough to find yourself all the way down in the Osa Peninsula.

I won’t include too much about the standard excursions or must sees as you probably have already heard that you just HAVE to go to Corcovado and see Caño Island. This is all true of course, but this piece is about what I’ve seen and loved while living here, simply.

The journey: Although you can now get to Drake Bay via airplane and car, and the place is booming because of these new transportation options, the old fashioned way to get here is via boat ride down the Sierpe river. This river runs through the largest mangrove in central America, and everything from the time the boat leaves (usually 1 hour late), to the hilarious mannerisms (and marriage proposals) of the captains, to the beautiful views makes this my favourite way to get to paradise.

Sierpe River view
Sierpe River view
Boca Sierpe with Isla de Caño in the background
Boca Sierpe with Isla de Caño in the background

Don’t miss the experience of…

Waking up at 5 am to watch the sunrise over the Bay, if you take photos this is absolutely the most magical time.

Dawn in Drake Bay village
Dawn in Drake Bay village

Walking to Rio Claro. The path snakes its way along the rugged tropical coastline, dipping in and out of the forest onto the 22 (or is it more?) beaches before you reach Rio Claro. Once there you are greeted by the most relaxed, good vibrations I’ve ever experienced. Swim in the river, relax on the beach and watch the surfers rock the waves and hang out with Clavito-who really IS Rio Claro.

The beach is that way...
The beach is that way…

Eating, drinking and being merry! Now as travelers this is probably the information you will find most useful. Drake Bay and the village of Aguajitas are filled with different places to stay that are reasonably priced and lots of simple sodas to get a decent meal at. The following are the places that I love to go to, that have a good product but most importantly good people. It’s the people that make the place.

Cocina Pirata aka La Chicharronera- This is as Tico as you can get, simple homestyle food for cheap. Most importantly the family who runs the place are the kindest people you’ll meet. Located on the beach above where the Sierpe boats arrive.

Chowing down on casados at El Pirata
Chowing down on casados at El Pirata

El Gorro Beach Bar– on a hill overlooking the Bay, best spot to drink a cold beer and watch the sun go down.

Meeting Curt at Gringo Curt’s Seafood and Visitor’s Center The picture says it all.

Gringo Curt


So maybe the photo of the crazy gringo eating a banana didn’t convince you, allow me to explain. Gringo Curt’s is located in the centre of Drake Bay, and is one of the most relaxing, welcoming places I’ve had the pleasure of frequenting. It’s a simple concept, 3 yummy fish dishes (vegetarians don’t despair, there’s a veggie option), a simple beer and wine bar, reggae tunes, and last but not least Curt- who’ll tell you everything you need to know about Drake Bay and some good stories too.

Wherever I lay my hat…

Ranchito Las Cotingas  This is where I currently live (yes I’m biased), every day when I wake up I get the best view in town and a flock of resident macaws crowing away at each other from a nearby tree. The place is run by a great Tico couple, Felix and Monica, who work very hard to ensure their guests have a good stay.

View from Las Cotingas
View from Las Cotingas

Jumanji Bungalows– If you don’t want to stay in Drake Bay proper (although a small town, the motorcycles, cars and constant boom!boom! from the bar on weekends can drive the quieter, more peace-loving travelers insane), a very cool place literally in the middle of the jungle is Jumanji. The name says it all, a collection of cute bungalows and rooms surrounded by thick jungle, complete with a river-fed pool and hand-painted frescoes in every room. The couple who run this are amazing, Vladi is a fantastic chef and Simone is the sweetest, most welcoming host.

Thanks for reading! If you liked the post come by and say hello at my workplace, Corcovado Info Center. If you’re nice maybe I’ll let you in on a few other secrets of this tropical paradise.



  1. Shawna, thanks so much for reading! I will definitely distribute those hugs, and we will see you in May I sure hope. We’ll be there around the 25th, bringing the whole clan including Grandma!

    1. YaY! I can’t wait to see everybody! I haven’t seen your Grandma in (maybe) 13 years.
      That will be a real treat! xo

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