Our Drake Bay question and answer page contains our most frequently asked questions. Please contact us directly, if you cannot find your answer here, and we will be happy to add it to the page!
You can also read more about Corcovado Regulations and why they are important, on our latest blog.
The exception to this rule is Corcovado Overnight Tours. These deposits are only refundable up to 30 days before your trip, less a $50 administration fee.
These cancellation policies are needed because many tour operators must pre-pay for passes, food, guides, boat captains and gasoline. Wages here in the Osa Peninsula can be as low as $500 per month for an entire family and we don’t want to leave them out of pocket.
In the unlikely event that the local operator cancels for any reason (such as extreme weather conditions), you will be fully refunded or rescheduled for that tour or activity.
Luggage: We strongly recommend backpack-style luggage. Suitcases with wheels are very difficult to maneuver on our dirt roads and boats are all wet landings. You should also bring dry bags or ziplock bags for any electronics, to combat the humidity.
Footwear: Flip flops are excellent for walking around town or on the beach. However, for other activities we recommend either Crocs or sandals with good thick straps (both worn with socks). Perhaps not the most fashionable look, but they are lightweight, will dry quickly and will provide sufficient protection on any activities. We do not recommend heavy-duty hiking shoes. They will get wet. They will not dry and you will end up ditching them at your hotel. For those planning night hikes, rubber boots are provided by tour guides.
Flashlights: Absolutely essential for walking around at night and also in case of power cuts.
Insect Repellent: There is no Malaria in Drake Bay, but Dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases do exist. We recommend bringing a natural insect repellent such as Citronella or Lemon Eucalyptus as repellents containing DEET are harmful to your health.
Sun Protection: Even on cloudy days, you can get very badly burnt in Drake Bay especially if participating in snorkeling, diving or whale and dolphin tours. Sunscreen is very expensive at the supermarkets here, so bring plenty of 50+ with you. You should also bring a hat, sunglasses and lightweight clothing that covers your skin.
Camelbaks: These are very handy when traveling to Costa Rica. No matter what activity, it is essential to remain hydrated and you should drink a minimum of 1 liter of water per day to counteract the tropical heat. Water will probably be the heaviest item in your bag when traveling about and the Camelbak is designed to keep this weight as close to your body as possible, making it easier to carry and to access when you need a drink.
First Aid Kit: Pharmaceutical items can be very expensive and difficult to find in Drake Bay. You should consider bringing bandaids, antiseptic cream, alcohol swabs, tweezers, after sun cream, diarrhea and constipation remedies and seasickness tablets. Although you are very unlikely to be bitten by a snake, you might feel more comfortable if you bring a Bite and Sting kit. You should also bring plenty of your prescription medications including birth control.
Fishing, Surfing and Snorkel Gear: It is not possible to rent these items in Drake Bay. Count on paying extra for flights, boats and buses when transporting surfboards and fishing rods. Snorkel gear is included on tours, but bring your own if you want to explore coastal snorkeling spot independently.
Camera and Electronics: Waterproof cameras are highly recommended. Other types of cameras should always be placed in a dry bag or ziplock bag with silica gel pouches. You should have dry bags for all other electronics as well. Not only can it rain at the drop of a hat, but the general humidity level will fry your iPhone in no time.
Power Adapters: Costa Rica uses two and three pronged US electrical outlets. USB battery packs are also extremely handy in case of power cuts.
Binoculars: Useful for all kinds of wildlife spotting.
Compass: Highly recommended for those wanting to explore independently.
Spanish Translator/Phrasebook: Apart from tour guides, very few locals in Drake Bay speak English.
Money and Security: Padlocks are very useful for securing valuables in lockers. You may also want to bring a money belt or travel safe. Since there are no ATMs in Drake Bay, you will need to bring a sizable amount of cash. The local currency is Colones, but US dollars are also accepted everywhere. We appreciate small bills!
Having said that, there are 22 different species of Whales and Dolphins that reside in Drake Bay or pass through on a regular basis, so it is always Whale Season for us!
You can learn more about all of these amazing species on our Whale and Dolphin Blog.
Matapalo: A small community located on the opposite side of the Osa Peninsula with three surfing beaches. Arguably the best right-hand break in Costa Rica.
Pavones: Located on the opposite side of the Gulfo Dulce and known as the best surfing spot in Costa Rica (left hand break).
The months with the most rain are generally September and October, but these are also peak whale watching months. May and June tend to be the quietest months for tourism. We would encourage travelers to visit at any time of year (excepting March), as each season has it’s benefits.
Check out our blog What Time of Year Should I Visit Costa Rica? for more information.