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How "treacherous" is the boat trip from Sierpe to Drake Bay?

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Waterloo, Ontario...
posts: 1
reviews: 50
How "treacherous" is the boat trip from Sierpe to Drake Bay?

My husband and I are considering travelling to Drake Bay from Sierpe by boat, where we will stay for 3 nights. The boat trip is described to be "difficult" sometimes. I am not afraid of *anything* except (yes, you guessed it) boats in rough water. On a scale of 1 - 10 (where 1 is "continuous small waves" and 10 is "you think the boat is tipping over and you will die") could you please tell me whether the boat is an option for me?

Many thanks,

Susan

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 39,615
1. Re: How "treacherous" is the boat trip from Sierpe to Drake Bay?

The Sierpe river mouth is somenthing to really take seriously...a good bost and a good captain is s most...also depends on the day...can be rough but alsocsn be very nice...

Roadadvisor

Ponce Inlet, Florida
posts: 4
reviews: 9
2. Re: How "treacherous" is the boat trip from Sierpe to Drake Bay?

I have made this trip many times. By USA standards the boats are not safe or well equipped. That being said, these boats do this hundreds and hundreds of times. The safety really depends on the size of the swell and the tide flow at the river mouth. The trip in the river itself is safe, the more dangerous event is the river mouth crossing to open sea (breaking waves). These boat captains will negotiate this passage in large swells which is certainly not safe. They will race from one area to the other, zig zagging to avoid large breaking wave sections. These breaking conditions can extend a half mile or more out to sea and an outgoing tide makes ocean swells steeper. The relative safety depends on the swell size and the Costa Ricans are risk takers (just watch them drive cars). They do not want to turn back, lose fares or give refunds so they will take on the river mouth in conditions unsuitable for these small boats. On large swell days you will make it based on boat handling skill and LUCK.

Puerto Jimenez...
posts: 354
reviews: 3
3. Re: How "treacherous" is the boat trip from Sierpe to Drake Bay?

I agree with the above comments. And really, it all depends on the current weather conditions. On calm days, it's less scary, however on days with choppy waters or big swells, it's down right dangerous.

The river part is fine, it's when you get to the river mouth, or Boca, where the skills of the captain are critical.

That said, this is one of the primary transportation options for the locals, and some make the trip daily.

If I have a choice between traveling Sierpe to Drake in boat, or by car from the Osa Peninsula to Drake, I will almost always take the longer route and travel overland.

Pura Vida, Ballardo

Las Vegas, Nevada
posts: 1
reviews: 3
4. Re: How "treacherous" is the boat trip from Sierpe to Drake Bay?

My experiences from Sierpe to Drake have always been just fine. yeah it's adventurous,But that's what Costa Rica is all about.It can seem a little scary to someone who is never on the water. but people ride these taxis to and from work every day.It really does depend on the swell though. I don't wanna ride out that way if the swells are too big regardless.But mostly it seems like a cruise down the jungle ride at Disneyland on steroids! You must try this ride at least once in your life if you can. I can't wait to go back...

Tennessee
posts: 539
reviews: 21
5. Re: How "treacherous" is the boat trip from Sierpe to Drake Bay?

Roughest boat ride I've ever been on. Never felt unsafe, just rough. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
posts: 6,216
reviews: 36
6. Re: How "treacherous" is the boat trip from Sierpe to Drake Bay?

I have done this twice over the years and you have been painted a very accurate description so far. I am of the opinion that it is adventurous, exhilarating, and a bit dangerous at times. Saving grace is that the Capts. that make this run do it often and can read the water well. I would do it again but the older I get the less likely I may be to take that mode of transport...

San Jose, Costa Rica
posts: 549
7. Re: How "treacherous" is the boat trip from Sierpe to Drake Bay?

I've done it dozens of times. Once or twice truly white knuckle scary. Usually just fun and exhilarating. Re-entering the river (return trip) more treacherous than heading out. Over the years, boats have flipped. I'll be doing it again in about 2 weeks...

Baltimore
posts: 63
reviews: 37
8. Re: How "treacherous" is the boat trip from Sierpe to Drake Bay?

I'm thinking of going to Manuel Antonio and drake bay. I figured fly to drake bay, boat to sierpe and ride to Manuel Antonio and fly out of quepos in AM the day we leave costa rica in the afternoon. These posts make me worried for my family. Are we talking boat flip and we float in the water w life preservers or are we talking about people drowning on this boat trip?

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 39,615
9. Re: How "treacherous" is the boat trip from Sierpe to Drake Bay?

Any river ride is a risk...just be sure that you are OK with the boat and of course check all life preservers...no enough of them...do not take the trip that simple...!

roadadvisor

Wolverhampton
posts: 781
reviews: 38
10. Re: How "treacherous" is the boat trip from Sierpe to Drake Bay?

Is this boat ride more dangerous in the rainy season, or does it not make any difference? We will be going both to Drake and back in late July.