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“Great people, great service, great experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Drake Bay Wilderness Resort

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Drake Bay Wilderness Resort
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Desembocadura del Rio Agujas | Bahia Drake, Drake Bay, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 8 Hotels in Drake Bay
ludwip
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Great people, great service, great experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2009

Drake Bay is the most incredible place in Costa Rica, and on Earth!

Being at Drake Bay was the peak of our adventure and enjoyment of our trip to Costa Rica. On this trip, I visited Costa Rica with some of my friends and my brother. We visited the wonderful beach at Manuel Antonio and also visited the Central Market in downtown San Jose. Both were enjoyable, but they did not compare to Drake Bay Wilderness Resort.

One major difference between Drake Bay, Manuel Antonio, and downtown San Jose was lifestyle. To experience the true Costa Rica, we found nothing more natural and pure than Drake Bay. We were looking to get away from everything. And while Manuel Antonio and San Jose were great places, they were too crowded for us.

In order to get to Drake Bay Wilderness Resort, we decided to take an economic route to get there. Instead of taking a 45 minutes airplane ride from San Jose to Drake Bay, we decided to adventure ourselves through the center of the country (and save some serious money). We took a 5 hour bus ride from San Jose to the town of Palmar Sur. The, we took a half hour taxi ride from Palmar Sur to the nearby town of Sierpe. By the way, during our trip to the resort we enjoyed seeing miles of banana and pineapple plantations along the road. From Sierpe, we hooked up with our Drake Bay boat Capitan who took us to our final destination, Drake Bay Wilderness Resort. What an adventure!

So, we arrived at the resort and it was unbelievable. The staff was friendly and immediately escorted us to our room where we could relax. The room was right next to the beach. We had a 180 degree view of the Pacific Ocean, facing the sunrise. The room was large and clean with dedicated full bathrooms.

On our day of arrival we noticed that the food at the resort was incredibly fresh. The breakfast, lunch, and dinner was included in our package. We really enjoyed it. The fish that we ate at the resort was caught the same day!

Since I was there with friends, we wanted to make sure we had an adventure. The resort offered many packages, and we chose a few that we liked the best. We went out to the famous Cano Islad where we spent the day hiking and swimming in the beach. We also went hiking to the Corcovado National Park where we saw amazing wildlife including 4 kinds of monkeys (yes, in one day), toucans, macaws, etc. The whole trip was amazing.

The entire time that we were at the resort we felt like everything was taken care of. Everything went smoothly and we were able to enjoy ourselves fully. 5 out of 5 stars!

  • Liked — incredible service and quality time
  • Disliked — time to get there, but we chose not to take the airplane
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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189 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
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London
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2009

Had a wonderful week at The Wilderness Resort and would recommend it to anyone. The location is beautiful and the staff were great. Manuel was an excellent guide in the park and all the trips we did were great. The food was good and the place had a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

  • Liked — People
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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chicago
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2009

We just returned from our "week in paradise" with our children, grandchildren and great grandchild. We went to this resort twice before by ourselves, and vowed to share it with our family. There is something for everyone. From ages 21/2 to 80, we were all totally delighted. This is a family run resort on a gorgeous spot between the Bay and the jungle. Wide lawns with hammocks, a swimming pool, tide pools, small areas with access to the ocean... There are kayaks available any time one wants to glide down the small river or in the bay. Each day there are adventures planned, from hiking in the jungle, to snorkeling or diving off Cano island, whale and dolphin watching, sea kayaking.. Or you can just hang out and watch the monkeys playing in the trees, and the surf breaking on the rocks. You don't need much in the way of clothes, they do your laundry daily. Food is served family style and is all fresh and delicious. The staff is all local and charming... part of the family. I just felt the need to share this wonderful experience with fellow travelers. Mitzie Eisen

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Florida
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2008

Oh, my, from the tours to the food . . . just delightful!

Pristine property; individualized cabins overlooking the bay; natural palettes of ocean and sky views; a salt-water pool; kayaking; daily tours with delicious picnic lunches (seeing white-faced monkeys, snorkeling, watching dolphins dance in precision - wow!); and much more.

Meals were available three times a say in the dininghall, offered by a friendly staff. Home-baked breads and biscuits, cinnamon rolls were our favorites.

My suggestion: go to Drake Bay even during the rainy season (they offer free same day laundry service) for those drying needs.

We are anticipating a return visit.

  • Liked — Friendly wait staff and guides, fantastic food, socializing in the bar, fantastic tours
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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New Jersey
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2008

drake bay wilderness resort is awesome for anyone who loves a good view, friendly, great staff, and awesome time. we stayed a week and that was way too short. we are definately coming back. their tours were great and we had so much fun and saw all the wildlife we thought we would and more. definitely recommend the sirena (expect to get your feet wet and muddy) and canopy tours. cano island snorkling was fun, but the water doesn't have the clarity of many of the carribean dive locations. while not gourmet, the food was well prepared, tasty and had a large variety. laundry and shoe drying were handled without problem. i wouldn't recommend the resort for someone looking for a typical holiday resort atmosphere - no golf, no bar scene, no discos, no shopping malls - just lots of relaxation and nature.

  • Liked — location, nature, staff
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Duxbury, Massachusetts
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2008

Drake Bay Wilderness Resort is not "luxurious" but it IS comfortable, eco-friendly, and most accommodating (seamless pick-up, free kayaks, tours right on schedule and spontaneous alternatives). Beautiful open views of the bay being close to the water. We were very impressed with Manual, our guide into the Corcovado National Park where we saw post card picture wildlife, enhanced by his telescope -- it is an adventurous hike (we chose the Sirena River tour), bring appropriate footwear (cross through streams). Nice group of people there during a busy Holy Week including ex-pat families living in Costa Rica who sought this place out for their adolescent kids -- good value as package tours and all meals are included. Socialization around the pool at day's end brought many comments: "What did you see today?", "I saw a sloth!", "I went on the canopy tour". The bug lady is a hit at night, though we didn't do it, a young couple writing a travel review from Argentinaloved it. It's not a far hike (past La Paloma Lodge) to the communal beach, Playa Cocalita for some great waves - well worth it. Wish we'd had time to cross the suspension bridge to visit the Agujitas village for more of the flavor of this landlocked area.
My sense is that all the resorts in Drake Bay do generally the same tours and potentially have the same type food, it's the lodging accommodations that seem to separate them. Can't beat this resort for everything you need! We'd definitely go again. Lost water pressure one evening so no showers before dinner or bed but a fast clean-up with water bottle and wash cloth made do since we were all in the same manner of saltiness. So tired after a full day, who cares? Lots of fun! Oh, by the second night we remembered to purchase a glass of wine at the bar to carry into the dining hall to enjoy with our delicious local fare (if you have a "picky eater" they will arrange something else) at the friendly family style dining. We are a 50-something couple from Boston traveling with our 22 year old daughter who has been studying in San Jose - she had her own room here, we thought we'd be sharing accommodations, a nice plus.

  • Liked — The ease of doing things... swimming, tours, kayaking, lounging
  • Disliked — this is minor -- would have liked a cold beer before bar opened at 4 p.m.
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Tulsa
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2008

Drake Bay Wilderness Resort is perched at the shoreline with a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean and distant Cano Island. It is isolated from behind by jungle and rivers. The primitive trail going west from the resort leads to one incredibly beautiful, empty beach after another.
Getting to and from this place is not simple, but is a wonderful part of the experience. The trip in from Sierpe was on a fast speed boat down a river through undeveloped mangrove forest, ending with an exhilarating entry into the ocean. The trip out was by Twin Otter with spectacular views of the coast. Our inbound and outbound trips were coordinated through Drake Bay management, and they also arranged 2 very enjoyable tours for us while there.
It is amazing to me that everything worked seamlessly during our stay, given the logistic challenges of provisioning and maintaining the resort. Though the property is beautiful and very comfortable, it could not be described as luxurious in the typical sense. But this is not a typical location.
My wife and I are private people and were anxious about the community dining setup. However, we ended up enjoying our dinners with many of the eclectic visitors who were also drawn to this edge of the world.

  • Liked — setting
  • Disliked — can't think of anything
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Drake Bay Wilderness Resort

Address: Desembocadura del Rio Agujas | Bahia Drake, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Drake Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Drake Bay
#4 Family Hotel in Drake Bay
#4 Romantic Hotel in Drake Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Since it was founded in 1985, Drake Bay Wilderness Resort has continued to be a family run business. Our focus has been to take good care of our guests so that they'll feel right at home. We try to be as flexible as possible, taking into consideration people´s needs and we do our very best to fulfill special requests. For instance, we will prepare meals for special diets. Furthermore, the hotel is situated in one of the most beautiful locations in the area. It has large open areas with a bounty of beautiful flowers, tropical plants, big mango trees, and beach almond trees that attract the raucous macaws. The property gives you the feel of being in a private island since the river flows along the backside of the property and the whole front side meets the ocean. In addition to this, most visitors come to us by boat and the access by land to the hotel is a small path, unreachable by car, that is submerged in a jungle. Best of all, there is a paradise like view of the bay and ocean, reflecting the deep blue sky and, beyond that, hills bound in lush forests.We offer all sorts of extras that help make our guests' stay more comfortable and enjoyable. For example, we include a full laundry service. Kayaks close to the water are always at our guests' disposal. We have a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, dock, and hammocks to relax under the shade of a tree with the cool ocean breeze blowing on you. From our hotel we take guests on adventures in snorkeling, hiking, diving, canoeing and whale watching. Visitors often see four species of monkeys, sloths, tapir, caiman and a myriad of birds, including the scarlet macaw, mangrove hawk, toucan... ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Drake Bay Wilderness Hotel Drake Bay
Drake Bay Wilderness Resort Costa Rica

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