Very hospitable wonderful people who go out of their way to make you feel at home.Loved it and would go there again.Rooms are very comfortable.Location of the property is exceptional.We as a family are vegetarian and food was great.
Drake Bay is well worth the struggle to get there (fly into small airport, drive/ford the roads and rivers to the beach, and finally, a boat to the Resort). Once there, you have the perfect little cabins (with air conditioning thankfully) right on the ocean, and an easy walk to the bar/pool, office, or the dining hall. Food is good, but leans towards typical Costa Rican foods. They went all out for Valentines Day, with roses and everything! Several tours to Corcovado NP and Cano Island and other interesting spots, plus kayaking in the River. The weather is hot and humid, so be prepared. Few bugs, and barefoot everywhere is ok except for the rocky volcanic shore.
We absolutely loved our stay at DBWL. The views are fantastic. The owners, staff, and guides are 5 star. Rooms are basic and the mattresses are greatly improved with a mattress pad. The food was very good and met everyone’s dietary restrictions. We are on a 2 week tour of Costa Rica and this was a favorite. The tours are amazing and the guides highly experienced. A trip of a lifetime. However, if you are expecting 5 star amenities this is probably not your place. For us it exceeded our expectations. Would love to come back. Pura Vida.
This was the most hospitable resort. Everything was beautiful and thoughtful here. The beds were comfortable, food was delicious and the view/ location was fantastic. I especially appreciated how good the service was. They helped us organize everything we wanted to do to. For a few days during our trip I came down with a cold and they made me fresh ginger and tumeric tea for every meal. When we didnt go out on a tour one day they brought us lunch to a private table near our room where we had beautiful ocean views and macaws eating fruit above us. I really recommend this resort above all others.
BASICS Our stay at the all-inclusive Drake Bay Wilderness Resort was one of the most memorable weeks of our travelling lives. The resort is a peaceful place, carved out of the jungle along the coast. It’s rich with plant life - particularly flowers, insects and birds, frogs and monkeys. The ocean waves provide a relaxing, background thrum. The shoreline at the resort is quite rocky and more suitable for long and thoughtful gazing than swimming, but there are beaches near by. The citizens of the wild - Howler Monkeys, Basilisk (Jesus Christ) Lizards, Red Eyed Tree Frogs (and many other species), Toucans (and many other birds) - are common sights here. We felt immersed in the natural world each moment of the day. GETTING THERE Drake Bay Wilderness Resort had arranged a ride from the small airport. A local from a nearby village picked us up (as well as two other guests) in an SUV that had clearly taken a beating over its years traversing rough, jungle roads. This was an understandable state, since our short drive into the village meant cautious driving along bumpy, irregular roads and driving across a relatively wide, but shallow river. Our driver pointed to the punta where our resort was and pulled over near a beach, where a small boat waited for us. We stripped off our shoes and the two gentlemen carried our luggage to the boat while we carried our shoes and small items. From there it was less than a 10 minute boat ride to the resort itself. THE RESORT We were greeted with cool face towels and watermelon juice. After a quick orientation from a member of the staff it was off to our room to unpack and begin our exploration of the property. The hotel property feels like a tastefully manicured endemic garden, providing views of the ocean from nearly every spot. It’s rustic but comfortable. The whole property has only 20 cabins so you’ll get a chance to befriend the other guests who are visiting from all over the world while you share meals and tours. There’s a lovely little swimming pool, especially popular with children, where you can still hear and see the ocean crashing against the rocks. Parents can be comfortably seated at the bar and have their children in clear view while they play. ROOMS Rooms are understatedly attractive and comfortable. The property has a number of cabins scattered across it, with three independent rooms per cabin. Our small porch had a lovely view of the bay, and generally gave us a sense of isolation from other guests, save for the immediate neighbours. But since everyone spent the better part of each day out exploring the area on various tours we rarely saw any of our neighbours on our veranda. We had retired to our room for a nap and shower soon after arrival and found the firm mattresses great for sleeping. The air conditioning did a great job of making the room more comfortable, but nothing really entirely fights off the humidity. The shower provided plenty of hot water and good pressure. Our room, and the other two in our cabin, had a small fridge and a small drip coffee maker (with some delicious coffee on hand). We found out part-way through the week that not all the rooms on the resort had these small - but lovely - amenities so if these matter to you it’s best to ask. Our room also had a small, secure safe - and we’re pretty certain that all rooms on the resort had a similar safe - as well as adequate storage space for all our things. LAUNDRY Daily laundry service is included with the room prices. You simply drop off your laundry at the office (in bags provided for each room) in the morning; our laundry was waiting for us when we returned to the room from the day’s adventures, usually in the mid-afternoon. BOTTLED WATER The resort provided two small (600 ml) bottles of water, which were found inside our fridge. This water can be refilled in the dining room from a dispenser of purified water, or new bottles can be purchased. We came with our thermal water bottles and just refilled them, topping them up with a little ice we made using the itsy-bitsy ice tray in our fridge. FOOD AND DRINKS Meals here are delightful. Everything has a “made by mom” quality to it. They are simple dishes prepared well. The meals tend to be light portion sizes, but realistically this is probably how we should all be eating anyway. It might not be a bad idea to have a food or energy bar (we like Larabars or Clif Bars) for each day of your visit - particularly if your going to be out hiking in the jungle. Because those guided hikes leave early there is a long time to lunch and some folks on our walks - including us one day - were close to full “hangry” mode by the time lunch rolled around (yes, we didn’t bring our Larabars with us on this trip - sigh!). Alchohol is not included as part of your stay. They will run a tab for you and charge your card at the end of the stay (we paid for ours in local currency). The drinks are delicious, reasonably priced, and strong. BREAKFAST Breakfast starts at 5:30 am to accommodate early tour schedules. It’s a very simple offering served in buffet style. You’ll find whole wheat pancakes served with honey or a molasses syrup, the ubiquitous gallo tinto (rice with red beans), equally ubiquitous fried plantains, and a delicious, salty sausage that will remind you of Filipino Longanisa. You can also have a delicious omelette made-to-order (or eggs any style). For those looking for lighter fare there is bread for toasting, with jam and butter sitting at the tables, as well as corn or bran flakes for cereal lovers. There is also a daily selection of watermelon, pineapple and papaya. LUNCH Lunch is served between 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. at the bar. There are generally three options, and one them will be vegetarian. Every table is given a big jug of water and a fruit juice. A very good quality vanilla ice cream is usually served for dessert. When we were on tours the lunches we enjoyed were picnic style and very good. COFFEE AND BAKED GOODS Most days around 2-3pm coffee is put out in the bar area, as well as hot water for making tea. Generally, a baked sweet was provided as well. During our visit this included small chocolate muffins, ginger cookies, and killer banana bread. SNACKS Sometime between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. afternoon snacks arrive, just in time to keep your stomach from caving in on itself. These varied from just OK pizza bites, to some really yummy chicken wings and - rather surprisingly - sushi rolls. Sometimes these went rather quickly, depending on how strenuous people’s tours were that day. Other times there was plenty lingering on the table. DINNER Dinner is served beginning at 6:30pm. You are meant to let the staff know in advance which of three (or once four) choices you’d like. You can do that at the office anytime during the day, or at the bar in the afternoon. Theoretically, you can have dinner as late as you like, but everyone was usually quite hungry and is seated by 7pm and is done by 8pm. This is a three course meal, with appetizer, main and dessert. They make excellent chicken and pork dishes. Fish and shrimp are very tasty as well but come in very light portions (though the very delicious Ahi Tuna with Terayaki sauce was an exception). The most memorable dishes were the aforementioned Ahi Tuna, a coconut seafood stew and chicken in pineapple sauce. TOURS Tours can all be booked through the hotel. Online we were given the option of booking two tours and were encouraged to schedule the rest in person upon arriving. A few tours come with extra fees such as the Sirena Ranger Station Jungle tour and the Night Bug Tour. Both of these are extremely good and should be booked well in advanced to make sure you get a spot, as there may not be room when you arrive. There isn’t a lot of choice about which days you can do your tours, as national parks book slots with the resorts months in advance. COCOLITA BEACH Cocolita Beach Cocalita is a swimmable beach located only a 15 minute walk away along a rough-hewn path. Two beautiful sandy stretches of beach are separated by a rocky out cropping. The beach feels pretty isolated before 2pm, with only small number of people visiting. Between 2:30pm - 3pm the tours are finishing and the migration towards Cocolita begins. During low tide the waters are pretty shallow with occasional strong waves coming in. We don’t recommend going in much further than waist or chest deep. You will feel a very powerful pull into the ocean that can dislodge your footing. It would be unnerving to get caught in this. We have read that beaches in Costa Rica can experience very powerful rip tides that pull people into the ocean, and after only a few minutes of playing in the water, we could understand how this happens. Mind the buoy floating in the water; this marks a section of rocks in the otherwise completely sandy beach. Being too near those rocks when a strong wave hits would be quite unpleasant. WALK INTO TOWN Walking into town The same walking path that takes you to Cocalita beach provides an option of connecting to a different walkway into town. It’s roughly a 20 - 30 minute walk, depending on how much time you spend stopping and ooohing-and-ahhhing over the natural beauty. This is a rough path in places, with the potential of being muddy, and will take you over a small hanging bridge. A good pair of sports sandals with good grip will be useful. TIPS Bring some small bills to tip tour guides, boat drivers, the kitchen, wait staff, maids and bartenders. No one expects tips but they are received with a great amount of gratitude. We found the staff to be such lovely, genuine and thoughtful people.…