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Drake bay, Carate or Puerto Jimenez

San Diego...
Level Contributor
15 posts
2 reviews
Drake bay, Carate or Puerto Jimenez

So we want to access Corcovado but still be able to get to some restaurants that are not at the lodges/hotels. Would alos like a location that has a good amount of nature/animals surrounding the hotel/lodge From what I've seen Drake offers better access deep into Corcovado NP but lmost lodges seem pretty isolated from towns/restaurants. Puerto Jimenez seems nice and a little more affordable (Osa Rainforest rentals) but would be a longer hike into CNP.

Any recomendations and pros or cons for eiher location would be much appreciated. Also considering Carate

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
45,084 posts
30 reviews
1. Re: Drake bay, Carate or Puerto Jimenez

Based on your info...Maybe Puerto Jimenez...nice to drive to places like Matapalo or Carate just 45 minutes to one hour away from Puerto Jimenez...!

Of course Drakes is great but totally agree with your valid point!

roadadvisor

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
Level Contributor
7,881 posts
24 reviews
2. Re: Drake bay, Carate or Puerto Jimenez

You hit the nail on the head. If you want access to Corcovado you need to be at Drake Bay and yes you'll have to eat meals at your lodge. PJ may give you a variety of restaurants to choose from but it's not a foody destination and it's not a good choice for a day hike in Corcovado due to logistics. You could try a day hike between Matapalo and Carate where there is far more wildlife than PJ.

IMO forget using a variety of restaurants as your criteria and just pick a lodge. Check out a variety of restaurants elsewhere in Costa Rica during your travels.

Miami, Florida
6 posts
3. Re: Drake bay, Carate or Puerto Jimenez

There IS some lodging in Drake Bay proper, which has a very small handful of restaurants, and even a bar or two. IMO, the best was Gringo Curt's - awesome fish tacos, and some of the local tourguides hang there - some of whom have been guides for over 30 years. Curt is very personable and knowledgeable and happy to share information.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
Level Contributor
5,079 posts
119 reviews
4. Re: Drake bay, Carate or Puerto Jimenez

There are 2-3 restaurants or sodas in the town of Drake itself. We ate dinner there one night before going on The Night Tour. Food is not bad--not world class, but this is the Osa, not Paris.

I would certainly prioritize access to Corcovado over what food options you could get elsewhere.

San Diego...
Level Contributor
15 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: Drake bay, Carate or Puerto Jimenez

Thanks all! Maybe I overemphasized the food aspect, I'm not a food snob by any means, just looking for a few sodas, cheap restaurants away from the lodge like Recandee referenced. We're on somewhat of a budget and have heard that eating exclusively at the lodges/hotels can get pricey. Which of these 3 locations has access to the best beaches? Thanks again! 1 week from today we'll be on day one of our honeymoon, waking up in CR!!!

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
Level Contributor
5,079 posts
119 reviews
6. Re: Drake bay, Carate or Puerto Jimenez

Most lodges include meals in the price of a stay. Especially the more remote ones.

The best beach--from what we hear--is near Iguana Lodge in Puerto Jimenez (going in February)--but have only been to Drake Bay, where the good beaches are several KM north of town.

We stayed at Finca Maresia near Drake Bay--which offers by a pretty good margin the best bang for your buck in terms of room quality and service--downside is that it's about 2 km outside of town. But, it's a lovely place to stay, and if you're spending your days doing activities the remoteness isn't that big a deal, since they send a van to pick you up anyways. We wound up eating our lunches in town on 2 out of the 4 nights we stayed in Drake Bay (we also spent two nights inside Corcovado at Sirena). We ate dinner at Finca Maresia 3/4 nights (lunch/dinner were reasonably priced at $15/person).

Uvita, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Uvita, Ojochal
Level Contributor
2,631 posts
45 reviews
7. Re: Drake bay, Carate or Puerto Jimenez

Another option in the Uvita / Ojochal / Doominical area, there are day tours that go to Sirena or San Pedrillo Ranger Stations in Corcovado National Park, The boat takes about 1 1/2 hours to get there (so a bit longer than from Drake) and good chance of encountering Humpback whales and Dolphines. The tours start from Marino Ballena Park or Sierpe.

The following operators do the trips:

http://www.bahiaaventuras.com

http://www.ballenatourcostarica.com/i...

http://www.dolphintourcostarica.com/

http://www.perladelsur.net

http://www.pelicantourcr.es.tl/

The advantages of Uvita area are that the area can be reached easly by car from San Jose in 3 1/2 hours, great choice of restaurants, large choice of accomodations for all budgets, beaches, waterfalls as well as tours such as Zip Lines, Horseback waterfall, surfing, ATV, Water Rafting, Kayaks, rappeling, Ultralight flying, etc. Full list of tours here: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g635755-s4/Uvita:Cost… to

The tours to Corcovado run between $95pp to $125pp

San Diego...
Level Contributor
15 posts
2 reviews
8. Re: Drake bay, Carate or Puerto Jimenez

Thanks Racandee and Thomas, I think we're pretty set on staying on the osa. We have only 7 days in Costa Rica (way too short) but I'll take it. Our other stop we have to decide is between Arenal Fortuna area Manuel Antonio. From what I've gathered on other posts, Manuel Antonio is similar to Osa area but not as nice and more touristy. So we're leaning towards Arenal area to get a different taste of Costa Rica. Doesn't hurt that they have the only craft beer spot I've heard about in CR. Would you guys approve Arenal over MA?

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
45,084 posts
30 reviews
9. Re: Drake bay, Carate or Puerto Jimenez

In your case Arenal...also you can check UVITA...Tikivillas...incredible nice palce...and only 3 hours from Puerto Jimenez...

roadadvisor

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
Level Contributor
5,079 posts
119 reviews
10. Re: Drake bay, Carate or Puerto Jimenez

Definitely Arenal over Manuel Antonio if you're going to the Osa. But, I would also look at other areas inside Costa Rica. After the Osa, you may want somewhere with less humidity like the Central Valley area (multiple volcanoes to visit, etc) or a higher elevation area for a change of pace.