Doc, there's no road from Drake Bay to Carate (Corcovado National Park is in between). In the dry season you could drive across the Osa and then down to Puerto Jimenez and on to Carate, but your better options would be as follows:
(1) charter a boat from Drake to Carate
(2) charter a small plane -- www.alfaromeoair.com
(3) Do a 2-3 day hike across Corcovado, staying in ranger stations at the park. You can do this organized or independent (with advance legwork on accomodations and tides)
(4) Boat into the Sirena station at Corcovado and hike out to Carate (once again, organized or independent)
Options 3 or 4 are great if you're up for it. The Corcovado Park proper is really an amazing place.
It is about 2-3 hrs from Drake Bay to Puerto Jimenez via the Rincon rd. From Puerto Jimenez you will have another 1 1/2-2 hrs to the end of the road in Carate. From the end of the road you will have about 1/2-3/4 hr hike on the hot beach sand to get to the La Leona tent camp (you will pass the Corcovado tent camp on your way). If you have a minute I would have a nice cold drink at the pulpuria before heading out or at least pick up a cold bottle of water.
The surf in Carate is generally too rough for a boat landing.
Biggest problem is transportation from Drake Bay via the road. You can only travel that road (Rincon) during the dry season. You can get a taxi for about $120-150 to drive you to PJ. The hotels can help you. I have read reports of people doing this. Another option would be to take the boat taxi to Sierpe take a taxi to Palmar Norte and catch a bus in Palmar Norte. Scheduling this can be a bit of a pain. Possibly you could arrange for a rental car to be brought to you someplace from San Isidro to Palmar Norte or even Solid Rent a car in Puerto Jimenez to Drake Bay. Local hotels/lodges/and even tent camps are a great help in arranging transportation. From Palmar Norte you could drive to Chacarita and then on to PJ to Carate. Time would be about the same as Rincon route. You will have pavement until you reach the Rincon intersection where you cross the bridge. You won't see pavement again while on the Osa. Biggest problem with driving yourself would be-what to do with the car while you are at La Leona. You would have to park and leave it in Carate. There will be several stream crossings so 4x4 recommended.
Your other options would be to charter Alpha Romeo to take you directly from Drake Bay to the air strip in Carate.....pretty expensive. Another flight option would be to just take a flight from Drake Bay/Palmar Sur to Puerto Jimenez and then a taxi or the colectivo from there to Carate. Taxi will be about $60 the colectivo less than $10. The colectivo has an afternoon trip out to Carate around 1:30pm from PJ. It is a rough ride in the back of a pickup truck. There is at least one regularly scheduled flight during the high season with Nature Air or Sansa or both that makes a stop in Drake Bay or Palmar Sur on its way to Puerto Jimenez. This would probably be your least expensive option other than taking a public bus. There may even be some unscheduled stops between DB and PJ. Have your hotel/lodge etc check on that for you. Sounds strange I know but I have done those unscheduled flights.
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