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“Perfect mix of rustic, paradise, and comfortable”

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Drake Bay Wilderness Resort
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Drake Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 9, 2014

This place is wonderful. If you're looking for a luxury resort -- this is not it. The rooms are more like cabins, sparsely furnished, but with all of the comforts you'd need--and the location and experience is well worth it. Our room was air-conditioned, which was great after a long day out in the heat and humidity. It had a perfectly fine bathroom and a large shower with reliable hot water. It also had an incredibly beautiful view of the ocean.
The people here are wonderful -- always willing and eager to help out. The location is amazing -- accessible by boat, or by foot over a swinging suspension bridge suspended over a quiet jungle river. Loved it.
Do not miss the tours. Yes, you get up early in the morning to go by boat into the rainforest, but it is so well worth it. Our guide, Manuel, was incredible. He is knowledgeable, talented, and kind. He was able to spot animals when we didn't see or hear anything --really, it's like he has a sixth sense-- that log was a crocodile! He brings a telescope to help us see the animals way up in the trees. We absolutely loved our days out hiking with him. (We've also heard great things about another guide there-- Arnoldo.)
Highly recommend: Corcovado trip to Serena Station (deeper into the rainforest -- lots of animals), San Pedrillo Station (excellent swimming hold and water fall), Canopy tour (who wouldn't love zip-lining in the rainforest!). We also did the Cano Island trip -- but that wasn't the greatest -- water was rough and murky so the snokeling wasn't what it probably is on better days. We've heard great things about all of the trips-- just pay attention to the weather a bit.
Food was good and plentiful -- they pack you a picnic when you're out on a trip -- otherwise all meals are served in a the dining room (which feels a bit like a dining hall at summer camp-- but with nice servers,good food, table cloths at dinner, etc.)
Right at the lodge we saw monkeys, macaws, toucans, etc. This place is wonderful. Really. Go there.
Oh-- and this was a family vacation with two teenagers. They loved it. (Bonus, although there is wireless internet at the office and bar, it's spotty and slow, meaning more time for Banagrams and chess in the afternoons after a hike, or in the evenings after dinner.) Also, they'll do small amounts of laundry for you every day -- so don't bring much -- you don't need it.

Room Tip: There is a wide variety of room types. Some have AC (which is nice in the hot humid weather) and ot...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank vitzrob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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136 - 142 of 349 reviews

Reviewed January 8, 2014

Drake bay wilderness resort was awesome. It was great in every way. It was an oasis away from home. Everyone was so helpful, friendly and always willing to go the second mile to make sure we were all comfortable. One of us got sick during the drive down to drake, and all the staff were so wonderful to make sure we had all we needed to make our stay a home away from home.
The tours were fantastic. My favorite was the bio illumenescense night boat ride. The stars were overhead like a canopy. Swimming in the water was surreal , it was like a million microscopic fireworks wherever I moved!! Unforgettable!! As I came back into the boat I was still sparkling!
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The tour guide,Manuel, for the Corcovado Park was so knowledgeable. He was able to spot a small hummingbird nest with an egg on a little branch. Incredible!!
There were many beautiful birds. Manuel was able to help us recognize birds by their calls . The two I remember, the taxi bird (whistles like it's calling a taxi) and the bird call that sounds like it's saying "the coffee is ready".
The meals in the dining room were fresh and delicious. The rooms were clean and had amazing ocean views . Sleeping at night was soothing and relaxing with the sound of the ocean waves with a gentle breeze.
Overall it was a great place to relax and enjoy everything. I look forward to coming again.

Room Tip: Some rooms have stairs
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank ChanettaLudwig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2014

I am always looking for the unusual, unique, off the radar place. This is it! All the cabins have ocean views and are so close you can hear and smell the waves. The grass glistened with fireflies at night, amazing. The ocean contains bioluminescence which means movement in the ocean at night glows....swimming in bioluminescence is incredible. Once we arrived at the resort all was taken care of. The meals are very good typical costa rican food with most of it raised on their farm. The resort is family run and the service reflects that, i.e. free daily laundry service.
It takes a bit of planning to get to but not impossible, its remote...safe, peaceful, and a real vacation. The osa pennisula is unique, Drake Bay Wilderness Resort is clean, safe, and reasonably priced. I look forward to my next visit.

Room Tip: All rooms have amazing ocean views except rooms 1, 2 and 3.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Susan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2014

Returned with family, 11 this time, to what I believe is the best resort anywhere for a family vacation. Where else could a group from 82 to 2 go where there is something for everyone? Each family group has a lovely, comfy cabin room with bath, daily laundry service, a small salt water pool, delicious meals, and great adventures. We hiked the Corcovado National Park with Arnaldo, the greatest nature guide who magically spies anything that moves in the dense jungle, and shows us through his ever present binoculars. He will even take pictures through the bino lens! We swam in a waterfall pool, and sat beneath its flowing waters. We took a boat up the Rio Claro and then floated in the current all the way back to the seashore! We snorkeled around Cano Island, took a mangrove boat trip, ziplined through jungle canopy. We also relaxed in hammocks, kayaked the local river whenever we chose.... Some of our group went on a night walk with Arnaldo and came back with extraordinary pictures of tiny colorful frogs, and other fascinating sightings. Could you ask for a better way to start the new year?

Room Tip: All cabins are great!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank doctormitz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2014

Right from the beginning, the taxi ride that includes a small river fording and a short boat crossing to the hotel set up the theme for a 'close to nature' experience in Drake Bay. We got a room on top of a small hillock with awesome views of the bay and the forest area around. The cozy kitchen/restaurant is manned by a very friendly staff who were ready to make changes to the daily menu to fit our needs. 'Friendly' is the word that extends out even more to the hotel guides who took us to Cano bay for snorkeling and into Sirena Forest Reserve for bird-watching. Manuel (guide) and Arnoldo (boat captain) were very patient with us, ready with information and helped us spot some amazing fish and birds - including Osa's main attraction - the Scarlett Macaw!

We would love to go back to Osa and Drake Bay Resort and just soak in the splendor of nature all around.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Sreeram N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2013

Just getting there was an adventure. Left our car with some guy at Las Vegas at the Sierpe. Jumped onto a boat. Sped down the Sierpe River and out to the ocean through the waves and rocks!! After surviving the ride, we arrived dockside at the resort and greeted by the friendly staff and owners. The rooms have a great view but if you're in to luxury, this isn't the place for you. The rooms are comfortable but meant for sleeping and bathing. There are shutters but basically you are sleeping outside. Great experience to hear and see the forest at night. The resort is so dark at night, everyone wears head lamps. Our 6 year old son had a blast! The excursions are first class and all Costa Rica. After a beach landing, we explored Corcovado with our guide. We saw a crocodile in the surf and followed tapir tracks. Our guide broke open some coconuts for us. We felt like we were really far away. Our 2nd excursion was the Sierpe and mangrove tour. Exceptional nature guide who found us toucans, scarlet macaws, caimans, a sloth and countless wildlife. The resort is simple. They cook up some wonderful food for all meals. The bar opens for a short time. The pool is small but you can't beat the view. Definitely worth the drive down and the $$ for the all inclusive package. One of our best pura vida experiences in Costa Rica since our first visit in 2006.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Stilaqt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2013

Spent 3 nights here in December. We left our rental car at Hotel Oleaje Sereno in Sierpe for $6 a day. It was in a fenced lot and was perfect when we got back - no worries. The restaurant is where the boats pick you up. I was a little worried about the boat trip down the Sierpe river and it was a breeze! The owner, Marleny, was on the boat with us and gave us a bit of history of the river and the area. We were welcomed to the resort with cold towels and fruity drinks! Stayed in a nice room right on the bay with a gorgeous view. The room was very comfortable and clean and had AC. Windows don't open in AC rooms but if we wanted heat and humidity, we just sat on our porch where there is a table and chairs and 2 other lounge chairs. Bathroom also nice with big shower, good pressure and hot water. They provide soap, but no shampoo. I loved all the wood they used in their buildings and the murals in the room are a lovely touch, as were the towel critters. There is a fridge and coffee maker in room with great coffee provided! There is no clock, but you're on vacation so who cares! The food was overall good. There were a few stand out dishes and a one not so great. The service is what really makes this place. Everyone was so friendly....Nellie, Abraham, Adrian, Marleny...they all took time to talk with you and they all just seem to be genuinely happy people! We did a hike with another resort which Drake Bay set up and then we did the snorkel trip with Drake Bay. The guides were all very good and we had a great time. We walked into town one day and then to the beach another day. We saw more wildlife in and around this resort than we did anywhere else in Costa Rica. It was a magical time. There were only about 10 of us staying at the resort when we went (at the end of rainy season) and we got to know our neighbors well which made it even more fun at meal times and on the tours. Oh...and they do your laundry for you while you're on the tours...washed, dried, and folded! Everything was inclusive other than alcohol and extra tours. While we were there they were also working on some improvements to the rooms and grounds. It is an older resort but very clean and comfortable and you can tell they really care and are working to make it even better! Tips...bring a backpack, sunscreen, and if you do the hike your feet will get wet. The guides wear knee high rubber duck boots. I brought water shoes and my husband brought hiking sandals. Sandals were not the best idea but he did fine with them. You will be walking through water that is between ankle and knee high on the hike...and probably some mud as well. The waterfall swim was totally worth the wet/muddy feet! It was my favorite part of the tours! I was hesitant at first to book this part of our trip as it is a little pricey, but we feel it was totally worth the experience. Thanks Marleny and staff for making us feel so welcome while we were there! You truly embody 'Pura Vida'!!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CAROL H
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
Phone Number:
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:
#2 Family Hotel in Drake Bay
#4 Romantic Hotel in Drake Bay
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Drake Bay
Price Range: $334 - $360 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
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Also Known As:
Drake Bay Wilderness Hotel Drake Bay
Drake Bay Wilderness Resort Costa Rica

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