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What town in Osa...?

Atlanta, GA
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What town in Osa...?

Hello!

I just bought tickets to go to CR for a Weds-Sun in early Dec. I have been to Quepos & Arenal before and want to check out the Osa Peninsula. I am torn between Drake Bay, Golfito, and Puerto Jimenez, and want to book the internal flights ASAP.

What do you think is best for --

-- Seeing birds/wildlife from your hotel?

-- Access to good wildlife/nature activities (hiking, kayaking - not necessarily "extreme" sports because you can't really see anything when you're ziplining :-)

-- Something low-key but mildly social -- that is, maybe a couple of bars/restaurants within walking/cabbing distance. I love nature but also like my fellow humans :-)

Was sold on Pto. Jimenez until I read some TA posts saying it's not a great place to access Corcovado...which I'd alternately read was the best park. Of course I am sure this is all subjective.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks! KATL

San Jose, Costa Rica
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1. Re: What town in Osa...?

Dear KATL

Great questions ...love all of them...

Puerto Jimenez is a great location...you can even rent a car there from Solid Rent a Car...and drive to Carate Beach about one hour ride...you need a 4x4...incredible even short hikes around there ...is one of the Corcovado National Park main entrances or exits...you are correct is one of the greatest parks in our country!

Golfito...is nice if you take boat tours...many nice places to visit...the town is like a small port city...

Drakes...maybe the best choice for you...everything you are looking... some great hikes and boat tours around there..

Even you can have a good combination..Drakes and Puerto Jimenez...you will have great chances to see wild life...do some sea kayaking...incredible hikes...incredible views...and many places to stay mostly based on your budget...and phisical condition ...

If somebody offer you any advice...be sure that that advice come from a person that really knows that part of the country...and any company most be register with our Secretary of Tourism ICT..simple reason to qualify to be a tour operator among many requirements any company certified most have safety protocols..and run by proffesionals that even have to show a clean police record or legal papers to work in our country...among many more requirements...!

roadadvisor

Chicago, Illinois
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for Costa Rica
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2. Re: What town in Osa...?

Drake Bay is your best choice to access Corcovado as you can visit both Sirena and San Pedrillo ranger stations by boat. Very low key and nearly all social activities are limited to the place you pick to stay. Most lodges are strung out along the coast with lots of nature and wildlife in the area.

Puerto Jimenez is a great little town with several bars and restaurants to socialize at but access to Corcovado is difficult. There is a good beach nearby and water sports in the area (surfing, kayaking, swimmable beaches). Lots of rainforest nearby and activities to keep you occupied but not "touristy."

Golfito is a small port town surrounded by rainforest. Great surfing beaches nearby. You'd want to be out of town for the birds and wildlife but that would put you at a distance for restaurants and bars. Same problem whichever place you pick.

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: What town in Osa...?

If you want to hike the park and get the most from the area, you should base in Pt Jimenez, arrange permits/meals at Sirena, and do at least 1 night at Sirena, hiking in a loop, from Las Patos to Sirena to La Leona/Carate, then collectivo back to PJ.

Drake Bay is good if you want to scuba dive Isla Cano 8KM off DB. Thought its not cheap, about $120 for a 2 tank dive. Poormans Paradise and Jinetes de Osa Lodge cater to divers in addition to accessing the park via boat to San Pedrillo or Sirena.

Atlanta, GA
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4. Re: What town in Osa...?

Wow, thanks to all of you for those great responses!

I am not a diver, but I am bringing snorkel gear because we're going to Bocas del Toro first. Is there any worthwhile snorkeling in the Osa area? (It's OK if there isn't, but I'd be happy to get some extra-credit snorkeling)

We'd be flying into whatever town in Osa we end up staying in. If we wanted to spend a few days in Drakes and a few in Pto Jimenez, how would we get from one to the other?

Or is a car highly recommended to the point that we wouldn't want to fly, and would be better off driving?

Grants Pass Or.
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5. Re: What town in Osa...?

Between Drake Bay and Playa Josecito is a great snorkle beach. I am sure if you ask around you can find directions. It is a 20 minute walk from Poormans Paradise walking towards Drake Bay.

Brooklyn, New York
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for Sarapiqui
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6. Re: What town in Osa...?

Cano Island off of Drake Bay is supposed to have good snorkeling, in addition to sea turtles, dolphins, and whales you can see along the way.

We did a two-night overnight in Sirena, based out of Drake Bay--the boat access to Sirena from Drake is the main reason we chose Drake, but it's a great place regardless--you're really off the grid there, there's the Night Tour with the Bug Lady, isolated beaches, etc.

Seattle, Washington
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7. Re: What town in Osa...?

I've snorkeled at Cano Island and it was pretty murky. You may have better luck in early December if calm waters and drier. We hiked Corcovado from Drake (taking a boat to hike through Sirena) but personally I like Puerto Jimenez/Cabo Matapalo for staying a few days more than Drake Bay. You could go from PJ to Corcovado via Carate. With the amount of time you have I would choose one spot.

Washington, PA
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8. Re: What town in Osa...?

Do you have any recommendations to stay in PJ?

Where is exactly is Carate?

Thank you

Atlanta, GA
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9. Re: What town in Osa...?

Karen T. - Carate is on the south side of the peninsula, and is one way into Corcovado. As for places to stay, check out the Puerto Jimenez hotel reviews here on TA -- there are lots of good reviews, and the hotels are ranked based on their TA reviews.

All - Thank you so much for the most excellent help & advice. Drake Bay sounds fabulous but I may be leaning toward PJ. I'm sure either one is a winner! All the boating would make Drake the irresistible choice if we weren't going to be in Bocas del Toro first :-) I still have a month to plan the hotels and tours, but all your help has been great in getting my flights figured out. I think I have a plan now!

TA is awesome because you make it awesome! :-)

San Jose, Costa Rica
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10. Re: What town in Osa...?

Dear Karen T

Carate as kindly advice by KATL...is a good entrance to the park...places to saty around there...Luna Lodge and Iseami...

Iseami is about $85.00 per person including room taxes and 3 meals ..

Please feel free to ask any question any time!

ROADADVISOR