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“Best hostel I stayed in during 3 week trip!”

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Drake Bay Backpackers
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best hostel I stayed in during 3 week trip!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2014

By far my favorite place I stayed during my 3 weeks in Costa Rica! Amazing hosts, clean comfortable accommodations. Even the suicide showers worked well. Lol... Would make a point of coming back if ever in CR again. :-)

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank missmyraj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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98 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
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English first
Pretoria, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 May 2014 via mobile

The only reason I'm not giving it 5*s is because I was there before it was officially declared a Backpackers (July 2013 -October 2013). I had an amazing time with many memories of take away. The local folks were amazing and really accommodating, the local trips are well worth it, especially when you find yourself dodging falling fruit while trying to aquire all the different tastes the area has to provide, from fresh pipas and full fleshed coconuts to sugar cane, cacao and various other flavours of which the names currently escape me. The accommodation is comfortable and from what I've seen well upgraded from when I was a volunteer guest there. Make sure to take a dip in the river and it's well worth the trek to the beach to experience a semi private location with an amazing view of the Pacific ocean, if it is allowed, or only by volunteering, make sure to experience the beach on a clear night, the bioluminescence with the stars in the sky will take your breath away. Definitely worth the visit, Aguahitas is near by and trips to Corcovado national park, Caño island and many more can also be arranged.

Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank Ruthi23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2014

It was our first time in Costa Rica and my first trip outside Canada. After traveling around Drake Bay for a week in more expensive hotels and camping as well, this hostel was exactly what we needed to recharge and absolutely what we were looking for.

Charlotte and Rob are very kind and helpful. Rob has a ton of information and free advice. They are really genuine, mellow people who love Tico culture and the Costa Rican environment/animals.

The lodge is in a remote village called El Progreso, which is very close to Drake Bay airport (where Rob can pick u up) and maybe a 20 minute drive to Agujitas (where all the tours leave and transport to/from tours included in price). It's a beautiful town with lots of local tours available at a low price or free hikes that you can explore on your own. We took Rob's recommendation on the deserted beach nearby. It had beautiful sand, good swimming, and a nearby lagoon (Caymons, turtles, birds).

The lodge itself is as advertised and is one of the only accommodation I've been at that meets North American expectations while also being ecofriendly and retaining a rustic feel. The dorms are clean, the kitchen is clean and fully equip. Seems like they have worked hard to find creative comforts in a sustainable way, including growing their own garden and mangos/avocados trees onsite. They have laundry service available for a small fee as well as communal meals, coffee, tea, a freezer! I really needed ice for a swollen ankle and this was surprisingly hard to find as we couldn't buy any in the store.

This place is for the adventurer seeker or those looking to nap in a hammock with a drink. You can be as social or non social as you want and in case you need to sleep early, the dorms are at the other end of the living area, so you can. I really enjoyed making my own meals (which I recommend in Drake Bay as many hotels only offer breakfast).

There are very few downsides. The roosters are very loud in the morning (about 4:30-5:00AM) as they walk outside around the dorm space. You can hear howler monkeys, but we really enjoyed them (and this is also part of being in the jungle!). It'd be great if they could fence an area around the dorms so roosters aren't so close. There are small fees associated with towels, laundry but on the upside, you don't pay extra to use the kitchen. There are bugs, some large, some worth taking a photo, and again, it's Costa Rica, there are bugs and geckos everywhere and in every hotel we stayed at.

Ask Rob about jewellery. He buys it from locals for what it cost them in hours and material and you won't find anything as authentic in shops in San Jose, La Fortuna, or even the less touristy places we saw. I'm very happy we brought some of those back with us.

Five star recommendation :) Hopefully, I'll head back to camp in Sirena and will make sure to return to Drake Bay Backpackers.

Room Tip: You might get a better sleep in a private room but the dorms are worth it. They have lovely curtains...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JenellePeders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte R, Manager at Drake Bay Backpackers, responded to this review, 15 June 2014
Hi Jen,
I know we already thanked you via email for this wonderful review, but thank you once again! Just thought you might like to know that our next door neighbor is selling all of her chickens (including the offending rooster!) Hope to see you again!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2014

Drake Bay has always been one of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica and one of the most expensive. Drake Bay Backpackers seems to be one of the first (the first?) places that is actually geared towards budget travellers. And it works.

Dorm rooms are large and clean. Each bunk bed is in its own private compartment with thin walls and a curtain providing plenty of privacy, although not much in the way of sound-proofing. Still it makes a nice change from the average dorm room. Each bed has a mosquito net as well. You’ll need it. The evening meals here are really good as well - Rob is an excellent cook (ask for the Thai curry). If you’re cooking for yourself, the kitchen is pretty well-equipped although there is no oven.

The hostel can arrange all sorts of adventures, including hikes, horse riding and kayaking, all guided by friendly locals. They’re also much cheaper than arranging anything from the town, as there aren’t any hotels or agencies taking their cut. If you’re on even more of a budget, there’s plenty of nice walks around the hostel as well, along the river, down to the beach or through the forest. Rob, the manager, knows pretty much everyone in both El Progreso and Agujitas, so can arrange pretty much anything you need. The non-profit status of Corcovado Foundation and Drake Bay Backpackers means that you get “mates rates” for everything as well!

It’s worth pointing out that the hostel isn’t actually in Agujitas (the village that everyone calls Drake Bay). If you want to go out to the restaurants and bars in town, it will probably involve a fairly expensive taxi. That said, there isn’t really all that much need to go into the town. You have better beaches within walking distance, you’ve got shops, cafes and a bar all within a few minutes of the hostel. Aside from being cheap, one of the main reasons for staying here is that you are away from the bustle of Agujitas.

When you are making your way to Drake Bay, make sure to arrive by boat from Sierpe. It’s a beautiful journey, and very easy to arrange. I travelled in from Panama by bus to Palmar Norte with Espresso Panamá, then a colectivo taxi to Sierpe and finally the boat to Agujitas. It was a much easier journey than the internet warned me about. Afterwards, you can take the little plane back to civilisation to see the area from the air. It’s a beautiful flight back to San José.

What didn’t I like here? Not much really. The mosquitoes really loved me (bring repellent), but I can’t really blame that on the hostel. When I stayed, there were a few things that weren’t quite finished (first guest!), but by the looks of the website it’s all looking a lot better now. New floors, new hammocks, new tables by the river. I should probably go back to check…

If you want to see the real traditional side of Costa Rica, which seems to be becoming increasingly difficult, then Drake Bay Backpackers is a great option.

Room Tip: Unlike most hostels, the dorm room actually gives you some privacy!
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Robert N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Drake Bay Backpackers

Property: Drake Bay Backpackers
Address: Corcovado Foundation, 25 Meters West of the Rio Tortuga | El Progreso de Drake, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Osa Peninsula > Drake Bay
Amenities:
Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 47 Speciality Lodging in Drake Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Drake Bay Backpackers 1.5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Drake Bay Backpackers is a non-profit hostel offering affordable accommodation, food and community-based tours. Drake Bay Backpackers is run by The Corcovado Foundation and all income is invested directly into environmental programs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Drake Bay Backpackers Costa Rica

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