Book Now Toll free US: 1 888 5249396 - +506 40306752

Destination category Icon

Forest

Destination subcategory Icon

Hiking

Destination subcategory Icon

Birdwatching

Destination subcategory Icon

Adventure

Corcovado Peninsula de Osa, Drake Bay Costa Rica - Book now!

Corcovado is as virgin nature as you'll get. EVER.

Peninsula de Osa and Corcovado National Park. Home of the Jaguar, the real Jaguar. You will run into them. What can be better than a Not-Selfie with a "real jaguar"? Not a Snapchat filter one... #DoIt.

This is a different kind of trip. Not for the "ordinary tourist" but then again, that's not who you are. The beaches at Peninsula the Osa are not as popular among vacationists as the beaches in Guanacaste, and a big part of this has to do with the distance, if you are driving that is.

This truly is a long drive from San Jose, so it's a good thing, or a GREAT thing, that you are reading this in the Skyway site.

Yes, FLY to Osa.

It's a region or ecosystem in itself. The region is usually promoted more as an eco-tourism destination since the Corcovado National Park is located here, and we know you have heard of Corcovado.

But if you have been to Central America and you haven’t visited the Osa Penisula you are certainly missing out, it is one of the most beautiful and vibrant areas of Costa Rica, a representation of the country, small towns, incredible lush nature and beautiful beaches. The country prides itself for Osa, and calls it a world wonder. We agree.

Let's see what local media shares about the specifics of the Peninsula:

Drake Beach


One of the main attractions of the Osa Peninsula, this beach is the biggest in Drake Bay, it is located in the northern side of the peninsula and one of the best spots to practice scuba diving, but also ideal for swimming, kayaking and practicing stand-up-paddle.

Distance from San Jose: 368km (229 miles) (approximately 7 Hour Drive) Only if you have a 4 x 4 car and the road conditions allow it, otherwise you can drive to Sierpe leave the car in a safe place and then take the water taxi to Drake.
Closest Town: Agujitas and El Progreso
Beach Status: Public
Type of Sand: Smooth –tan
Closest Airport: Drake Bay Landing Strip or Palmar Sur

Selling Points:
1. Beautiful clear water
2. Completely surrounded by nature
3. Amazing view of the Isla del Caño
4. Different lodging facilities that accommodate to your budget.

Disadvantages:
1. Access is complicated
2. The area receives a lot of rain

Recommendations:
Fly! Take a national flight if you don’t want to make the long drive. There are direct flights from San Jose and La Fortuna to Drake Bay, and there’s also a direct flight to Palmar Sur, which many choose to take because from Palmar Sur you can take a water taxi through the Sierpe river which is an adventure on its own.

Extra Notes:
Horseback riding, sportfishing, kayaking are great activities to practice in this area. If you can take a tour to Isla del Caño, this is great opportunity to practice snorkeling or scuba diving.

Ganado Beach


Also located in Drake Bay, nearby Punta Sierpe, this is a remote location, actually to get to the beach you need to swim across a small estuary.

Distance from San Jose: 368km (229 miles) (approximately 7 Hour Drive) Only if you have a 4 x 4 car and the road conditions allow it, otherwise you can drive to Sierpe leave the car in a safe place and then take the water taxi to Drake.
Closest Town: Agujitas and El Progreso
Beach Status: Public
Type of Sand: Smooth-Tan

Selling Points:
1. 3km Isolated beach with impressive scenic views
2. Surrounded by untouched nature
3. Good swimming conditions, snorkeling and kayaking

Disadvantages:
1. Difficult access. In order to get to the beach you have to swim a short distance, avoid the estuary mouth during the low tide.
2. There are a few hotels close by but no infrastructure near the beach

Recommendations:
Make your way to the top of the hill to catch the best view of Drake Bay. The surrounding forest is home to a variety of wildlife.

Extra Notes:
There are a couple of small beaches close-by that are worth visiting such as Playa Amor, located between the towns of El Progreso and Agujitas with optimal swimming conditions, great for kids.

San Josecito Beach


Situated to the west of Los Planes, 10km south of Drake Bay, close to San Pedrillo, one of the entry points to Corcovado National Park. It’s a horseshoe shaped bay.

Distance from San José: 379km (235 miles) (6-7 hour drive)
Closest town: Agujitas y El Progreso
Beach Status:Public
Type of Sand: Smooth-Tan

Selling Points
1. Natural breakwater makes it very safe
2. Impressive scenic views of the Corcovado National Park
3. Natural pools form during the low tide
4. Perfect for the practice of kayaking , swimming and snorkeling

Disadvantages:
1. Accessing this beach can be done by boat from Drake Bay or Sierpe, or hiking through a jungle trail from Drake Bay, although it's beautiful it is a long walk.
2. It’s the most common stop for boats full of tourists heading towards Isla del Caño

Recommendations:
Snorkeling here is great due to the underwater coral formations. Don’t forget to bring plenty of drinking water with you.

Extra Notes
If you are the adventurous type you will want to do the hike from Drake Bay to get here, this could take almost 3 hours, so be prepared for it, however, it's totally worth it.

Llorona Beach


This beach is located within the Corcovado National Park, in the area known as La Sirena.

Distance from San Jose: 379km (235 miles) (6-7 hour drive)
Closest Town: Being within the national park La Sirena ranger station is the closest location
Beach Status: Public but access is restricted through the National Park
Type of Sand: Smooth-Grey

Selling Points
1. One of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica
2. The Llorona River forms a waterfall straight into the ocean that poses the most incredible scene.

Disadvantages:
1. To get here you have to walk from the San Pedrillo Station for approximately 3 hours, the trail is beautiful and many species are easily spotted in the trail.

Recommendations:
Take lots of water and snacks with you.

Extra Notes:
This beach forms a coastal line with Playa Corcovado and Playa Sirena, each separated by just the rivers.

Madrigal Beach


Located within the Corcovado National Park, accessible through Carate, to go in the park visitors mus be accompanied by a local tour guide.

Distance from San Jose: 417.3km (260 miles) (approximately 7 hours and 30 minutes’ drive)
Closes Town: Carate
Beach Status: Public, though protected by the National Park and only accessible through it
Type of Sand: Smooth-Dark Grey
Nearest Aiport: Puerto Jimenez

Selling Points
1. Like all the beaches within the park, it is surrounded by untouched jungle nature
2. Isolated, ideal for long walks and just relaxing
3. Big chances of seeing different mammals and colorful birds.
4. Restrooms and water available in La Leona Ranger Station

Disadvantages:
1. Not the best swimming conditions, there are strong currents
2. Stay away from the estuaries as crocodiles are sometimes found close by

Recommendations:
This beach is a beauty and worth visiting, but it doesn’t have the best conditions to swim or practice other sports.

Extra Notes:
There are two ranger stations nearby but it is wise to take as much water, snacks and other needed items with you since the walk gets tedious. Playa Carate and Playa Piro are on the way to Madrigal. Playa Carate is very visited and is a nesting site for sea turtles.

Matapalo Beach


South tip of the Osa Península, in the area known as Cabo Matapalo

Distance from San Jose: 390.3km (242.3 miles) (between 6-7 hour drive)
Closest Town: Puerto Jimenez
Beach Status: Public
Type of Sand: Smooth – Light tan
Nearest Aiport: Puerto Jimenez

Selling Points
1. Ideal spot to escape the crowds while enjoying a beautiful beach.
2. Great for surfers
3. Horseback riding and sportfishing are also great activities to enjoy in this beach

Disadvantages:
1. Rocky and hard to enter at low tide.
2. Not the best swimming conditions.
3. No infrastructure

Recommendations:
In this sector there are many small beaches of amazing natural beauty, “Backwash” and "Pan Dulce" are preferred among surfers, while Playa Carbonera is a good option for those looking to just enjoy a swim.

Extra Notes:
Flying to Puerto Jimenez is always a great option; from this town to Matapalo it’s about a 45 minute drive.

Platanares Beach


Located 5km from Puerto Jimenez,

Distance from San Jose: 378km (235 miles)
Nearest Town: Puerto Jimenez
Beach Status: Public
Type of Sand: Smooth- Grey
Nearest Aiport: Puerto Jimenez

Selling Points
1. Excellent swimming conditions and great for kayaking
2. Beautiful area surrounded by nature; birdwatching is a recommended activity.

Disadvantages:
1. The offer of hotels is not huge. You will find either very upscale boutique hotels like Lapa Rios, or alternatives for backpackers.

Recommendations:
The best suggestion we can give you if you want to be comfortable but also save some money is looking for a vacation rental home.

Blanca Beach


This is the “main” beach at Puerto Jimenez, within the Golfo Dulce

Distance from San Jose: 351km (218 miles) (approximately 5 hours by car)
Closest Town: La Palma – Puerto Jimenez
Beach Status: Public
Type of Sand: Smooth – Light Grey
Nearest Aiport: Puerto Jimenez

Selling Points
1. Beautiful beach surrounded by green mountains
2. Restrooms and infrastructure available close by

Disadvantages:
1. Gets crowded sometimes by locals

Recommendations:
Visit the charming town of La Palma, towards the southwest you will find the indigenous reserve of Guaymi de Coto Brus; visiting this community is a wonderful educational experience.

Cacao Beach


Situated in Golfito, this beach can be easily reached by water taxi from the Golfito town or if you have a 4×4 car you may also access by road.

Distance from San Jose: 340km (211.3 miles) (over 5 hour drive)
Nearest Town: Golfito
Beach Status: Public
Type of Sand: Smooth dark brown
Nearest Aiport: Golfito

Selling Points
1. Pleasant and relaxing spot
2. Safe for swimming as it doesn’t have waves and it not too deep
3. Good conditions for kayaking and SUP

Disadvantages:
1. Not the most beautiful beach you can find in the area but it has its charm

Recommendations:
Restaurants near the beach serve very good fried fish.

Extra Notes
On the way to the beach you will notice an old deteriorated boat, the story tells this belonged to Capitan Tom, an American who lost a leg during WWII and in 1954 established in Cacao Beach; his grave is just a few steps from the old boat.

Zancudo Beach


This beach is found in the Golfo Dulce, near the town of Golfito and very close to the Panama frontier. It extends for six miles in the small beach town of Zancudo

Distance from San Jose: 375km (233 miles) (close to 6 hours by car)
Closest Town: Golfito
Beach Status: Public
Type of Sand: Smooth-Grey
Nearest Aiport: Golfito

Selling Points
1. Beautiful paradise away from crowds, one of the best beaches in Costa Rica
2. Restaurants and small stores are found along the beach
3. Sunsets are incredible
4. Good conditions for swimming and even a little surfing although there are not huge waves here.

Disadvantages:
1. Don’t expect a very active party like atmosphere, these beach is ideal to just lay back and do nothing. There are no fancy hotels either.

Recommendations
Hoseback riding and sportfishing are good alternatives. Stay away from the mangrove swamp as it is home to crocodiles.

Extra Notes:
There are several cabins and lodging facilities in the area. If you need a little more action you can always visit the Golfito National Wildlife Refuge, home to a large variety of flora and fauna.

Pavones Beach


Last but not least, Pavones , known to be a surfer’s heaven. This beach is 15 kilometers south from Playa Zancudo.
Distance from San Jose: 400km (approximately 7-8 hour drive)
Closest Town: Pavones-Zancudo-Golfito
Beach Status: Public
Type of Sand: Grey – smooth in some areas and rocky in others
Nearest Aiport: Golfito

Selling Points
1. Ideal for the practice of surf; said to be the world's longest warm water left wave
2. Small town but with several restaurants and small hotels many of which are owned by expats

Disadvantages:
1. Pavones can get crowded with surfers certain times a year.
2. Mostly recommended for experienced surfers

Recommendations
Besides surfing, sportfishing, horseback riding, bird watching or simply relaxing in the beach are some of the activities visitors enjoy.

Extra Notes:
Pavones is the place local surfers Leilani and Noe Mar McGonagle call home.

The Osa Península beaches specially in the area of Drake Bay and Corcovado National Park are the dream of eco-tourists and adventure seekers. If you are looking for a place to relax and surf away from the crowds pick the beaches closer to Golfito.

Content credits to THE COSTA RICA STAR - great work guys in this Corcovado and Osa content. Share worthy for sure!

Let's do #Corcovado the #SkyWay

Details

Fly Includes: Concierge service is optional

Not Included: Local transportation. Clients must arrive at the airport. Pick ups in some hotels available at an additional cost.

Flying Time: PJM - SJO : 40 min Approx

Osa Peninsula routes

Osa Peninsula routes

Skyway Logo