Drake Bay and San Josecito Beach hiking: The review

This post is also available in: Español

At the top of my list of “what to do in Drake Bay”, was the hiking trail between Agujitas de Drake and San Josecito beach. In fact I dare say it’s at the top of my “what to do in Costa Rica” list.

And I say it was because I was finally able to go to Costa Rica and experience it. So, today I tell you my experience doing the trekking between Drake Bay and San Josecito beach with all the details for when you decide to go.

Also, at the end of the article I have left the link to our hike on Wikiloc. 🙂 I hope it helps you and you enjoy it. Let’s get started!

Where is Drake Bay?

First, let’s get into context: The Osa Peninsula is one of the most beautiful and least touristy areas of Costa Rica. It was unknown to me until this trip, and it has completely captivated me.

Within the peninsula, Drake Bay is the most famous place and almost all of us travelers stayed at the Agujitas de Drake. Mind you, people call it Drake Bay or simply Drake.

Hiking trail from Drake Bay to San Josecito Beach

Sunset in Agujitas de Drake

Drake Bay is the place that best represents Costa Rica: nature in its purest form and incredible beaches. It’s where we stayed the most nights and had the best time.

That’s why, among the tours in Drake Bay that are worthwhile, I recommend snorkeling in Caño Island and seeing Corcovado National Park, depending on the season.

But not only that, there’s a hiking trail you have to do: the Drake Bay to San Josecito Beach route. It’s a 10-kilometer route along the trail that borders the sea.

Bamboo hiking route

I would say that it is suitable for all travelers because it has almost no slope and has bridges that make it easy to cross the streams. There is only one conflictive point in the whole route and that is when you have to cross a larger river. But don’t worry, you just have to take your shoes off and be careful if the water gets too low.

The route is 10 km each way and the key is to walk the outward journey and return in one of the boats used in snorkeling and diving tours. Due to the schedule of the boats, which return at 12:00 the ideal is to start the route early.

Start of the tour

If you wake up at 7:00 am and leave at 8:00 am from Drake Bay, at the latest by 11:00 you will already be at San Josecito beach and you will have more than an hour to enjoy this wonderful beach. In our case, of the 3 hours it took us in total to get there, 2 were spent walking and enjoying the views, the beaches, taking pictures and seeing all the life around us.

Beach on the Drake Bay- San Josecito route

The hike trailbegins on the outskirts of Agujitas de Drake. You will have to walk down to the beach and head left. Very soon you will see a trail, which is the beginning of the route and you just have to follow it. To know you’re going right, you’ll have to keep seeing signs to “Playa Cocalito.”

Our experience could not have been better, but keep in mind that we did the route at the beginning of April, the end of the dry season. You may find that if you do it in the rainy season, the rivers come down with more water and you may find more mud on the route, more mosquitoes or just more rain.

What will you see during the hike between Drake Bay and San Josecito beach?

We had just left Drake Bay and were joined by a dog that accompanied us all the way. After a while we started hearing noises in the trees, it was capuchin monkeys! They didn’t seem very happy with the dog and even came down to stand 3 meters away, incredible.

Capuchino route Drake Bay - San Josecito

We followed the route seeing dream beaches, countless different trees and guacamayos. In addition, we crossed hanging bridges, paths across a creek (river in rainy season) and arrived at San Josecito Beach where we bathed. For me, it’s one of the best beaches in Costa Rica.

Drake Bay hiking trail tree

How do you make your way back by boat?

No need to “book” the trip, this is more “pura vida“. However, I advise you to ask at your accommodation or at an agency for the boat schedules and make sure you’ll find one on the beach the next day.

Maybe by the time you go it’s been a while since I wrote this article, but we had it confirmed that there were boats at 12 am, (but take it easy, this isn’t Switzerland). As for the price, it was $10 per person on all boats.

Drake Bay return boat

Once at San Josecito beach we were told that there was also another one at 4 pm, but we didn’t want to risk it. When we left the hostel the idea was simple: enjoy the day and if at lunchtime there was no boat, start the way back. It’s only two hours and it gives a lot of peace of mind to have a plan B.

What to take on the route?

You should know that the route runs through the shade of the trees most of the time. We are talking about an area with lots of vegetation, heat, the odd mosquito and loose sand in dry season.

Walking makes you hungry and the beach even hungrier, plus if you have to opt for plan B it’s better to do it on a full stomach. Here’s the list I recommend you take with you to do the route from Drake Bay to San Josecito:

In your backpack:

  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent.
  • Mobile phone with the wonderful Wikiloc track that we have prepared.
  • Rain poncho
  • Towel
  • Flip-flops
  • Swimsuit
  • Food: snacks, fruits, serrano ham sandwich
  • Lot of water, not a half-liter bottle, lots of water, it’s hot.
  • $10 per person to pay for the boat.


  • Comfortable shoes: if they are hiking shoes better, I don’t consider necessary Goretex because it is very hot.
  • High socks: the sand is very loose and ends up inside your socks.
  • Lightweight clothing: it’s very hot. You decide if there is too much mosquito to go with thin long sleeves or directly in short sleeves (as was our case).

The Wikiloc hike from Drake Bay to San Josecito

bahia drake hiking route wikiloc

As you can see we have worked hard to make it easy for you, so if you remember us leave us a comment in this post. Share your experience so that more people can enjoy the route.

Long live the traveling community!


Javi, along with Daniel, was the one who gave life to Howlanders and formed this team. Each of his trips and the experiences he accumulated in his backpack, gave him the idea of helping other travelers to live them too.

At Howlanders, he is one of the people in charge of deciding which tours we offer. While in this blog he gives us his travel diaries.

He has traveled Torres del Paine for all its circuits and knows it to perfection, so he gives us all the recommendations and tips that can't be found elsewhere.

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