From Manuel Antonio, we headed further south towards Drake Bay and the Osa Peninsula. In the dry season, Drake Bay can be reached by a dirt road that crosses the mountains and several rivers. But since the rains were just about to start we decided not to risk getting rained in, parked the car at Sierpe and took the boat up the Río Sierpe instead.
The boat ride was practically a mangrove tour in itself, which was great for those who haven’t seen the mangroves before. Though once we cruised out into the ocean, it became more of a wild adventure ride. The boat rocked on the large swells as the waves crashed onto the rocks jutting out of the water between our navigational path and the shoreline.
Thankfully the boat driver was an expert seaman and navigated the waves with such skill that he got a wild round of applause from everyone on board. It must’ve been the adrenaline from the near-death death experience.
Whale watching in Drake Bay
Drake Bay is a very laid back small town with idyllic beaches well off the beaten path. Its main claim to fame is as the departure point for Corcovado National Park that takes up almost a third of the Osa Peninsula. The bay is also a good place for whale watching and none of us needed much convincing to spend a day on the ocean.
We took off bright and early and within half an hour our boat was surrounded by a pod of Pantropical spotted dolphins. Slightly further out we came across a female Humpback whale with a young calf. We followed them for a while but the whales decided to keep a low profile and stayed mainly below the surface.
Back on terra firma, we spotted some Scarlet macaws and a very excited Cherrie’s tanager that was flirting with a side view mirror of a parked truck. Apparently, the frog night walk is quite good at Drake Bay as well, but we had a meeting with our Corcovado guide in the evening and a 5.30am departure the following morning, so we turned in quite early.
Previous stop: Manuel Antonio NP
Next stop: Corcovado NP