San José - Palmar Norte - Sierpe - Playa San Josecito [Bus, Taxi, Boat]
Step 01 - Bus: San Jose - Sierpe
From the Tracopa Bus Station tracopacr.com in San Jose (near Clinica Biblica) there is a direct bus to Sierpe along the coast leaving at 8:30am, arriving at 1:30pm (5hrs). $14 p.p
Step 02 - Bus: San Jose - Palmar Norte
There are non direct buses leaving from Tracopa Station starting at 5am. Get a bus toward Paso Canoas, Golfito, Cuidad Neilly, San Vito or Rio Claro. Get off in PALMAR NORTE, where they all stop. $12 p.p. Along the Coastal Routes it is 5 hrs, along the mountain routes it is 6 hrs.
Step 03 - Taxi: Palmar Norte - Sierpe ~ 30 minutes ~ We will arrange for you!
If you have been in contact with Keidy-Tatiana before your journey about your route plans, we will have arranged for a taxi or collectivo to be at the bus station to pick you up at your arrival time to take you to the Sierpe boat dockPerla del Sur Restaurant. If something happens contact Keidy Tatiana at +506-8450-7198. The cost is 12,000 colones which is about $20 total (1 up to 4 people max). If more than 4 people the price changes.
Step 04 - Bus: Palmar Norte - Sierpe
You can also take a bus from Palmar Norte to Sierpe that is 500 colones/about $1. It leaves Palmar at 9:30am, 11:30am, 2:30pm. It takes about 30 minutes and drops you off at a park a 5 minute walk to the boat dock.
Step 05 - Boat: Sierpe - Playa San Josecito
This boat ride is very special. This river winds like a snake (a Sierpe) through one of the biggest mangrove forests in the world. The river then joins with the Pacific Ocean of Drake Bay. The boat dock is in the town of Sierpe right next to Restaurant Perla del Sur. Every day of the week there are 2 boats that leave from Sierpe to the town of Drake Bay - - but you will be going further on to San Josecito Beach - - a few stops after the Drake Bay Stop AND YOU MUST TELL THEM THAT!
The 2 boats are at: 11:30am and 4pm and take 1.5 hrs. The 11:30am is $30, the 4pm is $35 - and you must have cash. *You MUST speak to the captain of the boats and be Very Clear that you are going to SAN JOSECITO and to Life For Life Hostel with Ricardo. It is best to make specific arrangements/reservations with our captain friend the day before if you can. That way your place is reserved and he knows to drop you off at San Josecito Beach. Captain Chancha +506 8853 5168 or his wife Sarita +506 8851 4973. Best way to call is through WhatsApp. They only speak Spanish.
Step 06 - Hire Private Boat
Once at the dock you also have the option to hire a private boat and a captain that will take up to 20 people. This boat can leave at anytime for $350 total. We do not recommend arriving in San Josecito later than 5pm as there is still a 20-minute walk along the jungle path to the hostel and it is difficult to see the trail at night especially with luggage to carry. Please let us know if these are the arrangements you make.
Step 07 - Walk: San Josecito Beach - Life For Life Hostel
Once you get dropped off at San Josecito Beach - because you have let us know your arrival plans in advance, someone will be there to meet you to help with your luggage and guide you back to the hostel. If, for some reason, there is a miscommunication and you are not accompanied by someone from the hostel, here are the walking directions: With your back towards the water - turn right and walk along the beach until you see the only trail on an incline that is between a big rock to the right and a small pond to the left. From here, you will stay straight on this beautiful narrow trail for about 20 min. Enjoy your first views of the incredible coastline from inside the jungle, and after 15-20 minutes, you will see the Life For Life Hostel sign on your left directly after you cross a bridge with a handrail. There is a picnic table on your right in front of the entrance - you can't miss it!
Extra - Banks: Palmar Norte
Along this route, Palmar Norte is the last town with banks and ATM's. Neither Sierpe or Drake Bay have them.
Passenger Plane - Taxi - Boat
Step 01 - Passenger Plane: San Jose - Drake Bay
This way is breathtakingly beautiful and the exciting experience of taking a small single engine passenger plane from San Jose to Drake Bay airport. It takes about 2 hours, carries 12 - 15 people and doesn’t fly above 10,000 ft, allowing views of the volcanoes, forests, and rivers of Drake Bay as you arrive - amazing! Sansa is the airline that makes this flight; most are every hour from morning to afternoon.
Step 02 - Taxi: Drake Bay Airport - Drake Bay Beach (Rincon Playa)
When you arrive at Drake Bay Airport, take a taxi to “ Rincon Playa” (The Beach) . * You will want to give a minimum of 30 minutes for this part, but we recommend 1 hour just to make sure.
*Important: There is not an obvious boat dock in Drake Bay like in Sierpe. The boats arrive in the water close to the beach and people get on and off in the water (the same at San Josecito).
Step 03 - Boat: Drake Bay Beach - San Josecito Beach
You will be taking the taxi boat from Drake Bay to Playa San Josecito - of which THERE IS ONLY ONE - at 12:30pm. It is 9,000 colones or $20 dollars and you must walk out in the water to the boat and tell them that you want to go to San Josecito or "Life For Life Hostel con Ricardo." The ride takes about 30 minutes. If you will not arrive on time, you can stay the night in Drake. If you miss it for whatever reason - Please Let Us Know as we will be expecting you and will change plans accordingly.
Once at San Josecito - we will meet you, or if something happens and we are not there (which would only be in an emergency-type situation), the walking directions are as above.
There are also 2 other options from Drake besides the boat:
1. One is to walk it! If you don't have too much luggage! It takes 2.5-3.5 hrs one direction depending on how much you stop and what your pace is. There are many up and downs. It is a path full of rocks, and there is mud and tree trunks beside pristine beaches and the edge of the jungle, full of birds and animals of all kinds and rock outcroppings made of lava! Since it is one of the most beautiful and fun walk/hikes there is, we recommend you do it at some point during your stay at the Hostel, perhaps when you do not have your luggage.
2. Two, is to try to find a taxi. You can ask around if anyone knows of a taxi that will take you to "La Escuela en Playa Rincon" (the school on Rincon Beach). Here there is a small parking lot/field a car could take you to and then a 15-20 minute walk along the beach path to the Hostel. It is not a for-sure option, and we highly recommend the boat ride, but if you want to go this route it should be about $25 and take about 45 minutes. Again, Please Let Us Know your plans of this, and we will meet you at the parking lot/field to help guide you and carry your things.
San Jose - Sierpe - San Josecito [Drive, Park, Boats]
Drive: San Jose - Sierpe
Look up driving directions to the town of Sierpe. Once there, you can park at Restaurant Don Jorge - which is located at the boat dock - and park there securely for $7/day. There will be a ferry - you will have to take it with your car on this route.
Boat: Sierpe - San Josecito
Take the boat ride from Sierpe to San Josecito.
San Jose - Playa Rincon [Drive]
Drive: San Jose - Playa Rincon
Look up directions on Google Maps for: Rincón de San Josecito, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica
It is a 7-8 hour drive. Part of this trip is on a ferry with your car. When you get to the end of the road, you will be on top of a ridge, the road will then turn to gravel and you will go down a steep incline that will take you to a parking lot/field on the edge of the beach. You will be parking there at your own risk. It is mostly very secure on this beach, but we do recommend that you do not leave anything at all visible in the car.
We also recommend that you do not arrive after sunset, which is 5:30pm. When you let us know when you will be arriving, we will be there to meet you and help you carry your things. If circumstances are such that we are not there, read about walking to our location.