The journey to getting to us is a beautiful travel adventure and a tour of Costa Rica all in itself.
There are a few different route options, all of which land you a 15-20 min walk from the Hostel, so once you know your route ~ please let us know the details of your travel plans and arrival time so we can be there to welcome you, guide you, and support you with your luggage.
Please Be In Contact With Us About Your Arrival Plans
We currently do not have internet or easily accessible cell service (it is available at other beaches nearby), so in planning your trip in advance it is very important that you please be in contact with Keidy Tatiana +506 8450 7198, or via WhatsApp, or firstname.lastname@example.org at our mainland office, and she will relay your travel plans and arrival times to us. This way we can stay aware of supporting you with any needs that may arise en route, and most importantly - we will be waiting for you when you arrive to help you with your things and guide you to the Hostel.
Cell Phones in Costa Rica
If you do not make arrangements with your current provider to have service in Costa Rica:
We recommend getting a prepaid Costa Rican SIM card.
The Kolbi ICE company works the best in the Drake Bay area.
The easiest place to get one is in the baggage terminal at the airport before you walk out of the building. It is not possible to find them anywhere else in the airport after this. If you do not buy it in the baggage terminal, your next option is to buy one somewhere in town. Most grocery stores and mini marts will recharge your SIM card but not all will sell the SIM card itself. It is very helpful to have this though, when traveling the area.
Please note: In Costa Rica WhatsApp is the main cell phone communication method, so consider downloading it ahead of time if you do not already have it!
Once at Life For Life, there are a few slivers of beach along the path that do get cell phone service and we can point them out to you during your stay if needed in case of emergency. The hostel has Wifi service.
The town of Drake Bay is a $20/roundtrip boat ride that can only be made at 7am and returning at 12:30pm. It is also a
5-7 hr roundtrip hike journey along the truly exquisite coast line trail ~ it is a great day adventure. In the town of Drake Bay, you can find cell phone service and restaurants with internet.
We are in the process of accepting credit cards. When you make your reservation, check and see if we are ready to accept at the hostel. It is important that you bring everything you will need during your stay with us as well as traveling around the Drake Bay Area. It will be much easier to travel with cash in this remote area than using a card. Some restaurants, grocery stores and guide services take them, but not all, and if they do there is often a fee. The town of Drake Bay does NOT have a bank or an ATM machine. If you are traveling the route through Palmar Norte - this will be your last stop for banks and ATM’s.
How To Get To Us
Start in San Jose, The Capital of Costa Rica
Directions Without A Car
1) San José - Palmar Norte - Sierpe - Playa San Josecito:
Bus, Taxi, Boat
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
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.
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 8,000 colones which is about $16 total. If more than 2 people the price moves to $5 p.p.
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.
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 11:30 is $15, the 4pm is $30 - 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.
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 $150 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.
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!
Banks: Palmar Norte
Along this route, Palmar Norte is the last town with banks and ATM's. Neither Sierpe or Drake Bay have them.
Directions Without A Car
2) San Jose - Drake Bay:
Passenger Plane - Taxi - Boat
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 volcanos, 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.
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).
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.
Directions With A Car
1.) San Jose - Sierpe - San Josecito:
Drive, Park, Boat
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.
2.) San Jose - Playa Rincon
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.
Have wonderful and enjoyable travels!
Ahhhh... the rainforest of Costa Rica… Its weather seasons are very unique. In some places rain may deter one from travel… but here it is a unique and exciting experience. There is something special, exciting, calming and profound about being in the warm tropical jungle, and the water, as it gives life to this rich environment. Rainy season is also the time of the Sea Turtle Conservation Project!
Just come prepared and you will have so much fun!
End of April/May
Beginning of Rainy Season
Showers most of the day
Beginning of Sea Turtle Conservation Season
June, July, August
Costa Ricans call it “Mini Summer”
Sunny and warm/hot most of day
Afternoon rain showers/rain storms
Beginning to get more rain!
Rains more frequently during day
Some weeks of nonstop rainstorms
December, January, February, March, April
Costa Rican Summer!
December is the end of Sea Turtle Conservation Season
What To Bring
We accept cash and credit cards at the hostel and it is important that you bring everything you will need during your stay with us. We accept colones and dollars. It will be easier at times to travel with cash in this remote area than a card. Some restaurants, grocery stores and guide services take them, but not all and if they do there is often a fee. Also, at times power goes out and while it is restored, during that time electronic equipment does not work. There is no bank or ATM in the town of Drake Bay. The nearest town you will find one in is Palmar Norte.
Headlamp and/or Flashlight and extra batteries ~ Very Important for walking around at night as there can be snakes on the paths at night
Sunscreen ~ If you are going to go on a Rio Claro River Tour, please bring environmentally friendly sunscreens as the environment is very sensitive and pure in this Wildlife Reserve
Water Bottle ~ You always have access to safe filtered drinking water with us, but there are also many great water bottles available out there with built-in filtration systems for use along the hiking trails, etc.
Mini/Travel First Aid Kit
Hiking Sandals/Shoes ~ To walk anywhere from where we are, you will be walking along a path through the jungle along the beach coastline. There are tree roots and rocks, mud puddles, creeks and some parts that go along the sandy and wavy beaches - so fun! There is also a part where you may have to cross through a couple inches or even a foot of the river on the Rio Claro beach… all of this to give you information for what footwear to bring if you are planning on hiking along this trail at all while here!
Flip Flops for walking around the hostel and beach
Boots/Waterproof shoes ~ During heavy, rainy season May - November
Rain jacket/Rain pancho and/or Umbrella ~ During light and heavy rainy season, May - November
Waterproof carrying case for your cell phone, electronics and other valuables; as well as books or any kind of paper that can easily mould in this damp and humid environment if here for extended periods of time. Waterproof carrying cases you can wear around your neck are a great way to have your cell phone protected and handy for a quick picture!
Recommended: External battery for electronics
Recommended: Journal and/or Art Supplies
Recommended: Some people with sensitive stomachs bring Loperamide or Charcoal Tablets when visiting the area to support themselves with micro-bacterial changes