The Complete Guide to taking the boat from Sierpe to The Jaguar's Jungle
Taking the boat from Sierpe to Drake Bay
Taking the boat from Sierpe to Drake Bay is very fun and has gorgeous views. Make sure you tell your boat captain that you are going to Jungla del Jaguar, NOT Drake Bay. They are not the same destination. Jungla del Jaguar is the last stop on the boat, 20 minutes past Drake Bay.
Here is the map of the route you will take for the boat from Sierpe to Drake Bay.
You will go through the Sierpe mangroves and out onto the coast for this boat ride.
Getting to Sierpe
The launch point for the boats is in Sierpe, so whether you’re driving, going with a shuttle or taking the bus, you need to get to the La Perla del Sur restaurant next to Hotel Oleaje Sereno.
If you’re taking the bus, there are buses from Palmar Norte to Sierpe everyday at 4:30, 7, 9:30, 11, 13:30, 14:30 and 17:00 which takes about 40 minutes.
If you’re driving, stay on the Costeanera Sur until you reach the intersection for Palmar Norte, about 45 minutes from Uvita. Take a right at the main intersection, go across the bridge and take the next immediate right (there are signs) to Sierpe, another 10-15 minutes drive.
Returning a car in Sierpe: There aren’t car rental companies in Sierpe but companies will pick up the car there for an extra fee. With Adobe, their closest office is in Uvita but they can pick up and deliver to the Sierpe dock for a fee.
So you can drive to Sierpe dock, have Adobe pick up the car and then go to Drake Bay so you don’t need to worry about parking the car.
Renting a car in Sierpe: Then if you want to rent a car after your Drake Bay trip, Adobe can deliver the car to Sierpe dock when you arrive so you don’t need to go to their office in Uvita. The latest they can deliver the car is 4:30 PM.
We use Solid rental cars since they do not charge a fee to pick the car up from Sierpe (which is amazing and so convenient). You cannot book a rental car to be picked up in Sierpe online however, which is why we always just book the car when we arrive to the SJO airport.
Sierpe to Drake Bay Boat Schedule
The taxi boat is captained by Gama and there are two departure times for Jungla del Jaguar: 11:30 AM and 330 PM. It costs $25 per passenger at 11:30 AM and ~$30 at 330 PM. Please beware that the cost of the late boat is up to the captain's digression and often times varies with the amount of people in your party.
Talk to the man directing the cars but if you can’t find him, go into the office next to the restaurant. Tell them which hotel you’re going to and they’ll tell you when which boat you’ll go on and when it’ll be ready. You can wait in the restaurant.
You pay them when you reach Jungla del Jaguar before you get off the boat in either dollars or colones.
The boat ride
The boats are not very big (holds probably around 12-15 passengers) and they don’t wrap your luggage so make sure your belongings are nicely zipped up. It’s unlikely your luggage will get wet but you never know so bring garbage bags with if you are worried.
They’ll take your bags for you to load into the boat and you can keep your backpack or purse. They’ll start calling hotels once boats are ready so listen for your hotel (Jungla del Jaguar).
Once everyone is ready, you’ll begin your journey through Sierpe river and the biggest mangrove forest in Central America.
After about 40 minutes or so, it’s time to merge into the ocean. This part is a bit bumpy depending on the tide, so hold on! The boat captains are all very familiar with this area however, so don’t worry. They know how to navigate and cross the river mouth to the ocean pretty well.
From there, it’s about 20 minutes to Drake Bay. The views of the coast are spectacular! This is why taking the boat from Sierpe to Drake Bay is highly recommended – you don’t get to experience the thrill of boating in a river and ocean if you drive or fly. After the Drake Bay stop, you may stop to let people off at a few locations along the way. The Jaguar's Jungle will be the last and closest stop to the Corcovado National Park.
The Jaguar's Jungle to Sierpe Boat Schedule
The public boat from us to Sierpe is at 7:00 AM and costs $15 per person to Drake Bay and $25 per person to Sierpe.
Tips for Taking the Boat From Sierpe to Jungla del Jaguar
You can’t pre-book reservations so arrive in Sierpe at least 30 minutes early. In high season, at least 1 hour. It was really crowded when we went beginning of January and we were afraid we wouldn’t get a spot.
Fees recap: 3,000 colones ($6) a day for parking, $25 per passenger at 11:30 AM, $30 per passenger at 4 PM
If you get seasick, take anti-nausea medicine and bring some ginger ale. It depends on the wind and tide how bumpy it is.
Make sure you don’t leave any valuables in your car, roll up the windows and lock the door. It’s a secure parking lot but you don’t want to take any chances
Wear sunscreen. At 11:30 AM the sun is high and bright and half my face was in the sun for a good hour.