More about Jinetes de Osa Hotel
The Serenity and Beauty of Drake Bay
I recommend Drake Bay and the Jinetes de Osa Lodge to anyone looking for an un-crowded, non-touristy experience in a safe and tranquil setting.
Nestled on the shore of Drake Bay, Jinetes de Osa will quickly become your home away from home. With friendly and hospitable staff, awesome, freshly prepared food (including bread, desserts, and natural fruit drinks) and an overall good vibe, Jinetes de Osa offers comfortable accomodations at a reasonable price.
There are plenty things to do and the friendly staff at Jinetes helped me plan all my guided tours including bird watching hikes, snorkeling, a tour of the nearby mangroves and a guided hike in Corcovado. Oh, I also earned my Open Water SCUBA Certification thru Jinetes. They were patient with me and professional.
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay and can't wait to go back. It is the kind of place that sticks in your head- its smells, its sights, how it made you feel.
The staff at Jinites de Osa did everything we could have expected of them and more. They evern did our laundry as our stay was nearing the end of our trip and our clean clothes supply was running short. The food, in my opinion, was great. Particularly breakfast and dinner. We did the snorkel trip and our guide was great...diving to the bottom to stir the sharks out from under the rocks.
Through discussion with the owner at dinner, he mentioned a DVD he has on Cocos Island. So after dinner and once the sun went down, he pulled out the projector and screen and we had drinks and watched the amazing video.
The service is top notch. We took the water taxi from Sierpe to get there. Once we got there the taxi backed us up as far as he could and one of the staff members from Jinites came out and helped us out of the boat with our bags and in first order of business before we even got our room, welcomed us to paradise with a cold Imperial.
The rooms are pretty decent. But if you are going to Drake to sit in your room, save your money. We awoke each an every morning to the beautiful sunrise with boats in the bay and the smell of breakfast wofting in the air.
Now I have not stayed at any other places in Drake (and quite frankly I wouldn't) and can't comment on how they run their business but Jinites de Osa is not only a great value but also great atmosphere. The place is really set up for you to get to know other people...if you are a recluse you may want to stay elsewhere. Nothing but a positive vibe emanating out of Jinites. Tons of great stuff to do, some great people to meet and plenty of sweet sun to enjoy.
Great place, spendy excursions
You couldn't ask for a friendlier staff. The food is served family style on a big long table, and it was consistently really, really good. Was very easy to meet other people as you are eating family style - so it's social. There are hammocks to lie in after you stuff yourself with the great food, and since it is right on the beach you hear the ocean at night. Since it is also inside the jungle, you hear the birds in the morning - we saw a rainbow parrot right outside our room.
The only issues we had were:
1) The rooms w/shared bath, also are kind of shared rooms - the wall separating them doesn't go to the ceiling so you can hear every noise the people in the next room make (and vice versa) - not good for a romantic couple!
2) The excursions are dramatically overpriced - $70 per person for something that should cost at most $20 per person. The 'rainforest hike' was a tiny boat for 20 minutes stuffed w/people, and then a leisurely walk on a well traveled path where a guide points out some trees and birds, then a simple picnic lunch (though very tasty) of ham/cheese sandwiches and pasta salad and fresh fruit, then a quick hike to a small waterfall, and then back to the hotel. That's $70 per person? I mean, it was nice, true, it was, but it was just crazy overpriced. Be prepared to suck that up.
Also, be sure to bring a flashlight to this hotel - you can't go out at night otherwise because it is pitch dark - there is no town!
Great Place to Explore The Osa Peninsula
I stayed at Jinetes in 2003 and went back in 2007. The hotel provides a great base to take advantage of evertything the Osa Peninsula has to offer - beautiful scenery and plenty of adventures including snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, nature walks, canopy tours, etc. The staff if friendly and the meals are included so overall it's a good value.
The time (8 nights) I spent at Jinetes de Oso with a group of fellow painters was perhaps one of the most incredible journeys I have ever taken. The setting is unsurpassed with the jungle behind and around you clear to the edge of the beach. The beach was a stones throw from the dining room/bar area as well as the deck of our room. We sat and enjoyed the sight and scent of tropical foliage, the water of the bay was hypnotizing to watch, soothing to listen to and the birds over the bay provided a continual show. The sunrises were a different treat every mornign and enjoyed with the coffee that was left on on deck before the sun came up. There are trails in abundance to explore around the bay, the town of Drake is quaint and mesmirizing, the pace is relaxing and soothing, the local folks friendly. There were many other wildlife sitings right at the lodge- numerous birds, monkeys, and an array of interesting bugs and lizzards.
The hotel itself is basic and clean with an extremely accommodating staff-from owner to manager to wait staff to maintenence, all were professional yet warm and personal. The food was consistantly amazing, the fresh fruit and fish something that is hard to find on travels. If there is any complaint it would be that there was too much of it!
As painters our group needed an area to paint and again the staff was extremely helpful in providing us the spot and resources needed for a wonderful experience and time to create. I especially enjoyed the canopy tour and the sunset cruise.
If you want a non-commercial, still authentic getaway this is the place for you. Pack light-you can have laundry done at the lodge, don't forget bug spray and sunscreen.
Wonderful time...but know what to expect
I'll try to give you some info that the other review haven't.
We had a wonderful time. People are friendly, rooms are clean, food is good.
What I had read before is that the location is great. This is somewhat mixed for me. The JINETES is located near the local town, which is nice if you want to go to the store for some cheap soda or candy(they dont sell beer) or just hang out with the locals. YES the JInetes is located near a beach but I don't think it is a very nice one. We were there 4 days and did not see 1 person in the water. We only saw boats. The nicer beach is about a 25 min walk from the Jinetes. Secondly, since the hotel IS located near the town, there is quite a bit of foot traffic in front of your rooms. We never left our curtains open dispite the beautiful view, just because so many people can see right in your room. BUT there are chairs in front of your room so you can sit outside and enjoy the view.
ALSO, just know that since the road does not go all the way to the hotel. YOu will be dropped off on the other side of the beach to walk to the hotel, thus you will have to carry your luggage. I suggest a backpack type bag. Rollers will obviously not work. However, most of the time there will be local guys out there to carry your bags across the sand for you.
The staff and locals at JINETES are truly what made this hotel memorable. The staff goes out of there way to make you comfortable. They arranged our tours daily as we didn't know exactly which tours we wanted to do when we got there.
I would highly recommend the Corcovado tour at "SIRENA". We saw all the species of monkeys, 2 crocodiles, tons of birds, toucans, and even a taper. Our guide was wonderful, sometimes he seemed more excited to find an animal then we were. The diving was okay, there were plenty of Manta's and large schools of barracuda, black tip sharks, but we were a little dissapointed by the visability, but that's probably because it was rainy season.
Food is good and plenty. Know that bugs WILL fly into your food but oh well, you're in the rainforest. :-) ONe thing we really loved is that every morning staff will put out a pot of coffee outside your room. Nice.
OVERALL, we really enjoyed our time here and you will too. Remember to bring hiking shoes for the corcovado tour, also water shoes are a good idea since the beaches have small pebbles and rocks. Dont forget a flashlight for nighttime exploring and be prepared to get muddy and wet!
Best Part of our Trip!
We were very happy with Jinestes de Osa. We are a family of 3 who visited Costa Rica from May 28 - June 8 and stayed at Jinetes de Osa for 5 nights.
Jinetes de Osa in Drake Bay is a terrific place with wonderful staff, comfortable rooms - an ocean view and direct access to the beach, great food and lots of activities for everyone. Drake Bay is a bit remote - not allot of the touristy types you encounter in Monteverde or Arenal. Corcovado Ntl Park is nearby - with virgin rainforest and all kinds of Mammals including tapirs and monkeys, lots of different kinds of reptiles, birds and bugs galore! We did the Sirena hike - which is really fantastic.
If you get a chance, the night hike with the Bug Lady is quite impressive and highly recommended. We also did the Canopy Tour here at Drake Bay, which is not crowded like Monteverde, but just as thrilling! I did a scuba refresher course as I had not dived since major knee surgery. Brian (one of the owners) had suggested I bring a pair of split fins with me – which enabled me to successful dive without any pain! My husband and college aged daughter then joined me for diving. Though we saw schools of beautiful fish, the water clarity was only about 15 – 20’ due to the recent heavy rains.
Great place! A+++
What a great find! Located right above the beach, far from the madding crowd, you could not find a better spot. Our family of four had a large room (three beds) and we were completely comfortable. The international staff (Costa Rican, Colombian, and Scots!) were very friendly and personable; they went out of their way to make sure we had a great time. The food was excellent and they will accomodate your dietary preferences (e.g., no meat). Unlike what a previous poster said, the fans work all night and there were two in the room; we were quite cool. The tours were all great. We hiked at Sirena and further north (you get everywhere by boat), visited Cano Island, did the canopy tour and the night hike. The night hike is outstanding. They will show you things you never would see on your own. Jinetes is completely unpretentious, you dine family style and get to know the other guests, and the common areas are very comfortable. We were very pleased with our 5-day stay at Jinetes de Osa. Fly into the nearby air strip and then leave by Palomar Sur by going up the river. The ride from the ocean into the river is a thrill. Don't miss the espheras (pre-Columbian stone balls) at Palomar Sur. If you want to see them as found at Finca 6, be sure to arrange in advance as the gate is locked.
Our favorite place in all of Costa Rica
We had an absolutely awesome time at the Jinetes de Osa. The food was fantastic, the rooms clean and the staff nicer than anywhere else we stayed. We are a family with 2 teen boys and they loved it as much as us. They felt completely safe exploring on their own and we loved the monkeys that played in the tree outside our room each morning. We stayed in rooms #1 & #2. It is up the stairs and the view of the ocean is beautiful. We loved eating family style and meeting different people every night. On the rainforest hike we saw a crocodile, toucan, 3 different troops of monkeys, a humming bird nest, macaws, jesus christ lizard and many birds. The boat ride to the rainforest walk or Cano island is a bit rough. It is a small boat and if the ocean is rough it pounds over each swell. Make sure you bring poncho's and plenty of plastic bags because everything does get very wet. It has been 6 weeks since we have been home and we still talk about the Jinetes de Osa almost daily. We hope we can go back some day.
Great place to relax
Jinetes de Osa was our final place on a 15 night trip to Costa Rica and we stayed 4 nights. Whilst the rooms are not 5 star this is not important - what you get is a great location, really friendly staff, great fellow travellers to chat to, good rooms which actually give you all you need.
If you weren't going on trips you could lay in hammocks in the the chill out area and watch life in the bay unfold.
Meals were included and everyone sat together on a long table which was fun and helped everyone get along. The staff did a great job with the food - it wasn't Michelin star but we didn't want that, it was fresh and we ate all of it especially the freshly baked bread which was delicious.
We went to Corcovado National Park but the highlights were the whale watching trip (we saw two pairs of humpbacks) and the night tour with Tracie the bug lady (make sure you don't miss her trips).
Thank you to Brian and everyone for making our stay at Jinetes de Osa so memorable.