Bahia Drake

Bahia Drake got its name from the legendary English pirate Sir Francis Drake. According to research by historians, Sir Francis Drake sailed into the bay that now bears his name in March 1579, during his circumnavigation of the globe in his ship the Golden Hind. He dropped anchor in the two-kilometerlong bay on the Osa Peninsula, north of Marenco (reachable by boat from Sierpe).

The village of Agujitas is Bahia Drake’s center. A small food store supplies basic needs and a public telephone provides communication with the rest of the world. The residents of Agujitas manufacture exquisite appliqued cloths (molas), only found here and on Panama’s San Blas Islands. Their intricate decoration, showing fruit and birds of the jungle, make them unmistakable. Agujitas has a number of lodges for visitors who have lots of time on their hands.

It is possible to snorkel in the Pacific or watch for the whales that often swim quite close to shore. These ocean giants appear to be greeting the humans on shore with fountains they blast from their blow holes – a tribute not unlike the cannon shot fired by Sir Francis Drake and his pirates. The inhabitants earn their living working on coffee and cocao plantations surrounding the bay. Guavas are another popular crop grown in the area. The tennis-ball-sized fruit belongs to the myrtle family. Although now found all over the world, guavas are native to Central America. The gnarled, unremarkable trees reach a height of 10 meters. The delicious round fruit with yellow-green skin is sweet and rich in vitamin C. Ticos make jam, juice, liqueur and wine from guavas. The local people even use the leaves, from which they extract medicine which is said to be effective in treating digestive disorders.

Visitors with a romantic bent or love of adventure can rent a canoe and paddle along the shore to the mouth of the Rio Agujitas. There is an anchorage for sailing ships and other attractions.

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