Rocky beach and palm trees
Coast & seascapes,  Costa Rica,  Monday walks,  Sunday Stills

On the Pacific coast in Drake Bay

Would you name a place after a notorious pirate who had ransacked your coastline and hid out here, evading capture? To our surprise we discovered that is exactly what happened here in the south west of Costa Rica; Bahia Drake is named for Sir Francis Drake.

This beautiful bay is thought to have been used by him as a port during his raids on the Spanish Main in the 16th century. There are those who say too that one of his legendary treasure troves is hidden in its waters.

The eco-lodge of Aguila de Osa sits above the waters of the Pacific just south of the small town that shares its name with the bay. One afternoon during our stay here we decided to follow the trail into town, a walk of probably a mile each way. Not far, but with so much to see along the way.

Let me share some of its delights with you for Jo’s Monday Walk this week. And as the sea air is so beautifully fresh, despite the almost tropical heat, I’m doubling up with Terri’s Sunday Stills theme too.  

So let’s set off …

Soon after leaving the hotel we came across a tree with the most amazing exposed root system I’ve ever seen; stretching across the path to a distance of several metres from the tree itself. It was hard to photograph in its entirety but created some interesting sculptural shapes.

Tree with prominent roots
Tree with prominent roots

Near here was a beautiful clump of bamboo in shades of fresh green.

Looking up at tall bamboo
Looking up at tall bamboo

My favourite sight had to be the gorgeous avenue of hibiscus we found as we detoured away from the coastline to cross a small river.

The river crossing was via a very wobbly suspension bridge, made wobblier by a group of local girls who seemed to delight in making it sway! That made it difficult to photograph the pretty Kiskadee perched on a wire across the stream.

River surrounded by tall trees
Crossing the river
Grey and yellow bird perched on a wire
Great Kiskadee

A Frigatebird flew overhead …

Large bird with forked tail
Frigatebird overhead

And a Sandpiper waded near where the river meandered down on to the beach.

Brown bird wading in shallow water

There were beautiful flowers too.

Red flower spike with single white flower
Wild Ginger flower

On the beach a dog sat guarding a coconut! The tracks are from jeeps parked here by the beach, from where tourists depart by boat for the various lodges along the coast or for trips to Caño Island.

Dog on a beach next to a coconut
Don’t touch my coconut!

I hope the tourists aren’t hungry, as the food truck appears to have shut up shop!

Small food truck with closed hatch and painting of toucan
Not serving today …

On the way back we just had to stop off for a cold drink in the Kalaluna Café, perfectly located with lovely views out across the bay.

So I hope you’ve enjoyed the walk and felt just a little of that fresh sea air along the way!

I visited Costa Rica in February 2022


  • Annie Berger

    I can see why you ‘only’ managed a one-mile walk with all the gorgeous vistas you captured in that small area. Enjoyed the winding tree roots but loved the avenue of hibiscus, Just breathtaking!

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Annie – I was amazed by that avenue, planted in what was otherwise a very simple village! And really a mile was enough for me in that heat ☀☀☀

  • wetanddustyroads

    Those trees’ roots – that’s amazing! And yes, I love the avenue of hibiscus – it definitely invites you to walk through it. Mmm, your papaya smoothie spells holiday! Thanks, it was a great walk (but now, I will have to make my own smoothie 😉).

  • SandyL

    Your first pictures reminded me of a massive tree that grew in my elementary school playground. It had nooks & cavities in the the trunk & root systems that were glorious to play in. Most fun though, were the suspended roots growing from branches above, which we’d use to swing like Tarzan. I knew it as a banyan tree, but I see from Google that it is also a type of fig tree. I never made the connection but now that I think of it .. there were times when the smell of rotting fruit and nasty pulpy bits on the ground made the area less pleasant to play in.


    Still all looks so familiar, Sarah. Makes us rather wistful on a grim weather day like today. The first time we saw a kiskadee flycatcher was when our bus from San Jose to Quepos made a food stop…we got very excited, then subsequently realised they were about as common as a sparrow over here, and we went on to see hundreds! What wonderful sights we’ve seen in that fabulous country.

    • Sarah Wilkie

      I was the same with the Kiskadees! I spent ages trying to photograph the first one I saw even though the conditions weren’t good (too much greenery around him), then realised I was getting many more better opportunities 😀 This was the first one I managed a reasonable shot of.

  • Yvonne+Dumsday

    Thanks for sharing your walk in the sun and warmth of Costa Rica – as I sit looking out on the frost on my lawn here in the Pennines. The “Great Kiskadee” reminded me so much of the tiny blue tits in the UK – though, because of the name, I must assume it was larger. Unfortunately, for reasons known only to modern technology, the hibiscus picture remains a blank in my screen. (The one I was growing from seed has now succumbed – though I did get it to about 3′ tall.)

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank Yvonne 🙂 The Great Kiskadee is about the size of our thrush I would say, so not large but larger than a blue tit for sure. I know just what you mean about the colouring though!

      I’m not sure why you can’t see the hibiscus. It’s not a single photo but a gallery of four shots. Can you see the ones at the end, taken at the cafe? I used the same plug-in for that gallery too. I’m assuming the others can see them since Jo commented on the drink but that could be because I mentioned it in the text I guess. I’ll investigate!

      • Sarah Wilkie

        And thank you Maggie too 🙂 Yes, it seemed an odd choice to us, we were surprised that it hadn’t since been renamed. Glad you liked the bright flowers!

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Terri, I’m happy you enjoyed this walk too 🙂 We were there for the first part of February, which explains why I neglected Sunday Stills for a while, but I’m back in action now!

  • restlessjo

    That was extremely nice. Thank you very much! The exposed roots you show at the beginning are of a giant fig. We saw several of these on Sao Miguel in the Azores and they are an amazing size. I can definitely think of worse places to sit with a drink. Thanks for sharing, Sarah. Have a great week!

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Jo, I’m glad you enjoyed your walk, even though I could only offer you a drink at the end of it, no cake 😆 We were fed so well at the lodge that I don’t think I could have managed any even if I had seen some on the menu! Thanks too for the tree ID, I am pretty sure you are right. We did see some in the national park the previous day but none with roots anywhere near as amazing as these!

      • Sarah Wilkie

        PS Jo, could you SEE the drink in my gallery? And the hibiscus photos? Yvonne (above) couldn’t see the latter on her screen but they show up fine on mine.

      • restlessjo

        Margaret named it correctly but it is a species of fig. We had never seen anything on this scale till we went to some gardens in Ponto Delgado 🥰💕

        • Sarah Wilkie

          Thanks – I knew that ficus was the fig family, but not that macrophylla was the Giant Fig subspecies, nor that this is the same as a rubber tree. The rubber trees I’ve seen in Kerala and elsewhere were skinny compared with this!

    • Sarah Wilkie

      Thank you Margaret 🙂 I think Jo is right (above) and this is a giant fig, although I can’t be sure. We weren’t with a guide and this is just a local footpath, not in a reserve of any sort, so trees aren’t labelled. But based on what we saw in the national park the previous day the giant fig seems a likely ID, although we didn’t see any with roots anywhere near as impressive as these!

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