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Costa rica help

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We are thinking about traveling to Costa Rica but I am unsure of which area to visit. We would like a nice beach but would want something within walking distance to resturants. I like to swim in the ocean so a strong riptide would not work for me. We are not real picky about where we stay. We do like a comfy bed. Again, we would like to be within walking distance to entertainment, nothing fancy just some music. I was looking a Taramindo beach but was told Jaco would be better. La fortuna and Tambor looks like it might have nice beaches.So does Playa Grande. Also, when is the best time to go? We were looking at middle of November or maybe January. We are self employed so our schedule is open.

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