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Samara, Manuel Antonio, or Uvita/Dominical with kids?

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Hi everyone! We’re fairly certain we want to go to Costa Rica next year in early March for our family vacation, but not sure which location. My husband and I have been to the Osa twice, Arenal, and Montezuma. Since we’ll have our daughters (they will be 15 & 9) along, I’ve kind of narrowed it down to Samara, Manuel Antonio, or Uvita/Dominical.

Samara appeals to me because of the small town and calmer waters, but will it have enough wildlife and activities available? Manuel Antonio appeals to me because it sounds beautiful, there are lots of activities available, and wildlife galore, but we’re concerned it may be too busy of an area for our taste. Uvita/Dominical sounds like it might be a quieter area, but are there any relatively calm beaches, and what about wildlife and activities there?

We’re not sure if we are going to include Arenal in this trip – it depends upon what we end up with for flights and how many days we'll have. We’re also not sure if we are going to rent a car, hire drivers, or fly from San Jose – that depends upon our destinations. Most likely, for the beach location, we will rent a casa or bungalow, so we’re not all crammed into one room. We like hiking, swimming (ocean and pools), exploring, wildlife viewing, boat tours, and ziplining.

I’m sure we would enjoy any of these locations (it's Costa Rica, afterall), but any thoughts, comparisons, or suggestions from fellow Fodorites to help us decide would be great!

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