Please help! Tortola or Costa Rica

Old Jan 15th, 2005, 06:47 AM
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Please help! Tortola or Costa Rica

Hi everyone,
I thought our next trip south was going to be to Costa Rica, but after reading the various posts about Tortola, I am starting to waiver! I wanted to visit Costa Rica to see the rainforest, volcanos, and the landscape, but I am a beach girl at heart, and have been reading that one doesn't visit CR for its beaches. Tortola on the other hand........... I know this is a Caribbean site but am hoping some Fodorites that frequent this board will share their personal experiences with me. Oh, yes, I just returned from Australia and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef was the highlight of my trip! How is the snorkeling in CR and Tortola? I realize how difficult it is to compare, as each place has its own beauty and uniqueness, but nevertheless......... Thanks!
Peace, Jayne
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 10:56 AM
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I have been to the Caribbean and Costa Rica ( 3 x C.R. ) . While I did enjoy The Caribbean very much , with the amazing water and white beaches , I ADORE Costa Rica . The beaches are exotic , wild and incredible . The Manuel Antonio beaches are picture perfect TO ME ! But if you really love to see turquoise water , and white sand , it is not here .
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 10:57 AM
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Also , snorkeling is not great in Costa Rica , but its other draws more than make up for that . Faith
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 12:22 PM
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Hand Down. I will choose Tortola in the BVI. Lots of beaches and islands to explore. Very mountainous and many mariners for the yacthing enthusiasts.
Old Jan 15th, 2005, 01:01 PM
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Hi Jayne
I don't know CR at all but the BVIs and Tortola are my favortie.

Tortola's Mt Sage is 1,710' and the island is extremely hilly. Airplane views from the roads are common. Hiking and forest are prevalent.

The beaches are great with 7 - 8 very nice ones on Tortola and adjoing Beef Is. Ferries run to Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke for more options.

The society is welcoming, economy is sound, employment very high, crime very low, hawkers and beach peddlers non-existent.
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 01:16 PM
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We travel to the Caribbean a lot, and we love Tortola. Great beaches, great snorkeling, great places to eat -- what could be better. And it is also very easy to travel from there to other places in the BVI. If you are looking for a resort on Tortola, Long Bay is a very good choice, especially the beachfront junior suites.
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 03:10 PM
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For sure most people visit Costa Rica for the amazing variety of activities offered in such a small country . There are activities for the soft adventurer , as well as more strenuous stuff . All this with tons of lodging choices , and prices much better than the Caribbean . Some of the views are quite simply jaw dropping .... But ..... if you head there specifically for beaches , to find THE perfect beach and snorkeling , as I said this is NOT the place . I guess you have to figure out what you prefer , Anguilla is very popular on this site for its near perfect beaches and water , but look behind you and there is not much . For one person that is ideal , for another not quite so good . Fodors is a super place , with the tons of information offered I am able to scratch a lot of places off my list . If you want a combination of landscape AND nice beaches , Tortola is probably a happy medium , along with Tobago , Grenada , Nevis maybe ..... Etc.
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 04:56 PM
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I agree with Faithie, I love Costa Rica! A fantastic country with much diversity, you have the forests and beaches. Again I agree snorkelling is not the best but is good, beaches are fabulous, the people wonderful. Its a different kind of trip than Tortola, which its more remote and beaches are about it. Costa Rica you can combine many different interests and sights in one trip. It does need more than a week though.
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 05:39 PM
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I haven't been to Costa Rica so I can't comment on that. Tortolla was great. My family and I stayed at Long Bay. Beautiful views, lovely beach. We enjoyed the snorkeling, especially a remote beach down the road. Took a sail boat to Virgin Gorda. I would definetely recommend Tortolla. Rent a car and explore.
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 06:15 PM
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Thanks for the replies everyone! After reading your posts, I think I need to visit both places. Faithie and Traveler 863, where did you stay in CR? Should I do a search under the Latin America board?
KXR and Dtstahl, where did you stay in Tortola? Also, Mjulius and hemb, thanks for suggesting Long Bay.
There is so much traveling I want to do, just not enough time and money!!! Anyone playing the lottery????
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 06:39 PM
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The latin america board is great! Very active , super advice and people !! aLL your questions will be answered . Actually we had tickets for Tortola in November , but through certain circumstances were given 2 extra tickets for our kids . luckily we were able to change them , and did so for Costa Rica ! It was AMAZING !!! I simply can not wait to return , truly an inspiring place . Faith
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 06:50 PM
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I actually consider myself a Beach girl at heart , so I have to tell you , beach number 3 ( Playa Blanca ) inside Manuel Antonio National Park is pretty amazing , and as the name says , the sand is fairly white ! Watch your food though , it could get stolen , by any number of critters !!! If you are still thinking one of the islands I would seriously start looking at Tobago , you will see why ! Faith
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 07:30 PM
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Wow Faithie I think we should start traveling together! Loved Costa Rica but a beach person too, Costa Rica had that plus so much more tis why we loved it so much. We did not get to Manuel Antonio, we were at Tamarindo and did Arenal Volcano and Monteverde Cloud Forest...great place and much diversity. I love Tobago, its one of my top picks for the Caribbean....only one that topped that was Montserrat but that was prevolcano unfortunately, great island! Other places have things that are great and unique such as Bonaire snorkeling/diving. BVIs are beautiful and offer some seclusion and great beaches as does St. John USVI. Hard to pick sometimes

Best of luck Jayneann if we can answer any more of your questions. If you want more info on Costa Rica definitely post under Latin America, very knowledgeable folks there and good detailed responses you'll get.

Happy travels.
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 08:17 PM
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Think your right traveller ! Tobago is on my list for sure , it looks incredible , beauty beyond the beach ! You would love Manuel Antonio , get there soon , while it is still pristine . Hey !! You have been terribly well behaved !!??? rather miss the Traveller of old !lol And where is Diana ? Would have loved to see her response to a certain post ..... I think she is on vacation , pity , AH WELL ! Happy Travels indeed , Faith .
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 09:12 PM
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A return to Costa Rica is in the works! Manuel on the agenda! Oh I haven't been the best behaved (check out luxury without poverty thread lol). I'm glad you can and others can understand I'm just a woof of hot air with my own opinions. I miss Diana too...yes she must be laying on a beach somewhere and hopefully not in a Mexican jail LOL
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 08:34 AM
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We spent 2 weeks in CR last December and absolutley loved it. We stayed in a fabulous beach town of 800 residants called Playa Samamra on the Nicoya Penninsula. It was very small nut the beaches were absolutely perfect and uncrowded. The only thing was that since it is not built up yet, there are no umbrellas to lie under, you just have to fund a palm tree.
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Old Jun 29th, 2005, 05:26 AM
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Hi Jayneann........I see your message was from January- did you take your trip yet? I have been to both places and can offer a little insight if you are still undecided......
[email protected]
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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 08:22 PM
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snorkeling in CR will disappoint your for the most part. A trip to CR is as you've read the rainforests, cultures and such. If you're a beach gal go to Tortola, if wanting some beach combined with interesting culture, rainforests, etc go to CR.
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Old Jun 30th, 2005, 10:45 PM
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Costa Rica vs. Tortola? You couldn't get more different. I suppose Costa Rica offers its specific cultural richness. But if you really love water/beach/snorkeling the BVI's are amazing. Tortola is a fine base for enjoying the diverse and gorgeous Virgin Islands.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2005, 02:57 PM
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The way you describe yourself the answer is Tortola. For me it would be Costa Rica. You'll love Tortola!
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