10 Night Trip to Costa Rica

Old Jul 14th, 2012, 04:28 PM
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10 Night Trip to Costa Rica

My wife and I and10 year old boy are taking a 11 day/10 night trip to Costa Rica next month. We need to finalize plans soon.

Following are preliminary travel plans:

Day1 - Arrive and drive to Manuel Antonio.
Day 2 - 10 in 1 Tour Manuel Antonio.
Day 3 - Explore Manuel Antonio National Park with guide. Any suggestions on guides?
Drive to La Fortuna.
Day 4 - Morning horesback ride to waterfalls. Afternoon possibly Hanging Bridges.
Day 5 - Boat ride at Cano Negro. Any suggestions who to use on boat tour?
Possibly night hike or hot springs or both at night.
Day 6 - Drive to Monteverde. See either Santa Elena or Monteverde Cloud Forest.
Day 7 - Butterfly garden in morning. Stop at Poas Volcano on way back to San Jose.
Day 8 - Trip to Tortuguera to take boat ride on Francesca with Watsons. Stay in Tortuguera.
Day 9 - After 2 day boat trip back to San Jose.
Day - 10 Fly home.

We love nature and like to see a lot on our trips. Any suggestions on above travel plans.
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Old Jul 14th, 2012, 04:42 PM
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I would cut out Monteverde--it needs to be a 2 night stay minimum to be worth the horrid drive to/from there.
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Old Jul 14th, 2012, 05:37 PM
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Sounds good. I too would cut out the night in Monteverde.
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Old Jul 14th, 2012, 07:13 PM
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Both Sunset Tours and Desafio are excellent tour companies in the Arenal area; I'd use one of them. I'd definitely do the hot springs as well - Tabacon if you want big and elaborate or Eco Termales if you want smaller, charming, and locally owned. I wouldn't go to Monteverde for one night either; it's kind of a pain to get to and not worth it just to turn around and come back for me.
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 09:32 AM
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I am totally agree with Volcano Girl sunset and desafio are the beat companies in Arenal Area. Manuel Antonio is a beautiful National Park, I hope you will explore all the park, when you will be in Monteverde, a great one day tour is Monteverde Cloud Forest Train tour. look the info: www.monteverdecloudforesttrain.com/. Tortuguero is a beautiful place , full of nature and peace.
Your plan sounds really good, it will be amazing I am sure.
Good Luck
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 03:39 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. We will probably delete Monteverde from trip.

I have been reading other posts and it seems that Bosque del Cabo is an amazing place for wildlife and scenery in the Osa peninsula. Any thoughts on also deleting Cano Negro since we will have two days in Tortuguera and adding two days at Bosque del Cabo.

My son was reading Fodors Costa Rica book and pointed out to me Volcanogirl was quoted on page 499.

Thanks for any help.
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 03:52 PM
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Bosque del Cabo and the Osa have the best wildlife we've ever seen. If you want to hike and see wildlife, that's a great place to do it. We saw all 4 kinds of monkeys there, sloths, an anteater, toucans, and scarlet macaws. Cano Negro and Tortuguero are very similar. If you only want to do it once, it would be fine to give up Cano Negro although we love it. Tucan is a great cabin, and it has a loft for the kids. m, I'm quoted in a lot of the guides. The funny thing is I was reading some reviews online, and someone said, "Like I'd trust any reviews by someone named volcanogirl!" They thought all the reviews were made up! If they quote you, you get a free guide. A lot of people on this board are in there. I love getting first hand perspectives like that.
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 04:52 PM
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Thanks for the reply.

If we choose to go to Bosque del Cabo, do you think two nights is enough? Our flight gets into San Jose around 1:15P.M. Could we fly up to Osa that evening, stay that night and the next night and fly back the next morning to San Jose?

Thanks
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 07:25 PM
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If you're going to Bosque del Cabo, you have zero reason to go to Manuel Antonio. I'd add the Manuel Antonio time to BdC.
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 09:12 PM
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If you just want a taste of BdC and to see wildlife, I think two nights is fine. Are you going to want to do any of the activities there like visit the animal sanctuary or go out and see dolphins? The beach isn't easy to access from BdC, so if you want beach time I'd probably keep Manuel Antonio although the animals there will seem very tame compared to the Osa.
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Old Jul 21st, 2012, 07:11 AM
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You will love the ADR 10 in 1 trip! It's one of my all-time favorites! The guides are fantastic, and the scenery is beyond breath-taking. In Manuel Antonio for a guide I recommend using Mop (like the cleaning tool) he does a great job and he takes small groups which is a huge plus. I don't have his contact info at the moment, but if I find it I will re-post. Your hotel or house will also be able to recommend a good park guide.
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Old Jul 21st, 2012, 07:28 PM
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When we went to Bosque del Cabo, I think that we stayed for three or four nights and it did not seem like enough time- only because it is so amazing there. We were traveling with our daughter, who was ten at the time, and it was an incredible experience for all of us. For that trip we split our time between BdC and Iguana Lodge (for some beach time). It was a great combination of jungle and untouched by time (Jurassic Park fly though) beaches.
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Old Jul 21st, 2012, 08:27 PM
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volcanogirl, by tame in " I'd probably keep Manuel Antonio although the animals there will seem very tame compared to the Osa" do you mean habituated or uninteresting?
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Old Jul 21st, 2012, 10:01 PM
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They are very habituated--to the point of stealing food from people.
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Old Jul 21st, 2012, 10:03 PM
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Definitely habituated. They know how to open bags of potato chips and will steal from you the first chance that they get. Animals on the Osa seem much more wild and natural.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2012, 04:09 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

We have made a few changes to our travel plans.

Following is revised travel plan:

Day 1 - Arrive in San Jose. Stay at Hotel Buena Vista.
Day 2 - Fly to Puerto Jiminez. Stay at Bosque del Cabo.
Day 3 - Hike around Bosque del cabo.
Day 4 - Fly to Manuel Antonio. Free Evening. Stay at Hotel Plaza Yara.
Day 5 - Tour Manuel Antonio National Park in morning. Afternoon Mangrove boat tour.
Day 6 - ADR 10 in 1 adventure.
Day 7 - Drive to La Fortuna. SkyTRek Canopy Tour & Skytram Aerial tour. Stay at Silencio del Campo.
Day 8 - Hanging Bridges, Horseback to waterfalls, Arenal Volcano tour. Dinner & hot springs at Springs Resort.
Day 9 - Trip to Tortuguero to go on Riverboat Francesca. Stay at Laguna Lodge.
Day 10 - Morning boat tour of Tortuguero park. Drive back to San Jose. Stay at Hotel Buena Vista.
Day 11 - Fly Home.

I had to take out Cano Negro boat tour in order to go to Osa. Any suggestions on travel plans, hotels, activities, etc. Also, does anyone know or have thoughts on Mangrove boat tour.

Thanks for any help.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2012, 04:35 PM
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Day 5 looks to be too long a day. Manuel Antonio park is better in the afternoon, and boat tour schedules are dependent on the tide. And there's not that much wildlife. I'd skip it if you are doing either Cano Negro or Tortuguero. Best wildlife tour in that area is the Tarcoloes crocodile safaris.

At the risk of repeating myself, you'll probably regret allocating more time for Manuel Antonio than the Osa after visiting the latter. I'd add a day to BdC and take it away from MA.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2012, 08:25 PM
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I think day 8 looks really busy, but go for it if you like that. We're sort of the same way.

We did Manuel Antonio in the morning and saw a lot of wildlife - monkeys, sloths, crabs, iguanas, raccoons, etc. RAC, I'm surprised that you didn't see a lot of wildlife. We saw tons and got a lot of good photos there. m, What do you do for the 10 in 1 adventure tour?
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Old Jul 23rd, 2012, 06:56 AM
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Skip the mangrove tour on day 5 - no need to do that since you are going to Tortuguero.

Personally I would skip Manuel Antonio and add more days onto the Osa or a second night at Tortuguero. You're going a long way for one night at Laguna and spending a lot of money on airline tickets to PJ for three people for just two nights. BdC is one of the most amazing places for wildlife in the entire country.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2012, 07:31 AM
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Saw plenty of wildlife at Manuel Antonio park, saw much less on the Damas mangrove tour (and that's including the monkeys that come to beg from unethical tour operators who feed them).
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