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campjulie Nov 6th, 2007 01:30 PM

11 Days Until Departure: Serious Panic Attack: Driver, Weather...
Yikes... we leave in 11 days for a trip I have been planning for 10 months: Lost Iguana - Arenal, Buena Vista Villas - MA and BdC for the last leg of our 2 week trip. My husband and I will be travelling with our 7 and 9 year old girls. I posted earlier that I am getting some jitters as the trip draws near and THEN I read a post today about a couple's awful experience in their rental car.

We have hired Luis from Tucan Limo services. We emailed back and forth several times in August and organized the price and the dates. However, I have sent 2 emails over the last 10 days or so and have not heard from him. I am assuming he is on the road.

So here are my questions:
- If for some reason we don't connect with him, will the hotel be able to arrange a driver to Arenal and then 4 days later to Quepos? (We are staying @ the Marriott 1st night.) Can I arrange this with the hotel the day we arrive or do I need to this earlier?

- I booked the last two weeks in November thinking this is near the end of the rainy season... Does anyone know how things are looking this year? I guess I am mostly worried about our flight from Quepos to PJ. Might we get rained out?

I am usually not such a worrier, knowing that the weather is of course out of my control. I know we will have a great time even if we have to make adjustments along the way :-)

Thanks for any insights / support!

hipvirgochick Nov 6th, 2007 01:44 PM

Whew! Try to relax because I'm sure everything will work out just fine. ;) If indeed your driver disappears on you I'm sure you'll have no trouble arranging a driver through your hotel. In addition there's always Interbus which is very convenient and will pick up and drop off at your hotels. On the day of flight to PJ call ahead to check your flight schedule if there are weather concerns (you might want to print out the flight schedules for the days you're flying so you have them on hand).

Have a great trip and adventure! :)

volcanogirl Nov 6th, 2007 02:08 PM

julie, I really think everything will be fine. All our trips have gone very smoothly. I really think it will all work out. If things come up, then you can just deal with them as they come along, but try not to worry or panic. We hired all our drivers through our hotels, and they were great. I'm sure they have backups just in case. We went during rainy season and had sun every day, so you just can't predict these things. If you did get rained out, then you just take a later flight. I really think you've prepared as much as you can, now go have fun!

campjulie Nov 6th, 2007 02:45 PM

Thanks for all of the kind words. VG: Did you arrange the drivers with your hotels when you arrived or ahead of time?

volcanogirl Nov 6th, 2007 02:54 PM

We arranged them ahead of time; I just really like that option because if your driver doesn't come, then at least you have someone to contact. I would think, not sure, that they have a stable of drivers that they send out. If someone gets sick or something they would need to have a backup. Can you give Tucan Limo services a call just to confirm? Sometimes e-mail is unreliable down there.

shillmac Nov 6th, 2007 05:13 PM

That's the same guy who was recommended on this board about a year ago and I hired him to drive my daughter and I to Turrialba. He was always very good to respond to my e-mails. However, a few weeks before, we decided to take the public bus. He was gracious when I had to cancel.

Others of you will remember him as someone who used to post on here a LOT--roadadvisor or something like that. There were a few "disagreements" and he quit posting. I do think he will be a reliable driver, though. Keep the faith--it will all work out! Have a GREAT time! :)

MarciaM Nov 6th, 2007 05:42 PM

The last 2 weeks of November should be a wonderful time to visit Costa Rica. They have had especially heavy rains lately, but that weather pattern seems to have broken. Now you have the best of both worlds--everything is lush and green, but now the "Christmas Winds" have come in, taking out the humidity, and things have cooled down. My favorite time to visit Costa Rica. We're heading down the 15th, or the 19th, or the 21st---depending on when our daughter decides to have her baby. Can't wait.

campjulie Nov 6th, 2007 05:51 PM

Thank you everyone. I contacted the Marriott to arrange a back-up plan and they are happy to do so. I also had a very reassuring conversation with the gentleman who helped me. We talked about the weather, about drivers and about the places we have planned to visit. I feel so much more relaxed. He was so gracious and helpful. I will keep you posted and appreciate that you all seem at the ready to help "see me off!"

coolbluewater Nov 6th, 2007 06:09 PM

We leave on the 17th, so will be facing the same weather. It will be OK with the drivers--I was surprised how easy it would have been to arrange everything once I was in the country last time I visited. We arranged drivers in advance this time as well--but I feel pretty confident we can wing it if necessary (though I hope it won't be ncessary!)

volcanogirl Nov 6th, 2007 06:11 PM

julie, I'm glad you got some reassurance. We were surprised at how warm and friendly and helpful all the tico people were. I don't think anyone would let you get stranded. We're looking forward to your trip report.

crlover10 Nov 7th, 2007 11:30 AM

Hello Julie, Hope to see you at BdC.
I m pretty sure we will be there at least part of the time you are. We will be there Nov. 25 and departing Nov. 30. I will look for a couple with 2 young daughters. It is just my wife (Julie) and myself.

I too am sharing your jitters, especially after the posting you mentioned. This is our first trip to CR(we are renting a car) And really our first trip venturing alone in a foreign country. I m not counting our 3 cruises that were pretty much escourted.

If we dont meet, have a great and safe trip. Bill

ilana25841 Nov 7th, 2007 11:53 AM

You can also check the weather on the Wunderground site. Have a great time!

campjulie Nov 11th, 2007 06:21 PM

We have just returned from an out of state conference (at a Dude Ranch!) and now have less than a week to go until we leave! While we were gone, I heard from our driver. He was in Florida, and so it took him a while to respond. He assured me he will be there as we planned, so I feel much better. Bill, I will look for you at BdC. We will be there November 26 - 30 in the Tucan Cabina (most likely :-). Are you starting at BdC?

The jitters are giving away to excitement. Look for more last minute questions from me in the next few days!

coolbluewater Nov 12th, 2007 05:10 AM

Hi CampJulie:

My parents will be Toucan right before you get there (we leave on the 24th)...should I leave you a gecko in the closet?

Have a wonderful trip. Sorry that I will miss all the Fodorites in CR this trip!


volcanogirl Nov 12th, 2007 09:21 AM

We stayed in Tucan when we were there; you guys will really like it. Hope everyone has a wonderful trip - I'm looking forward to all of the trip reports! :)

crlover10 Nov 12th, 2007 09:51 AM

Hello Julie, actually we are doing BdC last. We are staying Pizote. We will be there pretty much the same time as the 4 of you.

Glad to see your jitters have relaxe as mine have too after being reasurred by Tully, Shillmac, and other on Fodors. Thanks.

Coolblue, guess we will miss you bya about a week :(

Heres are agenda
Nov 14 SJ Hotel Bonita
Nov 15-17 Flamingo beach area
Nov 18-21 Arenal Hotel Silencio
Nov 22 Poas Poas Volcano
Nov 23-24 Savegre Savegre Lodge
Nov 25-30 BdC
Dec 1 SJ depart

2 days to go...Pura Vida
Hope to meet your soon :)

tully Nov 12th, 2007 02:37 PM

Take me! Take me!!

Have fun,hopefully you guys meet up. You all will be sooo amazed at everything you will have to think hard what you were all wound up about before you left :)

shillmac Nov 12th, 2007 08:08 PM

campjulie, did you ever hear back from Luis? Just curious. . .

Both of you have great trips! Let us all hear from you when you return. We'll live vicariously for awhile. . .! :)

campjulie Nov 12th, 2007 09:37 PM

shillmac: Yes, he emailed me from Florida where he had been. Now he is back in CR and "looking forward" to our trip. I knew I was probabaly freaking out for nothing... he had been so responsive, I got used to that, so a couple of weeks with no response seemed strange.

I was just working on my quart size bag of liquids and thinking to myself... Wow, those Fodorites really sold me the whole package: itinerary, carry-on's, BdC.. this is great. I am sure my trip would have been much different without you all. So, thank you in advance.

We have been working with our kids on all the important travel lessons (mainly, por favor and gracias and about "going with the flow"), and are mostly ready for our 10:30 pm departure on Saturday. Still, I am sure I will have a few last minute questions, so "look" for me.

shillmac Nov 13th, 2007 07:39 AM

Oh you lucky ones! Have a fabulous time--and do let us know what you think about Luis. I'm curious since he did "run afoul" on this board a few months ago. I think it was more than anything some misunderstandings in the way things were said and received! Have a great trip!

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