Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Mexico & Central America
Reload this Page >

12 days in CR with young kids. MA to Arenal- where else?

12 days in CR with young kids. MA to Arenal- where else?

Old Mar 24th, 2010, 01:17 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 11
12 days in CR with young kids. MA to Arenal- where else?

First time out of the country for our two kids (4 and 6). In Costa Rica for 13 days and staying in MA for 6 nights to visit family. We want to go to Arenal, but I feel like 6 nights is too much. Would love suggestions as to another 2 night destination without too much travelling. Is there something great between MA and Arenal to break up the trip since the drive is so long? Plus, went to CR on my honeymoon and visited both MA and Arenal (and OSA which is awesome, but too far for this trip) already, so would love to see something new as well.

Seems like Los Lagos Resort in Arenal will be perfect for the kids but we parents tend to go for mellower places. Is this a mistake or totally the way to go?

Looks like staying at Hotel Villa Bonita in SJ is also recommended since our flight arrives late first night.

Lastly, I think we'll perhaps hire a driver from SJ to MA cause it doesn't seem like we need a car in MA, but then rent a car to travel from MA to Arenal and keep it from then on. Right?

Thanks for any and all suggestions.
awol is offline  
Old Mar 24th, 2010, 04:02 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,185
You could do the Peace Lodge or Xandari for a couple of nights.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2010, 10:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 11
Thanks for the suggestions! I was looking at both the Peace Lodge and Xandari. They may be too expensive/fancy for us, but it does look like the Peace Lodge could be good for kids, too.

I was planning on skipping Monteverde, because I have heard mixed reviews (not that exciting) and because during the rainy season, I was thinking it would be difficult to get there with two young children. What do you think?

Thanks so much!
awol is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2010, 11:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 999
I think Peace Lodge would be an excellent choice for your kids. Perfect for their ages!

Also, Los Lagos really is fairly mellow...it's got beautiful hot springs which are mellow. At least during the time of year we were there. They have very pretty gardens as well. There may be more kids than some of the other hotels in the area, but it's a nice place to stay. The rooms are very basic, but the grounds are very nice.
ShellD is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2010, 11:04 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,185
I would probably skip it unless your kids are true nature lovers that love birding, hiking, etc. It's a long, bumpy road to get there. We had very cold, wet weather when we went.

If you can swing the cost, the Peace Lodge has a waterfall hike, a trout pool where you can fish, an aviary, a nocturnal frog tour, butterfly house, etc. They had an earthquake a little over a year ago, but seems like things are back on the mend. The rooms are glorious and have nice views. Kids would get a kick out of the waterfall shower and jacuzzi tub.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2010, 02:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,539
Peace Lodge or Xandari would be a good couple of days. Los Lagos is mellow enough, we had a great view of the volcano from our room and some parrots and guinea fowl too. You can read our trip report from when our kids were about the same ages as yours here: http://www.markandmonica.com/Travel/...taRica2008.htm
MonicaRichards is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2010, 02:59 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,750
Not too far from MA there's a place called Villas de las Aves (Uvita/Dominical area). You'd need a car, but I think for kids this could be a great place for 2 nights. There are only 2 casitas but gorgeous setting and they have a "petting zoo" the kids would love and an aviary with many rescued birds the owners care of. Super sweet couple.
hipvirgochick is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2010, 03:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
Absolutely Peace Lodge is terrific for kids and adults. Over the top and so expensive, but if you can splurge it, then do! 2 nights to really enjoy. You'll be glad you did!

Highly recommend Hotel Villa Bonita. Yes, we are friends with the owner, but aside from that, it is a friendly and comfy place for a late night arrival. We like the internet and the great breakfasts.
shillmac is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Mexico & Central America
Jan 13th, 2012 05:14 AM
Mexico & Central America
Mar 8th, 2011 04:04 PM
Mexico & Central America
Aug 13th, 2008 11:46 AM
Mexico & Central America
Jan 3rd, 2007 03:43 PM
Mexico & Central America
May 6th, 2006 08:03 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information