19 Day Trip To Costa Rica

Old Mar 19th, 2013, 08:44 PM
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19 Day Trip To Costa Rica

Hello Everyone,
I am looking at taking my very first trip to Costa Rica this summer. i have spent the past couple of weeks looking for places to stay and things to do, and I think I have come up with a fairly good itinerary. However, I want to get the advice of people who have traveled to Costa Rica before, and not just the advice from guide books. So, here is the itinerary. Let me know what you think.

Day 1: Arrive in San Jose, Drive to Manuel Antonio

Day 2: Manuel Antonio

Day 3: Manuel Antonio

Day 4: Manuel Antonio

Day 5: Drive to Montezuma Area

Day 6: Montezuma Area

Day 7: Montezuma Area

Day 8: Drive to Monteverde

Day 9: Monteverde

Day 10: Drive to Arenal Volcano Area

Day 11: Arenal Volcano Area

Day 12: Arenal Volcano Area

Day 13: Drive to Poas Volcano

Day 14: Drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Day 15: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Day 16: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Day 17: These last three days are my flex days. I don't really have a plan for these, so any suggestions on what to do with these days would be greatly appreciated. Is there another place that I should try to go? Or should I add these days to areas that I am already going?

Day 18: Flex

Day 19: Flex

Day 20: Leave SJO

So, let me know what you guys think about this itinerary. Are there any places that I left out that I should include, or any places that I should leave out? Also, I would really like lots of suggestions on drives I should make between these places. I know Costa Rica is a very beautiful country, so I am just assuming that there has to be at least a few pretty drives that I should not miss. Let me know what you think. Any suggestions whatsoever are greatly appreciated. I am look for suggestions on just about everything! Thank you in advance! I look forward to reading your responses.

Extra Info (incase you wanted it): I am planning on renting a car, and driving basically everywhere that I go. I will be taking this trip with my family aged 51,46,21,19, and 17. We love hiking, snorkeling, wildlife viewing, relaxing at the beach, and we are basically open to trying anything.
colinjensen333 is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2013, 03:43 AM
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I would add at least a day to Monteverde. You only have 1 full day there, the rest will be driving to and from. Day #13? Are you staying near Poas? The volcano is often clouded over not long after opening, so if you're driving there from Arenal you may just see it covered. I would also add a day to PV, since it's a lot of driving for only 2 full days.

Here is a good website to see driving routes and how long it takes - http://www.yourtravelmap.com/costari...hp?&width=1024
tully is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2013, 07:01 AM
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IMO best thing is to stay in Puerto Viejo area, there is so much to do there, and you will have already many days spent in the car and on the road. One full day visit Manzanillo with its Reserve, one full day visit Cahuita and hike the NP there, three days for realx and enjoying Punta Uva and other beaches.
xelas is offline  
Old Mar 20th, 2013, 07:23 AM
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If you enjoy hiking and wildlife, I'd take a look at the Osa Peninsula. The wildlife there is the best we've ever seen.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2013, 08:40 AM
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I agree with the others. Way better to add some extra days to your current itinerary stops rather than add another location. Monteverde and the Caribbean have enough to keep you busy for extra days. Have a fantastic time!
saraincahuita is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2013, 10:03 AM
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Someone may have covered this elsewhere. Do you get into SJO early enough to get through immigration, etc., pick up a (large) car or van and drive to Manuel Antonio before dusk? Have you planned on a car or van that will carry 5 or 6 (can't tell which) people AND their luggage *comfortably* on day-long drives? Consider making the first or last three days (of the 19) a trip to Tortuguero. For instance, plan on spending your first night in a hotel close to where you will pick up your rental vehicle. Find a Tortugero lodge that includes transportation from San Jose all the way to the lodge and back. Do the 2 or 3 day Tortuguero package and have them return you to the hotel you started from. (Plan on reducing your luggage to about 25 pounds per person, leaving the excess at your hotel.) When you return from Tortuguero, get your rental vehicle and go on with your journey. Tortuguero is sort of rustic but absolutely fascinating. This way, you would save 3 days vehicle rental.
Kinkazote is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2013, 10:53 AM
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If you really want to add another location from PV, you could go to bocas del toro, panama. You can't take a rental car there, but you can get a van/boat arranged by a travel agency in PV. It's about a 2 1/2- 3 hr trip. Beautiful area! Two days is enough time there.
mad is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2013, 02:52 PM
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I would add a night in Montevere and spend the rest in Puerto Viejo, similar to what others recommended.
hipvirgochick is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2013, 10:23 PM
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Check this out! It will be helpful when you are in Malpais and Santa Teresa. www.malpaisbeach.com . You can also contact the owner and he will be willing to help you out!
mikajones29 is offline  
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