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lweissmann Jan 23rd, 2007 05:06 PM

1st trip-Arenal/MA for 8 days
First of all - thank you so much to everyone on this forum - what a great help. I am doing all the planning for an 9 day trip to CR - 3 adults, 2 teenage boys. So here goes (any and all input appreciated):
Day 1- arrive SJ around 1pm - drive to Villeblanca overnight
Day 2 - nature hike in cloud forest, then Oscar drives us to Arenal - Hotel Silencio Del Campo
Day 3,4 - Arenal - ?canopy tour, canyoneering, hanging bridges, La Fortuna waterfall hike - any other ideas? anyone have experince on the bike rides?
Day 5 - Oscar drives us to MA - stay at Tulemar Bungalows
Day 6,7 - beach - hike, kayak
Day 8 - Oscar drives us to Orquidias (thanks shillmac!) for overnight
Day 9 - fly home

Just a couple of quesitons - good restaurants in Arenal? MA? - any particularly fun for teenagers?
Anybody have experince on bike touring companies?

thanks so much

Jayneann Jan 23rd, 2007 06:33 PM

Hi Lisa,
We were in CR last January, MA and Arenal! Our teenage boys thought Sky Trek ziplines in Arenal were the highlight of the trip! My husband and I agreed!! Have a great time!

kimmarinelli Jan 23rd, 2007 07:16 PM

We too are visiting C.R. with three kids, can you tell me how much Oscar charges for driving to Arenal and then to M.A. and back to San Juan? That is where we are going, and it is beginning to seem like getting a driver may be more relaxing!! Thank you for any info!

shillmac Jan 23rd, 2007 07:52 PM

Look into Pure Trek for rappelling. Cano Negro trip on Rio Frio up to Cano Negro not excited, but extremely interested and relaxing. Lots of wildlife. Might be interesting for your boys especially if you have some "high adventure" on the other days.

El Novillo for steaks--right across from the volcano--excellent! I think it is located between Arenal Paraiso and Montana de Fuego hotels and Tabacon. . .

In La Fortuna, we liked Don Ruffino's. There is another restaurant that gets good reviews as well. We didn't eat there, and I can't remember the name. . Laurel something perhaps? Someone will remember. . .

Manuel Antonio--El Avion is good (and intersting). Mar Luna for excellent comida tipica--Tico food. We also enjoyed La Cantina (I think that's the name)--part of Costa Verde as is El Avion. Lots of other places as well in Manuel Antonio. . .

Hope you enjoy Orquideas--it's a cool little place. Have a great time! :)

shillmac Jan 23rd, 2007 07:53 PM

Excuse me. .meant to say Cano Negro "not exciting" rather than "not excited"--however, it is exciting in its own way! Just not super adventurous. . .

lweissmann Jan 24th, 2007 03:31 AM

thanks, shillman.
Oscar is charging about 175 san jose to arenal; 220 to Manuel Antonio and 175 from MA back to SJ - given that a rental car would be almost $1000, these rates seemed great for us.

shillmac Jan 24th, 2007 06:32 PM

Hey Hey Hey! Now, you can't call me Shillman! :)

lweissmann Jan 24th, 2007 07:25 PM

ops! really sorry, shillmac! You are an amazing reference for CR travel

shillmac Jan 25th, 2007 03:04 AM

Just havin' fun--it's that Fodor Family Atmosphere! :)

When are you going?

kdlcosta Jan 25th, 2007 03:32 AM

Only thing I would add is consider a surf lesson for the boys. There are some really wonderful surf instructors in the area. Even if they've never seen a surf board, usually these guys will get them up riding a wave in a couple hours. A day in the warm waters here (known for the waves) - with a good instructor is something they will remember for years. Besides a great experience, they will be exhausted by the end of the day.

lweissmann Jan 25th, 2007 05:17 AM

shillmac - i am going March 17-25; looks like alot of others will also be travelling around that time.
On another note - are the white water rafting experiences around La Fortuna good - looking for Class 2-3 (notthe really difficult stuff!) -hoping for a 1/2 day rafting experience and didn't know if I should look around la Fortuna or Manuel Antonio.

LisaHMan Jan 25th, 2007 06:33 PM

Hi--We are doing a similar trip, but after Arenal are going to Tamarindo for surfing and then to Playa conchal for 3 days. We'll see you at Villa Blanca--are staying there the night of 3/17. I have a 15 year old son and 13 year old daughter (and an 8 year old). We booked the Villa Blanca canopy tour on the morning of day 2, before we leave for Arenal. We also booked a nature hike at 4:00 the night of day 1 (hope we're up for youngest might be too exhausted, due to the time change). The woman at VB told me that it would get dark around 5ish and we would see night animals for the last hour. Should be cool, I hope. I haven't booked anything for Arenal yet. I've read about the rappelling with pure trek, but haven't committed yet. How old are your boys?? Lisa

lweissmann Jan 25th, 2007 07:04 PM

Hi Lisa -
my son is 14 and his friend is 15 - looks like they'll have company! We're staying in the honeymoon casitats - they think that's a hoot! We were thinking about a nature hike in the am and then a leisurely drive to Arenal.
see you there!

shillmac Jan 25th, 2007 07:12 PM

Can't really recommend the white water at La Fortuna OR MA--haven't done either. We're more interested in the Pacuare and hopefully will "get around to it" one of these days! Would love to do the 2 night. .

I would expect you'll have decent white water on either one. Nothing too difficult or constant, but some pretty good rapids here and there with calm stretches in between. Your kids are gonna have a great time--both of you. . . and well, of course so will the adults! :)

LisaHMan Jan 26th, 2007 05:21 PM

Hi Lisa--We tried for the honeymoon casitas, but they were taken. I guess you've got it!! See u there.....Lisa
By the way, I heard they have a great canopy ride there, a little mellower for a first timer!

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