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4th trip: 11 days w/teens; itinerary for Osa, Rio Celeste/Tenorio, Arenal

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Feb 18th, 2014, 01:40 PM
  #1
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4th trip: 11 days w/teens; itinerary for Osa, Rio Celeste/Tenorio, Arenal

This is our 4th family trip to Costa Rica. We are planning on leaving June 20. We are a family of 4 with twin 16-year old boys who like activity. The only repeat destination from prior trips is Arenal; previously we have been to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, Punta Uva, Manuel Antonio, Rafiki Safari, Domincal, Tortuguero, and Arenal. Any comments on activities in the areas we are visiting, drive times, weather and road conditions in June (we have only been in dry season before), lodging choices, restaurants, etc. are welcome. I am most uncertain about the plans around Cano Negro. Staying near Cano Negro means we have one more hotel to change to, but I thought it might be good to stay near there to visit Cano Negro first thing in the a.m. rather than on a day trip from Arenal or La Carolina. Also, does 4 nights at BdC sound good? This is tops on my list for next visit to CR, but will it be good for teenagers?

Day 1-arrive on redeye and fly to Puerto Jiminez; stay at Bosque del Cabo
Day 2-Waterfall rapelling and Tree Climbing
Day 3-Hiking BdC grouns, surfing and or boogie boarding
Day 4-Activity near BdC-Animal sanctuary, other?
Day 5-9:30 flight to San Jose, pick up rental car and drive to either La Carolina Lodge or Celeste Mountain lodge. Horseback riding in the afternoon.
Day 6-Hike to Rio Celeste
Day 7-Raft Tenorio River; Drive to Hotel De Campo near Cano Negro
Day 8-Cano Negro tour; drive to Arenal and stay at Lost Iguana
Day 9-Sky Trek zipline, visit LaFortuna, Ecotermalas
Day 10-Volcano, or other activity in a.m.; drive back to Las Orquideas
Day 11-early a.m. flight back to US

Thank you for ideas and advice!
fcfarmgirl is offline  
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Feb 18th, 2014, 07:56 PM
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Personally I wouldn't bother staying at a hotel near Cano Negro; we always do it as a day trip from La Fortuna and have seen tons of wildlife. I don't think you would see more by staying there. The tours leave early in the morning. We've seen monkeys, sloths, caimans, and lots of cool water birds. A few other things we like in the Arenal area - the waterfall hike is awesome, and your kids would probably love tubing at the Springs Resort; the Proyecto Asis animal rescue center is really fun if you want to feed the monkeys and get up close to a sloth, toucan, and other wildlife.

For day 10, I'd consider going to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens if you haven't been there - five beautiful waterfalls where you can hike, and also an aviary, trout pond, butterfly house, ranarium - it's kid heaven. Poas is fairly close by.

The main focus at BdC is hiking and wildlife; if your kids are into those, it will be a good spot for you. We loved visiting the animal sanctuary, and we saw dolphins on the way over. They would probably enjoy the night hike too. We did a guided tour of the Primary Forest with Phillip and an early morning birding hike with Carlos - really enjoyed those, but you know best if your kids would enjoy them.
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Feb 20th, 2014, 06:44 PM
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Hi-we are staying at La Carolina Lodge for 2 nights and then going to an all inclusive villa in Ocogtal. While at La Carolina. we will go on a guided hike to Rio Celeste and Llanos de Cortez waterfall along with all the activities there. found it on this board and we are so excited.
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Feb 20th, 2014, 06:45 PM
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so sorry-you are already going there.
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Feb 21st, 2014, 03:42 PM
  #5
RAC
 
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If you mean the Orquideas Inn for your last night, it's under new ownership and has not yet re-opened (will be Villa San Ignacio).

Honestly, I don't think it makes much sense to stay at Bosque del Cabo and then spend time doing day trips away from the grounds. The grounds and hiking trails are the feature attraction there--if you're doing day trips for beach fun and water access (such as the animal sanctuary, which is most definitely not near BdC) I would stay in Puerto Jimenez at a place like Iguana Lodge, which has actual beach access plus is MUCH closer to the area from which all the boat tours leave.

I would leave the rappelling and climbing for the Arenal area.
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 05:14 AM
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Interesting about the Orquideas, RAC. I hope that it retains it's comfortable vibe.
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Feb 23rd, 2014, 05:15 AM
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Totally agree w/ RAC - while at Bosque stay at the lodge and enjoy the trails, wildlife and activities right there. It's a good 45 minute drive back down to PJ, so if you are interested in Golfo Dulce tours, stay in PJ for your first or last night on the Osa. We did a split of Iguana Lodge and Bosque on our first Osa trip and it worked out perfectly.

I stayed at La Carolina last year and absolutely loved it. The river runs alongside the property with a hot tub built into the rocks or one the decks of some cabins. There isn't much wildlife (we only saw howlers) but good birding, wonderful food, friendly staff (Spanish speaking only) and just a great place to relax after a day at Rio Celeste.
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Feb 23rd, 2014, 07:15 PM
  #8
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Thanks everyone! RAC...the Orquideas website does say Villa San Ignacio now with no opening date listed. Cattail...ditto on the vibe...wonder what will happen to the Marilyn Monroe bar and the friendly hotel dogs. I think we may skip Bosque del Cabo and save it for an adults only trip. My 16-year olds love the beach and boogie boarding, so Iguana Lodge looks like an excellent place for us to enjoy the beach, do some trips and activities. Colibri, I read your trip report on Iguana Lodge...thank you. Does anyone have any insights into a rafting trip based out of Arenal? We don't want to spend too much time in a van getting there, but it also needs to be exciting enough for the teens. Are there any good options?
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Feb 24th, 2014, 05:43 AM
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For this or a future trip, your boys would probably love Rincon de la Vieja Lodge, as it offers a great adventure center, and plenty to keep the adults happy as well. The volcanic sites are fascinating, and room fee includes the hot-springs and mud-baths. We saw lots of wildlife too, though we hadn't expected to.

Not sure about rafting near Arenal, sorry. The Pacure River is another great destination to consider though...
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Feb 24th, 2014, 09:15 AM
  #10
RAC
 
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For rafting, I would just take a day to spend in San Jose and raft the Pacuare from there (Pacuare rafting companies will pick you up in San Jose and drop you off). One outfitter (I believe it's Exploradores) will even pick you up in the San Jose area, take you rafting on the Pacuare, and then drop you off in Arenal.

The Pacuare is hands-down the premier rafting river in the country.
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Feb 24th, 2014, 10:28 AM
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We've done rafting out of the Arenal area using Rios Tropicales, and they were great. They had several different river options. We did the Sarapiqui and really enjoyed it. They also had someone in a kayak taking photos the entire time, and you could buy the c.d. at the end. Ours included a break for fresh fruit, and then later lunch. They had showers where you could rinse off and change into dry clothes.

Desafio and Sunset Tours are also good companies.
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