4th visit to CR- where should we go?

Old Sep 28th, 2011, 01:27 PM
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mad
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4th visit to CR- where should we go?

This will be our fourth visit to CR. We've been to arenal, monteverde, manuel antonio, osa peninsula and playa samara. We will we be traveling with our four year old son and are looking for someplace with some activities he can do and a beach with calm surf. any suggestions? am tempted to go back to playa samara, but would like to know if there are other similar options out there?
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Old Sep 28th, 2011, 11:51 PM
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Sarapiqui and Tortuguero for wildlife and activities, Puerto Viejo / Punta Uva for beach with calm surf.
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Old Sep 29th, 2011, 02:47 AM
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ylangylangresort.com

zunatours.net

pachamamacaribe.com Punta Uva

2 nice ones with quiet surf...

albylodge.com Cahuita park nice snorkel

Winter best for this too much rain in fall in CA/CR fot me

Kohala Coast stayhawaii.com for me in fall volcanoes

great beaches no rain 4 hours from LAX great packages

at Hapuna Prince for me air car $1k last priceline.com
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Old Sep 29th, 2011, 04:29 AM
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How is the drive from SJ to Punta Uva and how long does it take? Thanks!
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Old Sep 29th, 2011, 07:42 AM
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You might want to try the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica which is the Northwest section. It is typically drier and has some great protected beaches with calm surf for your four year old. Try looking at places like Tamarindo, Playa Conchal, and Playa Flamingo. There are some great hotels, condos, and houses to rent in the area. Enjoy your trip.

www.tamarindo.com
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Old Sep 29th, 2011, 09:28 AM
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What month are you going? We are going to be in Puerto Viejo area in mid October...I can give you my opinion after the trip. (Cahuita, Punta Uva, etc)
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Old Sep 29th, 2011, 11:15 AM
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I'd look at Tortuguero (do not miss in CR in my opinion) and Puerto Viejo (those are two of my favorite areas) and possibly Sarapaqui depending on how much time you have...also good to know what time of year you're going. The drive from San Jose to Punta Uva is about 5 hours.
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Old Sep 29th, 2011, 11:17 AM
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Your 4 year old might not enjoy Tortuguero as much if he's not into boats, water, wildlife though there are some good lodges with fun pool areas for kids and usually people just stay 1 or 2 nights.
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Old Sep 29th, 2011, 11:29 AM
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We're going in February and would love to hear more about Puerto Viejo area- thanks! Was debating about Tortuguero. Is it doable to stay there a couple of nights and then drive down to Punta Uva? We do things a little differently traveling with our son and don't want to drive on really bad roads, just in case!
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Old Sep 30th, 2011, 11:25 AM
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You can definitely drive to the port of Moin and leave your car there with secured parking. It's about 1 hour between Moin and Puerto Viejo on a good road and the highway between San Jose and PV is good too, just windy. Roads in PV are mostly dirt, rocky, bumpy. Your 4 year old would love the Jaguar Rescue Center there. Lots of animals and reptiles. A lot of people like myself rent bikes there. Many places offer child seats as well. For Tortuguero guides I recommend Fran and Modesto Watson of Riverboat Francesca. They've been guiding there for over 20 years and are great people. http://tortuguerocanals.com/
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Old Sep 30th, 2011, 05:50 PM
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Hey mad,
Sorry for hijacking your thread for just a brief diversion...although I'd like to try the canals myself!

Hip,
Wondering if you ever made it to Belize. I posted a comment on your topic from last year about an itinerary and was wondering if you ever went. Have some questions if you did.
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Old Oct 1st, 2011, 11:09 AM
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Thanks Hip! Great info. I'm thinking Tortuguero might not be the best for us. Too much boat time for a 4 year old who is only interested in very up close wildlife- could be a disaster.
I'm not clear on the proximity of the beaches in the PV area and which ones are suitable for safe swimming. Geckoes lodge looks super nice, but if the roads are really bad around there driving to different beaches, or biking might be a major pain. Any thoughts on nicer places to stay with a calm beach area? We don't want to spend more than $200 per night. Thanks- you've been so helpful already!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 07:47 AM
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I will post a trip report when we get back from PV in the end of Oct. The beaches look fantastic and it looks like there will be alot to do there - if we want to...or, we may just kick back and do nothing.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 12:53 PM
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Take a look at Pachamama, Totem, Korrigan's Lodge...Some have less amenities than others. I think with a 4 year old you need a pool, even with a nice beach, because it gets dark by 6pm and I know my daughter loves to have that pool in the eve. That said, you may just want to choose a place that you like with a pool and plan on traveling to Punta Uva during the day, which IMO is the one beach you can count on for good swimming with youngsters. Even if you don't want to drive or bike, taxis are not that expensive. There are many, many beautiful beaches, they can just be seasonally unpredictable, but within 30 min or less of each other you can find great spots. If you are really determined to stay somewhere where you can just roll out of bed into the ocean, you could as you said return to Samara or head further north on the Pacific side.

Hi Deb-- We did not make it and ended up returning to Costa Rica. My final itinerary though included 4/n Macal River Camp, 1/n Tikal, 3/n Lamanai, 3 nights San Pedro, 3 nights North Ambergris at Tranquility Bay Resort and a night at the Belize Zoo (maybe not in that order). I decided Glover's would be a better bet if we had a group of us going so nixed that idea since it's just me and daughter although I'd really like to go there some time. Still might make it there in 2012 but will definitely be in Costa Rica again 2013.

Good luck planning! I'm looking forward to seeing what you decide on.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 01:46 PM
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Thanks hip-- I thought maybe you skipped the Belize trip as I thought you were one of the BDC GTG attendees. I'm keeping CR open as an option for 2013 because hubby and I would both like to return...I just have this thing about wanting to try Belize.

I'm having a difficult time deciding on a Belize itinerary, but I certainly have to time figure it out. I just wish the airfares would come down and that LuxuryLink would post Chaa Creek and Chan Chich with dates for next year!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 02:35 PM
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Yes, I was a GTG'er this year. ;-) I watched Chaa Creek website really closely this year...if you are going during green season it's almost a sure thing to get at least 20% off...or more direct through them. I remember it was a better deal than Luxury Link so consider that too. The more I read about Lamanai Outpost Lodge the more it appealed to me so I definitely want to include it. I have all the tours and stuff laid out that we want to do and it's a pretty good deal. Lots of choices!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 04:20 PM
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Thanks so much Hip! I had another thought, which is to possibly go back to the Osa Peninsula- to Bosque del Cabo, which we loved. It's been seven years since before we had kids. Any opinion on if this is a good option with a young child? I remember the rainforest hikes being incredible. I know the beach is not where we'll be hanging out with him there. so I was thinking maybe stop and visit some friends in Samara for beach time afterwards. Not sure if we can get a flight from Puerto Jimenez to Samara? Anyway, sorry to be all over the place with my planning- it gets confusing because there are so many great options!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2011, 05:20 PM
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mad...at least you're lucky enough to be on your 4th visit. It is amazing that there is so much to do in such a small country. I'm hoping to do Drake Bay and maybe Uvita the next time we go. We had no beach time on our first and only visit, but I have a hard time spending much time at the beach when CR has so much more to offer!
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Old Oct 3rd, 2011, 09:06 PM
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I would happily take my 4 year old to Bosque del Cabo but there are varied opinions here. Some think it is too dangerous on the bluff or they would just be bored. I've been there quite a few times and I always meet families with young kids having a great time. . You'd probably connect in San Jose between Samara and PJ. Like you, it's always a tough decision to make with so many great choices! I will add though that even though Puerto Viejo is very different than Osa it's still in my top 3.
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Old Oct 4th, 2011, 04:22 AM
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Thanks again Hip- I contacted Bosque and they actually charge for a 3 year old, which gets the price up to $500 a day. of course we'd end up paying for daily activities too, so it's just so pricey. The flights aren't so great for us either, so I'm leaning towards PV again. Lucky I have some time to figure this out!
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