60 days in Costa Rica with 3 little kids

Old Jan 30th, 2010, 09:47 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2
60 days in Costa Rica with 3 little kids

Hi there. My family is looking into spending 60 days in Costa Rica starting April 1st. We have 3 little ones (ages 6 1/2, 4 1/2, and 1 1/2) and will want a furnished monthly rental near the beach for the first month at least. After a few weeks relaxing, we'll get more ambitious with overnight or multi-day visits to other parts of the country.

We're getting quite excited for the trip, but still have a few questions. We'd really appreciate hearing from those of you who have been there before or live there now.

We're gravitating toward renting on the Nicoya Penninsula. There are so many beaches in Guanacaste and Puntarenas, and it's hard to tell from internet searches alone which areas will have towns with a good balance of choices and activity vs. relaxed local culture. Ideally, we'd be looking for some variety in restaurants, shopping, nightlife and local people doing their thing without the whole economy being focused on tourism. We'd like to get to know some local people and learn a lot more Spanish during our trip (either by going to a school or hiring a teacher to work with us directly).

We're pretty interested in Montezuma and we're also looking at the "gold coast" area around Playa Flamingo. To anyone who's been to these places - will Montezuma be good for the family and allow us to develop a unique routine that's not standard tourist fare? And would Playa Potrero or playa Flamingo offer some choices for food and dry-land activities and a walkable town hub? We'd also love to hear about any favorite spots of yours in these two places for food, entertainment, natural beauty, hiking, etc.

Another question is about the weather and the importance of air conditioning. Since we'll be staying through April and May, we'll catch the beginning of the "green season." The descriptions of it seem OK (2 hours of rain in the afternoon, with nice weather the rest of the day), but we're wondering how bad the humidity will be at the coast? I don't think it will bother me much, but if it keeps our toddler from napping and the bigger kids uncomfortable it could be a problem.

Thanks for your replies!
Mike from Seattle.
marcuri is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2010, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 325
Have you tried vrbo.com? You could try to pin down a general area and price. Advice on this board tends to run toward hotel/resort comments.
Kinkazote is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2010, 07:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Hi Mike!

My husband and I live just outside San Jose. I can't really offer suggestions as to the Montezuma or Playa Flamingo are however, Jaco and Puntarenas are areas that I am familiar with.

Jaco is primarily a tourist area with many locals and tourists. The pricing in this area is a bit more expensive. It also may not be the best area with young children. It can be 'sketchy'.

Puntarenas is a local city. This little town is the fishing village that one reads about. This is strictly not a huge tourist destination.

As far as the air conditioning goes... The weather at the beach can be VERY hot and Humid! If you are used to Floridian weather then you can 'weather' the conditions well. However if you are used to cool temps then you may seriously wish to look for air conditioned accommodations.

If I can help you with anything else... I'm more than happy to help!

Pura Vida!
Aquaholicbabe is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2010, 10:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
Favoring the Flamingo/Portrero areas--one of favorites. Not the best for learning Spanish, however. It is one of the best areas to use as a base. Montezuma, my opinion, is terrific, but doesn't make a good base because you have to take the ferry to get to the other parts of the Pacific during that time of year. Flamingo area is good for exploring both the the north and to the south. I'd even consider 2 weeks there, and perhaps another 2 weeks in an area further south, such as Dominical or Manuel Antonio.

Good luck! CR is a great place for kids.
shillmac is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2010, 09:14 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2
Thanks for the advice! I'm getting immunizations on Thursday and we'll look for a place to rent this weekend.
marcuri is offline  
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