8 to 9 day tours of Costa Rica

Old Feb 17th, 2024, 03:55 PM
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8 to 9 day tours of Costa Rica

I am familiar with Road Scholar trips to Costa Rica for over 55. Does anyone have any other suggestions for tour companies that have smaller tour groups. I have been on bus tours with 24 and more people and it
is not appealing to me anymore. I see R. Scholar has a small group of 12 but you pay for it! I am willing to pay more for a smaller group.

Are there private guided tours of C.S.? I imagine they are beyond my budget but I am willing to look at that possibility.
Thanks!
K.B.
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Old Feb 18th, 2024, 09:42 AM
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We've never done a guided tour group, but it is pretty easy to book everything yourself and travel via Interbus shuttle or private driver if that interests you at all.
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Old Feb 19th, 2024, 05:09 AM
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I do have specific areas I want to see and your suggestions may get me there. I assume you arranged your night-time accommodations
and day tours. Are private drivers expensive? We did a private driver in Guatemala and it worked out fine. How did you arrange for a private driver?
I am 71 years old and may want go the easy route, tour company. My 35 year old daughter spent a semester going to school in San Jose and speaks
Spanish so that would help if we are on our own.
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Old Feb 19th, 2024, 01:23 PM
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If you pick your lodgings you can often arrange drivers through them. Costa Rica isn't that big and you don't really need much Spanish to get along just fine. Plenty of locals speak excellent English.

I am not that big a fan of Road Scholar in general, but feedback for CR is pretty good.

What are your specific areas that you want to see? Volcanogirl can chime in with hotel suggestions.

You can do the usual first-trip combo of Manuel Antonio and Arenal (Observatory Lodge and town). Maybe with San Gerardo de Dota tossed in as well.
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Old Feb 21st, 2024, 01:18 AM
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Yes we arranged all of our own tours and hotels. We usually book our drivers through our hotels like m mentioned. You can also check the Interbus schedule and see if they're going to the areas you're interested in, but you'd have to operate on their schedule.
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Old Feb 21st, 2024, 07:59 AM
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Yes, volcano girl may have some tips on lodges. I am interested in seeing San Gerardo de Doto for I am a bird lover. Years ago I researched a Costa Rica tour
and found Danti Lodge. It looked wonderful--are you familiar with this lodge? Then we would go to Manuel Antonio and route back up to San Jose to Sarchi for Ox Carts, and La Forina (Arenal). Monteverde Cloud Forest looks interesting too, though quite remote. Maybe you have advice on alternative routes, go north of San Jose 1st and back down south. I mentioned I am a bird lover and my daughter enjoys thrilling adventures like rafting.

I hope this helps for more advice. How many days do you think we would need for this trip?
P.S. One more thing, do you think the last week in Nov. and into the beginning of Dec. is a good time to visit? I do not tolerate high humidity. Guatemala in May about did me in!
Again, thank you!
K.B.
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Old Feb 21st, 2024, 05:13 PM
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I stayed at Savegre Lodge and they can hook you up with a bird guide, or you can walk the trails on their property. They are set up for birding groups, with feeders, I think there is a new photo blind nearby that you can book. When I went I also walked along the driveway leading to the property and saw several quetzal battling territory. I was there in early November (14 years ago, LOL). Up in the cloud forest is cold!!!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2024, 02:12 AM
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b, do you mean Dantica Lodge? I've heard of it, but haven't stayed there. We stayed at Savegre Lodge like m did. We chose it for their expert birding guide Marino Chacon; he was excellent. We went out with him one morning and saw about 10 quetzals along the road near the property. They also had tons of hummingbirds. It was quite chilly when we were there; our little cabin had a fireplace. The Savegre River runs through the property. In the Arenal/La Fortuna area, the Arenal Observatory Lodge is excellent for birding; it's an expansive property out by the lake, lots of trails; they had free guided morning hikes when we've stayed there. There are lots of adventure activities in this area including rafting and ziplining. Desafio is a good tour company if you want to check their website. Monteverde is also excellent for birding; you can hike through the Monteverde Reserve. Our guide found a quetzal for us before we even left the parking lot. I do think that's a good time to visit. Rainy season typically runs Mayish to Novemberish for a lot of areas. Rates may be a little higher for some spots if you're going over Thanksgiving, but you'd have to check. We also had good birding at a place called Selva Verde, saw toucans right on the property. There was a Road Scholar group staying there when we visited, and they looked like they were having a great time. In Manuel Antonio, we stayed at Tulemar Bungalows and loved it. They're one of the few hotels that have their own beach, saw many monkeys and sloth when we stayed there.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2024, 02:19 AM
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As far as heat and humidity, Monteverde and San Gerardo de Dota both tend to run chilly. Arenal has some variable weather, but has been pretty temperate when we've stayed there. Manuel Antonio is usually quite hot and humid, but most places we've stayed have had air conditioning there.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2024, 10:58 AM
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There's one other area we loved that has really fantastic wildlife - the Osa Peninsula. We saw scarlet macaws every day there, they also have toucans. We stayed at Bosque del Cabo, known for great hiking trails, but it is pretty pricey. You can use in-country airline Sansa to get there if it interests you.
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Old Apr 4th, 2024, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by volcanogirl
There's one other area we loved that has really fantastic wildlife - the Osa Peninsula. We saw scarlet macaws every day there, they also have toucans. We stayed at Bosque del Cabo, known for great hiking trails, but it is pretty pricey. You can use in-country airline Sansa to get there if it interests you.
I agree with volcanogirl - the Osa Peninsula has fantastic wildlife. I stayed in Drake and did daytours to Corcovado National Park. You can get to Drake by boat from Sierpe.
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