advice sought on 8 night itinerary


Apr 30th, 2014, 02:17 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 103
advice sought on 8 night itinerary

We are 2 gay guys, looking to maximize our time in beautiful Costa Rica next winter but not wishing to over do it either.

A tour agent understanding our wish to avoid staying overnight in San Jose suggested the following itinerary: Going straight from San Jose airport to Central Pacific coast of Puntarenas for 2 nites (1/2 hr drive) ; 3 nites in Drake bay; 3 nites in Manuel Antonio.

Not sure it makes sense or leaves sufficient time to catch flight at 10:30am, the same day we depart Manuel Antonio ( 3 hour drive or so to SJO Airport). Agent was trying to accommodate our wish to not stay over night in San Jose but... does it make sense? And should we not include Arenal? Thanks for your help!
andie is offline  
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May 1st, 2014, 05:00 AM
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Did your agent give you more details on this leg? Not possible to reach any coast from San Jose in 30 minutes and did he mean Puntarenas the city or somewhere in the province of Puntarenas? (If the city, then I'd highly suggest somewhere else, it's a port city and not very desirable place to stay).

I think Arenal area would be a nice area to add. Is your agent handling transfers between stops? Just curious how they are getting you around.
tully is offline  
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May 1st, 2014, 05:39 AM
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Sorry that was a typo. 1&1/2 hour transfer from SJO to Villa Caletas near Jaco. Transfers from each stop were included!
andie is offline  
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May 1st, 2014, 07:44 AM
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Arenal and Manuel Antonio serve as default destinations--between them they have a little bit of everything with the most tourist infrastructure. Whether or not they're for you depends on the convenience vs "getting away from it all" factor.

In your case, Arenal would make your itinerary more difficult because it's in the opposite direction. For a change of pace from the coastal areas naybe look at somewhere in the Valle General where the Pan-Am highway runs through and between mountain ranges--anywhere from Cerro de Muerte cloud forests (chance to see the quetzal) down through the San Isidro area (Rio Chirripo retreat) down to the area around Dominical (Rio Magnolia, Shelter from the Storm, Cascadas Farallas, Villas Alturas)

Also, as an alternative to Manuel Antonio, you could look at places in Dominical or the very nice places near Uvita (Rancho Pacifico, Tikivillas, Oxygen Villas).

Do you have your flight times yet? There are very nice places to stay near the airport (e.g. Xandari), which isn't in San Jose but the western suburb of Alajuela.
RAC is offline  
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May 1st, 2014, 10:30 AM
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I probably wouldn't do both Puntarenas and Manuel Antonio. We just did a trip to Manuel Antonio, and it was fantastic. It's a pretty popular area for gay males. Nice beaches, tons of easy access to wildlife, lots of activities, lots of great restaurants. We stayed at Tulemar Bungalows and loved it. Both Lower Casa Panorama and Lower Mot Mot are nice for two people. If you like adventure activities, Arenal is a good pick - ziplining, rafting, the Penas Blancas river float and Cano Negro tour to see wildlife, also great natural hot springs like Tabacon and Eco Termales. We also love Xandari that RAC mentioned; it's a great spot for a last night's stay fairly close to the airport but not in the rougher part of San Jose. If you really want to get away from it all, I'd trade out Arenal or Manuel Antonio for the Osa Peninsula; Bosque del Cabo is really popular if you're into wildlife and hiking.
volcanogirl is offline  
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May 1st, 2014, 12:05 PM
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With 8days, I would keep it to 2 locations.
MichelleY is offline  
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