Another Itinerary question!

Aug 26th, 2003, 05:58 PM
  #1  
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Another Itinerary question!

I had an itinerary all planned out that involved flying into San Jose and out of Liberia. However, it seems that it will be much less expensive to fly both in and out of San Jose and this is messing up my itinerary! My questions primarily relate to the best order in which to hit the various locations. We will be driving ourselves except for the trip to the Osa Peninsula when I will load myself up with Xanax, pray a lot, and get onto one of those itty bitty planes.

Day 1: Arrive San Jose; stay at Vista del Valle.

Day 2: Raft Pacuare, stay at Vista del Valle
QUESTION: Can we get away without a car for this portion of the trip? Will Vista del Valle make arrangements to pick us up at the airport? How does that work?

Day 3: Fly to La Paloma, leaving excess luggage at Vista del Valle (I assume they'll allow this????)
Days 4, 5: La Paloma

Day 6: Fly back to San Jose and either drive to Manuel Antonio or stay another night at Vista del Valle and drive to Manuel Antonio the next day. Any ideas which would be better? Would we have time to fly back to San Jose, pick up our luggage, rent a car, and drive to MA in one day?

Next 3 nights in MA (probably Hotel California)and then drive to La Fortuna; stay at Arenal Paraiso for 2 nights.

QUESTION: How often does the area of lava flow change? Should we wait til shortly before we go (next June/July)to make La Fortuna reservations in case the side of the volcano with the best view of lava changes?

Drive to Tamarindo and stay for 3 nights at Capitan Suizo.

QUESTION: Can you easily drive (easily for CR, that is) from La Fortuna to Tamarindo without going back toward San Jose? In other words, are the roads okay going west around Lake Arenal to the highway or are we better off going south.southeast and picking up the highway near San Ramon? That seems so much longer but I don't know if the roads are so much better that it would actually take less time.

Finally, we'd drive from Tamarindo back to San Jose to fly home--I have to check flight times to determine whether we'd need another overnight in the airport area.

In addition to answering any questions you can, if any of you think I've missed anything or messed up the order, I'm open to any and all ideas!

Thanks again!

Jo

JoBurritt is offline  
Aug 26th, 2003, 07:38 PM
  #2  
 
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Okay Jo, leave the kitchen sink home. There is a possibility that Sansa could stop in Quepos after departing Palmar Sur to drop you off. If you have the people at La Paloma help with your travel arrangements they might be able to work it out for you. Worth a try to email them to ask if they have been able to do this.
Many of the hotels near the airport will keep some luggage for you while traveling. Sansa has a flight arriving back into Alajuela at about 11:30. You would have time to hire a taxi to get to Vista del Valle to get your luggage and back to the airport to catch the 2:30 flight out to Quepos or pick up a car and drive to Vista del Valle to pick up your luggage and then drive to Quepos if you don't take too much time off for sight seeing on the way.
I am sure Vista del Valle can make arrangements to get you to their hotel. If for some reason they won't, it would be a simple matter to catch a taxi at the airport. Won't be too terribly expensive. You definitely won't need a car before heading down to La Paloma.
You can get around through Tilaran to Tamarindo from Fortuna. It would be about a 4-5hr drive. The road would be a little rough around Tilaran but then would not be too bad. Watch out for cattle being moved on the road while driving up to Liberia. There are speed traps. You could stop for lunch in Liberia. There is a decent little place right on the center square just opposite the church.
Suzie2 is offline  
Aug 27th, 2003, 04:43 AM
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I would second Suzie2's idea of packing light and being able to fly straight from Palmar Sur to Quepos. Our plane actually arrived in Quepos before it was due to leave Palmar Sur. I guess when all four passengers, the plane and the pilot are all there, it makes to sense to wait. Even though this flight doesn't show up on Sansa's web site, I bet you can make arrangements.

Jean
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Aug 27th, 2003, 01:39 PM
  #4  
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Thanks, Sue and Jean,

Sue--You said it is possible to drive to Tamarindo via Tilaran, but would you recommend it over the other way? Is it quicker?

Re my overpacking tendencies, I just don't know how our family could ever travel with only 25 lbs. per person. I'm in awe of those of you who are able to do it and I don't understand how you manage. Without getting too personal here, we're a family of heavy sweaters (as in perspirers, not those woolen things you wear in the winter)and would not be very pleasant to be around if we didn't wash shirts after each wearing, especially in a climate like Costa Rica's. So, right there, that's 14 shirts each, plus probably 7 pairs of shorts and/or pants. And, we are not a petite family. I have a 5'10" daughter who wears size 11 shoes and a son who wears size 13. The rest of us aren't far behind. Our clothes and shoes are not small! Add to the clothing 14 days worth of underthings, toiletries, books, tevas, hiking shoes, camera, and whatever I'm forgetting, and I can't imagine how we'd be under 25 pounds each, would we?

Now, to be perfectly honest, I always overpack and bring way more than what is listed above and would be willing to actually try to bring just what is needed. However, I still doubt we'd make the 25 pound limit. Any thoughts on what I'm doing wrong, or are we just too big and sweaty to do this????
JoBurritt is offline  
Aug 27th, 2003, 01:47 PM
  #5  
 
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Jo,

Regarding the clothing issue, I'd suggest you pack a portion of clothes that are specifically designed for the tropics -- NOT 100% cotton, rather items that are designed to wash/dry in a climate that's not conducive to drying. And the other half of your wardrobe should be "wear once & throw as you go". Last year when I went back to CR, I brought along several T-shirts and underwear that I left behind after wearing them (P.S. I understand your heavy sweating dilemma).
Tess_Durberville is offline  
Aug 28th, 2003, 04:59 AM
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We were in Costa Rica last February for almost two weeks. The 25 pound limit was a challenge. We brought enough clothes to last almost a week, then had the laundry done when we got to Manual Antonio. We just had the hotel do it, which I'm sure was more expensive, but it was easy. Also wear your heaviest clothes, even though you might be hot, especially hiking shoes. We didn't have to weigh carry-ons, although I've read you may have to. (Might have been our carry-on was a backpack, not another suitcase.)

Also, make sure you're bringing travel sized bottles of shampoo and such. I had a roommate at a convention this summer who probably had 25 pounds worth of shampoo, lotion and cosmetics in a suitcase. Definitely not needed in the jungle.

Just as an aside, we travled to Belize this summer and I wondered why no one mentioned any weight restriction on the planes there. Low tech answer. They put a metal bar on the back of the plane that dangles from the tail. They load the passenegers, then start loading the luggage. When the bar hits the ground, no more is allowed on. It works there because there are so many more flights. We had to wait for our luggage to catch up at our destination, but the flight was 15 minutes later. They just keep flying until all the passenegers from the international flight get where they want to go.

Jean
JeanH is offline  
Aug 28th, 2003, 06:45 AM
  #7  
 
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Most hotels can arrange for you to have your laundry done. I go for 3-5 weeks every year with 2 pairs of lightweight zip off pants and about a weeks worth of shirts plus a bathing suit and a couple of sun dresses. The only thing I pack a lot of is socks because we do a lot of hiking. I wear my hiking shoes and just pack a pair of teva type sandals for the beach and a pair of lightweight nicer sandals for my dresses. A rain hat and a poncho finishes my packing. All very light weight stuff. 100 per cent cotton is heavy and holds moisture. You want stuff to wick it. Check out a good sporting goods store for shirts that wick.
Suzie2 is offline  
Aug 28th, 2003, 06:29 PM
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Thanks for all of your help--lots of good ideas. I guess we still need to think this all through and figure out what makes the most sense for us--plane or car. Unfortunately, our casual wardrobes consist pretty much of cotton, cotton, and more cotton with the exception of some of the kids' soccer shorts. It would be quite costly to re-outfit all 5 of us, especially with clothes that we'd probably only wear for the time we're in CR! I know we'll need some lightweight nylon or similar pants even if we decide to drive rather than fly around CR. But, do we really need hiking shoes if we're going to do mostly "soft adventure" type hiking? Will sturdy sneakers do?
JoBurritt is offline  
Aug 28th, 2003, 07:02 PM
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You don't need hiking boots. Actually I wear tennis shoes with a good all terrain sole. Light weight ones are good because they dry quickly and can be worn when back in the states. I don't think anything of walking through streams because they do dry quickly.
Suzie2 is offline  
Aug 29th, 2003, 04:49 PM
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Thanks again, Sue. I had read several posts somewhere in which the posters had said hiking shoes were a necessity. I like your answer better and I know you know what you're talking about. I wasn't thrilled about the prospect of buying 5 pairs of hiking shoes/boots for a 2-week vacation, so I am grateful for your input!
JoBurritt is offline  

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