Best itinerary for 7-8 days (beach and nature)

Mar 31st, 2005, 11:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 5
Best itinerary for 7-8 days (beach and nature)

Hi all,
My boyfriend & I are looking to schedule a 7-8 day to Costa Rica end of April or sometime in May.

Would love perspective on best itinerary for 7-8 days. Interested in active things (volcano, canopy tours, rafting? nature parks) and a few days soaking up the sun (i.e. beach time).

Also..I'm thinking best way to get around quickly is to fly from pt to pt. But, would love recommendations on this too.

Finally, (of course) recommendations for hotels.

carmensf is offline  
Mar 31st, 2005, 12:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,211
A good itinerary for what you have described is Arenal-Manuel Antonio. Between the two locations, you'll find everything you'd like to do.

Hotels at Arenal: Arenal Paraiso, Lost Iguana both highly recommended.

At Manuel Antonio: Si Como No, Costa Verde, Villas Nicolas (there are many)--these get especially good reviews.

We like driving, and these particular drives are easy and interesting. If you'd prefer private transport or even small mini van transport (such as Interbus or Costa Rica Transfers), rest assured that you don't necessarily need a car once you are at either location. Taxis are plentiful and fairly inexpensive.
shillmac is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2005, 05:24 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 22
I would also recommend seeing Arenal where you can hike, horseback ride, see the volcano and waterfalls and other adventurous stuff, and then head to Manuel Antonio for the beach and relaxing. Manuel Antonio also has some adventurous activities. We just got back and it was nice to have more of the relaxing beach time at the end of our trip.
meechigan is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2005, 07:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 20
Would anyone know about the driving distance between Arenal and Manual Antonio? Thanks!
colavecd is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2005, 07:45 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 96
About 4.5-5 hrs Arenal to MA
Txtrav1 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2005, 06:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,211
Straight driving time would be 4.5-5 hours, but is you stop for lunch or at the Rio Tarcoles to view to crocodiles (and you must do this!), you might plan on a little longer.
shillmac is offline  
Apr 4th, 2005, 10:56 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 20
Thanks Shillmac and TxTrav1 for your responses. I wonder if the drive from Arenal to MA will be a bit too long and a waste of a day...I'll post my itinerary here, again, to see if what suggestions come my way. I have eliminated Monteverde just becasue of the driving, replacing the two day rafting trip instead. Getting confused! thoughts?
I will be traveling to Costa Rica this summer with my husband and two teens, ages 17,18.

7/17 @ 12:30 arrive in SJO. Spend nt in SJ; Las Orquideas, leave next day for two days on Pacuare River; staying at either Pacuare Lodge or lodging at Rios Tropicales.
7/19 ~ return to SJ for the night; Las Orquideas.
7/20 ~ Rent car, travel to Arenal Paraiso for 2 nts.
7/22 ~ Travel to MA for two nights at Hotel Espadilla.
7/24 ~ two nights at Marriot Los Suenos.
7/26 ~ Depart to SJO


colavecd is offline  
Apr 4th, 2005, 11:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,211
Not a waste of 5-6 hours. It's a nice drive. Go to San Ramon from Arenal (south of La Fortuna) to the Interamerican highway, then turn back east toward San Jose for a short distance. Take the Atenas exit and from there cut back to the southwest through the mountains to Orotina. From there follow signs to Quepos/Manuel Antonio. Beautiful scenery on this route.
shillmac is offline  
Apr 4th, 2005, 02:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 96
Personally, I am not a fan of the big chain resorts in Costa Rica ie; Marriott & Four Seasons. They are what they are in that they are big, very nice compounds that lack the charm of the real Costa Rica. Matter of fact, when I go back in May, I have just cancelled my last night at the Marriott CR in San Jose using Marriott Reward points in favor of being able to do a 2nd night at the Peace Lodge. Both Marriott's are beautiful, just make sure this is the type of experience you would like from Costa Rica. You might consider 3 nights in Arenal and 3 in MA. Trip from Arenal to MA is not a waste of a day. Lots of sights to see along the way and a good chance to stop at a soda stand and have some lunch along the way. The Rio Tarcoles is a must stop to see the croc's. Also,can affirm Rio Tropicales is an excellent company. Haven't stayed at their lodge, but been by it on the river while doing their 1 day tour and it looks awesome
Txtrav1 is offline  

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