Bosque del Cabo Plus extra days

Old Jun 22nd, 2007, 07:37 AM
Posts: n/a
Bosque del Cabo Plus extra days

I have been reading messages for a while and have been learning so much from all of you, but I am having second thoughts about my itinerary and hope you can help.
We are planning a trip over spring break (late March, 2008) and have two children ages 12 and 10.
1 night near San Jose Airport
2 nights Iguana Lodge, Puerto Jimenez
6 nights Bosque del Cabo, Las Palmas cabina
1 night near San Jose Airport

I was wondering if we should instead spend the first 3 nights in Arenal at the Lost Iguana and then fly to Puerto Jimenez. That way we would see a bit more of the country and experience a wider variety of activities. My husband and I have been to Costa Rica twice, but my children have never been. They love nature and wildlife so I know they will be thrilled with the Osa, but I'm wondering if they might get bored after 8 nights.

My original thought was to spend 2 nights by the beach and do the kayak, dolphin and animal sanctuary tours from there. Then we would just hang out at BdC for 6 days. Would it be better to go to Arenal and then take day trips to Puerto Jimenez from BdC? (I don't want to reduce the number of days at BdC.) Our flight arrives in San Jose in the early afternoon so I thought we could rent a car and drive to Arenal on the first day.

Thanks for any help you can give.
Old Jun 22nd, 2007, 08:18 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 333
I think going to Arenal from the airport is a good plan. That way your children will get to experience 2 very different ecosystems. My son loved the Arenal area.
kencolian is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2007, 11:07 AM
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We stayed at Lost Iguana in Arenal and loved it. I would highly recommend it. If it were me, I'd give up the time in Puerto Jimenez so I could see the volcano area. Arenal has the volcano, hot springs, ziplines, etc. - a lot to offer. If you have time, I'd highly recommend going to Cano Negro - it was one of the highlights of our trip. Enjoy!
volcanogirl is online now  
Old Jun 22nd, 2007, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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I understand why you don't want to cut your time short at BDC, but I still recommend (for a good balance with the kids), 3 nights in Arenal and 5 at BDC. Do you need to spend the last night in SJO because of an early flight, or can you make that last night work at BDC?
hipvirgochick is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2007, 07:06 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I'll ditto what hvc said, 6 days is great at BdC (I've done it myself) but if you cut it to 5 and Arenal it would nicely round out your trip I think, sure the kids would love it. And if you can catch your flight, I'd leave BdC the same day as your international flight, just have a good buffer in there.
tully is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2007, 07:03 AM
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Thanks for your responses. I was hoping you'd tell me to stick with my original plans since I've already made the reservations! But, I think you are right about having a bit more diversity. I don't want to change the 6 nights at BdC, though, since it took a lot of communicating back and forth to secure a room, and we are going to CR primarily to go to BdC. (I was amazed that they were already booking up when I called in May for a March 2008 reservation!)Unfortunately, our international flight home leaves at 8AM so we have to spend the last night in SJ.

Therefore, we can get to Arenal in the late afternoon and spend 3 night so we will have 2 days there to explore. We can then take a 1:55 Sansa flight to PJ from San Jose so we are not too rushed to get back. The last Nature Air flight is 3:15 which would be better, but can I rent at car at the San Jose airport and return it to the Nature Air terminal?

Other questions:
What are the best activities to do with kids at Arenal for our short time there? (I assume Cano Negro wildlife isn't as important to see if we are spending time on the Osa.)
Do you recommend any outfitters for zip line tours, etc?
Is Lost Iguana the best place to stay with kids?
Is it better to do a zip line at Arenal or at BcD? (I'm only up for it once!)
Has anyone stayed at Las Palmas cabina at Bcd? I hope it's a good one since everything else that could acommodate 4 people was booked.

Thank you so much for your valuable advice. I really appreciate it.
Old Jun 25th, 2007, 09:36 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,750
Hi Annie -- For a good hotel with kids you can also check out Los Lagos. It has water slides at the pool and gets good reviews. We didn't stay there, but may try it next time. It's in a good location.

Cano Negro is different from the Osa, so it's still definitely worth going, but if you don't have time don't stress.

We liked Aventuras for the zip-lining. They're one of the older more respected companies in the area and their zips go over the falls, which is spectacular. There's also a short horseback ride afterwards. I would definitely do this in Arenal, not BDC.

Don't worry about your cabina. They're all great! What are your dates at BDC?
hipvirgochick is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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Hi, annie - like I said we loved the Lost Iguana, but I think virgo has made a good suggestion with Los Lagos - it seems to get really good reviews from people with children. We didn't see a lot of children at LI, so they might be more comfortable with other kids around.

Cano Negro involves a boat ride down a river - you will probably see most of the same wildlife that you'll see at BdC, but the river would make it a different experience. If you don't get a chance to do it, it will give you a good excuse to go back someday.

From what I've read, the zip at BdC isn't nearly as elaborate as the ones you can do in Arenal, so my vote would be Arenal. Your kids would probably really enjoy going to the hot springs at Tabacon if you have time.
volcanogirl is online now  
Old Jun 25th, 2007, 08:19 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Hi Annie,

Sky Trek/Sky Tram (ziplines and tram ride) was a lot of fun and the guides were terrific, although hipvirgochick's Aventuras suggestion sounds great as well.

We also really enjoyed the Cano Negro tour. Being out on the boat watching the monkeys swinging in the trees was such a fun experience!

Arenal also has the waterfall you can hike down to, horseback riding, waterfall repelling, cave exploration and the hotsprings, to name a few activities. It's a really great area.

I haven't been to Bdc yet (I'll be down there in December, yeah!).

I think you'll be really pleased to include Arenal in your itinerary, and everyone raves about Bosque. Sounds like you have a really wonderful vacation to look forward to!
cmerrell is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2007, 04:45 AM
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I've walked around inside La Palma and it was very nice, it's right next to the Lapa cabina. All the cabinas are nice though! I'm not sure but I think the zipline at BdC is only 1 line; if you're going to Arenal I'd do it there (I loved SkyTrek) as you get to zip by and see the the volcano & lake.
tully is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2007, 12:09 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Just got back from Arenal with our 3 boyz 10,13,15. They loved Arenal, actually, they loved all of Costa Rica. We did the zip lines at Hotel Paraiso. They were great! Gave us a discount on our 10 year old too. Also did the caves, the boys and my hubby loved it. My husband and I went to Tabacon without the kids one night. I don't think the kids would have gotten a whole lot out of it for the money it costs. We stayed at Los Lagos and the pools were fun. Since we had a car, we planned our own excursions, even drove to the caves, no problema!! Eat at Nene's, the waiter kept the kids busy with magic tricks and the food was very good!
kimmarinelli is offline  
Old Jul 6th, 2007, 10:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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We loved our trip to Costa Rica last March with our two kids ages 12 and 15. We also went to Arenal for three nights (Lost Iguana) and to Bosque for four nights. (You could look for my trip report). The boys LOVED Skytrek (which is between Lost Iguana and ARenal Observatory Lodge). Even though it sounded terrific, we didn't do the Cano Negro tour because after the drive from Poas, where we were before Arenal, it seemed like too much time in the bus/car for our kids. But I'm sorry we didn't go; it sounds as if there is different wildlife than you will see at Bosque. Our boys also liked the hike down to the La Fortuna waterfall and going to Hanging Bridges (all of which we did on our own, without a guide). A highlight for all of us was seeing Arenal erupt from Arenal Observatory Lodge. In retrospect, I would have preferred staying at Arenal Observatory Lodge to Lost Iguana, but that's just me.

At Bosque, there are so many trails to hike from the hotel that it's not really necessary to plan extra activities, but I'm sorry that we didn't go to the wildlife sanctuary, which you could combine with the dolphin tour on a one day tour from Bosque.

I think it depends on what rental car company you use about whether you can pick up at one airport and return at the other. But even if the company (like Tricolor) doesn't have an office at the Nature Air airport, they might be willing to pick up the car there; just ask when you reserve. Have a great time!
sms73 is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2007, 04:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Agree with others, I'd definitely add Arenal and skip PJ. My 2 kids were 13 and 15, and absolutely loved it (and BdC). We are planning a 2nd trip in Jan08 and they don't want to explore new places, just Arenal and BdC again! We loved the Observatory lodge (though its a bit outrageous to get to, part of the CR adventure!) Views were to die for, lava at night, CLEAR for 4 days! And the hike to the old lava field was a highlight. Also did a The Canaopy Tour, includes horseback ride up into the jungle. Would do other excursions at BdC, not Zip. Dolphin trip was wonderful, hikes and food great. Will do the animal sanctuary this next time. We stayed in Las Palmas, very nice, spectacular views, kids loved their loft. Macaws, monkeys outside your door. Kim and Phi and staff adopt you. Enjoy!
4explore is offline  
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