Budget and advice for Costa Rica trip?

Jun 20th, 2009, 11:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 85
Budget and advice for Costa Rica trip?

Hi all
I've been reading and enjoying the excellent trips reports and advice offered about Costa Rica.
We (two adults, 16 year old son and 10 year old daughter) would like to visit Costa Rica in the next year.
Can anyone advise the best time to visit? I've read that the rainy season is good because everything is greener, but isn't it pretty green anyway that close to the eqautor?
Also advise on how long to stay? We wouldn't go for less than a week. Is two weeks too long?
Is a two center stay our best bet?
Advice from anyone (perhaps one of the family groups?) on budget? How much would it really cost for flights from San Francisco, car rental and accommodation in comfortable hotels/houses? Not Four Seasons standard but something nice. Would $10,000 for all for a week's trip be realistic? Not worried about food costs. We have to eat at home too!
We're not afraid of the driving. We've driven all over Europe (I grew up there) and European friends who have been to Costa Rica say it's comparable to rural Greece which is fine. Any comments on this?
Finally, our son will spend two weeks on a school trip to the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador in Dec 2010. Are we ill advised to go to Costa Rica the same year?
Thanks so much for your help.
phidias1 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 05:34 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Hi Phidias,

Go a fair amount...

Prefer to go Jan-March much less rain still green

Prefer to rent a car www.tricolorcarrental.com

For first visit

www.xandari.com Close to airport around flight nights

www.arenal.net www.thespringscostarica.com or www.tabacon.com

www.manuelantoniopark.com www.tulemar.com Villa Mot Mot

easily done with flights for under 10K

Have fun,
qwovadis is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 07:49 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 23,740
Most first timers do a combo of Arenal and Manuel Antonio for their first trip. It's a good combination because it gives you time by the active volcano as well as beach time, and you'll have access to a wide variety of activities. There are loads of great hotels in both areas. We love the Lost Iguana in Arenal. Check out Buena Vista Villas, Tulemar Bungalows, or Si Como No in Manuel Antonio.
volcanogirl is online now  
Jun 21st, 2009, 12:38 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 16,302
We just returned after 11 (full) days: air was $526 (total for two from Denver, all taxes [and insurance] and the $26 departure fee included); lodging in what we thought we really nice places totaled $1166 (11 nights), Toyota RAV 4 for 10 days was $291 (that includes additional $10/day liability insurance). Other costs included from $6 pp for certain national park beaches to $10 pp for Monteverde, Manual Antonio, etc. Selvaverde was the most expensive, $17 pp for the bridge hike. We usually pack our own lunches (collapsing cooler), several places included breakfasts, and most of our lodging had kitchens or kitchenettes (hate wasting my valuable vacation time and money on restaurants, unless I have to!) So, given your budget, I think I could have a pretty fine vacation!
sylvia3 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 12:43 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 85
Thank you, thank you to qwovadis,marina, volcanogirl and julrustica for the great advice and links.
It has focused us on where to go (the first hurdle)and whether it is feasible.
I talked about $10,000 as I added up airfares in February (on US Air via Phoenix) of $2900 plus near enough $1000 for 10 days car rental (Hertz, mid SUV). Added $350/night for accommodation (2 rooms)and $2000 for excursions and neared $10,000 before I could blink! But would be happy to spend less! We're not Four Seasons types, would rather stay somewhere smaller but like to be comfortable and love good food (who doesn't!)
I plan to sit and digest this information now and apologise if this question has already been answered in one of the links, but are there any houses/villas with access to swimming (pool/river or ocean) which anyone can recommend.
Thanks also marina for the link to your website, very useful.
phidias1 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 03:32 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 16,302
Why not try VRBO or similar and get houses or 2-bdrom condos in the most popular places? Far more comfortable than hotels, IMO.
sylvia3 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 04:34 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 23,740
There's a real estate company in Manuel Antonio called Latitude 9. They do vacation rentals if you want to do a search under that company name, it will come up for you.
volcanogirl is online now  
Jun 21st, 2009, 06:52 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 189
julrustica..I am surprised at your comment of air pollution in MalPais. I've experienced some blowing sand on a windy day but I've never needed a mask. Are you referring to the dust that's kicked up on the roads?
joeschmo is offline  

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