Costa Rica

Old Jan 19th, 2014, 02:30 AM
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Costa Rica

Hi All!
Planning a first trip to Costa Rica- HELP! Trip for 8 days at the end of April. Flying into LIR and would love to go to Arenal and (1 or 2 other places??).
I have no hotels set up yet - please help!
We don't drink.. so not sure if all-inclusive would be worth it?
This is a first trip for just the husband and me with no kids! We are very active and would love to go trekking, rappeling, white water rafting, ziplining, horseback riding- WHATEVER WE CAN FIT IN in the 8 days!
Also would love RECOMMENDATIONS on SPAS if you know of any.
Would love to be totally immersed in the culture too- culinary class available? or other cultural events?
What about a coffee plantation?
We appreciate the beach, but don't need to spend a day there - would prefer to be active.
Also, rental cars? best way?
Do they accept credit cards?
Where do we exchange USD?
Thank you in advance!
masafami is offline  
Old Jan 19th, 2014, 05:17 AM
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The Arenal area is fantastic for adventure activities. We've done a lot of great ones there - zipline at Sky Trek, white water raft with Rios Tropicales, waterfall rappel with La Roca Sunset Tours, hike at the volcano, waterfall, and Hanging Bridges. The Cano Negro tour and natural hot springs are fun too, and the Penas Blancas river float, Proyecto Asis animal rescue center, and tubing at The Springs Resort and Spa. We are not spa people, but we stayed at The Springs Resort and Spa, and it was fantastic, so I imagine their spa would be wonderful. Tabacon has a spa as well, and I know the Lost Iguana has one, but it's fairly far from town. There are not many all inclusive properties in Costa Rica; most places are not. Check Desafio and Sunset Tours for horseback riding; they both have nice comprehensive websites. We go to Manuel Antonio for the beach, but that would be out of the way for you if you're flying into LIR.
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Old Jan 19th, 2014, 05:21 AM
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As far as coffee plantations, the Doka Coffee Estate has a very nice tour, and it's pretty there. We never exchange our money when we go. Just use U.S. dollars, and they've been accepted everywhere we go, and we get colones back in change. If you're in tourist areas, U.S. dollars are pretty widely accepted. Some places take credit cards, but a lot of U.S. card companies will charge you an extra fee for financial conversions, so check with your company. I got a Capital One card because they do not charge the fee. We've paid for most of our hotels and tours with credit cards, but we had one hotel ask us for a check.
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Old Jan 19th, 2014, 07:33 AM
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(Volcanogirl thank you!)
Does anyone know if it's better to book all the tours ahead of arriving in CR? Or can tours be booked upon arrival in CR?
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Old Jan 19th, 2014, 08:11 AM
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Sure, no problem, masa. You can usually book a day or two ahead if it's not busy season. We usually book ahead because we have certain times of day that we want to go, etc. For example with ziplining, you sign up for a specific time, and the time you want may already be reserved. If there's something you have your heart set on doing, I'd reserve it ahead. We do it all online. Otherwise, you're probably okay to wait.
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Old Jan 21st, 2014, 12:53 AM
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Since this is your first trip, you should book the accommodations and gather information about Costa Rica for convenience. Apart from Arenal which is a spectacular place to see you can visit Manuel Antonio, which is near from Arenal and explore The Manuel Antonio National Park Reserve. Here you can also experience rainforests adventures. There are a lot of places to see and explore in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is also a hotspot for surfing. Surfing in the warm blue waters of Costa Rica is an unique experience. Apart from this if you wish to indulge your self into Costa Rica culture, visit the historical town of San Jose. You can refer this travel guide to Costa Rica for more information http://www.crneeds.com/pages/travel-advisory.html
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