Costa Rica 101

Old Jul 8th, 2005, 10:10 AM
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Costa Rica 101

Hi, I have done a search and read posts on CR but I am afraid no one is as ignorant as I am and I end up not knowing what's what. So I am throwing myself on the mercy of Fodorites! Here's the deal, I know I need a guidebook, but my travel agent periodically sends me emails with deals and I can go to Liberia, and stay at the Grand Papagayo for six days in Aug for a good price. The thing is, I know practically nothing. Because it is only six days, this is not "the trip" to CR, more like a taste of it. We could rent a car, but is it possible to hire a tour company to pick us up and take us on a couple of tours? I have read about canopy tours which sound awesome, are they within a distance of Liberia that is possible to do? We would probably only spend two to three days touring and have r&r the rest of the time. What else would you recommend? Sorry to sound so dumb!
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Old Jul 8th, 2005, 10:31 AM
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wills-
First of all, you did not post on Costa Rica forum. Your message is on general Latin America forum instead. I suggest you re-post it, but this time select Costa Rica from the list of countries. This way many, many Fodorites who know CR will be able to assist you.
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Old Jul 8th, 2005, 10:56 AM
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Hi Wills,
We just went to Costa Rica in June, mostly because we got a great deal at the Grand Papagayo. We did not know a lot about Costa Rica prior to booking the trip. However, we had a wonderful time and enjoyed ourselves. The resort is nice, probably 4 stars. However, it is a bit secluded and I would definitely recommend doing some excursions away from the resort to see the country. It is a beautiful place. We used Vargas Tours and it was fantastic. Ricardo and his wife Lupita picked us up at the resort and took us on the tour. He does small tours, only 3-6 people generally. We did a canopy tour at Rincon de la Vieja national park that I would recommend, as well as the Palo Verde wildlife river tour, which was incredible. We chose not to go to Arenal and Monteverde, simply because of the distance (3-4 hours each way) and know that we missed a very beautiful part of the country. However, we had a great time and plenty of relaxation and adventure at the Grand Papagayo.
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Old Jul 8th, 2005, 10:56 AM
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I don't see a separate CR forum listed.
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Old Jul 8th, 2005, 02:42 PM
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Thank you Rockie! I am going to use everything that you told me! I appreciate the info. I did try to google Vargas tours and I didn't get very far, but I was time pressed. I will try again. Do you by chance know their website? This is just a "we will go 'cause we can" trip, I know I'll want to go back. I would welcome any other info!
Oleg, the forums don't break down that far, selecting CR may act like a search function, but it all ends up in Latin America. Fodorites tend to be travelled people, so posting so specifically wouldn't serve anyway.
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Old Jul 8th, 2005, 02:43 PM
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There isn't a separate forum. If you post under 'General Interest' and then post again under 'Costa Rica' you will only end up with 2 posts.

wills - I've never been to that location but I've heard good reports although I have heard mentioned it is a bit isolated, so you will need to travel a bit to do a majority of the activities. Search for posts by Percy, he has had good dealings with Vargas.
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Old Jul 8th, 2005, 02:51 PM
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Hi wills

You can write to me at [email protected] and I will give you all the details and phone numbers and e-mail to Vargas Tours.

Hi tully:

Yes I had nothing but an exceptional time with Vargas Tours.


oleg:

I also do not post directly on the Costa Rica Forum but rather Latin America in general and it always winds up on the same page.

I think if you want to select Costa Rica postings then you, search/ scroll down to Costa Rica and you will read posting that are specific to Costa Rica.

Right now I am posting this on just plain old Latin America section , so let us see where it winds up.!!!

Percy

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Old Jul 8th, 2005, 04:51 PM
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Thanks Percy!
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 07:23 AM
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Wills - the trip you are taking, was our first trip to CR and now we have been 4 times!

Ours was a Vacation Express Package that was just too cheap to pass up. It was a quick intro to CR that wetted the appetite.

We are not great fans of all inclusive resorts. The views were great, our room was wonderful (one of the honeymoon suites), the food was ok, pool and grounds very nice. There were many people here for a week or more that never left the resort, that is just not for us. We ended up renting a vehicle and got out everyday to explore several areas. We did drive up to Monteverde and stayed a couple of days. Drove down to the Corobici River did a float trip. My husband did a canopy tour. Went over to Coco for several lunches and dinners, shopping and enjoyed many Imperials while sitting at the outdoor bar down near the water.

There were tour desks on site, with lots of activites to take advantage of.

We didn't know about Vargus Tours back then, but they do get rave reviews.

We learned quickly that Costa Rica is addictive and have enjoyed every single trip and hope to travel there many more times.
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 05:12 PM
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thanks everbody! I really appreciate all of your kind help. I just have to firm everything up and I think I have us a vacation! Kicker is, I just broke my finger so forgive me if I don't write much. Thanks again!
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 06:25 AM
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I'd also say that driving in Costa Rica isn't bad. Most of the roads are in decent shape (not as good as the US but fine). It's actually strangely entertaining driving down some of the wide dirt roads scattered around the country. The traffics a bit of a mess in San Jose, but we made it through fine in rush hour on my first trip to CR (not very different from large, traffic-heavy US cities). From what I hear, the buses can be an entertaining, but slower, adventure as well. Have fun!
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