Costa Rica

Old Jan 23rd, 2015, 08:36 AM
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Costa Rica

Hi!!

I am hoping that I can get help planning an itinerary for 7 days in Costa Rica in September 2015..
Looking to see turtles, the volcano, beach, rainforest, not opposed to traveliing within Costa Rica, just not sure as to where to go.
I was thinking Arenal, Tortuguero, la Fortuna..
Could I get some feedback, possible itinerary ideas (with travel options), which airport to fly in and out from, any suggested hotels, etc.

Any and all suggestions would be helpful..

Thanks
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Old Jan 23rd, 2015, 08:49 AM
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I would suggest Ostional for turtles that time of year--if you arrange your stay for the right moon cycle you can see an arribada. Any local lodge will be able to tell you the best dates.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2015, 08:57 AM
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Arenal and La Fortuna are basically the same thing. Fortuna is the town, and Arenal is the name of the volcano there. We like that area and have been there several times - there are nice hikes at the waterfall and Hanging Bridges. Tons of adventure activities like ziplining at Sky Trek, tubing, rafting, and also the natural hot springs like Tabacon and Eco Termales. Tortuguero's turtle season is roughly July-October, so that would be a good time to see them. It's good for about two nights. Most people stay in lodges along the canals and eat all their meals at the lodge. It's all water based, so you travel by boat. Tons of wildlife there - monkeys, crocs, toucans, turtles, otters, etc. Manuel Antonio is nice for the beach.

With only 7 days, I'd stick with two locations since travel can take a long time. We always fly in and out of SJO. If you wanted a Guanacaste beach which is up north in the drier areas, then you would want to fly into Liberia.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2015, 09:37 AM
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Thanks Volcano Girl,

Would you suggest flying into SJO renting a car, stay 1 night at Peace Lodge?!

3 nights in Arenal

2 nights in Tortuguero

1 night in Manuel Antonio

How would I get from Arenal to Tortuguero, we plan to rent a car for the duration of the trip, but I am aware that we cannot drive to Tortuguero.

Any links or information on this trek?

Thanks
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Old Jan 23rd, 2015, 10:10 AM
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Manuel Antonio will not work with your time frame, and it would be a complete and utter waste of time to drive a full day there and back so you can sleep in a hotel there for one night. Definitely should be dropped from this trip.

Arenal can be combined with either coast. Tortuguero will give you wildlife but no beach. Ostional/Nosara/Tamarindo will give you beach but not as much wildlife.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2015, 11:13 AM
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Let me address a different issue. You don't say when in September your trip is. Sept. 15 (a Tuesday this year) is Independence Day in Costa Rica. Most everything will be closed and a lot of Costa Ricans will be traveling themselves. Often in such cases of Tuesday holidays, everybody tries to make a four-day weekend of it, meaning that Sept. 12-15 could be very busy.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2015, 11:17 AM
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Hi Jeff_Costa_Rica

We are aiming at the first week in September (5 - 13) so I guess right before Independence day.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2015, 12:50 PM
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watson, that is way too much moving around for me. I like all those areas, but I would not attempt to do them in that short of a time frame. We usually stay about four days in the Arenal area and the same in the Manuel Antonio area. Tortuguero would be worth about two nights, and then if you wanted to do the Peace Lodge, that's worth a night or two. I would either add more time to your trip or cut down on your number of locations. We had a driver take us from Arenal to Cano Blanco and then had a boat pick us up there and take us to our lodge in Tortuguero. Most people do not go from Arenal to Tortuguero though; it's much more common for people to go from San Jose to Tortuguero. We stayed at Tortuga Lodge, and they tend to do more specialized packages. A lot of the lodges there will put you into groups and have your travel together and eat all your meals together, tour together, etc. You can also fly to Tortuguero if you want to. We boated in and flew out. The boat ride in is nice for seeing wildlife. We've been during Independence Day, and it worked out fine in our case. I enjoyed seeing how they celebrate.
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Old Jan 24th, 2015, 07:23 AM
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Hi, watson - I forgot to mention that September can be very rainy in certain areas in September; usually the further south, the more rain, so it might be better to leave Manuel Antonio for another trip. Of course, you never know with the weather!
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