Costa Rica

Nov 25th, 2019, 04:14 PM
  #21  
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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We are short on time so I want to see a lot but still not rush. If I go to manual Antonio ( with a guide) early in the morning how long do you think I need to spend there. Should I allow the whole day so I can hike and enjoy the beach? Will I be sorry if I have an activity planned in the afternoon?
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Nov 25th, 2019, 06:56 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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It depends on how slowly you want to go through the park, how much time you spend stopping to observe wildlife, take photos, etc. I think it took us about three hours at a leisurely pace. You could easily spend the entire day there if you want to enjoy beach time after your guided tour, but if not you could schedule another activity.
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Nov 25th, 2019, 08:00 PM
  #23  
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On a related note is the beach in Manual Antonio the nicest beach ( in that area) if we did decide we wanted to spend some time relaxing at the beach or are there nicer ( or less crowded) beaches ?

So far we have this tentative itinerary. We are landing Sunday and driver take us to see crocodile bridge. Then we will drive to MA

MONDAY - group tour to waterfalls
then zip lining

Tuesday -rafting and then evening jungle tour

wed MA TOUR and possibly in afternoon snorkeling/ sunset cruise ( deciding if thatís too much and will feel rushed )

Thursday- leave early to go home 😥

Hope to be back soon ! So much more I want to do. !!
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Nov 26th, 2019, 02:37 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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Yes I think the beach inside the park is prettier than some others in the area. It's also less crowded because you have to pay to enter the park. There's a public beach right outside the park but it can be packed and not as attractive, lots of vendors, etc. The snorkeling probably won't be great. We could barely see anything when we did it due to sediment in the water. The visibility can be poor.
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Nov 27th, 2019, 04:57 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Hot springs with kids

Iíve got us booked at Tabacon because friends say those are the best theyíve experienced and a life highlight for them. But digging deeper it may be because it was very romantic and relaxing. This will not be my experience bc I will be bringing 3 older kids (14,14,12) so I was considering Baldi springs bc of the slides. I read that some feel Baldi is ďDisneyĒ like though. Any thoughts here? Weíd be doing an evening experience before heading to Arenal Observatory Lodge...
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Nov 27th, 2019, 05:28 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Has anyone been to Rainmaker in Manuel Antonio? Looks cool with the Hanging bridges etc. We are going to hike inside the National park also but would like to go to less crowded areas. Any suggestions?
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Nov 27th, 2019, 07:52 AM
  #27  
 
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Yes, the romantics and older people are going to recommend Tabacon. As far as Baldi there are quieter and noisier places..just keep walking toward the back . It does have bars toward the front, and the water slides. The locals prefer it. What do you mean by "Disney". I'm sure you can find some photos and maybe plans on line?

AFAIK It isn't capacity controlled. Around town if you are in La Fortuna there should be some discounts (I think I picked up a ticket at the base of the hike to the falls). BTW I went about 10 years ago, so not recent experience.

I would avoid the buffet as far as quality. Maybe with teens it's worth it. They'll certainly enjoy the slides.

FWIW some tour group of older guests was there during my visit. Some of the pools are elder-friendly since they are easy to enter/exit (ramps not steps). Something for everyone there, basically. And it's big.

Last edited by mlgb; Nov 27th, 2019 at 07:58 AM.
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Nov 27th, 2019, 08:08 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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h, Tabacon is really beautiful. It has a very natural beauty to it that some others don't. We haven't been to Baldi, but we've met some people who didn't enjoy it. Some do. Others say it has more of a party atmosphere. Tabacon does have a big water slide. I couldn't get my husband off of it! It also has a pretty waterfall you can go under.
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Nov 27th, 2019, 03:53 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Thanks to both of you!! Hard to make these decisions!! I now have 3 different hotels booked- lol.
Tabacon
AOL
Silencio Del Campo

hoping to find clarity soon...
hworth1976 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2019, 07:22 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Again my visit was back in Nov 2010 ( beginning at the tail end of an ex-hurricane, btw,) but some of this may still apply with corresponding price increases. I

1) I would not bother to go into San Jose.

For a first night hotel near the airport, I used Pura Vida Hotel in Tuetal Norte

https://www.puravidahotel.com/reservations.html
Excellent dinner and car pickup in the morning.

For a zipline and hiking experience south of MA, look at Hacienda Baru (beach is not for swimming).

https://www.haciendabaru.com/tours/

I split my time between AOL and a small place in La Fortuna (near Baldi, I think). Would do that again if you want to hike to the waterfall and do Baldi.

Last edited by mlgb; Dec 3rd, 2019 at 07:29 AM.
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Dec 3rd, 2019, 09:18 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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That's a good idea; you could do a split between AOL and one of the properties that has natural hot springs, sort of the best of both worlds.
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Dec 3rd, 2019, 05:16 PM
  #32  
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i think this is my final itinerary curious what you think

Sunday- land in San Jose, get picked up by driver and go to crocodile bridge drive to MA

Monday-rafting in morning
jungle night tour

tuesday-Manual Antonio park with guide then stay on our own to hike, relax on beach, parasail
mangrove night tour

wednesday-tour to las campesino waterfall
then ziplining
evening open to explore town of MA and quepos

thursday-leave early for flight back home
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Dec 3rd, 2019, 05:17 PM
  #33  
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is the snorkeling at beisanz beach nice?
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Dec 3rd, 2019, 06:33 PM
  #34  
 
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You have to be careful at Beisanz Beach regarding the tide. When we went the water was so high that there almost wasn't any beach to speak of. Our hotel told us we should have checked the high tide time before we left. I doubt the water visibility would be very good. Not sure you would see very much on an evening mangrove tour. The main thing we saw there was capuchin monkeys during the daytime.
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Dec 3rd, 2019, 08:30 PM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Things close to San Jose Airport

Hi guys!

Iíve changed my itinerary now and plan to add Arenal to the end. Iíve booked Los Lagos as my other choices were booked for Easter Weekend. Any thoughts on this hotel. Iíve read many good things. Now that Iíll be remaining closer for the first day what would you do / where would you stay before heading to MA the next day around noon? Iíve heard about Tarcoles and the crocodiles, La Paz and Xandari. Anything else Iím missing?! TIA!
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Dec 4th, 2019, 04:39 AM
  #36  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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You could do a tour of the Toucan Rescue Ranch if you'd like to see some animals up close; it's a rehab facility for over 100 animals. We had breakfast with baby sloths when we went; you used to be able to stay there overnight, but they've dramatically increased their rates so a tour is the way to go. Los Lagos is popular with young families, seems like there's lots to do on site.
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Dec 5th, 2019, 03:20 AM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Thanks! Iíll check that out too. Do you think renting a car is best or do you prefer drivers? I know most of this may be preference but Iím wondering about the cost comparison. Seems like taxis/ drivers are expensive in CR. Am I right?
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Dec 5th, 2019, 09:46 AM
  #38  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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Depends on where you go; taxis are expensive in areas that are spread out like the Arenal area but pretty cheap in places like Manuel Antonio since things are close together. When we've rented a car, it's been around $60 per day, but our preference is just to get a driver to take us between cities so we can relax. If you're comfortable driving, a car will give you more freedom. Most organized tours will pick you up and drop you back off at your hotel though. We tend to do a lot of organized tours.
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Dec 6th, 2019, 07:48 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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OK! Great! We plan to do many organized tours as well. Do you know if you can rent a car in Manuel Antonio and then return it to San Jose?
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