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Costa Rica 3-Week Itinerary - Comments Sincerly Appreciated!!

Costa Rica 3-Week Itinerary - Comments Sincerly Appreciated!!

Old Jan 12th, 2004, 05:38 AM
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Costa Rica 3-Week Itinerary - Comments Sincerly Appreciated!!

Hi All, My husband and I are planning a 3-week trip in June or July, and I have come up with a tentative itinerary. We enjoy the outdoors, hiking, nature.We don't have anything against, but don't require, luxury accommodations, just clean and comfortable.Some beachtime is great, but would prefer to spend the majority of the day exploring. Comments?

Day 1} Alajuela, perhaps Vida Tropical b&b
Day 2} Alajuela, See Poas Volcano and La Paz. Our options for this appear to be to hire a driver, or take a formal tour. Opinions?
Days 3-5 Savegre Lodge to see cloudforest, hike, bird, horseback ride. Other lodges looked good also in this area,especially Genesis ll, but Savegre offers transfer services.

Day 6: Savegre Lodge will transfer us to Sierpe, where we catch a boat to Corcovado Tent Camp. Days 6-11 spent at the tent camp.
Day 12: Transport to Alajuela - or can we somehow go directly to Rincon, our next stop?

Days 13-18 Rincon National Park. Rincon de la Vieja Mountain Lodge or Hacienda Lodge Guachipelin. Comments?

Day 19: Alajuela
Day 20: Possibly overnight trip to Torteguero. Besides viewing the turtles, is this trip similar to traveling up the Sierpe to Corcovado?

Day 21: Alajela
Day 22: fly home

Thanks for any and all opinions! Molly
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Old Jan 12th, 2004, 06:20 AM
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Savegre Lodge is a nice place. The people were very friendly.
I am curious about your boat trip to Corcovado Tent Camp. The Sierpe is an interesting river but goes into Drake Bay. Corcovado Tent Camp is quite a ways down the Pacific in Carate. It would be a unique way to get there. I would like to know more about it if you know how they are doing it and through what boat company.
Vida Tropical is right by the airport so is in a good location to get to buses to move on. They would be a great help in giving you directions and bus schedules. They can also help you arrange to get up to Poas/La Paz. You might even be able to just hire a taxi. Orquideas Inn is not too far from there also and has pretty good rates.
I would contact Costa Rica Expeditions regarding getting back to San Jose from their tent camp. Carate is not the easiest place to get to and from and as they own the tent camp they would know of the best options. I would love to do a boat ride from Drake Bay (Sierpe River) to Carate so any info would be great.
Tortuguero is very different from the Sierpe River. Lots more wildlife. Are you thinking ground transportation? You would see a lot on the boat ride to your lodge if you won't be able to stay long enough to do a formal tour of the canals. Won't see as much without a guide but it will still be interesting. Possibly the boat driver will be able to point things out for you. Your night tour to see the greenbacks will be with a guide. Bring a flashlight with a red light.
You will have to go through San Jose to get up to Rincon de la Vieja unless you want to hire a private charter plane for several hundred dollars from Carate.
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Old Jan 12th, 2004, 07:40 AM
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Thanks so much, Suzie2, for your prompt and very helpful response!

The Costa Rica Expeditions Tent Camp website describes a 30 minute taxi ride leaving from Palmar Sur to the banks of the Sierpe River. From there, you catch a boat that enters the Pacific and crosses Drake Bay. I contacted CR Expeditions the other day to see if this could be easily coordinated with a trip to Savegre Lodge, and apparently it is no problem. The Lodge will transport us there for $170 to catch the boat that leaves at noon. I think that it sounds like a great trip also!

Your comments about Torteguero makes me want to go there all the more! We will probably take a boat trip up the canals and allow a night or two {depending on whether my husband decides to do his fishing here or Corcovado} for exploration. The Watsons come highly recommended, so I'm leaning toward them for now.

Thanks again!



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Old Jan 12th, 2004, 08:16 AM
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Not much of rainforest in Savegre. You could arrange transfers with about dozens companies and they are more reliable than Savegre people. I had to deal with them before and they forgot to pick us up. After many calls they arrived in San Jose at 2pm not 9:30 am as arranged. There is another place,Trogon lodge, in the same area with much better service. http://www.crica.com/hotels/mawamba/trogon.html
Genesis II is the most expensive and they do not have private bathrooms.
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Old Jan 12th, 2004, 12:26 PM
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Now I am thourougly confused - thanks, Mama, lol! And Savegre Lodge sounded so perfect! I would NOT be a happy camper {literally} if we missed our transport to Cocovado!

Actually, sharing a bath isn't a big issue for us,so we can still consider Genesis ll as well as Trogon Lodge. Thanks for the input.

Suzie2, I forgot to mention that Costa Rica Expeditions describes the boat company as their own, though they might of course "subcontract" - not sure about that one - good question!
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Old Jan 13th, 2004, 09:27 AM
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Molly
Thought you might be interested in this. I contacted CRE to find out more specifics about the boat from Sierpe.
The following is copied from their response to my email:
We can offer you several packages to Corcovado - you can check them all in our website in the following link:
http://www.expeditions.co.cr/tripplan/multidaytrips/

We do not offer transportation to our lodge from Sierpe - take into account that due to the strong sea currents, it is not possible to dock in front of our lodge, so this would not be an option.
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Old Jan 13th, 2004, 09:49 AM
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Molly this is driving me nuts. I had this thought when I first read your message but you seem so sure about where you are staying. Is it possible that you are staying at Casa Corcovado?
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Old Jan 13th, 2004, 10:00 AM
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If your husband really likes fishing he might enjoy the Barra Colorado. It is just north of Tortuguero and is famous for its snook and Tarpon fishing.
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Old Jan 13th, 2004, 11:30 AM
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Suzie 2, I do mean the Corcovado Tent Camp! Their site, www.corcovado.com, describes the journey as follows: "From San Jose or Quepos, board one of the daily flights...to Palmar Sur airstrip. A 30 minute taxi ride leaves you on the banks of the Sierpe River where our transport boat will meet you.... You'll enter the Pacific from the mouth of the Sierpe, then cross Drake Bay before making landfall on Caletus de Osa's golden sand beach". And a representative from the camp, Victoria Rojas, also told me in an e-mail just a few days ago that "the boat leaves Sierpe at 12 midday"!

All I can think of is that their descriptions leave out the fact that it is a shortish {half-our or so} hike to the actual camp. I think that I read somewhere that they provide pack animals to assist with luggage, but you do have to walk a bit to the camp. Perhaps {I hope!} this is what the rep meant who responded to your e-mail. This is getting curiouser and curiouser - clearly I need to do a bit more research....!

As far as fishing, our thought is to fit it in whereever is convenient, but not to base our trip on it. I looked briefly at the Bara Colorado, and it looks just as good as Torteguro in terms of wildlife/nature, maybe even less touristy, but very pricy - not sure we could afford it! Do you have an opinion whether Torteguero or Corcovado would offer better fishing in July?

It sounds as though you and others have had good experiences with Savegre Lodge, so I hate to write them off entirely. Perhaps Mama's experience was a rare lapse in responsibility? May have to repost this as a seperate question!

Suzie, I have learned much from your reponses to me and others. I agree with some other posts - you would make an excellent tourist agent!
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Old Jan 13th, 2004, 01:26 PM
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Mystery solved! You are staying at Corcovado ADVENTURES tent camp NOT Corcovado tent camp. Two totally different places. The one you are staying in is not the Costa Rica Expeditions one. Are you using CRE to help you with your other arrangements? They are a full travel agency and can make reservations for you at any hotel or lodge. This may be where the confusion is. The two names sound very similar.
Regarding Savegre Lodge. We had no problems with them and thought they were a lovely family. Service was fine. We did not depend on them for any transportation though. We actually used CRE to help us with making reservations for us for that trip and they picked us up at the airport and brought us down to the lodge and then picked us up for our next adventure. Trogon Lodge is a comparable place from what I hear and has good reviews in the guide books. I thought the setting was a little nicer at Savegre. Mama is right about it not being a dense rainforest. It is actually a cloud forest as you have mentioned. Further down the road towards the end there is quite a bit more vegetation. We took the horseback ride down that way to see the waterfall. You have to walk a bit at the end to get to the falls though. Saw great trogons while on the horses. There is trout fishing available at the lodge.
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Old Jan 13th, 2004, 04:16 PM
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I had NO IDEA, Suzie, that there are two camps with similar names, and am SO glad that you set me straight!

Back to the drawing board - sigh. Corcovado Adventures is way less expensive, so we could stay longer, but then, Costa Rica Expeditions has an excellent reputation. Sometimes less is more...

Thank you for your comments about Savegre Lodge. I was indeed aware that it is cloud forest; that is the appeal! It sounds really good. Consolidating travel arrangements through one source makes sense.
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Old Jan 14th, 2004, 06:43 AM
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Honestly, even though Carate is one of my favorite places in CR because of its remoteness, you might be happier up further in Drake Bay (adventures tent camp). There are a few more options for day trips. CRE's tent camp is just down the beach from the La Leona entrance to Corcovado but other than just wandering around that area and maybe a horseback ride, there really isn't much to do. This area as well as other areas down in that part of the Osa are usually our last stop before going home. We are more than glad to just kick back and veg for a few days by that time because we do so much hiking before then. Only exception is when we are in the Cabo Matapalo area and even then we have veg time.
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Old Jan 14th, 2004, 12:24 PM
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Thanks for your advise, Suzie. We're real into nature observation and the outdoors, but close to a week does sound like it might be too much at the CRE camp. I haven't been able to learn much about Corcovado Adventure Camp, good or bad. There are several other interesting-looking possibilities to check out as well...

If I remember correctly, you mentioned somewhere that you plan on visiting Costa Rica again very soon. Have a fabulous trip!!!
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Old Jan 14th, 2004, 01:31 PM
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Good luck with your plans. You still have a little time to think about things.
I leave the 31st for a month down there. Half with my husband and half on my own. Can't wait. I am still going through indecisions myself on what to do after he leaves. Doesn't really matter as long as it is in CR.
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Old Jan 14th, 2004, 08:39 PM
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Hi Molly, I have not personally stayed at Corcovado Adventure Camp, but our boat docked just offshore when I was there on a cruise last July. We walked through the tent camp, and I actually thought it looked quite nice. There were not a lot of people staying there at that time, but I don't think that's uncommon in July. I'm a novice birder and was treated to some amazing sitings near the camp - toucans, scarlet macaws and a turquoise cotinga, to name a few! I was only there for a day, but it appeared to be a great area for exploration. One caveat - it will probably rain quite heavily at least part of the day. The day we were there it poured for the first couple of hours, then the skies cleared and it was glorious!
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Old Jan 15th, 2004, 06:24 AM
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Thanks, TA. My husband and I also enjoy birding, and nature in general - the area sounds impressive! Not many people seem to have stayed there, so I really appreciate your comments. For now, I am looking at the Adventure Camp,Marenco Lodge, Poor Man's Paradise, Bosque Del Rios Tigre, or perhaps still the CRE tent camp, for fewer days. Decisions, decisions!
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Old Jan 15th, 2004, 06:41 AM
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TAG You were very lucky to have seen the Turquois Cotinga! They are not that common. Saw a snowy for the first time last year.
Molly. Bosque del Rio Tigre is a very popular place with Costa Rican and foreign bird clubs. Abraham is an amazing guide. Haven't stayed there but did do a tour with him a while ago.
Do expect some rain at that time of year.
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Old Jan 15th, 2004, 06:50 AM
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Thanks again, Suzie! I greatly value your opinion - you really know CR!
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