Costa Rica during Easter week?

Old Jul 14th, 2014, 12:03 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 37
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Costa Rica during Easter week?

My husband, 2 daughters (ages 11 & 13) and I are considering a trip to Costa Rica in the spring of 2015. For work and school reasons, we would have to go during Easter week and I'm beginning to wonder if it is worth it. Of course, prices are peak but is it also so crowded and full of traffic that it would change the experience? Or if we go, what would be the best days? Easter is April 5th and we could go as early as Thursday, March 26th, and could stay as late as April 6th. Or we could do a Thurs-Thurs and leave before Easter weekend. We have flexibility within that window of time.

Since it is our first trip there, we are planning on splitting our time between Manuel Antonio and Arenal. It seems to make sense to fly to San Jose but we could do Liberia. We are most excited about seeing animals.

Thoughts or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!
bulldogs is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2014, 12:17 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,438
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I know the beaches get very crowded during Easter vacation. I'd try to go as early as possible and do the beach portion of your trip first. You'll see a lot of wildlife in the Manuel Antonio area, monkeys in particular, especially if you do a tour of the park. In the Arenal area, we enjoyed visiting the Proyecto Asis animal rescue center where you could get up close to the animals; we were able to feed monkeys, macaws, and a sloth when we were there. I like the Cano Negro tour too if you're up for an all day tour.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2014, 02:08 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 183
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi there!

Firstly, Costa Rica is a wonderful place to visit and Easter is a great time of year. However, you really will need to be careful about where you go in order to avoid crowds. Even disregarding the crowds though, you might want to think again about the places you have on your list which tend to be busy at most times of year - particularly Manuel Antonio.

For a family with children of 11 & 13 we would suggest perhaps visiting Dominical instead of Manuel Antonio? Arenal is good fun but the volcano has been dead as a dodo for a few years now so actually going just a bit further north, you get to Tenorio Volcano National Park which, though also dormant, is covered in rainforest so is a great place to explore on foot or horseback. You also have the stunning turquoise blue waters of the Rio Celeste to see - most beautifully at the waterfall inside the national park.

From there I would suggest that you head a little further north to a place called Rio Perdido. It’s in the hot dry forests of Guanacaste but there is great fun tubing, zip lining and mountain biking - as well as a whole river of hot water to swim in!

It’s then only a couple of hours down to the coast near Ostional/Nosara which is beautiful and generally much less crowded than anything in the Manuel Antonio area. Plus you can snorkel with sea turtles off Ostional beach which is an incredible experience.

So it’s really a case of setting your compass a little bit off to one side. If you go at Easter and stay in Manuel Antonio/Arenal/Monteverde/Tortuguero/Tamarindo type areas then you will be seeing a lot of crowds. There are better places to go, no matter the time of year, where you will enjoy much more in the way of peace and quiet, and therefore wildlife!

Thomas
PuraAventura is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2014, 06:26 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 37
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thomas- thank you for the ideas. Your post leaves me with a few more questions. We definitely want to see animals - monkeys and sloths are at the top of my girls' list and it is the reason we chose CR. We aren't interested in horseback riding or mountain biking but the other activities sound fun. Should we go a different direction to see more animals? I don't want to stay in more than two places and I don't want to spend too much time driving around. Thoughts?

Volcanogirl-what do you think?
bulldogs is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2014, 06:44 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,438
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi, bull - I think the areas that you're planning on visiting are great for young families - good infrastructure and lots to do. We did that combo for our first trip, and I think it was a great intro to CR. In the Arenal area, we loved tubing at the Springs Resort and Spa, doing the Cano Negro tour, hiking at the waterfall, volcano, and Hanging Bridges, doing the Penas Blancas river float, and visiting the Proyecto Asis animal rescue center that I mentioned above. In MA, we loved the guided tour of the park, the Damas mangrove tour, and the Villa Vanilla spice tour. Do you think those sound like things you would enjoy? We stayed at Tulemar Bungalows, and they have their own beach - I really enjoyed that - free boogie boarding and kayaks if you want to use them.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2014, 07:03 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 12
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I always think Volcanogirl has great ideas but if I can add this, with 14 years living in the country and several years of picking up and dropping off a step son in MA during the peak weeks. Anywhere near MA during the Xmas or Holy Week of Easter is nightmare for tourists and locals alike. The traffic getting in and out is a nightmare for one thing. A great part of MA is properties that are owned by Ticos and they fill them up for the holiday weeks with friends and relatives as the entire country goes on holiday. The beaches are full with campers who come out from the Central Valley to enjoy the beaches and traffic is a mess. Hotels are packed. Rates are at the highest. Traffic in town to get around is at a crawl. Nosara is a town of expats, older crowd...lots of bars...less activity. We are a bit south of Nosara and I know we do not have turtles until June so I dont know if you can see them at Easter. If you can, consider somewhere perhaps on the Southern Tip of the Nicoya Peninsula where you still have access to a national park but can enjoy an area that is not as congested or as easy to access from the city. It make take a bit more time to venture out their but you will have a much more tranquilo experience. And for families, the Springs is gorgeous but we also highly recommend Leaves and Lizards for families! It is where we send our guests, friends, and family! Rio Celeste is stunning and a place too often overlooked so a great place to go during the peak week!
salsacr is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2014, 09:02 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,438
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
salsa, since they could go March 26th, do you think they could do the beach portion first? I was thinking that's well before Easter, so it could work out.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Jul 16th, 2014, 04:21 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 183
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You're welcome bull!

Monkeys you will see all over the country so no worries there, sloths are far harder to spot but Tortuguero and Tenorio are both good bets. The best of all would be to head onto the Osa peninsula and Corcovado national park though that has quite serious cost implications.

As for basing yourself in just a couple of places, I think I'd challenge that. There is such diversity in small areas of the country that to limit yourself to certain spots would be a crying shame. Bear in mind that the driving is generally easy, indeed quite fun.( Be sure to get at GPS as that will save your sanity. )

Distances between places are usually small, a couple of hours being the norm to get from one highlight to the next. Of course it all comes down to knowing a bit more about your family and what works for you which takes me towards my day job at Pura Aventura tailoring trips. It's probably too much information to share here for me to give you a more complete sense of how I would see you trip working and where exactly you would stay. Guessing though, a combination of Tortuguero for wildlife, Sarapiqui for activity and landscape, Bosque de Paz for some cloud forest then Tenorio for rainforest before beach time near Ostional would fit nicely with a couple of nights in each place and a couple of hours' drive from one to the next unt the beach where you have a good few days. It may be a new style of trip for you to keep moving like this but it works, particularly for families, as it becomes an exploration, an adventure. The wildlife on the above trip would be great. Last time I was in Tenorio there was a sloth just up to the right as you came in. That was in April so by next year he might still be in the same area!!

Thomas
PuraAventura is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2014, 04:58 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 37
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you everyone for your replies! Due to work, our dates have become even more inflexible as we can't head to CR until March 31st now. After contacting Tulemar to see their availability (the place we wanted there would only rent Sat-Sat for a full week) and many others are requiring a week, we've decided to postpone our trip to a time that isn't over Easter. That will save us both money and headaches.

I'll remember all your suggestions for next year! Thanks.
bulldogs is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2014, 05:07 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 183
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You're very welcome! Please feel free to ask again if you need more information ;-)

Thomas
PuraAventura is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2014, 02:01 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 3,955
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I hope you can still go somewhere next spring.

Here's the problem with Costa Rica that particular week: Any warm-weather destination will mean bigger crowds and higher prices during Easter week. With Costa Rica, you also have a local market who gets the entire week off and is competing with you for those same hotel rooms. As salsacr mentions above, the end result is huge crowds and a lot of traffic. I actually find it an unpleasant week to try and travel in Costa Rica.

Do plan to come to Costa Rica someday. I think June and July are a wonderful time of year to visit.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2014, 02:45 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,438
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I like July as well; sometimes you get a nice little break from the rain in July.
volcanogirl is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
whitney0515
Mexico & Central America
14
Jul 26th, 2018 04:25 PM
knemo
Mexico & Central America
18
Apr 9th, 2012 01:57 PM
sammez
Mexico & Central America
10
Aug 15th, 2009 04:50 PM
karens
Mexico & Central America
17
Jun 5th, 2007 08:56 AM
TrishaA
Mexico & Central America
5
Apr 10th, 2006 03:20 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:31 PM.