Costa Rica - Green Season Honeymoon

Old Oct 18th, 2021, 08:20 AM
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Costa Rica - Green Season Honeymoon

Hi all!

Attempting to plan our honeymoon for end of June/beginning of July. Considering doing the deal with Copa Airlines which allows for a stopover in Panama - wondering if anyone had done that and how it worked logistically!

We know the areas that we're planning on going to in Costa Rica once we get there but have a few questions for my more seasoned CR travelers! Right now we're planning on doing Arenal, Uvita/Ojochal area and the Osa Peninsula for about 14-16 days. Fully prepared for it to be wet and rainy in the afternoons especially down in the Osa but excited nonetheless!

Couple big picture questions for my experts Any recommendations as far as the order of visiting these spots? Currently considering flying into SJO, heading right up to Arenal for 3-4 days, then heading back to SJO to fly to the Osa, and then drive up the Pacific Coast for the return back to SJO. Caveat here is that I'm not sure if it's feasible to rent a vehicle in Puerto Jimenez and return in SJO? Our other consideration was to fly into SJO and head right down to the Osa Peninsula, then fly back, rent a car, and drive up to Arenal for 3-4 days, then down to Uvita area. This option seems a little counterproductive though to go down to the Osa to go back up North, then back to the Southwest

Second question - I know it's turtle season. I've looked at a few tours from the Arenal area but can't decide if it's worth it to take a couple days from the Pacific Coast to add to Arenal to work in a turtle tour, or just stick with the tours and day trips that we want to do from Arenal instead (Cano Negro etc.) Any experience with a tour of Tortuguero would be greatly appreciated! Right now we're debating something like the ones done through Watson's or Willie's Tours for 2 days and 1 night.

My final questions have to do with lodging! I've been thinking about Bosque del Cabo in the Osa for about 6 years now based on posts in this forum and never made it down. It seems like it's still got the untouched, unspoiled beauty but wanted to check in and see if anyone had stayed recently and still felt the same way! Figure if it is as popular as it used to be we'll have to get it booked sooner rather than later!! I also wanted to see if anyone had any recommendations for a little more "luxury" stay in the Arenal/La Fortuna area? Normally we are not luxury travelers at all so I have frame of reference for this kind of thing!

Thanks in advance!!
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Old Oct 18th, 2021, 08:21 AM
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Just realized how long this is after I posted it. Sorry for the novel!
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Old Oct 18th, 2021, 11:19 AM
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Bosque del Cabo is amazing. We stayed a few years ago, but from what I can see it's still wonderful. We went in July and surprisingly didn't get any rain - we got lucky. For upscale in the Arenal area, we've stayed at Nayara, The Springs Resort and Spa, and the Lost Iguana and enjoyed all of them. If you want to see a lot of wildlife, you could stay at the Arenal Observatory Lodge - not fancy, but we still enjoyed it for excellent hiking and all the animals - toucans, coatis, a few monkeys, etc. For beach we love Tulemar Bungalows in Manuel Antonio, have not been to Uvita yet.
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Old Oct 18th, 2021, 01:55 PM
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In Arenal, I've only stayed at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, which I really liked. We had one of the Smithsonian rooms, which has it's own patio and a full view of the volcano. We saw howler monkeys swinging through the trees from our patio, birds galore, and quite a few lizards and frogs. The rooms are not luxurious as volcanogirl mentioned, but they are comfortable. A potential downside of this lodge is that it is a fair distance outside of town - we didn't mind because we came for the nature, not the civilization, but some people like to be closer to town to make it easier to go eat out and that kind of thing.
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Old Oct 18th, 2021, 04:47 PM
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Thank you both!!! I actually had been leaning towards Arenal Observatory Lodge purely for the nature/wildlife viewpoint so you're both swaying me in that direction! I actually think we'd prefer to be a bit out of town, especially as we'll have a rental car if we want to head into town for anything. I'll definitely check out some of the other places you mentioned too to have a back up in case my fiance feels the need for a little more luxury!
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Old Oct 18th, 2021, 10:05 PM
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We had a Smithsonian room as well and really liked it. Awesome volcano views; it's one of the hotels closest to the volcano. They have a free guided hike every morning. Sometimes the volcano gets enshrouded in fog, so you can't see it, but when you do it's amazing. They also have a nice observation deck where they put fruit out at feeders in the mornings; you can see oropendolas, honeycreepers, etc. Very nice. The road to get there is bumpy; it's maybe 25ish minutes or so to town.
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Old Oct 19th, 2021, 05:47 AM
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We've been to Tortuguero - stayed at Tortuga Lodge, very nice. When we went the turtle viewing was done via a lottery, and we were able to go. Really enjoyed it. It rained a lot while we were there, but we were able to do some nice boat tours through the lodge. Tons of wildlife in the area.
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Old Oct 19th, 2021, 10:14 AM
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On Osa you might consider this. https://www.nicuesalodge.com/ We had a lovely few days stay on our trip in July 2017. Go for a "cabin suite" room, lots of privacy, opens up directly to the rain forest, has its own deck, but the lodge has nice common areas for dining and relaxing even if it rains, great food, great excursions. You fly to Puerto Jimenez and they pick you up with boat as that is the only way to get there.
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Old Oct 19th, 2021, 10:17 AM
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We also stayed at Observatory Lodge at Arenal. It is not especially luxury but it quite spectacular to be by the volcano. We saw a jaguar on the way out of the resort one day!
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Old Oct 19th, 2021, 05:35 PM
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volcanogirl I think we might try to work Tortuguero in this time! I was debating giving the extra couple days that we have either there or Monteverde but I'm thinking with road conditions and weather conditions in the rainy season it's probably best to save that for another time. I also looked back at one of my last threads when I was planning before and noticed you gave me some great advice back then too so double thanks to you!!

laurie_ann Nicuesa Lodge looks beautiful! You've definitely given me something to think about for our time on the Osa! I think you guys have convinced me about Arenal Observatory Lodge. The last time we were in Arenal we stayed at Los Lagos, and while we loved it, we definitely didn't get to experience as much wildlife as we've heard about in the Arenal area and I'm dying to do that this trip!
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Old Oct 19th, 2021, 08:26 PM
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Oh sure no problem, happy to help. I think Tortuguero is worth two nights if you can fit it in. They recommend wearing something dark for the turtle hike if you do it.
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Old May 16th, 2022, 12:57 PM
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Topping this thread for a couple last minute questions! We've officially finalized our plans for July and are doing a full two weeks - I can't wait! I wanted to know if anyone had recs for a hotel near SJO for our first night? We were thinking either Xandari or Pura Vida Hotel if anyone had any opinions one way or the other!

Second question is as far as Arenal. We're debating between staying all 4 nights at Lost Iguana or two nights at Lost Iguana and two nights closer to the town itself. Any pros/cons either way?
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Old May 17th, 2022, 01:26 AM
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We've stayed at Xandari a couple of times and loved it. It's a beautiful place designed by an architect and his artist wife; we got to meet them when we stayed there. It's in the hills looking down on the city. Nice service, and there are some pretty trails on the property and a few small waterfalls.
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