Costa Rica-Help with planning

Old Feb 14th, 2014, 08:27 PM
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Costa Rica-Help with planning

Planning a trip to CR late June. 5 or 6 days. 4 moms and our 17 year old adrenaline seeking sons. Looking for adventure with zip lines, water rafting, waterfalls and surfing with hotel/resort type accommodations. Can we coordinate beach and rain forest all in one region? initially thinking of staying in beach area with day trips for excursions. Have not booked air yet, which airport? Thank you very much, I have been trying to wrap these plans up for several months but really unsure with the group not wanting to spend a lot of time traveling since relatively short trip.
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Old Feb 15th, 2014, 11:19 AM
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I'd expore Manuel Antonio - it's about a three hour drive from SJO. The Arenal area is fantastic for adventure activities, but won't give you the beach you're looking for.
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Old Feb 15th, 2014, 11:32 AM
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I'll put in my 2 cents for the Uvita area, especially with older teen boys (http://www.uvita.info/uvita/attractions); less crowded, amazing beaches [Ballena national park, all kinds that you can just pull over for, from calm and deserted to water caves (Ventana); some terrific surfing (Dominical)], plus waterfalls, ziplines, amazing scenery and incredible wildlife. You can even easily go south from there for a day trip to Corcovado National Park.
Huge variety of lodging options, and frankly, just so much less congested than Manuel Antonio.
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Old Feb 15th, 2014, 11:45 AM
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Forgot to mention where we stayed - Tulemar Bungalows - loved it and they have their own beach with free kayaking and boogie boarding. Tons of wildlife on the property as well; we saw monkeys, sloths, and some cool birds. We had a concierge assigned to us that made it really easy to book everything. Also liked they we had a kitchen for keeping breakfast stuff, cold drinks, etc. on hand. Lots of adventure activities in the area, as well as a gorgeous national park with beach. We had several good restaurants in walking distance. They also have a free shuttle that runs around the property. I got the recommendation on this board and was really happy with it. It's a pretty area.
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Old Feb 15th, 2014, 11:55 AM
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And if you want to stay somewhere other than the beach, check out the Lost Iguana, Silencio del Campo, Nayara, The Springs Resort, and Arenal Observatory Lodge - they're all in the La Fortuna/Arenal area and are some of the popular spots.
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Old Feb 15th, 2014, 12:24 PM
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I think the beach meets the rainforest in the Dominical--Uvita area (and south). We've stayed at Shelter From the Storm (though they look like they want a minimum stay now), enjoyed Osa Mountain Village (tho it's a long drive to the main highway: for example, http://www.vrbo.com/495977), and the hotel that's just up the river from Dominical. There are many places that are right on the beach, or a bit up the mountains: condos, villas, houses, cabins, hotels, etc.

BTW, This isn't dueling CR; we've also stayed at Tulemar near MA(Villa Mot Mot;the small beach is very pretty, but a steep walk back uphill if you don't catch the shuttle), and in La Fortuna (Arenal) Volcano Observatory Lodge (smithsonian rooms are very large with great views, and the grounds are beautiful)and the very nice Lost Iguana.
But, after several visits, we just think that the Arenal and MA areas get too crowded, are more expensive, and are just more touristy these days.
(I also prefer Liberia to SJO, but it entirely depends on where you end up going, what you want to do, and sometimes, the price of airfare.)
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Old Feb 15th, 2014, 03:05 PM
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Yep, lots of good options for everyone to find their perfect spot!
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 06:45 PM
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Thanks everyone, I will research all of the suggestions!
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Old Feb 18th, 2014, 10:54 PM
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Check out my Trip Report-Manuel Antonio, Rafiki Safari, and Dominical March 2010. We went to Manuel Antonio, Rafiki Safari, and Dominical with our 12 year old twin boys. This will give you an idea of the activities/areas that sylvia3 and volcanogirl recommended. I think the moms and boys would enjoy either of these places.
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Old Feb 19th, 2014, 02:49 AM
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The boys might enjoy a croc tour on the Rio Tarcoles too; we had a lot of fun doing that.
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