Costa Rica in August

Old Nov 8th, 2013, 08:32 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 20
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Costa Rica in August

I have 4.5 days in Costa Rica in August. I was wondering whether it would be better to go to Manuel Antonio or Guanacaste? In terms of weather during that time and what there is to do for the amount of days I am there. Both have beaches, zip lining, white water rafting, etc?
Any help would be appreciated!
spinnerex is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2013, 10:10 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,319
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Guanacaste area is a lot drier than Manuel Antonio. I'd expect some rain in MA, but not all day rain. They told us that that comes more late September and into October. We've been in July, and it rained each afternoon, but cleared out by dinner. MA has a beautiful beach inside the park, lots of fairly tame wildlife, tons of hotel and restaurant choices, the Damas mangrove tour, guided tours of the national park, lots of adventure activities, and the Villa Vanilla spice tour. We loved Tulemar Bungalows; they have a great beach. We did all of our adventure activities in La Fortuna, but I know the MA area has lots of options. If you want to avoid rain, you would be better off in Guanacaste though.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Nov 8th, 2013, 10:37 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 470
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You are kind of comparing apples and oranges. Both places have their plus and minuses. But they are different.

Quepos / Manuel Antonio has been a tourism center for quite awhile. The National Park is one of the most visited in Costa Rica, and with good reason. It is a beautiful place, with a lot of wildlife. There are also numerous nature tours available here. So it is kind of one stop shopping.

The knock against this area is that there has been quite a bit of growth here. I first went there twenty five years ago, not long after they paved the park road. It was a much sleepier place, but even then the local expats were complaining about development. It is even busier now. But not nearly as bad as some people would lead you to believe. It is not what it was two decades ago, but what is?

I still love my visits here, and I recommend it to my clients. We visited a few months ago, and still enjoyed the park. The nature tours are still great. We really enjoyed a boat tour into the mangroves at Isla Damas. And the offshoot of the growth is more and better restaurants. So you can be active or relax during the day, and find great food in the evenings. Monkeys outside your hotel window too.

The growth in Manuel Antonio was gradual. The development in Guanacaste came about differently.

A large part of this region was converted to pasture a century ago. So there isn't a lot of rainforest left. I always say that it is Missouri, with a good beach. Development came about when the government decided that they needed to exploit the great beaches. So they built the Liberia airport, and attracted the large hotel chains with tax incentives.

The plan worked. Over the last 15 years all of the majors have built there, including some European chains. It is also a huge destination for ex pat retirees. Lots of residential development. I don't want to sound prejudiced, but it really isn't my cup of tea.

If you are looking for a resort atmosphere, this could be the place for you. But it is mostly about the resort. You have to travel to see serious nature. I often see the resorts here showing pictures of the Arenal volcano. That is pretty misleading, Arenal is hours away. Though a lot of resorts offer tours in the fairly close Rincon de la Vieja area.

I hate to make a blanket statement about such a large region. There are a few quieter places scattered along the coast. Playa Potrero is one. But you really have to seek them out.

Of course, there is one other factor in play. What airport are you flying in and out of? Liberia is in Guanacaste. San Jose is much more convenient to Manuel Antonio.

Hope this helps! Let me know if I can offer more advice.

Warm Regards,

Pat Hewitt
Travel Professional
Pat_Hewitt is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2013, 07:32 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 20
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks a lot for both of your comments! I have not booked my flight yet. I was waiting till I decided on Manuel Antonio or Guanacaste before I book my flight so I could book to the correct airport. So it sounds like Manuel Antonio is more worth it, even if it does rain more there in August.
I know Manuel Antonio is about 3 hours away from San Jose airport. Do you recommend renting a car? Or a taxi? Once you get to Manuel Antonio, is everything spread out to where you have to drive everywhere (so that a rental car would be needed the whole time)?
spinnerex is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2013, 07:44 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 470
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If this is the only place you are going, I would forego the rental car.

Round trip transfers from SJO should run $300-$350. But once you are there, you can get along easily with taxis. Just about anything you want to do is in Quepos or on the 4½ long mile park road.

Most day tours (zip lines, ATVs, etc.) come with door to door transportation. So you should be good.

Hope this helps! Let me know if I can offer more advice.

Warm Regards,

Pat Hewitt
Travel Professional
Pat_Hewitt is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2013, 08:12 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 20
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I know volcanogirl mentioned that it could rain every day/afternoon. If that is the case, are the outdoor activities like zip lining and white water rafting canceled due to the rain?
I am just wondering if we will still be able to enjoy the outdoors and not be stuck in the room the whole time.
Thanks in advance for your advice!
spinnerex is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2013, 08:54 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,319
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We just stayed recently, and I agree with Pat, we did not need a car. We were able to walk to several restaurants from Tulemar, and for the tours we did, they all picked us up and dropped us back off at our hotel. We arranged a private transfer through the hotel; you can rent a car to drive there if you wanted to; the roads are in good shape. We rented a car just to go to the Rio Tarcoles for the day to take a croc tour.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2013, 10:57 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 470
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
August is one of the driest months of the "green" season. But you usually wake up to sunshine, and get rain in the afternoon. It is actually a great time to go. So much so, that some hotels go to high season rates in July and August.

I recommend that you book the early tours, or go to the beach early. On a good day, the rain won't come until very late in the afternoon. It starts to get dark at 5:30. Go back to the room, get a shower and go out for an early dinner. Get up, and repeat!

Not much stops when it rains. It is part of the lifestyle there, and the locals are used to it. Don't let it stop you. I actually like the rain. We usually travel in July and November, both are drier months of the wet season.

Hope this helps! Let me know if I can offer any more advice.

Warm Regards,
Pat Hewitt
Travel Professional
Pat_Hewitt is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2013, 12:26 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,319
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Agree, I asked them if they cancel tours in the rain, and they said that life just goes on. Personally I wouldn't want to zipline in the rain, but anything else I'd be up for. Like Pat, we tend to book tours early in the morning. The sun is up around 5:30 a.m. so these folks are ready to go. The only time they would usually cancel anything is in the case of lightning.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Nov 10th, 2013, 08:19 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,085
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My first (and last!) zipline was in the rain - not recommended since wet lines aren't the best for stopping....after we finished our guides told us we were going about 2x the regular speed. No wonder I've never wanted to do it again.
colibri is offline  
Old Nov 12th, 2013, 02:59 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 6
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you wanna go to Guanacaste here find some indication to travel by bus:
http://www.buscostarica.com/guanascate
MarioPilar1973 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
JES28
Mexico & Central America
11
Aug 25th, 2014 05:55 PM
Regina_V023
Mexico & Central America
6
Aug 24th, 2010 10:10 AM
slp02d
Mexico & Central America
9
Jul 25th, 2010 12:30 PM
gkim
Mexico & Central America
4
Nov 10th, 2009 07:41 AM
Profsuzy
Mexico & Central America
10
Apr 7th, 2007 08:05 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 11:44 PM.