Costa Rica in July - weather, packing, itineary

Old Jun 18th, 2010, 08:10 AM
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Personally with a short trip and so many Arenal recommendations, I wouldn't want to waste time having to look for a hotel when it is so easy to book online. Arenal Paraiso has thermal springs on site along with Silencio del Campo - not all hotels up there have thermal springs.
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 03:40 AM
  #22  
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Thank you all for your answers. As we continue planning the trip more questions are coming up.

We are now thinking about going to Tortuegro National Park. My understanding that we will drive to Limon, drop our car there and get a 2 day (or so ) tour ...Is this the right way to do the trip ? Is there guarded parking in Limon where we can leave our car for 2 days ? Are the roads to Limon opened during the rainy season in July ?

Thank you again
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 06:55 AM
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I would do Tortuguero either at the beginning or end of my trip. Many tour operators, including the one I use, will pick you up from a San Jose hotel early AM, stop for breakfast on the drive out to the dock and return you to San Jose. This will save you two days of a rental car that will just be sitting at a dock or hotel.

Check out Modesto Watson www.tortuguerocanals.com We stay at the Don Carlos Hotel in San Jose when we use his transportation to the boat. We like the three day/two night option and stay at Laguna Lodge, all meals, tours, all fees except entry into Tortuguero N.P. included.

It might be a little too early for turtle season, but the wildlife is wonderful - have fun!
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 07:25 AM
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Even though it's green season so you should be able to get deals, I do agree with colobri that with a limited amount of time it would be less hassle to book ahead. Many places will offer discounts without being there and Silencio del Campo is fantastic. Tortuguero is a beautiful place to go and as c mentioned maybe going without the rental car is your best bet. You should get some turtle viewing that time of year too. I'm going with Fran and Modesto for a two nighter on June 30. As far as duration for the rain once it starts I've experienced both the typical short downpours and ones that went through the night with thunder and lightning so really hard to say.
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 09:03 AM
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Like hip said, I don't find the rain all that predictable. We've definitely had it in the morning, evening, afternoon. Most showers are quick and some aren't. We have had it rain so hard that you couldn't see the road. You might also encounter some fog. We did Tortuguero for two nights like everyone else, and it was the right amount of time for us. Most of your time there will be out on the canals seeing wildlife and then seeing turtles at night. People usually book at one of the lodges, and they provide transportation and meals. Fran and Modesto are popular too. Laguna Lodge, Mawamba Lodge, and Turtle Beach Lodge are popular. We did Tortuga Lodge and loved it, but it's pricier.
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 06:42 PM
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Regarding lodging in Tortuguero, what is better - staying in the lodge or staying in the village ? I heard different opinions ....what do u think ?

Also, I see there is the sloth sanctuary Aviarious del Carbe half way between San Jose and Limon (Moin)...Does it make sense to visit it ?
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 08:01 PM
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It's more popular to stay at the lodges. I really enjoyed doing it. The town was pretty small. Seems like you're more surrounded by nature at the lodges, and it's easy because they coordinate everything for you.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 10:38 AM
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I would stay at the lodges - package deal, all meals, all transportation, touring via boat. Village is very small, not many places to eat, much nicer at the lodges.

The sloth reserve is south of Limon, near Cahuita, not 1/2 way between San Jose and Limon. We enjoyed it, but not sure if you will have time to go south of Limon.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 11:29 AM
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I would also recommend a lodge - much prettier surroundings and some with hiking trails and/or on the beach backed by rainforest. There's not much to the village, but there are some basic and affordable options if you're on a budget.

The sloth sanctuary is worth a visit if your nearby, but I wouldn't make a huge detour to get there.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 05:43 PM
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Regarding the Tortuguero trip...it takes around 3+ hours to get to Tortuguero from San Jose (or being more exact to the docks where boats depart)....on the way back it might be quite difficult to make it to other places of interest (Monteverde, Arenal, Manuel Antonio) the same day....Could you please advice what would be the best strategy after Tortuguero? Get back to SJ, spend a night there or maybe something more productive ?
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 07:27 PM
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We boated into Tortuguero but flew out to save time. The flights are early a.m. - around 7:00, so we were back to SJO by 8:00. From SJO, you can go just about anywhere you want to.
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