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Costa Rica Info & Suggestions

Old Jan 25th, 2007, 06:39 AM
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Costa Rica Info & Suggestions

I am planning to travel to Costa Rica during the first week of April with my girlfriend (we are in our late 20s).

We are interested in relaxing on the beach and surfing. I want to go fishing one day, and we are pretty open to going on some kind of adventure every day. Any suggestion for the area or town where we should stay? What are some must do activities in Costa Rico? Should we break up our stay into 2 locations or will 1 location fit our needs?

We are looking for a hotel near the beach (3 star or 4 star hotel). Any suggestions?

Thanks for your help!
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 06:53 AM
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You should break up your trip into a few locations to really see why the country is a great place to visit. I think the best part of going to CR is the diversity of the things you can do and places you can go.

Fly into San Jose - spend a night there and white water raft the Pacuare the next day. Spend another night near the airport and the next morning drive to Arenal Volcano for a few nights. Hang out in the hot springs, go on a Canopy tour, do some hiking, ride atv's throught the jungle.... Then go to a beach area - a beach in Guanacaste for surfing (the north pacific coast). Tamarindo, Playa Grande, Flamingo, Nosara.. research the different beaches and spend a few days there. In Tamarindo there is the Diria hotel and Captain Suizo - along w/ tons of others that are more moderately priced. There are just so many different areas that its hard to tell you where to go. But this is a good trip that loads of people do on their first trip to Costa Rica. My brother is there right now doing this trip. Then fly out to Liberia airport back home.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 06:58 AM
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You know, that's Semana Santa (Holy Week), probably the busiest travel week of the year for the beaches. Wherever you plan to go, I'd book now.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 08:27 AM
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I guess I should rent a car, correct? Any recommendations?

Are there decent waves in Tamarindo?

Can you recommend any hotels in Guanacaste?
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 09:43 AM
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You can either rent a car - or contact the hotels you are staying at and they can hook you up with drivers. I've done both on different trips. Going to those areas you don't really need a car, depends what you want to do. If you decide to get one - Tri-Color car rental is very cheap. They have all the regular car rental places too - budget, avis, national, etc. but they are generally more expensive.

Guantacaste is the province and there are tons of beach areas in it. There are decent waves in Tamarindo - good for beginners. In Playa Grande, Negra, and Avellanas there are better waves and they are all driving distance. You can actually paddle accross the estuary to Playa Grande from Tamarindo. Watch out for caymen though.

You can do searchs on this site - there should be plenty of information on hotels etc. in the different areas.

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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 06:37 PM
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Playa Hermosa - just south of Jaco is world famous for it's consistent waves. NOTE - there are 3 'Playa Hermosa's' in Costa Rica.

There are various hotels, lots of restaurants etc. in the area. Canopy tours / white water rafting / horses - lot's to do. But this area focuses on surfing - more so than anything else.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 07:23 PM
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vtskihouse,
With one week, I'd not try more than 2 locations. You may need to spend first and last nights near the airport depending on arrival/departure times.

If it is primarily beach you are wanting, you might enjoy the Guanacaste beaches because, as has been mentioned, you can surf several of them and you can also do some decent fishing out of Playas del Coco. The owner of Hotel Flor de Itabo can hook you up with a fishing trip, I believe. . .
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 05:15 AM
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If you are looking for "world famous" costa rica has 2 breaks that qualify but not hermosa.

Pavones - which is touted as the world's longest left breaking wave. It breaks for about a mile and you walk back on the beach b/c its too far to paddle.

The other is Salsa Brava - which is in Puerto Viejo. This is a dangerous and shallow reef break which pumps out huge 20 ft. plus waves on a good swell. Both those areas are for experts.

Jaco and Hermosa have good, consistant waves but IMO the area is not that great. Jaco is like Spring Break in Panama City and they forgot to clean up. Hermosa is better though.
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 08:25 AM
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Jaco is the worst town in CR!!
Stick to 2 destinations, distances in CR look small on the map but roads here are amonst the worst on earth!
Tamarindo is a good surf town for beginners but the water quality is poor/ the Diria and others pump raw sewage straight into the sea and heavy metals from construction poisin the wateR!
Nosara is nice but the village is inland from the beach.
Are you a beginner or an advanced surfer?
Dominical and Mal Pais are cool but a bigger surf!

http://costa.rica.typepad.com/costa_...ome/index.html


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Old Jan 29th, 2007, 05:30 PM
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I believe I wrote in my note that Hermosa is world famous for it's consistent waves, not world famous breaks. That would be further south, in Pavones - but there's not a lot to do in Pavones aside from surf. Buy hey, sound's like there are folks here that 'know everything' - or would that just be your opinion?
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Old Jan 30th, 2007, 03:43 AM
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I don't know how relevant is this information, but there are long standing and consistent reports of tension in the Pavones area--related to surfing. Is there such a thing as "surfing rights"? I've heard so much about this and have always wondered. From what I've gathered, Pavones is just a little "extreme" in that regard. We're not surfers, but would like to visit one day. But it does seem to have a reputation for being pretty rowdy in some not so good ways. . .anybody know the full scoop on this one?
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 07:16 AM
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Shillmac I've heard similar, but haven't witnessed it. It's definately hard core surfing in Pavones (that left break is supposedly a mile long). There's a few folks moving out of Pavones up to Playa Hermosa de Jaco, don't think it would be because of too many surfers in the water because many days there's too many surfers in the waters here in Hermosa.
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 04:09 PM
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Well everybody was talking about tamarindo beach, and jaco area, I will talk about the gulf of papagayo: there are many hotels: four seasons, allegro papagayo, flor de itabo, ocotal and many others, all they are so close or in the proyect papagayo (it is the biggest Costa Rica's turism proyect). From any beach you choose you may book fishing, snorkling or jets sky rental and surf trips. From here volcan Arenal tours close too.
If you decide for fishing or surf or snorkling i would recommend:
- Jesus Mendez, tel:506-3027505, 506-6701024, he own two boats 31ft and 33ft for fishing and surf trips only
- Jose Mendez at 506-6700687, 506-8274155 he own a 25ft boat and make the trip you want (snorkling, surf, fishing). Both guys could make you the trip(hours) you need. Check the next url:
www.costarica-fishingtrips.com
they are in the Coco beach but they can arrange pick-ups and drop-offs at your beach.

For surf tours: Ollies point or Roca Bruja in gulf of papagayo, check the next url:
http://www.govisitcostarica.com/trav...p?pg=1&cid=378

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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 05:25 PM
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Interesting. . .still I'd like to go there. Just don't want to get into more than I'd bargained for! I'd leave that world famous left break to the pros--that's for sure! We're very good watchers!
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Old Feb 16th, 2007, 10:36 AM
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shillmac,

Since Pavones is the first surf spot our guys are hitting, I'll be able to give you a first hand report as to what the "vibe" is like. I'm really glad Tom and I are going with two other couples so that he won't be "invading" the local waters by himself. I hope there's less chance of any problem along those lines with there being 3 of them together.

But it won't be anything new, if there is some resentment. There are beaches he won't surf in Hawaii without a local to go with him.

Fran
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Old Feb 16th, 2007, 08:51 PM
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Great! I'll be anxious to hear from you. There isn't a lot of info on this board from down south Pavones way. . .!
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 09:45 PM
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must see activity for me is the canopy tours that they have in c.r, you can't leave without this
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