Costa Rica Itinerary 1/15/98-2/14/98

Old Dec 6th, 1997, 10:53 PM
Elaine Trumble
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Costa Rica Itinerary 1/15/98-2/14/98

We are traveling to Costa Rica and our itinerary looks something like this: 1/15 - 1/20 San Jose area, 1/21 - 1/24 Mawamba Lodge, Tortuguero, 1/25-1/28 back to San Jose (our base), 1/29 - 2/2 Arenal Paraiso, 2/3-2/4 Back to San Jose, 2/5-2/10 Beach front house, Quepos area, 2/11 - 2/13 San Jose, 2/14 fly home to Illinois. We are NOT driving anywhere in the country and have our accommodations and travel pretty well set up. We do not speak Spanish. This is our first international travel experience and would appreciate any advice. My husband LOVES to fish but I've been reading that it's very expensive. ET
Old Dec 9th, 1997, 01:40 PM
Marc Julien
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Elaine, my wife and I just returned from Costa Rica yesterday after spending 2 weeks there. Your itinerary looks fine and it looks like you've left lots of time to travel between points, which is good. We limited ourselves to the Guanacaste province in the northwest and did not go to any of the places you're going (we flew into Liberia in Guanacaste). One thing that is not obvious about travel in cr is that the roads are not the best and it is often not a straight line from point A to point B, so lots of leeway should be given in your travel time. Not speaking spanish shouldn't be a huge problem as a lot of people will at least understand it, and there may be people around to help with any translations. One of the newest attractions in the CR parks is Canopy Tours, where you go up to the upper parts of the rainforest's canopy and swing (a variety of methods are used) from tree to tree. It's a blast of a ride but you don't get to see as much wildlife as you may be led to believe. I had read this before going and we experienced it first hand at Rincon de la Vieja. We wouldn't have spent US$50/each had we known ($30 maybe but not $50).

That's about as much advice I think can offer...

Old Dec 9th, 1997, 07:39 PM
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During this week, Justin Henderson of Fodors, has a question and answer column re: Costa Rica. Just check the ask the expert page of this address.

Also, we have been to CR and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves despite the horrendous roads. Many people speak English, but a few words in Spanish go a long way. We took the Canopy tour, and you can barter a bit for a good price. Just check with various tour operators and ask them what their best price would be. We got our Canopy tour for less than others on the same tour as ours because we asked for the discount. Buena suerte (good luck) and buen viaje (have a good trip). Cathy
Old Dec 15th, 1997, 11:19 AM
Gary Levy
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Your trip sounds great. I have been to all those areas and had a great time. You mentioned you were going to Arenal Paraiso. I am confused Arenal is North and Paraiso is east. No connection. The volcano Arenal is near Fortuna and not to be missed. It is active. There is a hot springs called Balnerio Tabacon which you and your husband will enjoy. The Lake in the area is great. When you go to Quepos your husband can fish in the Pacific. There are many tours he can use. It is a great area near Manuel Antonio National Park.
Have fun!
Old Dec 22nd, 1997, 08:23 PM
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Hi Elaine,
Sounds like we are going to CR during the same time frame but we ARE driving. We plan to start in San Jose, meet a friend in Alajuela, drive north to Poas, on to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui(to catch a tour to Barra del Colorado), then on to Cahuita and eventually back track south of San Jose to San Gerardo and to Quepos. Now we do speak enough Spanish to be comfortable and we have driven in Brazil. Also I have not booked a room for every night of the trip. So I am trying a more "risky" approach. We leave Chicago Jan. 20th and return Feb. 6th.But, I would be curious to find out how your experience goes...have fun!
Old Dec 23rd, 1997, 01:41 PM
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Hi Elaine/all, My husband and I are going for 16 days Feb.2. I'd love to hear from anyone who has stayed at any of these places: Our 'base hotel' in San Jose is the Kekoldi. Then 2 nights at the Arenal Lodge, back to the Kekoldi 1 night. 3 nights at the Magellan Inn in Cahuita, back to Kekoldi 1 night. 3 nights at Villas Nicolas in Quepos, 3 nights at Villas Rio Mar in Dominical. Back to San Jose, last night at the Kekoldi. We will be leaving any extra luggage at the Hotel Kekoldi and going with just backpacks to each destination as we will be travelling by bus. All reservations have been made and confirmed. Probably being overly cautious, but next trip will be more spontaneous. Really wanted to do the Osa Peninsula/Drake Bay but ran out of time...Next trip!! So does anyone have any experience with these hotels? Thanks and Happy Trails! Judi
Old Dec 27th, 1997, 07:25 AM
Joe Davis
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Dear ET:
I just returned from the western Costa Rica. In Guanacaste there is a town called Nosara. Spanish is no problem here as it is populated by a lot of North Americans. The local people are great and very kind and hepful. We stayed at a place called The Guilded Iguana and had a great time with Patty Doe the bartender. Just 300 paces from the Pacific beach. Plenty of atmosphere and nice people. Cold beer and great chilli. Tell'em h2ojoe sent you.
Old Dec 27th, 1997, 08:24 AM
Parrot Mom
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we will be going to Guanacaste area--the Melia at Conchal
Beach--2/9/98--unfortunetely for only one week--we are going charter
from Boston. Have been to C.R. before many, many years ago to Jaco
beach before there was even cabs, discos, etc.--another word really

My husband and I are older and would love to go on canopy tour-but we-I
am scared silly about being raised up to trees--

---we are parrot owners and of course are interested in
seeing lots of them and whatever wild life there is--There are also I
read some tours of the tree tops done by tram!!!! - We will not be
going to san Jose--but flying into Liberia--anything in Li beria of note

Like your hint about bartering, we do that all the time--any good advice
or suggestions on other things to do in the direct area--can we live
without car or should we hire driver?? We or rather my husband does
speak great tourist spanish--so that is not problem

please contact me at:
[email protected]


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