Costa Rica Itinerary - 17 days

Old Sep 15th, 2015, 11:11 AM
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Costa Rica Itinerary - 17 days

I am travelling with my boyfriend to Costa Rica in mid-November. We will have 17 days to travel and explore the country. This will be our first trip to Costa Rica and we’re hoping for a mix of culture, nature, adventure and relaxation.
We have a basic idea of our plan but would appreciate any advice or suggestions on other things to include or things to leave out, we want to make the most of our time in Costa Rica!

2 nights San Jose: We arrive in San Jose airport late in the evening, stay in Alajuela/San Jose for one (or possibly two) nights to recover from travelling and enjoy the city.

Travel from San Jose to Arenal. We are thinking or doing a rafting trip this day and get dropped off in Arenal.

4/5 nights in Arenal/Fortuna: Take in everything that this area has to offer (Volcano, hikes, waterfalls, hot springs etc).

Get the jeep/boat combination from Arenal to Monteverde

3/4 nights Monteverde:. Sights and activities (Ziplining, night tour of rainforest, ‘Hanging bridges’ tour, early morning hike). We would love to stay in an eco-lodge if anybody has any recommendations?

3/4 nights Tamarindo and coast: This is where we are unsure about our plan. We’re not sure if we should skip this and go straight to our next destination (Manuel Antonio) from Monteverde. We are interested in the turtle watching and from what we read online, this is a possibility here at this time of year. But getting to Tamarindo and getting to Manuel Antonio from Tamarindo seems time consuming and not straightforward.

4/5 nights in Manuel Antonio: Visit the National Park, Mangrove tour. Also spend some time on the beach and take part in beach activities.

Travel from Manuel Antonio to San Jose for early morning flight (stay in Alajuela the night before)

Does this itinerary sound reasonable? Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences on Tamarindo? Should we consider spending extra days in our other destinations or is there another area that we should consider staying that wouldn’t involve as much travel?

Any suggestions welcome
Thanks!
mtwin1 is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2015, 04:18 AM
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I'd only spend one night in San Jose. For the most part, it's not a really attractive city, lots of razor wire, fast food restaurants, etc. Most of the beauty in CR lies outside the city. We enjoyed Fonda Vela in Monteverde - their newer junior suites are huge and have a small frig and bathtub.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2015, 08:14 AM
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Agree. Only spend one night near SJ.

I have not been to Tamarindo, so cannot give any advice there. Have you considered Tortugero or Puerto Viejo on the Carribean side instead of Tamarindo.
MichelleY is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2015, 07:39 AM
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A good reason not to go to the turtle beach. This is terrible.

http://www.ticotimes.net/2015/09/09/...urtles-nesting
MichelleY is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2015, 08:17 AM
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There's nothing wrong with going to turtle beaches in a responsible way. I suspect unethical tour operators were responsible for that atrocity--gringos visiting for the first time aren't going to know how to sneak into that park.
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