Costa Rica itinerary and lodges -- please help

Old Sep 22nd, 2015, 09:07 PM
  #21  
 
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I understand what you're saying RAC, but I don't think those experiences would be the same with two little boys along. Just thinking of the boys that I know, but all kids are different.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2015, 09:10 PM
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Okay, good, if you've seen the pics and think you would like it, it's a great place to unwind after "roughing it" in other parts of CR. There's a nice waterfall hike with five different waterfalls, and kids would love the aviary, butterfly house, etc. There's also a little nocturnal frog tour. We got to hold the frogs when we did it, but not sure if they still allow that. Our favorite activity was handfeeding the hummingbirds. They'll come and land right on your hand to drink out of a tube of nectar.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2015, 07:35 AM
  #23  
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Ah, if time on a boat is a problem, then a longer Osa stay may not be ideal at this point, with the two niños.

You could try the 3 nights Arenal, then 4 nights Osa trip. But, since this would mean doing Arenal first, you'd be taking a small chance by trying to make both flights on the same day (which we've done but your entire last day will be travel).
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Old Sep 23rd, 2015, 08:31 AM
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RAC, exactly. We did that in Belize -- two or actually three flights on the last day -- and it worked fine but we were there in March and the weather was sunny and nice so we did not experience any flight delays or muddy roads or anything like that.
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Old Sep 26th, 2015, 09:31 PM
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I came up with another itinerary. How about Selve Verde for 3 nights, La Fortuna for 3 nights and then Peace lodge? Or la fortuna for 4 nights and no Peace lodge.

What do you think? The ride to Selve Verde after our six hour flight should be easier then to Arenal observatory lodge, right? And this itinerary should provide us with more variety than two nights by the airport and five nights at Arenal.

I would love your input!
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Old Sep 27th, 2015, 07:43 AM
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I like the first idea; we saw some nice wildlife at Selva Verde including howlers and toucans. I'd recommend asking for a room towards the back of the property near the river; the rooms closer to the front would have some road noise. You can also do a day hike at nearby La Selva - excellent wildlife there. The Peace Lodge is only about an hour from SJO so good for a last night's stay.
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Old Sep 27th, 2015, 12:52 PM
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Great! I think I sm finally converging on a reasonable itinerary. Yes, I remember about the noise. That is the only thing I am worried about at Selva Verde. Well, and the proximity to the road in general.
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Old Sep 27th, 2015, 05:32 PM
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At the same time, I have having a very hard time letting go of BDC. Aaaaa! I am suffering! 1 or 2? 2 or 1?

1) Selva Verde - 3 nights
Arenal - 3 nights
Peace Lodge - 1 night

2) Arenal - 3 nights
BdC - 3 nights
Peace Lodge - 1 night
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Old Sep 27th, 2015, 07:50 PM
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I like both Selva Verde and BdC, but I think BdC is a little more special. The setting right over the water is gorgeous, and the wildlife is the best we've ever seen. It sounds like you really want to go to BdC to me. BdC has a very get away from it all feeling, not even locks on the doors.
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Old Sep 27th, 2015, 09:17 PM
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Yes, you are right. It would be great to go to BdC. And if we had a couple more days, then we would definitely go. But with only 7 nights I am having doubts.

At least I am down to two options. I used to have closer to ten
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Old Sep 28th, 2015, 10:07 AM
  #31  
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I would do Selva Verde with that short of a time frame. Three nights to me just isn't enough to warrant the cost, hassle and time getting to Bosque del Cabo. You'd lose two days to travel (drive to SJO, check in for/wait for flight, flight, drive from Pto Jimenez) for a mere two full days spent at Bosque del Cabo.

Selva Verde is a wonderful place, to me seems like a clear winner here.

We had ZERO issues with road noise when we stayed there. The cabins are far enough back that the forest absorbed any sounds coming from the road.

Factor in flight/ground transfer costs and Selva Verde would be 1/4 the cost of Bosque del Cabo, and you'd be able to enjoy it at a much more relaxed manner, with much simpler logistics.
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Old Sep 28th, 2015, 10:11 AM
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RAC, thank you for your input. What you are saying makes a lot of sense. And I know it is the most logical way to go. Whether I can live with no BdC in my itinerary is another question

Great to hear about no noise! What about bullet ants and snakes? Do you think I will be OK with an 8-year old and a 9-year old? They are reasonable children, in general, but my 9 year old is very tactile and likes to touch everything without realizing it. He did fine in Belize but Selva Verde worries me a little bit.
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Old Sep 28th, 2015, 10:20 AM
  #33  
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There's nasty critters in the Osa as well. Whatever concerns you'd have about touching would apply in both places. Maybe moreso the Osa because they have that nasty wandering spider there.

We had to give that talk to my father-in-law before we visited the Sarapiqui area--he grew up in rural NY and likes to pick up frogs, snakes he finds.

"DO NOT TOUCH" we drilled into him over and over.

So he appropriately pointed at the snake I had nearly stepped on a night hike, the snake turned out to be a young fer-de-lance.

If my father-in-law can be trained, no doubt your kids can be.

Bullet ants aren't sneaky--they're big and they're not shy.

Remember the first rule of nature walks--the guide goes first, so he's the one who gets bit.

Not to throw another itinerary at you, but if you need to do Bosque del Cabo, I'd combine it with Puerto Jimenez in the Osa. When we did Bosque del Cabo, it was 3 nights as part of a 7 night stay in the Osa (first three nights were Iguana Lodge, with one night at Bosque del Rio Tigre sandwiched in).

Think of the Osa as a superstar--it demands top billing on any vacation.
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Old Sep 28th, 2015, 10:22 AM
  #34  
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Iguana Lodge, btw, has a very lovely lap pool and yoga spa (the yoga spa was so lovely I almost wanted to do yoga!)
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Old Sep 28th, 2015, 10:36 AM
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alisa, the way I decide is that I look at what I want to do and see while I'm there and then go based on that. For us, we just wanted to hike the trails at BdC and see tons of wildlife and visit the animal sanctuary, and three days was enough for that. Definitely snakes in both spots. We saw a coral snake up close at Selva Verde, but as soon as it saw us it slithered away and didn't bother us. Big trucks zoom down the road that runs in front of Selva Verde, but towards the back of the property by the river we didn't hear a thing. It's a pretty extensive property. Both places have night hikes that your boys would enjoy. Selva Verde is on a pretty river; the Osa has amazing views of the Golfo Dulce and Pacific.
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Old Sep 28th, 2015, 10:42 AM
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RAC, thank you, that really helps.

I have considered Iguana Lodge but I just can't get excited about it, especially considering the high casita price or needing two club rooms.

My other option is to go to Drake Bay Wilderness Resort for 5 days. I am reluctant to do BdC for 5 days with the boys. It seems like DBWR will have better access to activities and the beach. But will there be wildlife on property?

I think you are right that Selva Verde + Arenal + Peace Lodge makes the most sense for our first visit. But somehow I am still having doubts
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Old Sep 28th, 2015, 10:45 AM
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volcanogirl, yes, I am thinking the same way. I want some wildlife on property and on trails nearby and I also would like some interesting activities for the boys besides the wildlife. That is why Selva Verde + Arenal or BDC + Arenal both make sense to me. Selva Verde will be easier logistically and monetarily so I do know the logical answer to my questions But that does not always help!
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Old Sep 28th, 2015, 11:03 AM
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I think just listen to your gut, and you'll end up with the best spots for you. If there's a place you'll regret missing, then go for it.
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Old Sep 28th, 2015, 11:16 AM
  #39  
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One useful guideline when planning a trip to CR is: assume you'll be returning.

In your case, it seems that Bosque del Cabo/Osa are better left for when the boys are a bit older. Or when you go without them.

We didn't do the Osa until our third trip to Costa Rica.
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Old Sep 28th, 2015, 11:20 AM
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volcanogirl and RAC, thank you for your support and advice! It really helps to air different options out.
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