Costa Rica Itinerary - MA, Arenal and ????

Old Sep 13th, 2005, 10:25 AM
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Costa Rica Itinerary - MA, Arenal and ????

Hello everyone,

My husband and I are taking our honeymoon to Costa Rica in January and are currently trying to map out an itinerary. We have 11 nights, and we know we want to spend 2 nights in Arenal and 3 or 4 nights in Manuel Antonio. We also know we'll have to spend the night of our arrival and the night before our departure home in SJ, so that takes up another two nights. This leaves us with 3 or 4 nights to spend in another location, and we are totally stuck. Some of our ideas have included:

1) take one of those 3 day trips on the Pacuare River (we love to whitewater raft)

2) Go somewhere in Guanacaste, maybe Playa Conchal or Flamingo

3) Monteverde

4) Montezuma/Mal Pais area

5) Fly to Granada, Nicaragua for a couple days (this city fascinates me and I would love to go there, but I know it's more out of the way compared to the other choices)

Anyone have any opinions on which of these to choose? We are fairly active and in our mid-20s but up until now our travel has been limited to North America and Europe (which I adore, hence the desire to see colonial Granada) so we are unfamiliar with what would suit us best in Costa Rica, and reading our Moon guidebook seems to only pepper us with more ideas, rather than help us narrow them down. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Amanda23 is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2005, 12:10 PM
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About staying a night in or near SJ on the start and end of your trip.. This is not always necessary. If your arrival time is before say 2 PM and your departure time in the afternoon, you could avoid this stay over. Typically we lump a couple of nights either in the beginning or end, because we enjoy doing some things in the Central Valley.

Which - you may also enjoy visiting some of the old towns also. Grecia, Sarchi, Cartago, etc.

The one day trip on the Pacuare was quite exciting, I can only imagine the overnights are great.

Montezuma was lots of fun mixed with lots of relaxation.

Monteverde is IMHO spectacular.

All your ideas are good ones.

If it were my trip, I would add to my consideration, spending those extra few nights in the Osa Pen, especially at Bosque del Cabo.

Sorry this probably only added to your confusion!!
dfarmer is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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I would 2nd Bosque del Cabo. Sansa has 3 or 4 flights a day to Puerto Jimenez from San Jose so it should fit smoothly if you're flying other places.
tully is offline  
Old Sep 13th, 2005, 08:20 PM
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My son and his wife, who are also in their mid-twenties and fairly active, had 8 days in CR last winter. They too stayed the first and last nights in Alajuela near the airport (at Xandari) and in between went to Manuel Antonio, which they loved, and then 4 nights at Paradisus Playa Conchal in GUnacaste. (Arenal and other places are for next trip). THEY would say if you want a real R and R phase of your trip, spend those extra nights at PPC.
Definitely read the comments on Paradisus Playa Conchal on to see if this is the kind of place (all inclusive, lots of activities on-site like horseback riding, beautiful resort near towns/villages on Paicifc Coast) you'd like for 3 or 4 days as a change of pace.
Congratulations on your upcomimg marriage!
CaliNurse is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2005, 08:48 AM
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Hola Amanda! I have a small B&B in San Ramon, about 40 minutes from the airport, and easy to get to. I agree with the other posters that if you can avoid it, stay somewhere else besides San Jose or Alajuela. They're just not very pretty. Our B&B is called "Angel Valley Farm" and it is set on 200 acres of rolling hills and valleys. There is plenty to do including horseback riding, hiking among streams and waterfalls, and plenty more. My business partner is also a professional chef from the U.S. so the food is terrific.

So, also, since we are right down the road from Arenal, you could fly in, come here, stay a night or two then head up to Arenal.

We're finalizing our new website but for now you can go to "" and click on the "Angel Valley" link. Also, I have a travel blog that describes my experiences as an ex-pat in Costa Rica:

Feel free to email me for more details: [email protected]

Good luck and as they say, "Pura Vida!"

AM4CR is offline  
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