Costa Rica Itinerary Question

Old Dec 14th, 2002, 09:55 PM
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Costa Rica Itinerary Question

Wife and I are trying to plan an 8 day eco-tourism trip to Costa Rica, and the sites that look good are arenal, monteverde, manuel antonio, corcovado, and tortugero. Any suggestions regarding how to most efficiently plan such an itinerary? (is it feasible? are there better places to go instead?). Any feedback is appreciated.
Old Dec 14th, 2002, 11:22 PM
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That is an awfully ambitious itinerary for only 8 days. The only way to pull of visiting all those places is to do a lot of flying, particularly to Corcovado and Tortugero. You can fly directly into Drake Bay, which will save huge amounts of time getting to Corcovado. Alternatively, fly into Palmar Sur, take a taxi to Sierpe, then a boat to Drake Bay. While Tortugero is great, and we love Corcovado/Oso, I think that if I were you, I would limit myself to Arenal, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio. Those are all reasonably close to each other, and can be well-done in a week without rushing around too much.
Old Dec 15th, 2002, 02:48 AM
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Hola Amir,
I agree with Alf - trying to do too much in 8 days. Go to Arenal ( 1 nite), then to Monteverde, (2 nites), then to MA (2 nites) - you can drive early morn to Dominical(bumpy hour's drive)and on down to Osa Peninsula- road is paved from Dominical on down(Pan Am Highway in parts) to Golfito, or Porto Jiminez. Roads can be full of pot holes once you get off highway. Have to stay at least (2 nites) inorder to enjoy the sites and get ready for drive back. We stayed at Parrot Bay Club in Porto Jiminez (Charleston, SC owners)and had a guide take us into the rain forest. Great! This area is really incredible - glad we saw it! Or drop car off in Manuel Antonio and fly to Corcavado for a couple of days and then back to San Jose. We also enjoyed staying at the Rio del Mar in Dominical for two nites. Great place, good food and great pool. Walked the beach in extreme low tide.
Any other questions don't hesitate to e-mail me. They now fly into Liberia airport from the states so you could do that and head to Arenal from there or to the Pacific Ocean sites like Tamarindo Beach, etc. Fun Town! Tortugero is too far out of the way for this trip.
Hasta Luego!
Old Dec 15th, 2002, 11:48 AM
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Thank you, ALF and Marilynn, for confirming my hunch that we might be biting off more than we can chew. It may be more manageable to drive Arenal, Monteverde, Manuel Antonio, and then maybe fly one other place. In your experiences, is the 4x4 option preferable to taking buses for two people? Also, if you had to choose to fly to either Corcovado or Tortuguero, which would you choose? Thanks again. Amir.
Old Dec 16th, 2002, 12:20 PM
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Amir -

You should pick no more than three locations for your trip. While you may have 8 days, you will have to spend some of that time in San Jose due to the arrival and departure times of most international flights. In reality, you will hopefully have 6 or 7 nights outside of San Jose.

In addition, driving between locations is very slow going due to the lack of road maintenance. For example, the drive between Arenal and Monteverde takes about 4 hours even though on the map they look relatively close.

You would want to fly to MA, Corcovado, or Tortuguero. It will just make any of those segments much easier on you.

Personally, I would suggest 2 nights in Monteverde, 2 nights in Arenal and the remaining nights in Corcovado. I think Corcovado is one of the most amazing and remote places that I have ever been.

The only exception to this advice is if you are going during turtle nesting season, then I would stick to Corcovado and Tortuguero. I would fly to both. I have heard of charters that can even fly you from Palmar Sur direct to T without stopping in San Jose.
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