Costa Rica - Last Minute Planning

Old Feb 14th, 2010, 02:33 PM
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Costa Rica - Last Minute Planning

We are a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids ages 11 and 14) that likes to adventure and exploration, with a little down-time here and there. Doing some last-minute planning for a trip to Costa Rica (arrive SJO on Wed, Mar 31; depart Thurs, Apr 9). I have been reading many of your posts and am now swimming with ideas. Does anyone have any advice/thoughts on the following:

1. Tortuguero -- is it worth a day or two to explore the jungle canals there?
2. Fishing -- my husband and son REALLY would like to catch sailfish... any advice on best area to go out of this time of year, and/or charters/captains to contact (Quepos, Osa, Jaco, other)?
3. Monteverde -- someone said it's not worth the trip... that it's not like it used to be... can anyone explain? What more/different might be there vs. Arenal?

lastminuteplanner is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2010, 03:51 PM
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We loved Tortuguero; it you're interested in riding in a boat on canals and observing a lot of wildlife, it's a good pick for you. Other than that, there's not a lot to do there. One of the highlights for us was seeing the turtles, but you won't be there during turtles season. I might save it for another trip and go in season.

I definitely think you should do Arenal - wonderful because of the active volcano and the natural hot springs. You can also do the Cano Negro tour, hike the waterfall, and hike the Hanging Bridges. You can also do white water rafting. Lots of good hotel and restaurant choices there.

Monteverde is pretty and has some nice hiking, but we haven't had the strong desire to go back that we feel for other places in CR.
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 05:01 PM
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Thanks much for the advice! We do like seeing lots of wildlife -- would there be anything more or different than if we went to Osa? Is there anyplace relatively inexpensive to stay in Osa? (We are trying to travel on a bit of a budget...) If we go to Osa, can we skip Manual Antonio?
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Old Feb 15th, 2010, 07:07 AM
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2 nice moderates in the Osa

If I did the Osa would skip Tortuguero

but still do

as it is a nice stop on the way to/from lots of monkeys coati iguanas

Have fun,
qwovadis is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2010, 09:57 AM
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The Osa and Tortuguero were similar to us - both have a lot of wildlife and both are sort of off the grid and have an undiscovered feeling to them. The main difference is that the Osa has a lot of hiking, and in Tortuguero, you'll mostly be on a boat in the canals. MA has tons of wildlife, but it's very tame and used to people - a lot more hotel and restaurant choices there and easier beach access.
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Old Feb 21st, 2010, 08:51 AM
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Thanks very much for the help!!! Am now thinking maybe we just stay in Osa the entire time... Seems like many activities in Arenal can be done there as well (horseback, waterfalls, zip line, etc.). So other than the volcano (which may or may not be active anyway, what would we miss???
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Old Feb 21st, 2010, 10:50 AM
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When we stayed on the Osa, we mostly stayed on the property; Arenal has a lot more hotel, restaurant, etc. choices, so you're out and about more. A lot of people who go to the Osa stay mainly on the grounds of their lodge because the area isn't that developed. We ate all our meals on the property and really only left to go to the animal sanctuary. We spent most of our time hiking and animal watching - wildlife is great in that area. The ziplines and waterfalls on the Osa will be on a much smaller scale than what you would see in Arenal. If you're looking for a pretty undeveloped area, go with the Osa.
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