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Costa Rica: Monteverde and Arenal...is rainy or dry season best?

Costa Rica: Monteverde and Arenal...is rainy or dry season best?

Old Nov 18th, 2004, 09:16 PM
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Melissajoy
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Costa Rica: Monteverde and Arenal...is rainy or dry season best?

I've been planning our trip to Costa Rica, to include Monteverde, Arenal, and probably Manuel Antonio. Now we have a choice: we can go in June 2005 (rainy season), or we can wait til January 2006 (dry season.)

I have read that crowds are lower in rainy season, and everything is green, but that the rain makes the roads, especially to Monteverde, even worse...Plus I don't want to hike in the mud and rain.

So the dry season might be better for the weather...but it would also be more crowded. And not as green?

What is your favorite time to visit Arenal, Monteverde, and Mario Antonio?

I'm almost 50 and not looking forward to bouncing along on a rough, flooded road...But my husband is a biologist and wants me to plan a trip to Costa Rica for us.

If we went in June to Costa Rica it would become a family trip and would include my 2 daughters, 18 and 19 years old.

If we wait til January for Costa Rica it will be just the 2 of us, my husband and I. (We would then choose somewhere else to go for the June family trip...)

Thanks for your input.
 
Old Nov 18th, 2004, 09:37 PM
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The road up to Monteverde is a rocky dirt road, so it's bad all year round. I've been to Costa Rica several times and Monteverde is my favorite! I went in the rainy season with my mom, who is in her early 50's, and we had a great time. Costa Rica is not about looking fabulous, so don't worry about the rain. Instead of doing Manuel Antonio, try Guanecaste because it's very dry and there are nice resorts. It's a nice way to finish the trip after after roughing it for a few days. It's a great family trip so I would suggest going in June and pick another spot for you and your husband.
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Old Nov 19th, 2004, 05:04 AM
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Haven't been to Monteverde, but I agree that June is probably the BEST month of the year to visit Costa Rica. Your girls would love it. It doesn't get really rainy until September and October. Guanacaste beaches are our favorites, but Manuel Antonio is a nice area--especially the park.
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Old Nov 19th, 2004, 08:03 AM
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I have to agree with the other ladies. I would pick June over Jan. It will not rain all day, everyday. Yes, you may have some mud in Monteverde, but there is always some mud there, as it's a cloud forest and can be misty. I would also pick the Guanacaste area for more sun, although Manuel Antonio is very pretty and will should not get too much rain that early in the green season.
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Old Nov 19th, 2004, 10:17 AM
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Melissajoy, We took our three teenage daughters to Costa Rica last July. It was the rainy season and it was absolutely glorious! Yes, it rained for a short period every day, but it never hindered our trip. The rain is warm, like Hawaii. Before we left, I outfitted the entire family with rain pants and rain jackets from LL Bean. Like the other posters said, don't worry about the roads as they are bad year around. We had a driver so we didn't have to worry about it. Also, don't miss Manuel Antonio. We stayed at the Tulemar Bungalows with its own private beach. I think this was our favorite stop! I would encourage you to take your girls if they like to travel. Our daughters said that it was their best vacation ever! Allison
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Old Nov 19th, 2004, 12:32 PM
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and what about the mosguitos?
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Old Nov 19th, 2004, 01:29 PM
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We had a 14 day trip in July and my husband and I didn't get one single mosquito bite! Our daughters on the other hand probably got an average of 10 bites apiece. I believe they got most them at Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast. Generally speaking, mosquitoes were not a big problem. Allison
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Old Nov 20th, 2004, 02:23 PM
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Melissajoy
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Thanks for the info and support! We have decided to take a family trip to costa rica in June 2005 (rainy season).

I think we will go to Monteverde, Arenal, and Mario Antonio. although I am also open to hearing more about Guanacaste. can anyone share about a specific beach or a specific hotel/resort they really liked in the guanacaste area?

AllisonL, I'd love to hear more about your family trip with teens...what did they specifically enjoy? We'll be travelling with daughers, who will be 18 and 19 years old in June. Did you find any places where your teens could meet other teens their age, in a safe environment? (We would be nearby...I'm very protective, even now that they are growing up!)

SS_travel, I would enjoy hearing what you did in Monteverde, where you stayed, and why it was your favorite.

Gracias!
 
Old Nov 20th, 2004, 02:56 PM
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Melissajoy, We have a lot in common! When we went last July our daughters were 15, 18, and 19. We went to San Jose (for the nearby stuff like Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfalls), Tortuguero, Arenal, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio. We did a lot of stuff that was out of my comfort zone that turned out to be great fun...a day trip river rafting in the Manuel Antonio area. We also did the Sky Trek zip lines in Monteverde...this was a huge hit! We watched the volcano erupt in Arenal, went to Tabacon for an evening of hot springs and dinner, and had a massage at our hotel (Montana de Fuego). One of the things that they enjoyed the most was swimming at the beach in the Manuel Antonio National Park, the beach right in town, and the secluded beach at the Tulemar Bungalows. At Tulemar you can use their kayaks and other watercraft. In regards to meeting other teens, there wasn't really an opportunity to do this. They pretty much enjoyed each other (well....most of the time anyway!). We never felt unsafe on our trip. We were cautious at night in San Jose, but I would be cautious at night in any large city. One thing that was really fun was practicing our Spanish. Actually it was kind of goofy, we spoke Spanish to the Costa Ricans and they spoke English to us. Allison
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Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 03:07 PM
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AllisonL, I would like to hear more about doing the sky trek zip lines in Monteverde. I think my husband and 2 teen daughters would enjoy that. My 22-year-old son might be able to come too! (He just got his first real job but might be able to take vacation time.)

How much did it cost and how did you arrange for the sky trek zip lines at Monteverde? What was it like? Is there a web-site for the company you used?

Is there a web-site for the Tulemar Bungalows at Manuel Antonio? Can't decide between staying at the beach or further up in the hills with a view or closer to the park entrance...

If you wouldn't mind e-mailing me at [email protected] I'd love to hear more. Otherwise I'll just post questions here.

Gracias!
 
Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 03:45 PM
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We just came back from 17 days in Costa Rica. Did the zip line canopy tour in Monteverde, at the Selvatura Park. www.selvatura.com per the brochure I brought back with me. Scary but cool.
We had *terrible* bugs in Monteverde; if I were to go to Costa Rica again, regardless of the time of year, I would take long sleeved and long legged pajamas in a fabric (silk?) that I could wear year round so I didn't end up with bug bites from being exposed at night. Definitely the worst for us, bug-wise, was Monteverde then probably Tamarindo. The road to Monteverde was quite bumpy, to say the least. Hope you get to see Vulcan Arenal erupt; we had POURING rain the entire time we were there and didn't see the volcano let alone any lava. Have a wonderful trip - the people there are very friendly and the wildlife amazing.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2004, 04:00 PM
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And then there was that one time when the mosquitoes were soooooo bad!!!
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Old Nov 23rd, 2004, 11:31 AM
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Melissajoy, We did both Sky Trek (zip lines) and Sky Walk while in Monteverde. These two are right next to each other and I believe are owned by the same company. We did Sky Trek one day, and Sky Walk the next day. Check out www.monteverdeinfo.com for information. Gaialinktours did all of our arrangements in advance, but I suspect you can arrange this online or through your hotel. This was a very fun experience. I am somewhat fearful of heights but I was able to overcome this fear. They train you on a very short and low zip line so as to gain confidence. Don't miss it! Check out www.Tulemar.com for the hotel. I wanted to upgrade our hotel in Manuel Antonio and this hotel was recommended by Ralph at Gaialinktours. It is exactly what we wanted. Bear in mind that most of the hotels in Manuel Antonio are up on a hill above the ocean. It is a hike down to the water, but is very doable. At Tulemar, they'll drive you down if you don't want to walk. We always walked because we liked the exercise. Actually, I think the girls wimped out once and asked for a ride back up. Allison
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