Costa Rica Newbie Xmas Week

Oct 14th, 2016, 12:48 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 504
Costa Rica Newbie Xmas Week

What's the best way to spend 6 satisfying days, without spending a fortune. Want to see some jungle and some beach. Not too much running around. Should I stay in San Jose and take day trips? Should I base myself near a beach and/or jungle? Can it be done without a car. If a car is a necessity, can I do it without a 4 wheeler? If I stay in just one place where should that be. If I divide my time with 2 places, where should that be? Does it rain too much on the Caribbean coast in December?

I just took out a bunch of books from the library, but, hopefully someone here can give me some firsthand advice.
Governator is offline  
Oct 14th, 2016, 03:21 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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Most first timers do a combination of the Arenal area and Manuel Antonio for their first trip. It's an easy trip with good infrastructure, lots of activity options, beach, volcano, wildlife, etc. It's late to be planning a Christmas trip though; you probably need to book rooms ASAP. Some places fill up months in advance. Rates can also skyrocket that week. Definitely do not stay in San Jose and take daytrips. For the most part, San Jose isn't a very attractive city - lots of razor wire, traffic, etc. The real beauty of CR is outside the city. You can fly, take the Interbus shuttle, or hire a private driver if you don't want to drive. In town, you can use taxis. If you do tours, they'll usually pick you up and drop you back off at your hotel.
volcanogirl is online now  
Oct 14th, 2016, 04:18 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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December is the rainiest month of the year on the Caribbean coast. I would avoid it then.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Oct 15th, 2016, 06:27 AM
  #4  
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If I go only to Manuel Antonio area do you think I can have a satisfying 6 day trip?

Do you think it's better to rent a car or use shuttles/private drivers? About how much is the cost of shuttles/drivers for example from SJ to MA or from hotel in MA to beach or reserve?
Governator is offline  
Oct 15th, 2016, 07:41 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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We usually stay four nights when we go, and that's about right, but if you want lots of beach time you could stay longer. The area is compact, so you don't necessarily need a car. We stay at Tulemar Bungalows, and you can walk to several good open air restaurants from there. If you take tours, they'll pick you up and drop you back off at your hotel. You can also get taxis in the area. It's a pretty easy drive from SJO to MA if you decide that you do want to rent a car. Roads are in good shape. You can email your hotel and ask them to provide an estimate for a private driver. I can't remember what we've paid in the past. You can do a guided tour of the national park and see tons of wildlife, lots of monkeys. The beach inside the park is very pretty. You can do the Villa Vanilla Spice Tour, the Damas mangrove tour, adventure tours etc. We've wanted to try Vacation Buggy since it gets rave reviews but haven't had a chance yet.
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