Costa Rica over Christmas. -itinerary help

Old Oct 19th, 2008, 07:45 AM
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Costa Rica over Christmas. -itinerary help

HI all.

My original plans (traveling with a friend to mexico) have changed, and now I am contemplating travel to Costa Rica solo for about a week.

i am having trouble narrowing down the itinerary (and also the flights).. i would be leaving from south florida.. heading to CR .. and then heading to LAX from there to visit a friend for new years.

here are my costa rica expectations.. then maybe someone out there can help me nail down a do-able itinerary with the limited time i will have.

I plan on flying Dec. 20, 21 or 22 (depending on the flight price) to SJO.. and departing SJO (afternoon) on the 29th. I will be staying in hostels and hoping to spend as little as possible.

I am not much of an adventurer (though i am traveling alone!) I do want to see some hot springs, Arenal area.. nothing too adrenal rushing but i feel like i should see that area.

then an old friend of mine recommended Mal Pais/Santa Teresa... said it is worth the travel there.

i have also been intrigued by MA. i know with a limited time and the long distances between areas.. 3 places is too ambitious for 8 days.. right?

lastly.. since i will be there over Christmas.. i was wondering if there is a spot that would be more alive around that time. i dont want to feel all alone!

lastly.. does transportation (buses/vans/etc) slow down on holidays or on sundays? if i plan on flying in on a sunday.. what should i expect?

Thanks for the advice!
msfelithatsme is offline  
Old Oct 19th, 2008, 10:37 AM
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Transportation should not be a problem for you, public buses, small commercial transports (Interbus, etc), but finding hotel reservations might me. I don't know how quickly hostels book up, but Christmas is very busy in CR and almost everything books up months, sometimes a year or more, in advance. Don't plan on moving around by public transport on Christmas Day.

Arenal is a good bet for you, if you can find a place at this late date. Check out Gringo Pete's in La Fortuna, nearby. I've always heard it is a good little hostel and has gotten good reviews.

Manuel Antonio and Arenal will probably be the two BUSIEST places during this time as they are the busiest places all the time, and Christmas holidays will intensify that. Those would ordinarily be the 2 locations I'd suggest. If you can find something at either at this late date, great.

Perhaps easier to book and less popular, but still spectacular!--the Selva Verde area (Caribbean lowlands) might be a good area for you to visit for a night or two, then I'd head down to the Caribbean south coast where you'd have a better chance of booking something. Malpais is nice, but is a little remote and will take some time to get to.

In Puerto Viejo, check into La Costa de Pepito, Cabinas Casa Verde (great reviews, right in Puerto Viejo).
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Old Oct 19th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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Oops. . .that would be "might BE". Not "might ME"!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2008, 05:30 PM
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excellent advice!! i will keep updated as to what i end up doing!

thank you.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2008, 01:10 PM
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If you make it to Arenal, we loved Eco Termales hot springs; they serve a very nice chicken dinner as well.
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