Costa Rica....possibly the best!

Old May 31st, 2013, 01:03 PM
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Costa Rica....possibly the best!

Just curious...has anyone traveled somewhere they actually enjoyed/loved better than CR? Every time I start planning a trip, I look at all these other locations but I keep coming back to CR. I was thinking about checking out St Lucia, but here I am planning my next trip back to CR!! I love this place!
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Old May 31st, 2013, 03:22 PM
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Leaving in 3 1/2 weeks for trip #7! I adore Costa Rica more than anywhere else I've traveled in the world. New Zealand is second with Patagonia (Argentina) third...
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Old May 31st, 2013, 03:34 PM
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I have some friends that have been to New Zealand, they loved it as well. I was thinking of going to Austraila and they said, skip Austrailia and go to New Zealand! Guess where i went.....yep, Costa Rica!
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Old May 31st, 2013, 06:40 PM
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We haven't found a place we love more, although Hawaii and Belize are close seconds. I can't count how many times I've heard, "You're going to Costa Rica AGAIN?!"
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Old Jun 1st, 2013, 06:22 AM
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I love Hawaii too...still doesn't compare to that feeling you get when you are in CR. I actually bought the Fodors Belize book, but never went. I will have to do that one day.
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Old Jun 1st, 2013, 08:24 AM
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And for us, Hawaii is such a long flight and has that time change that throws us out of whack for a day or so. Belize tops CR in terms of snorkeling, but we love CR for everything else. r, if you go, we loved the snorkeling at Hol Chan - saw lots of beautiful fish, turtles, and rays.
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Old Jun 1st, 2013, 10:51 AM
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My screen name says it all. Have travelled extensively
all my life, but nothing compares to that shot
of "Pura Vida" that flows through my veins when
I am there. Joining Colibri for my 12th trip in 3 1/2
weeks for the Fodors GTG at Bosque. Can't wait!!!
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Old Jun 1st, 2013, 03:55 PM
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Sounds like a lot of veteran Costa Rica travelers - and I could really use some advice. I go July 8-18 w 2 older teens. A little worried about rainy season. Would love combo of some rainforest/adventure time (possibly El Silencio del Campo near Arenal, or a friend suggested Hacienda Guachipelin near Rincon). From either of those, can't seem to settle on beach. MA sounds intriguing, but kind of far. I fly into San Jose. I'd like to say somewhere very close or on beach, nice, resort-y but not an large American chain kind of place.

Ideas are very welcome...driving myself a little crazy here.
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Old Jun 1st, 2013, 04:48 PM
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We just stayed at Tulemar Bungalows in MA, and it was fantastic. It makes a great combo with the Arenal area. Silencio del Campo always gets good reviews. MA is less than 3 hours from SJO.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 07:14 AM
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llkay - I would skip Rincon/Hacienda Guachipelin since you are flying in/out of SJO. Arenal and MA are the most popular destinations for first time visitors - loads of activities in both plaes.

Silencio del Campo gets great reviews. While in Arenal you can go to the Hanging Bridges, Cano Negro, zipline (Skytrek is popular), hiking, birding, waterfalls, etc.

It's about a five hour drive from Arenal to MA. Check out volcanogirl's recent trip report on various MA activities.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 09:29 PM
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Thanks so much - so many choices! It's tough.

I'm going to stick with Silencio. Have La Mariposa in MA for now, but still haven't found my dream spot. Would love some hammocks and something low-key, but beautiful. Imagine being close to the beach. Tulemar is booked and can't quite find a place that compared. That would be the most helpful.

Also, I think I'm set on MA, but the peninsula, it's white sand beaches and Santa Teresa also looks inviting. Though it is a longer trek from Arenal.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 07:49 AM
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Thoughs and suggestions re: above are very welcome
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 09:17 AM
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Hi there! I would recommend you Si Como No Resort & Wildlife Refuge in MA. Same category than Tulemar or better, Eco Friendly and great for families.

Santa Teresa y Montezuma are great spots too, multicultural beach towns,great for surfing (4:15hrs from Arenal) You can depart early for the Peninsula and stop on the way for white water rafting. Its just an idea..

Good luck!
- Zizou10
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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Gaia and Arenas del Mar are both really popular as well if you want to explore those. Also Parador, Makanda, Villas Nicolas, and Costa Verde. Have not stayed at any of these so can't vouch for them personally. We stayed at Mango Moon years ago, but it's changed hands since we were there. It's weirdly enough now owned by one of the guys from the band Creed.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 10:07 AM
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Costa Rica is our usual destination, but if I knew someone was only going to that part of the world once, I'd recommend they do either Belize-Guatemala or Mexico (Chiapas plus maybe Yucatan). Costa Rica has the best wildlife and lovely oceanside settings, but the jungle settings of Mayan sites like Tikal, Lamanai, Caracol, Lamanai, Yaxchilan/Bonampak are really like something out of an Indiana Jones movie--wildlife, ruins, it feels like a real adventure.

That said, we've done Costa Rica five times now, Belize-Guatemala once.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 07:05 AM
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I love reading everyone's responses... Makes me feel better about choosing CR for the 3rd time! Can't wait!
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 07:56 AM
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I haved travelled to CR twice. Once with the kids and once without. I have been there in Aug and Jan and honestly the rainy season was the most beautiful time of year! Sure it rains, esp inland but it is warm and everything is lush and full. Very Tropical.
Spend some time in Arenal and Manuel Antonio. I recommend Villas Nicholas there, unique villas with an outdoor living area overlooking the rainforest and the ocean.
Try surfing in Jaco or Tamarindo. It's a lot of fun
There is no where in the world quite like Costa Rica. What ever you
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 11:14 AM
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llkay818 - you might want to check vrbo.com for Tulemar availability during that time- bet you'll find something. The beach and wildlife are fantastic there. We never even went to the park, as we saw so much wildlife on the property.
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Old Jun 6th, 2013, 10:43 PM
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Thanks for all this - very much appreciated.
Volcanogirl: Thanks for the other suggestions. Have looked at those. Might you be suggesting because there are issues with La Mariposa. I was reading up more and looking at traveler pics and starting to think I like...
Melissa: you make me feel better about rainy season. Not going to worry about it. Vila Nicolas looks nice too. How close to ocean, and to MA park?
RAC: Definitely going to CR. I've been to Guatemala 2x and it is magical
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Old Jun 6th, 2013, 10:49 PM
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l, no issues with Mariposa, just suggested a few since it didn't sound like you thought it was your dream spot.
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