Costa Rica Suggested Itinerary for 8 days

Old Aug 19th, 2010, 12:22 AM
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Costa Rica Suggested Itinerary for 8 days

Hi,

My husband and I wil be in Costa Rica for about 8/9 full days. He has been there before. I have not. We are thinking about...

-Arriving in San Jose morning...pick up car at airport and drive to Jaco

-Stay 2 nights in Jaco (this is the only place we have a condo rented)

-Drive south to Manuel Antonia

-Drive more south to the Drake Bay area, or as far as we can get by car

-Drive to the Caribbean side and go to Puerto Viejo-

The problem is there are no roads that go to Puerto Viejo unless we back track and I do not want to spend hours and hours driving. We thought about a flight, but will have a rental car. Is there a way to maybe go through Panama east to go there? Also, he says there will not be a problem finding places to stay since we are going in about a month, rainy season..

Sorry if my question is silly..just thinking of options.
Thanks,
Courtney
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 03:45 AM
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I would drop the Caribbean side for such a short trip, it's going to be an almost full day getting there, there isn't really a shortcut. I would also drop Jaco as well, just my opinion. You could spend a few nights in MA, and then 4 nights or so in the Drake Bay area - one full day to tour the park and another to go out snorkeling at Cano Island. Then your last night near the San Jose airport. I personally would pre-book the Drake Bay hotel portion. It's tricky to get there and all hotels there are fairly small, you may spend valuable time looking around settling for 3rd, 4th choice etc, rainy season or not.
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 07:07 AM
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Totally agree with tully on this one.

As a contrast to Manuel Antonio and Drake Bay, you could head for Alajuela a couple of days before your flight, stay in one of the really nice hotels in the surrounding mountains and then spend some time visiting the "other" face of Costa Rica - the mountains and volcanoes. It is easy to take day trips from Alajuela to Volcan Poas, for instance, or La Paz or coffee tours or butterfly farm, etc.
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 07:53 AM
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In 8 days skip Carib side dodgier not that much different

www.jinetesdeosa.com

www.lookout-inn.com

great moderates in the Osa
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 08:27 AM
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Good suggestions above on how many places to include, but I'll go the opposite way and suggest you do visit the Caribbean side and forget the Pacific side as you'll be there in September and while it can be very rainy on the Pacific side it's the best for Caribbean. I would visit Arenal and Puerto Viejo and maybe Tortuguero or Sarapaqui for a couple of nights if you want a 3rd destination.
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 09:22 AM
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Totally agree that that is too much moving around. It takes a long time to get from place to place, and with only 8 or 9 days that's too many locations. You won't get much time to enjoy yourself. Here's a good weather map if you want to check out rain patterns by month. Mouse over the areas you're interested in. Like hip mentioned, September if very rainy for a lot of CR.


http://costa-rica-guide.com/Weather/WeatherMap.html
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 01:09 PM
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Hi,
Thanks for the advice. My husband is a surfer and that is why is wants to go to jaco.
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 01:22 PM
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Whoops, didn't get to finish. I do wish we could go see the arenal volcano and hot springs area. Are there any places like this in the cartago area? ( on the way back from puntarenas to San Jose?

Thanks!
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 01:54 PM
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There is excellent surfing at Playa Cocles in Puerto Viejo. Salsa Brava is for experts only and just south is more intermediate. I would stay there over Jaco any day.
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 01:54 PM
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I should clarify, I have never been to Jaco, just avoided it very purposefully.
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 02:01 PM
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A little blurb in case you're interested.

Salsa Brava

A thick Hawaiian style wave that builds in deep water and breaks over a shallow reef. Offers both lefts and rights, however the right is generally faster, with a steep entry. This is most powerful wave in Costa Rica and the best conditions with an easterly swell which can produce up to triple overhead surf.

Playa Cocles

This beach break offers a more consistent break with lefts and rights breaking close to the beach. This wave tends to jack up with a big swell due to the steep beach entry ...beware of currents. Best conditions in the early morning before the winds blow it out. However, you can surf here all day as the wind often improves the lack of form.
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 02:18 PM
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Well I just found out there is no way to get to the Limon/Puerto Viejo side now without driving. I guess the airport is closed. So..Not sure about that or how many hours it would take from San Jose to back track. My hubby is a surfer..but no expert by any means. (San Diego is the usual place we go)

hmm...
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