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costa rica tips areas, hotels and things to do/see please!

Old Sep 18th, 2011, 09:09 PM
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costa rica tips areas, hotels and things to do/see please!

hello fellow travellers!

newly married couple in late 20's looking to spend 4-5 nights in costa rica.
time of travel: around mid-end oct or early november. rainy season?

things we'd want do do while there: a bit of city life (shopping), volcano watch and of course some gorgeous beaches (any decently priced hotels on the water?)

looks like there's so many different regions and cities in costa rica. ...need help narrowing them down.

thanks a bunch!!
itsmesophia is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2011, 11:07 PM
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Congratulations ... and start looking for another destination. I really like Costa Rica but in your period gorgeous beaches are hard to find, volcano is silent for some time now (and covered with clouds) and city life ... shopping ... in San Jose??!!
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Old Sep 19th, 2011, 02:31 AM
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weather2travel.com bad time to go rain wise

for short trip... but mybeaconescazu.com

best place to stay in SJ/Escazu for shopping

xandari.com for good Poas location and beach

hotelvillcaletas.com

arenal.net tabacon.com hot springs volcano but rain then

mexico.bookit.com Pueblo Bonito Cabo for less rain

or Princeresortshawaii.com kohala coast where I go

when CR floats away in fall...

Things dry out in Dec if you can wait...
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Old Sep 19th, 2011, 05:16 AM
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Scroll up to the top of the page. You should see a menu heading labeled "Destinations." Click there. Then under "Top Destinations" click "Costa Rica." Then under "Experience Costa Rica." click "Top attractions in Costa Rica." And also explore other things on the same page. Learn something about what Costa Rica does best. (Shopping won't be on many lists.) There are lots of trip reports below. Your question is so broad as to discourage anyone from undertaking answering it thoroughly. Costa Rica serves many different tastes and interests. Answers will come from many different experiences and points of view. More specific questions will get you lots of good information.
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Old Sep 19th, 2011, 08:10 AM
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Hi Sophia,

I can try to help a little. It is difficult to give a full answer without an idea of your budget.

First of all this is a very short trip, and San Jose is nothing special for shopping. When Costa Ricans want to shop for fashion or luxury goods, they go to Miami or Panama. There isn't anything of huge interest that you can't buy in the US. But there are some local crafts, and some interesting artists.

So depending on what time your flights arrive and depart, you can try to skip San Jose. Or maybe just spend the last night there.

With such a short trip, you want to go to the most accessible locations. I would recommend that you look at combining the Arenal volcano and Manuel Antonio. This gives you your volcano (and hot springs!), and a good beach. There are early flights from Manuel Antonio back to the International airport.

There is a law in Costa Rica that mandates nothing can be built within 150 meters of the high tide mark. Because of the National Park, this law is enforced here. The terrain here is hilly. When you back this far, you are in the hills. So few hotels are directly on the beach. The ones that have been able to get a variance are either old, kinda dumpy places that were grandfathered in, or new luxury hotels that can be quite expensive.

But there is a public bus, hotel shuttles, and taxis. So you are never more than a few minutes to the beach.

Again, I don't know your budget. There are lots of hotels in both areas. So any recommendations are a shot in the dark. We have to get further in the process.

It is rainy season most of the time in Costa Rica! Late October / Early November can be rainy. But if this is the only time to go, you should still go.

It is usually an afternoon rain. Get up early. You should wake to sunshine, and have a good part of the day to enjoy the many activities available here. By the time the rains come, you will be ready for a shower and an adult beverage. Of course if you are in the hot springs, you are wet anyway. The rain can be fun.

Hope this helps! Let me know if I can offer more advice.

Warm Regards,

Pat Hewitt
Travel Professional
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Old Sep 19th, 2011, 10:30 AM
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http://costa-rica-guide.com/Weather/WeatherMap.html is a map that may help you decide. Mouse over the areas you're interested in to get an idea of rainfall during that time frame.
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Old Sep 19th, 2011, 11:35 AM
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1) TERRIBLE shopping destination. Maybe the worst I have ever visited.

2) Volcano has been inactive for a while, maybe a puff of steam

3) Beaches not really the nice white fluffy sand you are hoping for, and yes, it is rainy season. I was there early November last year when Tomas hit and it was really hairy.

I'd say look elsewhere given your criteria. Or come at a different time of year.
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Old Sep 19th, 2011, 01:17 PM
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Perfect time to visit the Caribbean side. My favorite hotel in the Puerto Viejo area is Banana Azul and it's perfect for your age group. Beautiful beaches there and great food. I agree though that 4-5 nights isn't really long enough to visit too many areas...You could visit Arenal for 2 nights (which is also on the Caribbean side of the country so climate leans that way) and 3 in Puerto Viejo. It's about 5 hours between the two though or, supposedly the airport is open now in Limon so you could fly into Limon and bus or taxi from there to PV if that's the case. In Arenal I love Silencio del Campo, a lovely, local and family owned hotel. It's still worth a trip even when the volcano isn't active.
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Old Sep 19th, 2011, 05:58 PM
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I visited Costa Rica last year at the beginning of November and we visited the Guanacaste area specifically Tamarindo and we were blessed with great weather and just one afternoon/evening of showers. Typically the Guanacaste area is drier than the rest of the country so at least you are increasing your odds of good weather. Some great beaches include Playa Avallenas, Playa Conchal, and Playa Grande. Good luck and have a great time!
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