Costa Rica Travel Question

Old Aug 16th, 2011, 12:14 PM
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Costa Rica Travel Question

Hi all,
I'm going to be in two weeks in Costa Rica. I'm having a difficult time finding transportation - we dont want to rent a car. When we arrive in San Jose, I would like to get cigars before going to the hotel in Arenal, so I was thinking a private driver would be best. As of now the idea was to use interbus from Arenal to Samara; then from Samara back to San Jose.

Also I have not booked any tours yet, so any recommendations are appreciated.
_____
_____

From: San Jose Airport (Flight Arrives at 11:30am)
To: Arenal - Hotel Nayara Arenal

After we fly into San Jose I would like to find a place to get cigars before we head to Hotel Nayara. Interbus leaves at 230pm and I dont feel like there is going to be enough time to get cigars.
_____
_____

From: Arenal - Hotel Nayara Arenal
To: Samara - Samara Treehouse Inn
_____
_____

From: Samara - Samara Treehouse Inn
To: San Jose Hotel - (did not make reservations yet)

Any help or recommendations is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
cjm196 is offline  
Old Aug 16th, 2011, 02:28 PM
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Here is a list of transfer companies both private and shared:
Shuttles
http://www.interbusonline.com
http://www.graylinecostarica.com/
http://www.costaricashuttle.com/
http://www.thecostaricashuttle.com
PRIVATE DRIVERS
Odyssey Tours (Diego and Alvaro) - [email protected]
Oscar Chavarria - [email protected]
Willy - [email protected]
Wilson - [email protected]
Carlos Bogarin - [email protected]
Danny Jimenez - [email protected]
Leo Rodriguez - [email protected]
Juan Carlos and Rubier - [email protected]
Jody Mangue - [email protected]
Isabel - [email protected]

You will find cigars just about everywhere including Duty Free I believe. You can purchase them before you even leave the airport.
Cheers
incabod is offline  
Old Aug 16th, 2011, 02:31 PM
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P.S. - Sorry missed that bit about tours

In Arenal check with Desafio, awesome company - http://www.desafiocostarica.com/

In Samara I have no idea who's best for tours, someone will need to chime in on that.
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Old Aug 16th, 2011, 05:43 PM
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In addition to Desafio which is a great company, we also like Sunset Tours. They both offer extensive tours in the Arenal area.

In that area, you can hike the waterfall, do a volcano hike (pretty inactive now though), do the Cano Negro tour to see wildlife, zipline with Sky Trek, raft with Rios Tropicales, and visit the natural hot springs. We like Eco Termales and Tabacon. There's also the Venado Caves if you want to tour those.
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Old Aug 17th, 2011, 02:24 AM
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AromaTico,in Tilaran, has a good selection of cigars.Personally I think if you don't rent a car you are screwing up.Prostitution is legal here and that's exactly what the tour drivers are!!! No matter where they take you they get a commission.SO. Don't expect to be taken to the really cool places or eat the best food.
If you don't do Rio Celeste you haven't seen Costa Rica. ;-)~
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Old Aug 17th, 2011, 03:51 AM
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Sorry, disagree with the above poster. I've been using the same 3-4 drivers over the past 10 years and they are invaluable to me, and have become friends. Anyway, the OP is basically looking for a transfer from SJO to Arenal, so I don't think they're looking for a 'tour' or will be taken on a wild shopping/dining spree against their will.

Agree with vg that Sunset Tours offers a good selection of tours, as well as Desafio.

In regards to the cigars...it sounds like you will be paying about double for a private driver vs taking Interbus just to get the cigars. Have you considered instead just getting some at one of the airport shops? That way you could still catch the 2:30 Interbus and save some money.
tully is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2011, 11:08 AM
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Thanks all for the great responses. What would be a good rate for all three trips? (San Jose to Arenal; Arenal to Samara; Samara to San Jose)

And Tully thanks for the suggestion about picking up the cigars in the airport! Great idea!

Thanks!
cjm196 is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2011, 02:30 PM
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Just to give you an idea, we paid about $140 to go from SJO to Arenal on our last trip. We've always hired our drivers through our hotels when we've booked them and have good luck doing that. Agree with tully; we've had nothing but good experiences with our drivers, and they've been flexible about stopping where we wanted to.
volcanogirl is offline  
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