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Costa Rica trip

Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 04:12 PM
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Costa Rica trip

My son (25 yrs.old) and a few of his friends are going to CR for 5 days. They have been researching and trying to decide where they should go. Do you have any suggestions? They are flying in and out of San Jose. Any info you can give me will be appreciated. I am a little apprehensive about him going. Thanks.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 04:28 PM
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What types of things do they like to do? Probably the most popular areas for first time visitors are Arenal and Manuel Antonio. With only 5 days, I'd probably stick to one location - so are they beach people or volcano people? I really think they will love CR.
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Old Jun 4th, 2008, 08:22 AM
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VG makes 2 very good suggestions, unless they are going down to CR specifically to surf (in which case, there seem to be better surfing spots than Manuel Antonio...).

Both Arenal and MA have lots to offer otherwise and are popular destinations with first-time visitors (for good reason). If they only have 5 days in the country, I agree that they should probably pick just one location to visit. They may need to spend the first or last night (maybe both) near the airport depending on flight times.

Regarding your apprehensions; that sorts of depends on your son and his friends. If their focus will be on partying into the early hours of each morning, I might be a bit concerned as well. If they are a group that generally has a good level of responsibility and common sense, then I wouldn't be too worried. Costa Rica is a beautiful country with a wealth of wonderful things to do and see. Many here on the Fodor's forum have visited multiple times and are quite hooked!
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Old Jun 4th, 2008, 12:24 PM
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Agree with everything said - deciding where to go depends a great deal on what they are wanting to do while in CR.

As to your apprehensions. A few years back my then probably 23 year old step daughter and a friend went to CR for the first time. They asked me to help with their planning and I was so afraid something would go wrong. They had a blast! She since has traveled to Spain and back to CR for study.

My daughter who is 20 is on her second study trip, first to Chile and now in CR.

NOW I understand that is quite different to be with a dozen or so other students. BUT I still worried. She is LOVING CR. Every email is full of excitement.

At 25 hopefully your son and his friends have learned a bit of street smarts. You know watching your stuff always, don't leave with strangers, stay in groups, don't walk on the beach late at night half drunk, no drugs, etc, etc. You know your son. I would assume they have a little travel experience behind them.

Anyway, let us know their interest and suggestions will be coming your way.
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Old Jun 4th, 2008, 03:49 PM
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They are interested in the beach and night life. Also they want to see the rain forest and take som3e tours. I know they don't have too much time and they want to make the most of it. They have been researching themselves. They want to spend a day in San Jose so that they are there to fly home. Thanks to everyone for their input.
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Old Jun 4th, 2008, 04:06 PM
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If they do want beach & rainforest then sounds like Manuel Antonio would be their best choice. It's one of the easiest to get to , relatively speaking and they will have a wide variety of hotels, activities and restaurants to choose from.
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Old Jun 4th, 2008, 06:05 PM
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I agree MA would be a good choice; there's a nice beach inside the park, and lots of wildlife, particularly monkeys. Good restaurant choices, nice sunset views, etc. Not sure if there's much nightlife to speak of though - maybe some live music or something of that nature. While they're in San Jose, they might want to go to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens - really beautiful, nice hike to 5 waterfalls, about an hour outside San Jose.
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Old Jun 5th, 2008, 06:02 PM
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I have been trying to get to Costa Rica for years..but I'm lacking enough fellow travelers I live in central Florida currently..if anyone knows someone who would be interested let me know..I'm a 32 year old female, single, easy to get along with thinking of going in August, September or October this year..
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Old Jun 5th, 2008, 07:01 PM
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liz, a lot of people do go solo if you're at all interested; tully and shillmac have both gone on solo chick trips.
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Old Jun 5th, 2008, 07:41 PM
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lizkirk - CR is so easy to get around solo, really in all my trips I've never felt scared or worried or trapped in my room. This board is a great help, just start a post with your plans and you'll get more advice than you probably wanted
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Old Jun 6th, 2008, 04:20 PM
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My son said they are thinking about going to Guanacoste. They said that the beaches ae beautiful there but it is a ong drive from San Jose. Are there any flights from San Jose to Guanacoste? What hotels do you suggest when they get there.
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Old Jun 6th, 2008, 08:23 PM
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amatthe - Guanacaste is a province and yes there are many pretty beaches there. It spans from the NI/CR border all the way down to somewhere past Samara or so and there are several places they can fly into. If they plan to stay there the entire time, they may want to look into flying into Liberia instead of San Jose, so they won't have to backtrack and take extra flights.
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Old Jun 7th, 2008, 03:22 PM
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They have already purchased their air tickets to San Jose. How can they get from there to Guanacaste?
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Old Jun 7th, 2008, 04:42 PM
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They can fly to various locations:

http://www.natureair.com/
http://www.flysansa.com/

They can rent a car, hire a private driver, or look into a tourist shuttle service such as Interbus:

https://www.interbusonline.com/

They'll need to figure out specifically where they want to stay and then go from there...
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Old Jun 7th, 2008, 06:27 PM
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We have done that drive many times. It's a "fur piece"--about 4-4.5 hour to Liberia, then another 30 minutes to the beaches around Playa Hermosa. If going to the Tamarindo-Conchal-Flamingo-Playa Potrero area, add an hour and 15 min from Liberia. BUT it is an interesting drive, especially when arriving in CR for the first time, seeing a little scenery along the way--and it's always scenic. Not that 20 somethings are going to get all that excited about the view! LOL
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