Costa Rica trip part II

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Apr 5th, 2005, 05:05 PM
  #1
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Costa Rica trip part II

Part II:
Sunday, March 27: Started the day with an ATV tour. Started at Hotel La Pradera. Our guide “Minor” was great, kept us all entertained. Rode up to a waterfall, then down through fields to a river bed for a swim. Never rode an ATV before, but we all loved it…especially the kids! ($65 pp)

Had a very mediocre lunch in town at Lava Rocks Café ($35). Then it poured for an hour, and we cancelled our planned late afternoon/evening guided hike/hot springs tour. Shouldn’t have done that, but it was bad timing. Went to dinner at Mirador, a steakhouse ($50). Very good.

Monday, March 28: Morning hike on our own at the Arenal Observatory Lodge. Lots of birds, but nothing special except one nice waterfall. Checked out. Laundry in La Fortuna ($28) while we ate lunch, once again at Las Brasistas ($43). Still good, but not as good as dinner two nights before. Then drove to La Paz, to the Peace Hotel.($195 per room per night). This is the place! Rooms are just great (go to www.watefallgardens.com). Service, people, just wonderful.

Arrived in time for a quick swim, then dinner. Only drawback: they make a big deal out of a four course, price-fixed dinner ($28pp), and the menu looks great, but the food just doesn’t deliver.

Tuesday, March 29: Full day at Hacienda Pozo Azul (www.pozoazul.com). A 45 minute drive from Peace Lodge, morning zip lines followed by 2.5 hours on the Sarapiqui River with Class II and III white water rafting. A first class outfit…the guides were great, and they had an extra safety line for the zip lines. All in all a great day! ($70pp). Lunch, which is a great, full hot meal, was wonderful.

Back to the Peace Lodge, then a short 15 minute drive to a local restaurant called Mi Casita ($40) for dinner. We were the only gringos in the restaurant, the food was typical Costa Rican food, and obviously inexpensive.

Wednesday, March 30: Toured the La Paz waterfalls (5), saw the best/biggest butterfly garden on the planet, and fed the hummingbirds (do you know they fly 45mph?).

Drove to Poas Volcano (about 30 minutes) and walked to the observation area over the crater….really worth it if you’re in the area. Very cool, temp about 54 deg F. Then began the long drive to Manuel Antonio (about 4 hours). Stopped for lunch on the way. Arrived one hour later than planned (we always planned on arriving at our destination before dark (6pm)). Kids left the camera at a small bar/restaurant that we stopped at for drinks and restroom….they just had to take pictures of puppies at 4 weeks of age!. Realized it about 25 km later, and doubled back.)

Checked in to the Hotel Si Como No, arriving around 7pm. Two adjoining, “deluxe” rooms ($210 per room per night). Nice rooms, but ants roaming ours (not the kid’s room which had two king sized beds, ours had one bed and a kitchen, not asked for and not needed, and it was the kitchen area that the ants roamed).

Took a dip in the pool and hot tub, ordered drinks at the swim-up bar ($13 for 4 smoothies, two with and two w/o rum). Tried to dine at the “Clara que si no” restaurant at the hotel, but were told they were “full” (didn’t look that way). So, walked about ¼ mile to Karolas, and had a wonderful meal…..beautiful setting, great service, the best fresh tuna ever! ($102).

Thursday. March 31: Full day fishing trip out of Quepos. I had previously arranged this with “Lisa”([email protected]) found on the Fodor’s forum, using “High Tech Sport Fishing Tours” ($780 for full day on a 31-ft boat with captain and first mate, all equipment and lunch/drinks/snack. We arrived at the dock at 7:30am, paid an additional $24 per person for a fishing license (they just counted adults, thank god), then we met “John”, who collected $780 by credit card ($750 plus 4% because we were paying by credit card, not cash….who has this much cash?). He then called over the boat and we were on our way.

We are all fishing rookies, and told this to John, who then told our captain Fernando and first mate Jesse to “teach us” and “explain to us” what they were doing. They were both very nice, but really did not offer any “information” or help unless asked. What made matters worse: we caught no fish, nada. Other boats that day caught between 4 and 9 sailfish, only one other that we know of caught none. Call it bad luck?

Back to the hotel, another swim in the pool (and drinks), then dinner at Karolas again, this time the “special” fresh fish being lobster. 2 lb lobsters, grilled to perfection, for $25 each. They were wonderful, total bill for dinner that night $207.

to be continued
SJacobs509 is offline  
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Apr 5th, 2005, 06:21 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
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I will be staying at Los Lagos for three nights with my teens. You sounded as if you would not stay there again. I am curious as to why you did not like it.

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Apr 5th, 2005, 07:56 PM
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Nancy: we stayed at Los Lagos with our teens in February and we thought it was great. The restaurant and pools were very nice and well kept. I think you'll have a good time there.
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