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Costa Rica Trip Report - Malpais, Nosara, Tamarindo and Arenal

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Sep 10th, 2003, 02:25 PM
  #41
Iza
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Gem, the drive from SJ to Santa Teresa was long but fairly pleasant. It took us about 2 hours to Puntarenas, then we waited over an hour for the next ferry to Paquera. The ferry crossing is a bit over an hour and very pleasant. Once on the peninsula, it is a bit over 2 hours to Santa Teresa (with the last hour being on a really bad road). You'll need a 4x4 or at least a car with very high clearance for that last stretch. You may consider flying to Tambor instead which should shorten the trip to about 2 and a half hours total.

As to what other area of Costa Rica to visit, there are so many other areas to see. It really depends on what your interests are. We really liked the area around Arenal, not only because of the volcano, but also for its natural beauty. When we drove from Arenal to San Jose we passed near where the Los Angeles cloud forest is and that looked like a beautiful place too. I have not been to Monteverde but heard it is a good place to visit.
If you want another beach area, Manuel Antonio is beautiful although somewhat crowded. We used to like Tamarindo a lot but now it seems overdeveloped and touristy. For wildlife viewing, Osa Peninsula is best (it is remote and isolated but definitely worth visiting).
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Sep 10th, 2003, 04:00 PM
  #42
 
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Hi Iza,

Thank you so much for all the tips!
I really appreciate your help. I am going to get to work on tickets and hotel availability; I hope the you don't mind if I come up with more questions later.

Very Best Regards,
Gem
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Sep 10th, 2003, 10:06 PM
  #43
 
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Hi,

Does anyone have information about the rental scooters in Mal Pais? I was wondering if they are safe, are there a lot of tourist accidents, do they have helmets and any idea of what they rent for?

Also wondered what the approximant cost would be to get transportation from Tambor to Mal Pais.

Thank you!!
Gem
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Sep 11th, 2003, 11:34 AM
  #44
 
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Hum..interesting. It's been two years since I was in Mal Pais, but I didn't see any scooter rentals! Must be new! If they DON'T have helmets, I'd be very, very careful as the roads are not good!

As for transportation from Tambor, I'm sure the hotel could help with that. You might try emailing them. Good luck!
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Sep 11th, 2003, 02:38 PM
  #45
Iza
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We saw two places down the road going along the beach between Florblanca and Malpais "center" that rent scooters. I'd be surprised if they rent helmets, but you never know. E-mail Tropico Latino and ask them, maybe they know. A couple we met at Florblance rented one of those scooters and they said it was something like $25 per day (they returned after a couple of hours and got a refund of a portion of that). They thought it was fun but Ally is right, the roads there are BAD. They are much easier to navigate on a scooter or a bike, though, than in a car ;-)
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Sep 12th, 2003, 05:19 PM
  #46
 
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Thank you Ally and Iza!!

I saw on the Belize vs. Costa Rica post that dengue fever is problem in Costa Rica and that people are being advised to take anti-malaria medication when traveling in all parts of Costa Rica. Do you know anything about that and is it true?

Thank You,
Gem
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Sep 13th, 2003, 06:28 AM
  #47
 
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Sparkelegem, Go to the CDC website and see what they have to say about Dengue fever and Malaria. A quick read shows that almost all of Belize (with the exception of Belize City) and most of Costa Rica is considered a risk area for Malaria and drugs should be taken. I don't think this is anything new. It's the tropics, and there are always going to be some outbreaks. I've also found the CDC recommendations to be very conservative, and lots of people don't follow their recommendations and don't get sick.

Even Cancun (because it's in the state of Quintana Roo) is considered a Malaria risk. If you go there, you probably won't be allowed to donate blood for a year.
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Sep 13th, 2003, 08:37 AM
  #48
Iza
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JeanC is right about the malaria risk - there have always been advisories about that risk in Costa Rica. We have decided not to take anti-malaria drugs and had no problems, but we were aware of the risk.

As to dengue fever, there is nothing that can prevent it except not getting bitten by a mosquito carrying it. When we were there in August there were reports of a number of cases of dengue in Nosara and Tamarindo and surrounding areas. No such reports about Malpais.
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Sep 13th, 2003, 09:34 AM
  #49
 
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I am curious if the risk for malaria and the fever is higher for children? We are considering going for spring break. do youknow anythiing about the medication for precaution? Has anyone taken it. Just curious
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Sep 18th, 2003, 11:56 AM
  #50
kev
 
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Hi Iza,

We are planning to make a similar trip from Tamarindo to Tabacon. Can you please provide me with more details about the drive. We would like to rent a car, but if it is too long or difficult a drive, we may consider a bus. Is there much to see? How long would it take and how are the roads? Thank you.
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Nov 12th, 2004, 09:05 AM
  #51
Iza
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ttt for Melissa
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Nov 12th, 2004, 09:28 AM
  #52
koa
 
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I did the same thing in La Tigra. That area is so confusing. I got lost going up to Arenal and coming back from Arenal. Good thing my wife has a good memory and remebered where the right place to turn was! Is it that had for the tourism authority there to put a few signs to help us lost tourist!
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Nov 12th, 2004, 12:34 PM
  #53
 
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Ahhhhhhhh, yes. The missed turn that led us to La Tigra. Leaving Arenal for the SJ airport, we knew we were on the "wrong" road as we would follow the straight road diagonally left, then straight, diagonally left, then straight, repeating until we were no longer "hugging the hillsides" on the right but instead, driving further into the center of the flat valley floor.

We eventually took a right to hug the edge of the hills again to get back on track.

We obtained directions and gasoline in La Tigra. Potholes!! This is where we found the great slalom course for autos. (Later on, we encountered a voluntary toll booth and asphalt so smoooooooth!) La Tigra crossing is also where we learned of the 4% currency exchange fee that we had heard of online. We overpaid in USD for gasoline and received CR Colones in change and were fine with that --- as long as we can get onto our exit plane!!
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