Costa Rica Trip Report Part Two 1/20-2/16

Feb 11th, 2005, 02:44 PM
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Costa Rica Trip Report Part Two 1/20-2/16

After leaving our villa in Manuel Antonio we stayed one night at the Marriot Los Suenos. The resort is beautiful and as many have said on this site, very Americanized. Don't think we heard a word of spanish the whole time we were there, which just didn't feel right. It is definately an older crowd and a less culturally sensitive group. We actually overheard a gentleman eating dinner at table beside us tell his waiter that he was impressed because "not all Costa Rican people were on dope", as he had been told! We stayed here because we had some Marriot points and it was a break on our trip to Arenal. I would not recommend spending more than one night, max two if you are similar to our profile. It didn't really feel like we were in Costa Rica. That being said, I travel a lot and this was the nicest Marriot I have ever seen. We enjoyed our stay and the food was great but were glad to resume our adventure the next day.

Off to Arenal(Lost Iguana)
We drove the long way around the lake and really enjoyed the trip. The road is brutal around the lake, but if you give yourself a lot of time and enjoy the scenery it was worth it. This trip took almost a whole day with many stops along the way to appreciate our surroundings.
Lost Iguana....
I cannot say how impressed I was with this resort. Off the beaten path in comparison to anything else in the area and only 20 rooms with some more being built. Beautifull rooms!! We had one the rooms with a jacuzzi on the deck for two nights. It ended up there were only 8 other people at the resort during our stay. This was our favorite place on our whole trip!!!
We saw the volcano erupting for two hours the first night while relaxing in our jacuzzi with a cocktail in hand. Doesn't get much better than that!!!
The next morning we had a great breakfast(included) and hiked up to the Hanging Bridges which is on property. We loved The Hanging Bridge Tour and saw a 2 Toed Sloth with its baby along the way.
That afternoon we did a zip line canopy tour with Delroy as our guide. It was awesome and I would recommend to all. The Hanging Bridges were actually a little scarier!
We had a lot of rain the second night and relaxed in our tub and soaked in the atmosphere of our surroundings.
We had heard that Arenal was really touristy, but in comparison to Manuel Antonio it was not at all. We hardly saw anyone and really enjoyed the area. The Lost Iguana is the nicest place to stay in the area and you have a great view of the volcano. Ideal place for couples, and for those of you with kids I would likely chose a place like Tabacon or Los Lagos.
The next day we headed back towards the airport and stayed at the Marriot.

Overall impression:
We absolutely loved Costa Rica and it's people. I think spending 4 or 5 days at a time in each place would be perfect. Travel is a bit of a pain at time but the roads were much better than anticipated. If you can, try to speak Spanish, it is really appreciated no matter how bad you butcher it. If you have any questions fire away and I will do my best to answer them. Wish I hadn't come home to tell you the truth!!!!
superturnip is offline  
Feb 11th, 2005, 03:19 PM
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I am staying at Arenal Pariaso (near Arenal Volcano) in April, did you go the Tabacon Hot Springs when you were there or know anything about them? which canopy tour did you take, and was the hanging bridges tour through your hotel or is it open to everyone, and if so how do you get to it? Sounds like you had a blast, any advice would be great!! thanks so much.
andreakayka is offline  
Feb 12th, 2005, 12:52 AM
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superturnip, I really enjoyed your trip report. Now I'm really looking forward to staying at the Lost Iguana on our first family trip in June!
Melissa5 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 11:06 AM
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We did not go to Tabacon. After staying in Manuel Antonio we were happy to stay away from the crowds. The Hanging Bridge Tour is open to everyone and the Canopy Tour we did was SkyTrek.
superturnip is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 01:22 PM
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superturnip, We are trying to decide where to go in CR .Both M/A and Arenal sound great, did you prefer one over the other? If we decide we only have time for one location which would you suggest? The beach is not a high priority for us since we frequent the caribean. Lost Iguana sounds wonderful.
cooper1 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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They are so different...tough question. If the beach is not important to you then Arenal area is probably the better choice. It really depends on what exactly you are looking fro in your trip. You can do many of the same activities in both places. One has temps in the high 80's the other in the low 70's, one has the ocean while the other has a volcano. Arenal is the less touristy of the two, but both are two of the more touristy areas in the whole country. I hope this answer is not too wishy washy, but give me some more details about what you are looking for and I might be more help.
superturnip is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 05:24 PM
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superturnip, Thanks for your help. Everyone on this post is so nice. Shillmac spent a long time helping me narrow it down. We are looking for active days and relaxing evenings. M/A apeals to us because of the rain forest and all it has to offer...wildlife, and amazing vegetation. Arenal of course has an incredible volcano, hot springs and lots of touristy activities close by. I guess our first pick would be Arenal if we weren't worried about missing out on the wildlife. Also any more details on Lost Iguana would be great.
cooper1 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 05:27 PM
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ooops.. I forgot to tell you we are thinking about going in May if that make a difference.
cooper1 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 07:19 PM
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Quiet nights is what Lost Iquana is all about. Send me an email and I will send you a few pics if you want. Arenal has a lot of wildlife. It was so hot and humid in MA that it made it hard to do too much stuff during the day.
superturnip is offline  
Feb 14th, 2005, 09:14 PM
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Looking to stay at Lost Iguana but will try to get shuttle transportation from San Jose to Lost Iguana. I saw in other postings that the road to Lost Iguana aren't great. Did you have a rental car or was access ok? Also, to get around the area is transportation available or is it not too isolated?
meechigan is offline  
Feb 18th, 2005, 10:25 AM
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Interestd in this reply also. We are renting just a small sedan and I'm not sure if we could drive to Lost Iguana? If not, then we may stay at arenal paraiso.

mosey10 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2005, 12:21 AM
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Lost Iguana lies about a mile off the main road. It is a little rough, but much like any unpaved driveway you would find in America. It would not be any problem whatsoever to drive their in a car!!!
superturnip is offline  
Feb 19th, 2005, 05:24 AM
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superturnip, I emailed you my e-mail address, did you recieve it? cooper1.
cooper1 is offline  
Feb 19th, 2005, 06:40 AM
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Can you tell me did you do the hanging bridges on your own or with a guide? Thanks!
flycatcher06 is offline  
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