Costa Rica Vacation with child.

Old Feb 9th, 2015, 06:50 AM
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Costa Rica Vacation with child.

We started planning a Coast Rica vacation for July, but I am getting such mixed messages about this destination and I was wondering if I could get some feedback.
There will be 3 of us traveling, myself, my husband and our 10 year old son. We plan to stay for about 3 weeks!
I have been discouraged to go between May and July due to the rain, but this is really the best time for us. Some have told me if only rains for a couple hours in the afternoon, others have told me it rains most of the time. From research, it seems that July might be the better of the 3 months, but others have said that the end of May through August are all very similar.

We plan to use Marriott points for most of our stay, and intend to travel to the 3 main Marriott resorts: Los Suenos Marriott, JW Guanacaste (near Tamarindo), and Hotel Punta Islita (Nicoya Peninsula). We are also considering staying in San Jose for a couple days and finding a hotel in Volcan Arenal for a couple days.

Are there other locations that are a must-see?

We want to rent a car and drive to the various locations. Sounds like the roads can be challenging! How bad is it? We can fly into either San Jose airport or Liberia. Actually considering flying into Liberia and out of San Jose. Any concerns about roads around the various airports? Also thinking of taking the ferry or water taxi across the Gulf of Nicoya.

Costa Rica looks like such a beautiful country! Can't wait to explore it for myself!

Thanks in advance for your input and suggestions!
rosebrownfamily is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2015, 11:00 AM
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Manuel Antonio is a fantastic location for young families - nice beaches, tons of wildlife, and lots to do. That would be my pick, but sounds like you'll get your beach fix elsewhere since you have Marriott points. We love the Arenal area too - lots to do there with the Cano Negro tour, Penas Blancas river float, hiking at the waterfall, hiking at Hanging Bridges, visiting the Proyecto Asis animal rescue center, tubing at the Springs, ziplining at Sky Trek, and visiting the natural hot springs like Tabacon and Eco Termales. The Peace Lodge is a fun spot for the end of a trip, it's about an hour from San Jose and has 5 beautiful waterfalls that you can hike to, as well as an aviary, butterfly house, and nocturnal frog tour. Kids love it; check out the website and reviews and see if it's your kind of place. Some people think it's kind of Disneyish with over the top waterfall showers, etc. It's worth about two nights. You could go to Poas volcano too. For most areas, rainy season begins Mayish and goes until the end of November, but it's not entirely predictable. We've had rain on just about every trip we've taken, but it's rarely an all day rain. We usually hire private drivers, but a lot of people like the freedom that having a car allows.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2015, 10:44 AM
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We went last July for a week with kids 10 and 12. For our first 2 nights, we stayed at La Carolina lodge, which we loved. My son especially adored it. Horseback riding, hikes, right on the river for a great swim, communal meals, wood fired hot tub, monkeys birds etc! Only 1.5 hours from Liberia. Days were sunny and it rained from 6 pm on. We were going to stay 3 nights and do the Rio Celeste hike but it rained too much in the evenings. We also went to Llanos de Cortez waterfall which is midway back to Liberia for a short hike and swim and climb behind the falls. From there we rented a villa in Ocotal. You will have a great time.
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Old Mar 24th, 2015, 09:23 AM
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Roads are fine. I was there with my family (19 year old son and a 6 year old daughter) last july for 5 weeks and we had a blast, the weather was dry (unusual for that time of the year) I rented a mini-van and road all over the place. The main roads are fine, just the little side roads are not in good shape, you just have to be careful. I am from Costa Rica so I know many turistic places but this trip was about my kids whom never experienced a trip like this. I was in Guanascaste, reneted a house at Resort Pez Vela in Ocotal for a week. Stayed mostly in Cartago for the rest of my trip to spend time with family and friends but I was actually impressed of how good the roads are compared of when I lived there back in the 90's. You will enjoy the trip whatever you do. People are very friendly too. In San Jose as in any mayor city, dont display valuables like jewelry or money in public, actually you better of living all your jewelry at home and just enjoy your time there.
ticalinda1969 is offline  
Old Mar 24th, 2015, 09:25 AM
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Sorry for the bad spelling....I'm rushing and didnt check
ticalinda1969 is offline  
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