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-   -   Costa Rica vs. Puerto Rico (https://www.fodors.com/community/mexico-and-central-america/costa-rica-vs-puerto-rico-46067/)

Jim Jun 9th, 1999 04:15 PM

Costa Rica vs. Puerto Rico
 
About 15 college friends travel together every year for a nice vacation. This year we went to Cabo and had a nice time, but I thought it was a bit touristy. We're already talking about next year's trip and 2 places that came up are Costa Rica and Puerto Rico. Does anyone have a preference between the two and can you tell me why. No kids are involved everyone is very active.

JoAnn Jun 10th, 1999 03:34 AM

In '94 we spent 7 weeks in Costa Rica, back for 3 weeks in '97 (working) and loved it. We took day trips every week end to see various areas. In '97 we spent 2 weeks on the Nicoya Peninsula at the beach. If you are looking for eco tours/hiking/wonderful people, I'd suggest Costa Rica. A year and a half ago we spent a week in Puerto Rico, the people were wonderful, the scenery great, but liked CR MUCH better. Email me if you would like more info on CR, I have some great web sites bookmarked.

JoAnn Jun 10th, 1999 03:36 AM

In '94 we spent 7 weeks in Costa Rica, back for 3 weeks in '97 (working) and loved it. We took day trips every week end to see various areas. In '97 we spent 2 weeks on the Nicoya Peninsula at the beach. If you are looking for eco tours/hiking/wonderful people, I'd suggest Costa Rica. A year and a half ago we spent a week in Puerto Rico, the people were wonderful, the scenery great, but liked CR MUCH better. Email me if you would like more info on CR, I have some great web sites bookmarked.

garry Jun 10th, 1999 05:41 AM

Never been to Costa Rica but have been to P.R. and loved it! <BR> <BR>Stayed at Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort, about 30 minutes west of San Juan on the North Beach. Great property! I wouldn't recommend staying in San Juan, a little to bustly for me, although day trips to Old San Juan and the Condado District are recommended. <BR> <BR>If you go, definitely rent a car. P.R. is a big Island, with a rain forest, mountainous interior that MUST be seen! <BR>Also, south side of Island is quite spectacular. <BR> <BR>If I went again I would definitely plan on spending a couple of days near San Juan, a couple of days on the small Island of Culebra then several days touring the island. <BR> <BR>Have fun!

lisa Jun 10th, 1999 12:57 PM

Jim: I haven't been to either yet, but my boyfriend and I recently went through a similar decision-making process. After doing quite a bit of research on both Puerto Rico and Costa Rica, we both decided we'd rather go to Costa Rica, mostly for the opportunity to see a lot more wildlife (monkeys, sloths, iguanas, crocodiles, toucans, etc.). In addition to having more species of both plants and animals, Costa Rica also has much higher mountains and more varied climates/terrains/habitats than does Puerto Rico. We have found some really exciting places to stay, and that factored into our decision as well. In fact, we just decided we're going to stay 2 weeks instead of just one because there's way too much to see and it can't be seen in 1 week. By the way, we went to St. Lucia last November and loved that (especially the rainforest, waterfalls, and beaches) and would recommend that in a heartbeat -- but this year we decided we wanted to go someplace with a lot more wildlife, and in our hemisphere it looks like Costa Rica is the place! Good luck.

Diane Jun 11th, 1999 04:25 PM

My daughter (21) has been taking an intensive home-stay Spanish program in Costa Rica this summer. She is absolutely blown away by this beautiful country and its peopls. Where else can you swim in natural hot-tub like springs, with hot water falls (and even a swim-up bar). Then trek up to a volcano's crater the next AM, and down to a waterfall in the middle of the rainforest. She's been to a Pacific beach and is heading to the Caribbean side this weekend. There are so many opportunities to do wonderful things, see monkeys and parrots in the wild. Definately not "touristy." You can be as active and as social as you want. I was in Puerto Rico last January, and enjoyed that but there are many very touristy parts (the rainforest trip was fun, but pretty structured.) I can't wait to plan a Costa Rica trip, now, myself. Money goes a long way in CR. Puerto Rico is a US territory, using the US dollar, and things run on the expensive side. But if you decide on Puerto Rico, plan a side trip of a couple days to Vieques to visit the bioluminescent bay. You'll never have an experiece like that anywhere. It's a real contrast to the high-energy casino night life of San Juan.

April Jun 11th, 1999 11:19 PM

Right Lisa, the wildlife in Costa Rica is AMAZING. The countryside is beautiful too. No contest in my mind - Costa Rica. <BR>

Ben Jun 14th, 1999 11:50 PM

I'm in the group Jim talks about above. I am one of the guys pushing for PR. The rationale is the following. Yes Costa Rica is probably a dream destination where one would want to spend a week to ten days just seeing everything. Right? What if you only had four days? Would you save Costa Rica for another time?

JoAnn Jun 15th, 1999 03:10 AM

Hmmm, in this case yes, because if I went back to Costa Rica, 4 days would NEVER be enough. Go to PR, save your money and spend at least 2 weeks in CR to be able to see a few of the wonderful sights and meet some wonderful people.

Diane Jun 16th, 1999 04:50 PM

Depends on where you are traveling from. If from the East Coast of US, for 4 days, you want Puerto Rico. If from, say New Orleans to the West Coast, I'd go to Costa Rica. If Costa Rica, and you want a beach vacation (surfing, clubs, etc.) you'd love Manuel Antonio on the Pacific. (This week's email said she was unimpressed with the Puerto Vieja on the Caribbean coast, having been to Negril,Jamaica over Spring break.) If you chose Puerto Rico, there's a heck of a lot to choose from, but four days isn't long for exploring!

Jackie Aug 10th, 1999 05:39 PM

We have viseted both places within the last year and have been to Mexico as well. No contest Costa Rico is above and beyond PR. Driving around is a bit more of a hassle in CR, but there are ways around that. You can spend a couple of nights in San Jose and take day trips, for example. I have to say, we were very dissapointed in PR and have absolutely no intentions of going back. My biggest problem with the island (asside from the lack of street signs and over-encrouchment of typical american businesess a la Mcdonalds and taco bell) was the over abundance of sickly stray cats and dogs. totally unacceptable for a country where the standards of living are as high as they are. We spent 10 days driving around the island...I wish we had either gone back to Costa Rica or Cozumel instead.

Anne May 4th, 2000 11:57 AM

Jim- <BR> <BR>Take it from a fellow college student-Costa Rica is amazing! I'm off to Puerto Rico this week, so I'll write and keep you posted as to my personal preference.

h0b0 Feb 25th, 2006 09:54 PM

Other than San Juan, which is a lovely vibrant and beautiful old city, I'd say the only redeeming factor about Puerto Rico proper is the great beach glass. (lots of beer bottles in the ocean)


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