Costa Rica with toddler

Old Aug 11th, 2008, 12:57 PM
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Costa Rica with toddler

We're trying to schedule a getaway with our toddler for November. He'll be 15 months old. Is a beach and rainforest trip centered around the Manuel Antonio/Quepos area feasible?

We're quite unfamiliar with Costa Rica but interested in the Manuel Antonio and Arenal areas . . .

Thanks for your help.
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 02:52 PM
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Whether visiting Manuel Antonio and/or Arenal with a toddler is a good idea for you depends on how willing you are carry your child around with you for most of the day. The best areas of interest require lots of hiking, often over hilly and sometimes muddy terraine and usually it's damp, misty and rainy (hence the name rainforest). While I normally don't try to disuade parents from travelling with young children there are certain trips that should be put off until your toddler is more self-sufficient - spending a week or two hiking through rainforests is one of those times.
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 04:02 PM
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Buena Vista Villas and Si Como No are very popular with families. Of all the spots we've visited in CR, Manuel Antonio seems to be the most family friendly - nice beach and wildlife inside the park and loads of restaurant choices. You'll be limited as to what you can do, but if you just want to hit the beach each day, MA could work for you.
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Old Aug 11th, 2008, 10:50 PM
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We've gone twice to Costa Rica with a toddler. You need to be aware that you will need to use a backpack at least some of the time (a jogging stroller will work in some places to give your back a rest). We liked Costa Rica for young kids because the restaurants are outdoors and the people like children. Here is the link to our daughter's first trip when she was two http://www.markandmonica.com/Travel/costa_rica.htm and then again when she was five and my other daughter was two http://www.markandmonica.com/Travel/costa_rica_2005.htm
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Old Aug 12th, 2008, 01:24 AM
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Personally, I would recommend Si Como No over Buena Vista Villas. We stayed at BVV for our honeymoon and found that all but 2 staff members had very poor attitudes towards us (they acted like we were asking too much when we asked for a drink at the beach bar, and for taxis to be called). It was the only bad attitudes that we experienced in Costa Rica, and very unexpected since we weren't at all demanding. We have no idea why we were receiving attitude, aside from the fact that we seem like a young (not rich) couple. It was amazing that it was the most expensive stay of our trip, yet it was the only place we had such poor attitudes!

On the other hand, we walked past Si Como No a couple times and remarked that if we came back we would stay there. It also came very highly recommended by a co-worker (after we had already booked), and it was cheaper than BVV.

In Arenal, we stayed at Silencio del Campo and we absolutely loved it. The staff was great and very welcoming, it is family owned, and the cabins are plain but very comfortable. It was our cheapest yet favorite place to stay.
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Old Aug 12th, 2008, 03:34 AM
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If you're interested in Arenal, I'd also check out Los Lagos - hugely popular with families with a lot to do on the grounds; they have their own natural hot springs.
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Old Aug 12th, 2008, 09:15 AM
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We took our 18 month old son to CR and had the greatest time, then we went back when he was 4, with our 2.2 yr old daughter and had even more fun. Pay attn when you arrive because families get priorities thru customs, which is a time saver and really nice. Si Como No is great for families, highly recommend, and Los Lagos as well. We stayed at both and both were great. As for things to do, I would highly recommend having a back carrier, we did both times and what a life saver. We were able to do some extensive hikes with the child be safely restrained. In the jungles, the monkeys, birds, animals, etc. kept our children entertained for hours. Have a great trip and the people of CR absolutely love children and are the nicest people in the world.
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Old Aug 12th, 2008, 09:25 AM
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Agree with the others. We spent a week at Si Como No (with teenagers, not toddlers) but it was very family friendly. Lots of kids there, but plenty of adults by themselves as well. Separate pools for kids and adults. Great staff. Entire MA area was very kid friendly.
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Old Aug 13th, 2008, 11:56 AM
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We were in Manuel Antonio with our 16 month old granddaughter 2 years ago. We just returned from there (with her) and stayed in the lower apartment of Villa Mot Mot (Tulemar Bungalows) for 3 nights. It was a GREAT bargain at $128 per night, breakfast included. Beautiful room. Wildlife all around.

I would not hesitate for a minute to take a toddler there, especially in November (late Nov. better). The private beach was wonderful, the pool also very nice. The room was more than excellent with DVD's and a huge California King bed, great for a couple with one toddler. Huge jacuzzi tub in the bathroom, microwave, fridge, coffee maker, etc. I have photos and will post them soon. Let me know if you'd like to view them and I will send you a link.

[email protected]
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