CR 2nd trip

Old Feb 26th, 2009, 02:06 PM
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CR 2nd trip

My husband and I are planning on taking my younger brother & sister (14 & 17) to CR for Spring break. This will be our second trip, but this kid's first. I want a mix of beach/surf time and of wildlife/hiking. We're only going for 5-7 days.

I was thinking of trying to get to Osa and then maybe Jaco.

Where would you recommend to try surfing if not Jaco?

Are there any "do not miss" things in Osa?

Thanks!
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Old Feb 27th, 2009, 07:25 AM
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I've been researching Bosque del Cabo based on all of your recommendations and amazing trip reports.

But, I'm a little confused. As far as accommodations go, where are you all staying? I've found 2 websites that appear to be for the same place.

http://www.bosquedelcabo.com/
http://osapixels.com/boscabo/main/index.html


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Old Feb 27th, 2009, 08:28 AM
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The first one is their real website they've been using forever; I've heard that second one is an updated one, but I haven't seen it officially posted yet. If you want wildlife and hiking, BdC is very hard to beat.
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Old Feb 28th, 2009, 08:40 PM
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I agree with VG, BdC is amazing. I don't surf, but know that there's no shortage of good locations for that. Jaco tends to get a bit of a bad rap, although some people do enjoy it there. You might try a followup post with 'surfing recommendations' or something to that effect in the title to get some responses from the surfing afficionados who peruse the forum...
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Old Feb 28th, 2009, 09:47 PM
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There are often surfers right down at the Matapalo point, right by Bosque del Cabo. There are 2 (of the 3) that usually have them out there. Not a surfer so can't say how it compares to others places though. Across the Golfo Dulce the Pavones/Zancudo area is very popular with surfers as well.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 09:21 AM
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Thanks! After doing some more research on this last minute endeavor, I think BDC looks absolutely beautiful (as do the pictures you have posted in other forums!), and the fact that they have a shuttle down to the beach is a big plus. I think I'll skip Jaco and spend more time at BDC.

I do have a question regarding how to get there. My flight from Ft. Lauderdale doesn't get in until 2:35pm, so it will probably be an hour before we get through customs and out of the airport. The afternoon flight to Puerto Jimenez leaves at 1:55. Are these flights usually on-time?

If so, we'll have to spend the night in San Jose and head to PJ the next morning. Do you have a place you'd recommend us to stay in SJ? We don't want to stray too far from the airport as we'd try to leave early the next morning, but i do want to make sure we stay somewhere clean and safe. The first time we went to CR, we flew into Liberia, so I've never been to San Jose.

Sorry, this post is getting so long!

If we do a shortened stay (5 nights), is that enough to experience BDC? Granted, I'm sure we could be there 10 years and not see everything that Osa has to offer, but here's what I was thinking:

-Day 1 Spend night in San Jose
-Day 2 Flight to PJ, drive to BDC
-Day 3 Hiking the BDC property
-Day 4 Day at the beach
-Day 5 Guided trip of Corcovado
-Day 6 Fly home

What do you guys think? Am I being too optimistic? What's missing from this list?
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 09:40 AM
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For staying close to the airport check out Hotel Villa Bonita and take the earliest Sansa flight to PJ. If you get better prices on Nature Air you might want a hotel closer to Pavas. That said, Orchideas Inn is also about 15 minutes away and a nice place to chill with pool/restaurant/bar since you'll have some time in the evening after your flight.

I don't think you'll want to miss the animal sanctuary while you're at BDC and I've always combined it with something else like kayaking or dolphin watch/snorkeling since you have to make the trip back to town. I've still not been to Corcovado because there are so many trails and wildlife right at BDC. Either way you'll have a great trip, there's never enough time!
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 10:03 AM
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Thanks for the hotel recs!

Corcovado is a HUGE expense for the guide and transportation, so if we're apt to see similar things on the trails at BDC, I'm OK with skipping it.

Has anyone been to Corcovado? How does it compare to the local BDC trails?

How much was the taxi trip to the animal sanctuary? The site says $120 for boat & $20 per person entrance + taxi trip into town.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 11:03 AM
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The ONLY reviews I've seen of people that have done both, have said they spotted more wildlife on the BDC trails. That said, there don't seem to be many people on the forums that have done both. In the amount of time you have though, you will be lucky if you are able to hike all the trails at BDC and if it were me, I'd just stick to them.

The taxi (BDC) will take you into town for $25 (I think that's what it still is, $20-$25). The boat is the larger expense but it's never been a problem to pipe up at dinner or around the bar to see who wanted to share costs. There are always people looking to share, that's one of the cool things about the family style seating at dinner.

The horseback ride is a really nice tour also. You ride through a shallow river bed, rainforest and beach. BDC drives you about 10 min to get to the starting place.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 11:25 AM
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Thanks, for the help!

When you went snorkeling, did you arrange a tour, or did you bring your own gear? If it was a tour, who did you book through? The only one I've been able to find was on Trip Advisor:
http://www.aventurastropicales.com
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 11:34 AM
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There are places in Punta Uva you can rent snorkeling gear. I didn't bring my own (don't own any) and packing it around for 2 1/2 weeks didn't really make sense for the amount of time we would be dedicating to it. I'm also not familiar with the tour companies, but hotels are happy to set this up for you. We tried snorkeling in Osa, and it was fun, but don't expect colorful coral and lots of colorful fish like you see elsewhere.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 11:37 AM
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Oy -- Sorry! I've been replying to threads today...you're not going to Punta Uva!

Regarding tour companies, I just had BDC set up the snorkeling that we combined with the wildlife sanctuary, and at that time you could plankboard with the dolphins also.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 11:57 AM
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I totally agree with hip that you can skip Corcovado. We saw all 4 kinds of monkeys, a sloth, scarlet macaws, and toucans at BdC. We asked our guide about Corcovado, and he said we wouldn't see a thing there that we hadn't already seen at BdC. If it's costing you a lot of money, I'd give it a pass.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 01:10 PM
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Yes, and definitely agree about piping up at dinner. All of my outings off the property have been set up that way, just listening & talking to others you almost always someone wanting to do the same thing and obviosuly willing to split the cost. Also agree about skipping Corcovado, there is so much to see at BdC and so many trails, I can't see the added expense unless you had a much longer time to spend there. If you fly out on Nature Air, you could stay at Don Carlos or Posada El Quijote, both relatively close to Pavas. My dad stayed at the former and liked it a lot.

They do have a shuttle down to the beach and back, great for if you have surfboards. I was amazed last trip - a very nice family staying in Casa Miramar were all surfers and we met themon their way down the Golfo Dulce trail with their surfboards! I usually need both hands just for balance and holding a walk stick, I couldn't believe they carried them down.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 08:01 AM
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Eternal - as Hip mentioned, the snorkeling in the Golfo Dulce can be combined with a trip to the animal sanctuary. They will provide you with equipment. We brought our own mask and tube, and it wasn't worth taking up the luggage space. We snorkeled for such a short time, we would have been fine with what they provided. It's not wavy, so you don't need a dry snorkel.

We tried snorkeling at the beach in the gulf, and couldn't see a thing.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 07:18 AM
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Thanks for all the help, you all are awesome! I have a few more questions.

-If the snorkeling is not great in the gulf, should we skip it all together? Is there a place you recommend to snorkel?

-How did you get from the PJ airport to BDC?

-Since there may be 5 of us going, we're looking at renting Casa Blanca. Food isn't included with the houses, but I'm not sure if it's worth adding the "all-inclusive" package for $1200. I somehow don't see my siblings eating $120 worth of food each day. For those of you who have stayed in the houses, what have your experiences been? Was shopping in PJ too much of a hassle?
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 07:59 AM
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I would not make snorkeling a focus...there are plenty of other things to do, for sure.

BDC will pick you up at the airport. They'll be there waiting and charge $25 each way.

Shopping in PJ is not too much of a hassle, you can stop there on your way from the airport. But, I'd suggest at least taking in the dinners. That's a good time to meet other people and talk wildlife sightings, tours, etc. Be aware, the food is all very delicious and it may be hard NOT to take in the meal plan, but I understand it can seem pricey with kids.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 09:45 AM
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I agree with hip; the dinners are one of the best parts because you'll meet lots of like-minded travelers - the dinners are communal. Good time to compare notes on what you've done and seen. We did the early morning birding with Carlos, a primary forest tour with Phillip, and went via boat to the animal sanctuary - all were great.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 11:24 AM
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Of course, the breakfasts and lunches are terrific as well! Banana pancakes... tuna melt sandwiches... Yum! But understandable to not want to add on that extra expense. The communal dinners are a lot of fun, so that would be something to consider as Hip and VG have said.

Costa Rica isn't really renowned for it's snorkeling. Seems to be pretty hit or miss depending on variable visibility conditions. All the amazing wildlife you'll see on land should make up for any lack of colorful fish, however.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 02:45 PM
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Cam- Definitely all meals are wonderful! One of my fav's is the curry chicken with papaya...yum! Even though I'll be in Casa Miramar this time around, you won't see me doing any cooking!
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