CR Advice\Ideas

Old Mar 9th, 2005, 11:14 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
CR Advice\Ideas

I will be in CR from April 9 thru the 23rd.
I will be flying into SJO the afternoon of the 9th. I don't have to be into Liberia until the 12th.
From the 12th thru the 19th we will be in Tamarindo.
After that I will be on my own til my flight leaves SJO on the 23rd.

Any ideas of what is to do around Tamarindo?
Is it possible for me to make it to Arenal Nuevo from Tamarindo by a rental car?

Should I drive to Tamarindo from SJO rather than fly Sansa?

Any ideas are welcomed and thanks in advace.
onmywaytocostarica is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2005, 04:23 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There are no guidelines as to what you should or shouldn't do! Whatever interests you is the ticket. You'll have plenty of time to drive should you prefer to do that. With a week in Tamarindo, it would be helpful to have a car because you will be in an area where there is much to explore within 1-1.5 hour all around. And for 7 days, you'll want to do just that.

Sure you can go to Arenal from Tamarindo by car!
shillmac is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2005, 12:45 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the info.
It seems that my plan shall to hang around San Jose til my flight on the 12th. I'm going to drive from Tamarindo to San Jose during the 19th-24th.

It's not that I have guidelines, I just want to see as much as I can in the short 5 days that I will have after the 19th.

Any ideas of some of the sights I can see, experince on the drive from Tamarindo to San Jose?

What kinds of sights/atractions are within that 1.5hr area of Tamarindo?
onmywaytocostarica is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2005, 10:12 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ok I bought the Fodor's Costa Rica 2005 guide and the Frommer's Costa Rica 2005 guide.
Best I can tell it is only 234KM from SJO to LIR, does this seem correct?

This is my plan so far.
Arrive in SJO evening april 8th.

April 9:
Cafe Britt plantation
Jade/Gold/National Meseum (just one)
Teatro

April 10
Drive to Tabacon in the morning. Zip line tour in the afternoon.
Watch Arenal volcano at night
Stay @ Tabacon Hot Sprints Resort

April 11
Since I have to be in Tamarindo by 2pm 12th, I'm not sure if I should stay @ Arenal for a second day, head to Monteverde or drive to Rincon de la Vieja Naional Park. Ideas?

April 12-19 Tamarindo
Both guide books don't have much info about Tamrindo so any ideas, or experiences would be great.

April 19-Ideas?
April 20-Ideas?
April 21-Ideas?

April 22
Quepos-
Manuel Antonio

April 23
San Isidro-Mount Chirripo


This is still a work in progress, even though I'm leaving in less than a month. Airfare is already secured, and I'm going to start booking hotels/resorts within the next few days.

Thanks again for any input.
onmywaytocostarica is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2005, 01:39 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 562
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would stay the extra night in the Arenal area. There are tons of things you could see and do on that day. Options would be to go white water rafting on the Sarapiqui or a slow wildlife float. You could head up to the Rio Frio and tour Cano Negro. Or....just stay in the Arenal area and check out the Hanging Bridges, the waterfall, maybe do a night tour.

While at Tamarindo you could do a day trip over to Rincon de la Vieja.

After Tamarindo, you could take a slow trip south through the Nicoya. I would have a good 4x4 to do this. You could spend the night somewhere.

From there head down to Manuel Antonio for a couple of nights then swing down through Dominical and over to San Isidro and up to San Jose. Only problem you might run into here is that you would be traveling on a road that could be very foggy in the afternoon (Pan Am Hwy). This will be a long day if you decide to stop anywhere. Just driving from MA and around to San Jose via San Isidro could take about 5-6hrs. I would plan on starting early.

I would drive if at all possible. If you don't it would mean backtracking to San Jose which would really use up some valuable vacation time. You could be half way to Tamarindo in that time. Factor in the time you would spend at the airport and flying time and you could be in Tamarindo having had a chance to see things on the way and not just sitting around.

Jessie_ is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2005, 01:30 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I just returned on 3/12 from a spring break trip to Tamarindo with 5 of my girlfriends, and I stayed at El Diria. The grounds were gorgeous, the beach view and sunsets were exquisite, and the staff was always friendly. The rooms are fairly basic---no Heavenly Bed or luxurious bath products. But, they are good enough since you are out of the room most of the day anyway, and each room has a large balcony facing the ocean.

If you book your activities thru the hotel's activity desk, you need to expect a $5-$10 transaction fee for each person. If you just go to the stores in person to book or book thru the internet, you won't get the service charge.

For surfing, I took 2 lessons from Iguana Surf, which is right there on the main road, about a block from El Diria. They have 3 instructors on duty at all times, and they teach classes at 9am, 1pm, and 3pm daily. If you are a first time surfer, you may not want to go during high tide, which means that you probably want to schedule a morning or late afternoon lesson instead. The price for a 2 hour lesson is $30 and includes board, rash guard, and 2 hours of instruction/practice. The instructors are incredibly friendly, and they really do want to see you enjoy the sport and get up on the board by the end of your first lesson.

For sailing, we used Blue Dolphin company. They go daily at 2pm from the Il Pescador restaurant, and the cruise lasts until 6pm. You are on a hobeycat, and it tolds up to 40 passengers. The captains and helpers are really fun, and they serve beverages and snacks while on the boat. You do stop for about 45 mins to snorkel and swim, if you want. They provide all the equipment. On the cruise back to the hotel area, you view the sunset. The cost was about $65 per person.

I also did the Tamarindo Canopy Tour which is about 15 mins from the main hotel area in Tamarindo. If you have never done a canopy, this is fun to get the feel of it, and the guys that assist you are cheerful, encouraging and helpful. However, we didn't see much--only 3 monkeys and a couple of birds. I would highly recommend taking the day trip that is about 2 hours away to go to the canopy where you see many more animals, as well as lush gardens and waterfalls. None of that in Tamarindo, at least during the dry season. They do now provide helmets and the safety is definitely a foremost concern for the company. The cost is $30 per person, if paid directly at the site, $35 if booked thru the hotel. The entire Tamarindo Canopy takes about 2.5 hours to complete.

If you are looking for some pampering, go to the Shops at Diria, to the Coco Spa that is upstairs at one of the clothing stores. A one hour Swedish or deep tissue massage in a very clean room with good products is only $50 without tip.

Restaurants:
My favorite place for dinner was La Caracola, which is at the end of the circle, on the left (to the left of Mambo Bar). It is owned by an Argentine woman, and the atmosphere is lively and the food is delicious and inexpensive. A chicken burrito was $6, and their guacamole appetizer was out of this world.

Nogui's is a great place for typical Costa Rican food (meat/fish, beans, rice, salad) and to see the sunset. Watch out--their margaritas are really strong!

For a nicer, more expensive meal, you have to go to El Jarden del Eden. Their restaurant is next to their pool, and is under a large, thatched roof hut. They have lots of pasta/fish combos, and lots of lobster specialities. Their young bartender's specialty is caiprihinia's and pina coladas. Both are phenomenal and much cheaper than at El Diria.

Lazy Waves and Pachanga were also good choices and a bit smaller. No matter where you go, though, just be prepared for dinners to take at least 2 hours. It is just a slower pace in Tamarindo.

Make sure you use some of the Lizano salsa. It has more of a smoky flavor than super hot flavor and is really good---you see it at all restaurants--morning, noon and night.

Tuesday night is a big night out in Tamarindo. The party gets started around 8pm at Pasatiempo. When we were there last Tuesday night, there were at least 400 people there, so the owner told me. You buy a ticket for about $3, and you get to hear a couple of live bands and get 2 free beers.

Friday night is Ladies Night at Monkey Bar, which is at the Best Western. There is also a band, and the locals took over the dance floor with their salsa skills!

The view from Copacobana is good, but our dinner there wasn't anything to rave about. It took a really long time, and the tuna was overcooked.

The currency is colones, but feel free to use your US dollars down there.

Don't worry about internet access in Tamarindo. There are 4 in the main hotel area alone. The cost is generally 350 colones (about .75 US) for 10 mins. They also are equipped with printers and phone cards for calling internationally.
CatherineUNC is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2005, 11:31 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A quick update on my plans and I'm still looking for more ideas.
I would also like to thank everyone, esp. Jessie & CatherineUNC for the help.

First leg has been updated as follows:
(I decieded to stay in Arenal for 3 days)

April 8: Flight arrives @ 8pm, crash at Hotel Aranjuez
www.hotelaranjuez.com - $24 w/ shared bathroom

April 9: - Smithsonian - $95 + tax
Drive to Arenal Observatory in the morning.
Waterfall Trail-Free
Horseback Riding to La Fortuna Waterfall-$30
Spring-fed Swimming pool and Jacuzzi

April 10 - Smithsonian - $95 + tax
Cerro Chato Volcano-$35
Kayak on Arenal Lake-$45
Watch Arenal volcano at night
Spring-fed Swimming pool and Jacuzzi

April 11 La Cosna - $45 + tax
Canopy Tour - $50
Hanging Bridges- $65
Natural Hike-$25
Spring-fed Swimming pool and Jacuzzi

Any info regarding the night tour?

Second Leg:
April 12-19 Tamarindo
Iguana Surf leasons $30x 3 or 4
Rincon de la Vieja

Third Leg:
April 19-24
We check out the morning of April 19th, and they will be heading to Liberia to fly out.

I could use any information regarding a plan to drive thru Nicoya.
Both the Frommers and Fodor's don't show much thru Nicoya, short of beaches.

I wouldn't mind stopping in Playa Guiones for some snorkeling unless there is somewhere better.

Any help regarding the Third leg would be awesome!

Thanks again guys & gals!
onmywaytocostarica is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 05:15 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Anybody?
onmywaytocostarica is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 09:09 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do you have a Barnes & Noble map? If not, it would be a great resource for you. Traveling around the northern part of the Nicoya Peninsula is very simple. The roads are well marked and easy to navigate. Beaches of interest are: Hermosa, Coco, Ocotal, Sugar, Flamingo, Conchal, Tamarindo, Nosara, Samara. In between all of these there are many many smaller, more obscure beaches such as Playa Guiones, which you've mentioned. Playa Grande gets good reviews as well, especially when the turtles are coming in (alas, not in April). Monkey Park between Huacas and Belen is interesting. There are 2-3 excellent restaurants in the little beach town of Playa Brasilito between Tamarindo and Flamingo. Guayitil, in the countryside outside of Santa Cruz, is a great place to watch pottery being made and to buy a piece or two.

I'm not exactly clear regarding what you are looking for here. All of the places mentioned are fairly close to Tamarindo. But you have your Tamarindo time filled with surfing and the Rincon (good choice, by the way!).

You are wanting information about other parts of the Nicoya Peninsula? Were you thinking of checking out the southern part of the peninsula? Montezuma, MalPais, Santa Teresa, Tambor?

To explore the southern beaches, you can either drive down through Nicoya, Naranjo, Paquera OR get off the peninsula by way of the Friendship Bridge that crosses over the Rio Tempisque and drive down to Puntarenas and take the ferry back across. It takes about the same amount of time to do either.
shillmac is offline  
Old Mar 24th, 2005, 09:32 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
shillmac thanks for info.

Since my first leg of the trip will be occupied with arenal,etc
And my second leg is covered with Tamarindo. My plan is to drive from Tamarindo to San Jose. I've got about 5 days. April 19th til April 24th. My plan leaves from SJO @ 1:30pm.

I'm mainly looking for anyone's recommendations on what are some must see places while I'm here.

Now to anwser some of your questions, yes I was interested in checking out the southern part of the peninsula. I would enjoy a nice place to snorkel.

Thanks again and I'll keep searching the forum for more info.
onmywaytocostarica is offline  
Old Mar 24th, 2005, 09:48 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Is this the map?

http://www.globecorner.com/t/t11/5545.php
onmywaytocostarica is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2005, 04:42 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes--grab it!

The southern Nicoya would be a nice way to spend your days if you want more beach time. What is your budget like? Could you work in a couple of nights at Punta Islita? It's on the Pacific between Samara and MalPais.

If you are wanting some high adventure, drive down there on the coastal road south of Samara--do-able only in the dry season. River crossings, etc. If I were there in April and had your time, it's what I would do! You'll need some assistance from the locals as (I think) you'll be switching back and forth between inland and coastal regularly. Someone did this about a year ago and posted about it. I'll try to remember who that was and pull up the post!

From Punta Islita, you could travel on down to MalPais, spend a couple of nights, return to San Jose.

This might be TOO much for 4 days because the drive down there will take a day and you would HAVE to return to SJO the evening before your departure. But you could go to one place or another for 3 nights. Punta Islita or MalPais/Sta Teresa/Montezuma area--AND you could check out Samara on the way, then try out "the road". South of Samara is Playa Carillo--a gorgeous stretch of beach--you could see all kinds of different places on this journey!

If you drove only to Punta Islita this route, then you could, from there, take a road that cuts back inland toward the east to return to San Jose. You wouldn't have to continue on down and around the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula to return to SJO.
shillmac is offline  
Old Mar 25th, 2005, 04:59 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 10,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...6&tid=34492948

This thread might be of interest to you. I couldn't find the specific one from the person who thought the drive down the Pacific coast was such a great experience.

Do look at www.nicoyapeninsula.com

There is a map that shows how the road virtually disappears. It's there--just not map-worthy! At any rate, this is a good site for you since you are looking for more info about the Nicoya Peninsula. Buena Suerte!
shillmac is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Ann97
Mexico & Central America
20
Apr 17th, 2009 09:33 AM
kchill68
Mexico & Central America
10
Mar 4th, 2009 01:06 PM
rfred3
Mexico & Central America
6
Apr 25th, 2008 11:23 AM
srroadwarrior
Mexico & Central America
4
Jun 19th, 2004 03:03 PM
Lenore
Mexico & Central America
21
Nov 2nd, 2002 03:10 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information