CR, Dominical or Montezuma?

Old Sep 17th, 2007, 04:01 AM
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CR, Dominical or Montezuma?

FAmily of 4, two teenage boys 15 and 18 going to CR in February for 7 nights, I already have airfare and need help deciding where to go.

We're going to spend 5 nights in one spot, so which of the following two places would you recommend? We like natural beauty and a lot of activites.

I'm considering one of two places, A gorgeous rental villa in Dominical, at around $325 a night (We'd rent a car and drive there from San Jose). Or;

The Ylang Ylang Beach Resort in Montezuma. It's a 2 room beachfront suite and would include breakfast & Dinner at around $360 a night for all us us, plus we'd fly in and out and not need a rental car (savings of about $300 for the week).

Which area is nicer? Which is do you think will be a better experience for a family with teens? We want to go kayaking, ziplining and horseback riding, and I think we could do all of that at both of these locations.

Thanks so much, I don't know anything about CR and could really use advice from knowledgable fodorites!
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Old Sep 17th, 2007, 12:44 PM
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Hi, I'm also considering Tulemar bungalows in Manuel Antonio. That's the most expensive option at about $350/night but includes breakfast and snorkeling/kayaks at the hotels private beach.

I'm having a really hard time deciding where to stay.

MA, Dominical or Montezuma? Help!

Can anyone help me out here?
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Old Sep 17th, 2007, 05:36 PM
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nina,

Like many, we've been to all 3. Enjoyed each one for different reasons and at different times. For the first time visitor to CR, I think Manuel Antonio is hard to beat. Also for ease of travel when you have just a few days. For example, from SJO to Montezuma area, you'll have to take the ferry. Total travel time could be (most likely would be) around 6 hours. Travel time to Dominical from SJO about 4.5 hours. Both involve some rough driving. By comparison, Manuel Antonio is an easy 3 hour drive from SJO and offers so many activities that your family could enjoy, PLUS some of the prettiest beaches in the country (inside the park).

Montezuma is more laid back, a little less busy, fewer tourist, etc. Haven't stayed at Ylang Ylang, but hear it's nice. Still, I'd vote for MA--given your schedule. Good luck--bottom line--it's all good!
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Old Sep 18th, 2007, 04:33 AM
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Thanks Shill, I just read this post so disregard my question to you on the other thread.

If we did go to Montezuma we would fly, the cost of flying is only slightly more than renting a car for the week as you don't really need a car in Montezuma (at least that's what I've been told)
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Old Sep 18th, 2007, 02:52 PM
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Well, you sort of need a car in Montezuma if you are planning to visit the surrounding area (assuming you'd want to do that). There's Cabo Blanco Reserve over near Cabuya (7km or so)--good hiking, lots of wildlife. And I would think your family would enjoy some time over at Malpais/Ste. Teresa area, 30 minutes away--just to be able to see more of the southern Nicoya Peninsula while you're already there. Probably can rent in the area now, though. You might look into that.

Still think MA offers a bit more of everything.
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Old Sep 18th, 2007, 03:11 PM
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OK, I think I'm going to go to MA for most of the time, now I just have to decide for how long.

We're only in CR for 7 nights, our flight arrives at 3:00 pm and we leave at 3:45 the following week.

Can you suggest an itinerary? remember, we don't want to move around a lot or travel much, my husband has such a horrible commute everyday that the last thing he wants to do on vacation is spend it on planes, trains and automobiles, thanks!
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Old Sep 18th, 2007, 06:14 PM
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See other thread, nina.

By the way, if you want to cut costs a bit, think about staying at Orquideas Inn--great little place with a fun bar, pool, very decent prices, good food, good company. They have an excellent tour desk and can get you fixed up with some wonderful adventures for a couple of days. I also think they would be experts at showing your boys a good time (making sure the tours were especially interesting for them). These guides are all a lot of fun and so personable. Makes for some very fun days!
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Old Sep 19th, 2007, 03:15 AM
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Thanks again Shill...can you compare Orquideas to Vista del Valle? I've contacted both and they have both have large suites that could accomodate us all comfortably, VDV is about $50 more per night but it looks more exotic and jungle-like to me.

In the Orquideas we would be staying in the "Dome" room, and it looks pretty cool too.

Also, we can get one free night at the Costa Rica Marriott with Amex points that I'll use either the first or last night of our stay.

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Old Sep 19th, 2007, 03:45 AM
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About the Peace Lodge...it looks fantastic, but the price for the 4 of us is prohibitive, about $600 a night and that's just too big a chunk out of the vacation budget!
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Old Sep 19th, 2007, 09:15 AM
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Vista del Valle is, in my opinion, the nicer of the two. It is also further from the airport. Both have very good food. VdV offers a beautiful view, whereas Orquideas, right there at the edge of town, has walls around it to keep out the city view (not a great part of town). But it has its scenic areas as well, so that you don't really realize you are in the city. The bar at Orquideas is tremendous fun-Marilyn Monroe bar. Always a good place to chat with fellow tourists and swap stories. Bar staff congenial and fun to be around. Orquideas definitely a better value. VdV pretty, unique, but yes, pricey.
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Old Sep 19th, 2007, 06:43 PM
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nina, if you are planning to raft the Pacuare, you'd best stay overnight in San Jose. There are a couple of good hotels to check out. One of our favorites is Hotel Don Carlos --I think it is www.doncarloshotel.com
It's very reasonable and in a nice area of town. They have an excellent tour desk (Juan Carlos arranges tours) and would be able to work out your plans in advance for you. Check out the website as their tour links might give you some other ideas.

Another hotel that gets great reviews (costs more, but definitely sounds like it's worth the money) is Grano de Oro.

Whichever tour company you use for white water (Rios Tropicales or Aventuras Naturales), they pick up at San Jose hotels. Of course, you can also stay at Orquideas and taxi in (about $20, 30 min) to a pick up location.
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Old Sep 20th, 2007, 05:14 AM
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Thanks, I looked at Grano de Oro and loved it aaarrggghhh, I'm realizing that I need more than 7 days!!!!!

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Old Sep 20th, 2007, 06:56 PM
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Well, the Don Carlos is a nice alternative. . and as I said, their tour desk extremely helpful. Management excellent, good breakfast. Yes, of course you need more than 7 days! I can stay there 6 weeks at a time and still need more. Go figure!
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