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cr trip report

Old Mar 7th, 2004, 03:32 PM
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cr trip report

from sj My husband and I flew sansa to tamarindo.Sansa airlines is out of main airport and to the left no need for cab can walk. Luggage lmt. was 25 lbs some people were over and just payed fee.Sansa was a small plane 13 passenger. Arrived in tamarindo
cabs waiting at airport which by the way is just a canopy covered area. Cabs available about $10 per couple to capitan suizo.I found the room nice not over done and clean and pretty grounds. We had the lower room with A/C.The room was 2 level sitting area on lower level with 2 steps upto bed and desk area. The bath had shower toilet and a bidet.
hairdryer was the room. We did not have an alarm clock. Refridgerater was in the with bottle water.The pool was nice with lawn chairs around it . the pool never seemed crowded and was very relaxing. I heard alot about the children at this hotel but myself only saw a few families. There are several hammocks and table at the beach area.

Tamarindo I found it to be a neat 60's quirky town lots of shops and vender selling beads hammock etc. in the town. The beach was wide very enjoyable to walk along. I have read before I went that it was very crowded. I did not find this to be true but was comparing it to busy US beaches I have been to.
I found there to be several tours and activities to do. There were several places to set up tours at the hotel and several venues in town.I spent 3 night in tamarindo.
I did not see the leatherbacks and wish I had done this. We took the rincon de la vieja tour and loved it you do a canopy tour and horseback riding and the hot mud baths It was great. Some great places we ate were zully mar,lazy wave, stellas,portifino,smiling dog
We then flew via sansa to Manuel antonio
We stayed at Si Como No I thought this was a very nice hotel we were in a suite with a small balcony king bed sitting area and a large bathroom . The grounds were very pretty 2 pools 1 adult only with swim up bar and 1 family
pool each has a hot tub. There are 2 restaurants.The hotel has a movie theater and a butterfly garden. Free shuttel to the beach.Nice gift shop I notice prices were higher here than tamarindo
MA is on the ocean but most hotels are not on the beach but high up over looking the ocean.
It is very hilly and difficult to walk to town from the hotel area. The town has a public beach with restaurants shops near the entrance to the park. This area was more tropical looking then the tamarindo area.In my opinion prettier but, the beach is not a long strech of beach where you walk for miles.
We went to the park hired a guide and hiked saw some wildlife I wouldn't say alot. we went to the beaches in the park beach 3 was great with calm water very nice to swim. The park was nice but not large at all can easily see in day. We also took the mangrove tour and loved it saw a lot more wildlife here.We saw the most monkeys here.the dolphin boat tour was the last tour we took we enjoyed seeing the area from sea and we also snorkled.
some good eats were barba roja nice place to see the sun set. try the nachos,el gran escape, vela-bar
I really enjoyed CR it was a beautiful country with lots to do friendly people very economical destination.I travel often not very often doI want to repeat a destination ,but I would love to return to Cr! pura vida

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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 06:17 PM
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When you say you flew via Sansa to Manuel Antonio, did you fly directly to MA from Tamarindo? I inquired about this several months ago to see if there was any way to do it and was told only by charter. Is this how you did it? I know Nature Air has some unscheduled stops so was wondering if Sansa had a few.
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 03:59 PM
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no I'm sorry I should have made it more clear I flew back to SJ then to MA. By the way thanks for all your online advice it helped me to plan a great trip.
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 06:44 PM
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You are quite welcome. Thank you for the info. Too bad they don't have a flight between the two. From what I have seen on this board, it would get a lot of business.
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 12:04 PM
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cmazza, I don't know if you're still on-line but I enjoyed your trip report.

I need to book rooms in Manuel Antonio for our first trip to costa rica in June 2005. I really like the Hotel si Como No and I wondered if you could tell me a little more about it. Can you take a walk on the hotel grounds and spot wildlife? (My husband is a biologist)

I'll be travelling with my husband, 22-year-old son and 2 teen daughters. I think everyone would enjoy the Hotel Si Como No.
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 12:50 PM
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cmazza: Great trip report! Even though we live in CR, I enjoy "Trip Reports" and am looking forward to trying your restaurant recommendation .. Vela Bar in M.A. We've not been to Vela Bar in two years so you piqued my interest again! Thanks!

Lisa in M.A.
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 01:59 PM
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Melissa,
After reading someone else's report (I think it was Faithie), I'm thinking perhaps we stayed in a Superior room after all. Jonas at Hotel Brasilito made the res. for us, so I guess I just assumed it was standard. At any rate, it had a gorgeous ocean view. We paid about $140 total per night, I think. Faithie mentioned that the standard rooms were jungle view only. We loved our time on the balcony in the early mornings and evenings taking in that view! And to make matters even better, we had a sloth just outside our balcony. Two of them, in fact!

Si Como No is a lovely hotel. Some have posted that it is too "disneyesque", but we didn't feel that way at all. We liked the adult pool with the fabulous view, the Rico Tico Grill (great food)--never even tried the restaurant Claro Que Si. An iguana wandered into the Rico Tico Grill on day at lunch and the waiters said he comes around for food often. They gave him maraschino cherries which he seemed to enjoy--just a couple. He was a big guy! Oscar, they called him . . .


Also, Si Como No has a wonderful gift shop, a butterfly garden across the street, and a movie theatre. It would be hard to go wrong with it. I also think Villas Nicolas next door would be a great place to stay. It gets rave reviews and the guests are welcomed at Si Como No at the pool and the restaurants, etc. About half the price of Si Como No--next time we are in MA, that is probably where we would choose to stay.
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 02:19 PM
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Actually , the standard room we saw was jungle view , other standards could have diff. views . As I said grounds etc. were very beautiful , we just found the others had more local flavour . But no one can deny it gets good reviews , lots of people really enjoy it , Faith.
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 02:22 PM
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vela Bar ! Yum ! Yum ! Yum ! I forgot about that place , small but incredible menu when we ate there . faith
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 03:02 PM
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I'm looking forward to the Hotel Si Como No! As far as the iguana who came for lunch, what a nice memory...hope somebody had a camera handy. I hate to be a spoil-sport, but I don't think maraschino cherries are on the food chain...(Guess they are now!!!)

I know it's fun to feed the wildlife, especially if you have kids, but it can put nature out of balance and sometimes causes problems that impact the wildlife. Better to admire the iguana and not feed it...
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Old Jan 8th, 2005, 04:01 PM
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Melissa , My kids became members of Children saving the Rainforest , and spent the day chasing people , telling them NOT to feed the animals !!! There were tons of animals trying to steal food constantly , so they did lots of running and talking !! P.S. Keep backpacks zipped at ALL times ! they took my Soya nuts !Faith !
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Old Jan 9th, 2005, 11:38 AM
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Faithie, I'm glad your children enjoyed saving the rain forest! That's how education should be...fun.
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 12:01 AM
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Shillmac, I've been re-reading the posts here...thanks for the helpful info on your stay at si como no. Wow, the prices have gone up since you're stay there though!
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 04:14 AM
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Yes, I think we can expect that to happen. Space is already at a premium, and I don't see a downward trend on the horizon! Costa Rica as a cheap travel destination disappeared a few years ago, but now we are likely to see some good sized increases as it is becoming more of a prime spot, even replacing Hawaii as a travel destination for many people. How's your planning coming along? Narrowing down the hotel choices?
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 06:42 AM
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shillmac, interesting that you compare HI and CR. After my second great vacation in CR, I'm wondering why bother with Hawaii.

From Chicago the flight to HNL is 9 hrs (10 hrs on the return)with a 4-5 hour time difference. Flight to SJO is 5 hrs and in the same time zone. No jet lag.

CR is cheaper, more exotic and the people are friendlier.

Hawaii is more beautiful -- CR has nothing to compare to Makapuu Beach, on Oahu, for example -- but I can't think of anything else it has over CR.
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 06:58 AM
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I'm with you and so are many others. We have a few friends who seems to think the Third World (or Second, which is what I would consider Costa Rica) experience is frightening/unsafe/beneath them--some or all of the above! They think we are nuts; and you know, I can't explain it to them. You just have to experience it!

I picked up a travel mag recently that stated that Costa Rica has surpassed Hawaii as a travel destination. Given the influx of tourists down there in the past few months, I can believe it!

We loved Hawaii--for the reasons you stated: gorgeous beaches (yes, Makapuu is amazing and so are so many others) and beautiful scenery everywhere you look. Not to mention great snorkeling and we love to snorkel! We made plans in 1995 to return there for our 25th wedding anniversary in 2000.

One trip to Costa Rica, however, and none of the above mattered to us anymore; for reasons very difficult to explain. It just grabs the heart, and I do think a lot of that has to do with the warmth of the Costa Rican people--such beautiful smiles!

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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 05:37 PM
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Shillmac, well, Costa Rica is still cheaper than Maui, where we're actually going in just 3 days for wedding anniversary trip. Since you've stayed at Si Como No and loved it, do you think it's still worth the increased prices? I wanted to stay at one splurge hotel which the whole family, including teens, would enjoy. I'm trying to figure out if we'll feel si como no was worth the prices for June...$170 is now the price for a superior room and $190 for a deluxe room. And we have 5 people so will need 2 rooms with 2 bathrooms...What do you think?

I was thinking if I decreased our time in Manuel Antonio from 4 nights to only 3 nights, that would save money and give me 2 nights instead of only 1 to spend near the airport at the end of the trip. With 2 nights near the airport it might be worth staying somewhere like Vista del Valle. Also since my son has to fly home early we would only need 1 room at Vista del Valle instead of 2...
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 06:55 PM
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Not sure Si Como No is worth THAT price! I do think you could enjoy Manuel Antonio very well in 3 nights. Sounds like a good plan.
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 04:31 AM
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I would also add that staying at Vista del Valle for 2 nights is certainly worth it. It is a lovely place.

Also, by doing this you will have the opportunity to visit some of the central valley, which is just beautiful. Or do a day trip into SJ, which I remember you were interested in.

We never allow enough time for the central valley.
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 11:50 AM
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Ditto dfarmer's remarks on the Central Valley. One could easily spend a week here--or at least 3-4 days!
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