CR Trip Report (Nicoya)

Old Mar 19th, 2005, 06:16 PM
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CR Trip Report (Nicoya)

Lots of you helped plan my CR experience through dfarmer and I personally wanted to say thank you because what a wonderful time and experience it was!!
When we finally arrived in SJ at around 10pm it took forever to get through customs. I don't know if it was the time of day or what. We booked our transfers through Vantrans w/ centralamerica.com and I must say they were very reliable and on time during our whole stay. We stayed in Hotel Milvia in San Pedro outside of SJ, only 45 minutes away on a normal day. However, coming back to the airport on Sun. took only about 15 min. since there is no traffic on a Sun morning. This hotel is really neat. They have sort of a bed and breakfast type deal and the breakfast is great. Not alot but enough. The hotel was bought by a wealthy man who married an artist. Her work is displayed throughout the house and is a unique touch to this 9 room house. The rooms are very spacoius and have a huge bed and TV. No a/c but it is not needed. The shifts did not change very much while we were there, and we became good friends with Jorge. He is very informative and loves to talk about his counrty. He works the night shift so we saw him alot. The hotel has an art school behind the kitchen and we were told that between 2 and 4 children are present in the school and taugt by the owner's wife. You'll have to ask Jorge his opinion on what some of the paintings mean, because he believes there is some kind of conspiracy going on with the paintings, pretty interesting! The hotel has high speed internet, a phone, a den and an awesome porch. Our first whole day we took the Treasures of Costa Rica tour which included breakfast at the Peace Lodge, La Paz, whitewater rafting (fun but not too exciting since its the dry season) sown the Sarapiqui River. We saw alot of wildlife on this river. A sloth, blue and white herons, bats, howlers, and many other birds that I do not know the names of, but will one day. After we changed in their private facilities and had lunch.(sandwiches and fruit) We then tool the bus through the beautiful countryside.
We used Nature Air to fly into Tambor (25 mins) and they are dead serious about the 25lbs. Thanks for the heads up!
Vey nice airport, but no snacks here. When we arrived to the "airport" at Tambor, its actually a landingstrip, our taxi was not there so we grabbed another. Turns out our flight was early and he did try to pick us up. We arrived in Santa Teresa approx. 1hr later. Tropico Latino Lodge is awesome. I loved it here. They have only two beachfront cabins but the rest are only a short walk thru the lush gardens which were amazing, so of course I did not mind. Also, I believe these are quieter since they are further from the restaurant, Playa Boa. The food here is so yummy. I heard that they got a bad review, I do not know what that person ate there that was not good, but we ate here so much we really did not get to try that many places because we craved their food! The Seafood Plate is wonderful so is the garlic fish and the guacamole dip. They run specials every lunch and dinner. The staff is very friendly and will do absolutely anything for you. Richard was our favorite and Nicole. The pool was beautiful and the resting area on the beach was perfect for sunsets. ST is a surfer town and everyone is very friendly. It hasn't become all that popular yet, so bare minimum here. It was vey hot while we were there (march4-13). The town is one dirt road about 3 miles long with shops and great places to eat. Los Piedras is a must go and Franks Place is alright, but a good place for lunch. Craving a burger, veggie, tuna or an actual burger, Tal Burger is the place to go. I bought almost all my gifts at Hibiscus and Tuanis. Vey nice people here and at Tuanis they offer surf lessons from a local and it's for girls only. The chic's name was Lora I believe. The best part of ST is the beach. I guarentee you will never see a beach like this ever! You have to see it to believe me. This town is so great and you really get a feel for the culture and life here. Like I said, there are hardly no tourists here except for surfers which is wonderful, so if you go, do not expect to be pampered. Many people come here and camp. Although, Tropico has a spa, and I reccomend a visit. While we were here, we snorkeled at Isla Tortuga w/ Pacific Divers. Great company. The trip took 2hs out to the island and a rough 2hrs back. Totally worth it. We did encounter a school of jellyfish here and it was horrible. We left for lunch, came back and they were gone, Thank God! On the way back we saw manterays, dolphins and a natural wonder. Natural gas seaping from the ocean floor. WOW! We also visited Montezuma. This is the only case where we needed a car. Fourwheelers are for rent in ST and that is not a bad idea, but a car is not needed, unless you plan to actually go somewhere. The transfer from ST to Montezuma costs about $30 and takes about 45min. We loved Montezuma too! Took a horseback tour here through cocozuma traveller and it was the highlight of our trip. We were able to run with the horses wide open down the beach, such a rush! Most places will not allow this. El Chorro falls was our destination and it was awesome. We also saw many, many howlers up close and personal on this tour.
It was a dream to be there and a can't wait to go back. Thanks to those who answered all dfarmer's posts because it really helped. I felt like a pro while I was there because of all the advice. Thanks. Now I know why you guys live for this msgboard and now I am a victim!
Thanks for helping me discover what pura vida is all about!
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Old Mar 20th, 2005, 08:59 AM
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What a great report! I think Costa Rica has grabbed another one.
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Old Mar 21st, 2005, 06:07 AM
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Hi there. I'm so glad you posted your report. I've been waiting to hear what you thought of that area. My husband and I (both in mid-twenties) are heading to Montezuma and Malpais next month. We won't be there as long as you - 2 days in Montezuma and 3 in Malpais.

I was hoping to get more info on a couple of your activities.

We definitely want to do the Isla Tortuga trip. The group you used, is it out of Malpais. I know that there are tours starting in Montezuma. Is the one you went on the same one where you go have lunch on the beach, have drinks, snorkel, etc. How much did yours cost?

Surfing - I have never surfed before. My husband has and wants me to take lessons. Do you recommend the lessons you did? How long and how much were they?

The horseback ride in Montezuma sounds great. We're staying at El Sano, so it would be convenient to go through them, also. This may be a stupid question, but are the horseback trips at scheduled times or is it just whenever someone shows up and wants to ride? How many people were in your group? Price?

Sorry for the zillion questions. Your report was great.
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Old Mar 21st, 2005, 02:09 PM
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Alright, the Isla Tortuga tour: The one that we did was out of the Mal Pais/Santa Teresa area, Pacific Divers, you will find it near Tabu Bar in ST. The # in CR is 640 0187.It was a smaller company with smaller groups but professional divers. It dealt mainly with divers, but one of the only ones that offered the Tortuga snorkeling tour. We searched. This is offered several places in Montezuma because it is located on the Gulf and takes less time to get to Tortuga. From Pacific Divers dock in Mal Pais, it took a 2hr boat ride one way. I am sure that it is shorter from Montezuma, probably 30min? It is offered at El Sano as well, same co as the horseback tour (the one we took), cocozuma.
Horseback tours: We did ours while visiting Montezuma. They are offered in Mal Pais and ST area everywhere. But just a simple stroll on the beach, form my knowledge. Cocozuma's is much more adventurous.
Horseback tours are given depending on the tide. Ours started at 2:00 because of low tide. This is one of those things that you'll have to call and check when you arrive. I would just wait and book everything the day you get there since you are there such a short time. The horse tour out of Montezuma lasted 4hrs while others in MP, maybe 2hrs. You don't want to spend your whole time on a horse or boat.
Also weigh the fact that you will only be in Montezuma 2 days and MP 3 days. I would take the snorkeling tour out of Montezuma b/c it will still leave you some time there that afternoon b/c it is shorter travel time. Plus I hear cocozuma's tour is the best with food and all. We just had snacks and drinks. I hear they cook up some fish!
And unless you have to take the longer horse back tour this time, I would suggest taking the stroll on the beautiful beaches of MP. They are way better!
But then again, its up to you. It's a win/win situation, really.
The Tortuga tour we took costed about $50.
I actually did not take teh surf lessons because I was too lazy, to be truthful. I did, however, talk to the girl that offered them out of Tuanis, which is further down the road into ST. next to a surf school... go figure... they are evrywhere. Look in previous posts, this ? I have seen before, I know. Also, the horse tour we took was about 6 of us, I believe.
Ask me anything, I love to remember this trip!
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Old Mar 21st, 2005, 03:02 PM
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Yes, it seems that CR has grabbed another!

Great information AudraF! You know I am having a hard time not gushing about how proud I am!

jlh370 - we took the Tortuga trip out of Montezuma. Audra and I compared our trip to the one she took out of ST/Mal, snorkeled the same rock, but they landed on a beach area different than ours. She has noted things about her trip -

So to tell you a little about ours -
we took the snorkeling trip offered by Cocozuma Travelers in Montezuma, there are other companies in Montezuma offering near the same, www.cocozuma.com
This trip left out around 9 AM and back around 4 PM, cost was $40 PP (2004). These trips are in small boats, Cocozuma's boat had a small top to offer you a place to get out of the sun. The day we were out, they grilled fresh tuna and veggies, and included fruit, beer and soft drinks. This is a must do trip, very relaxing day, on the water and a uninhabited island, with palm trees swaying in the breeze. Funny - but there is a gift shop on this island!

One thing to mention - these snorkel trips will not go out in high wind or bad weather. For us we had to wait a day and then go.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2005, 05:35 AM
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Thanks for all the help, both of you! Your descriptions and accounts help a lot. Isla Tortuga is definitely on our list, as well as a horseback ride.
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 03:10 PM
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ttt
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 07:50 PM
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Audraf,

What a wonderful trip You did a wonderful job writing about it. It makes me very excited about my upcoming trip to St. Teresa. You mentioned that your tranfer to Montezuma was $30.00. What type of tranportation did you take? Was the price mentioned one way? We will be staying at the Flor Blanca, do you think we could get along without a car? Did you take cabs when you would go out to eat? Thanks !
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Old Oct 6th, 2005, 09:06 AM
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Great report. I spent a few days in ST on my honeymoon and would like to mention something about the trip to montezuma that we took. My husband and I rented a quad from flor blanca (where we stayed) and we drove ourselves to montezuma. it was such a great way to explore the area. The hotel gave us an easy map and we were off! I highly recommend this. Renting the quad was such a great way to get around because the roads are so bad. And its a great adventure....
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Old Oct 6th, 2005, 10:32 AM
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kdp6305,

I love your suggestion on renting quads to get to Montezuma. What did you do there? How did you like the Flor Blanca? Is it worth getting an ocean front room? Love to here about your trip.

Lisa
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Old Dec 12th, 2005, 12:41 PM
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Mal Pais/Santa Theresa are amazing. Luckily my brother moved down there 13 years ago, so I pretty much go down once a year at least.

It's so cool because you can be sitting at a resturant, and there are people from all over the world sitting around you speaking all kinds of different languages.

Many people travel the whole of costa rica and then when they reach Mal Pais, they never leave, hehe.

I'm going down for Christmas and New Years and I cant wait! The Arenal volcano is another one of my favorite places in the country. THere is just something about drinkning a pina colada out of a coconut, while sitting in a natural hot spring, and watching lava tumble down a volcano.

My dad just finished building a house in Mal Pais and its available for renting if anyone would like to check it out. Email me too if you have any questions.

http://www.casamalpa.com/casateka.htm

Ciao, chris
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