Day trips from San Jose

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Oct 16th, 2004, 07:03 AM
  #1
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Day trips from San Jose

After much consideration based on free air miles and a free Marriott certificate, My family (wife and 2 small kids ages 7,9) are heading to CR for 7 days during the Thanksgiving holiday. I am really interested in understanding what day trips are doable from San Jose given that we will be staying there for the entire week given the free hotel accommadations (I do plan on renting a car). What are the sights & activities that are doable and are must see.

Many thanks!
pmschoe is offline  
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Oct 16th, 2004, 12:38 PM
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There are tons of things to do!! There is WW rafting, although your kids may be too young for most trips. There are some neat river float trips which are great for kids, nice scenery and wild life. There is also a 4in1 or 5in1 tour that everyone seems to enjoy. I believe it goes to La Paz Waterfall, Poas Volcano, a nature walk, and a drive through Brauillo Cabrio (sp?) park. Although, with a car, you may want to do those things on your own. You could also make a fairly short drive over to the beaches on the Pacific Coast. Jaco is one of the closest but not highly recommended. There are other nice ones in the area, but I'm not real familiar with them. You could take a drive through Grecha and Sarchi or head south down to the Orchid gardens. There is really a ton of stuff to do. Just taking a scenic drive through the mountains would be nice. I guess we need to know more about what your family enjoys.
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Oct 17th, 2004, 09:27 AM
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Our daughter stayed at the Marriott and she booked about 3 or 4 tours right at the hotel. They went to Arenal & Tabacon hot springs, La Paz and did a canopy tour. There are plenty of tour companies in San Jose that offer a wide range of day tours. We went to Arenal & Tabacon on one Poas and the surrounding areas on another, rafting in the Reventhon (?) river, took the Britt Coffee tour, went to the Butterfly farm and zoo, Bario Carrillo, and on our own we drove to Monteverde and then down to Quepos and Manuel Antonio. You'll find plenty of tours to chose from. Good luck.
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Oct 17th, 2004, 10:44 AM
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All suggestions are good. The Highlights Tour which LA mentioned is excellent, but you may want to do the other things on your own since you'll have a car--otherwise you really don't need a car. You can even go to the mall (!!) one night and see a movie there!

Do try to make it down to the area south of Cartago (Irazu Volcano, Lankaster Gardens, Orosi Valley) as it is very pretty down there. Also, since the coffee beans are being harvested in November, you might want to visit the Doka Plantation and see it in progress. It might bore your kids for an hour or so, but you'd enjoy it!

Also, a couple of hours from San Jose is the Turu-Bari Park. It might be fun for your kids. They would enjoy a canopy tour--and those are plentiful all over the country.

If you do make it over to the beach at Jaco, be careful with the kids (and yourselves) because of riptides.

Have a great time!
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Oct 17th, 2004, 03:19 PM
  #5
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Many thanks to all for the great suggestions! Does anyone know of a dolphin encounter type tour that can be done based out of SJO? In addition, are there any of the beaches on the carribean side that are doable from SJO in one day?
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Oct 17th, 2004, 05:30 PM
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The Caribbean beaches are 3-4 hours away, as is Manuel Antonio. Besides Jaco, these are the closest beach areas. Both worthy of your time, and nicer, in my opinion, than Jaco--but not in one day. If you can manage it, however, you could leave early one day and return the next afternoon for a short beach experience.
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Oct 24th, 2004, 10:40 AM
  #7
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Great information indeed.

As a follow up question...is it easy to book everything once in Costa Rica in terms of activities or in advance. I am curious about cost as well - i.e. are all the tours basically priced the same from the hotels or is it better off to find some local agnecies?

Also, I have seen some of the threads regarding drivers foir hire with a cost of $100 and above per day and am trying to figure out how that is about the same or less than renting a car? Any wisdom on these itmes would sure be appreciated along with any tips that you may have.

Thanks,
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Nov 13th, 2004, 10:42 AM
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Hi Shillmac,
I decided to stay a couple of nights at Los Suenos as well and was wondering what you would reccommend for an itinerary now that I will have a couple of days based outside of SJO. Getting down to the wire so any thing you can outline would be a tremendous help!

Thanks,
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Nov 13th, 2004, 10:59 AM
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Refresh me. You will have 5 nights at the San Jose Marriott and 2 nights at Los Suenos?

All of the above suggestions are good ones for the San Jose area. Were you wondering about what to do while at Los Suenos?

If so, DO take a day and drive down to Manuel Antonio to tour the park with a guide. Plan to spend the day there so your family can enjoy some nice beach time--either inside the park or outside. There are nice beaches both locations.

Also, be sure to stop at the Rio Tarcoles to look at the crocs. Be sure someone stays with your vehicle at all times. Every time we've stopped here, it looks perfectly harmless, but it has a bad reputation for theft from autos.

You will also be close to Turu-bari Park which was mentioned earlier. You might try to do a canopy tour here. I think your kids would enjoy it.

You might consider not doing too much advance planning. It is easy for someone on staff at your hotels to offer suggestions once you arrive at each hotel. I haven't stayed at Los Suenos, but understand it has a fabulous pool area. You may find yourselves just wanted to relax and play at the resort! My e-mail address is [email protected] if you have more questions. I've always wanted to go to CR during Thanksgiving!
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