Dec: 1 week cruise, 1 week solo-decisions!

Old Sep 12th, 2010, 05:54 AM
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Dec: 1 week cruise, 1 week solo-decisions!

We are taking a cruise in Costa Rica this December for one week, going to Curu Reserve (1/2 day); Tortuga Island; Bahia Drake/Corcovada (1 day); Manual Antonio (1/2 day); Playas del Coco (1 day); 1 day in Nicaragua.

We will get off the boat on the central Pacific coast. Then, we have a week on our own to see CR. At the end of the trip, we fly out of San Jose. We are 2 people, over 65 yrs, and pretty active. We will be taking buses to get around. We like nature, hiking, kayaking, beaches, both solitude and activity. We don't like/want casinos, crowds, parties and drinking. We also don't want to travel to someplace new every day. I figure maybe 2 or at the most 3 places to be at.

So far, I am thinking we will spend a few days in Arenal and a few days in Manual Antonio. Maybe 1 day in Monteverde.

HOWEVER- 1) all the posts in the forum say MA doesn't need more than a day or 2 , and Arenal is a better choice.

2) Looked up a lot of the hotels recommended in these two areas, and they are mostly out of our price range. We would like to keep the hotel costs about $100 a night or less. We don't want to be in the chain hotels. We would like to be somewhere beautiful, clean and rustic (but kept up.)

3) It looks like the week we will be there is the busiest time of the year. Maybe we should consider areas less crowded. I've looked into a few but am torn because we do want to see what are the most beautiful/interesting/natural spots.

4) I would love to go to the Osa Peninsula- but the transportation to get there seems very difficult and we can't really afford to fly.

And I am getting nervous because we need to finalize our plans and make hotel reservations.

Suggestions, recommendations, thoughts? (I've been using to research hotels.)
SimoneSimone is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2010, 06:21 AM
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usually just rent a car and road trip

fun can negotiate for up to 50%

hospitality discounts in early december... nice around flight

Have fun,
qwovadis is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2010, 08:18 AM
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Thank you qwovadis.

I have read that the buses (interbus, grey line) are good but the roads are really bad and the drivers worse, so I don't think we want to rent a car.

We will be traveling between Dec. 26 and New Year's so early December discounts won't help us.

I will check out the links you suggested. Have you stayed at these hotels?
SimoneSimone is offline  
Old Sep 12th, 2010, 10:43 AM
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Arenal, Monteverde and Manuel Antonio are the three most popular places to visit in Costa Rica.

For information about Arenal, you can find inexpensive lodging in the area - there are plenty of these.

For information about Monteverde:
Same here - many inexpensive places to stay - a very popular place is Santa Elena Pension

For information about Manuel Antonio:

If you want to go to the Osa, it is certainly possible. When you say you are arriving "central Pacific" - would that be Caldera or Puntarenas?

For different beach location, you can take the ferry to Paquera and then on to one of the beach towns of the southern Nicoya Peninsula. For more information:

You can also take a shuttle or bus from Puntarenas to Golfito and then take the ferry to Puerto Jimenez and then work with the people there in planning your trip to Corcovado.

It is one of the busiest times of year so be prepared for that. Do your research and make your decision soon because some places will already be booked. At some times of the year, you wouldn't need reservations but at this time you will. You will also, sadly, pay a premium price for lodging but you can still find inexpensive lodging that is clean and nice.

For shuttle service:
For public bus:
hsmithcr is offline  
Old Sep 14th, 2010, 03:15 AM
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Thank you hsmithcr.

I like the suggestion to take a ferry from the dock to Nicoya.
It's Puerto Caldera we are docking at. *How do I get from there to Puntarenas? We get off the boat at 6 am. It looks to be about 15-20 miles away- kinda far for taking a taxi but too early for a bus.

We will have had half a day at MA on the cruise. *Would we be missing out on a lot if we choose a Nicoya beach (Carillo?) instead of spending a few days at MA?

Also, we have dietary restrictions. We really need a place with a kitchenette and a grocery within walking distance. *Not sure if that can be found in Nicoya. We won't have a car.

So- based on your suggestions, today I am thinking from the dock to a Nicoya beach for a couple days, then Arenal for 3-4 days, then one day Poas and butterfly farm.

I am a little overwhelmed. It seems there is so much to see and do and I need to limit my choices!
SimoneSimone is offline  
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