Early October Honeymoon in Costa Rica

Old Jul 29th, 2011, 10:34 AM
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Early October Honeymoon in Costa Rica

Dear FriendlyFodor Travellers,

My fiancee and I are planning our honeymoon. We had decided on Costa Rica but are now wavering because October is supposed to be the wettest month of the year in CR. We had hoped for a trip that would combine a couple of days of beach relaxing with nature/hiking/birdwatching/rafting/outdoor activities etc. Our thinking was to go to Arenal (we've heard October is the best month to see the volcano) and Quepos. We've been told the Carribean is much drier in October but I'm turned off by what I have read aboud Tamarindo (way to gringo/touristy) and some of the other areas on the Carribean side seem too remote and we want to avoid overdoingb the planes/trains/automobiles/kayak 12 hours to remote islands with own tents. We want to combine some R&R with adventure activities but also don't want to spend 10 days indoors!

I would be grateful for your kind thoughts on 1) whether an October trip to CR is worth it or a recipe for misery? 2) How bad is the rain likely to be and what types of things would be OK to do in the rain? 3) Any tips on an itinerary? 4) If you would not recommend CR, any reccs for other locations with better weather where we could combine R&R with nature activities?

Thanks so much!
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Old Jul 29th, 2011, 11:19 AM
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Well, first of all, Tamarindo is on the Pacific side, not the Caribbean. And, no, October can be a poor month for volcano viewing at Arenal because of the clouds.

Rain will be very likely. October is a very wet month in Costa Rica. Most tours do go on rain or shine, and some of the most fun nature tours I've done in Costa Rica have been in the rain. (The guide passed out ponchos to everybody.) But if you want beach time with decent weather, it might not happen. It's a risk you take by coming that time of year. If that would spoil your trip for you, then you should choose another month or choose another destination.
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Old Jul 29th, 2011, 12:37 PM
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http://costa-rica-guide.com/Weather/WeatherMap.html is a good link that may help you. It's a map so you can see where things are. Mouse over the areas you're interested in to see rainfall patterns - not entirely predictable, but it will give you some idea of what to expect.
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Old Jul 29th, 2011, 12:38 PM
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Not to disagree with Jeff, he is very knowledgeable. Arenal will have cloud issues any time of year due to it's elevation. But Arenal itself is located on the Caribbean slope, so it actually shares much of the same weather as the Caribbean coast in September and October. Good time to go IMO.

If you were to do Arenal, and then the Caribbean like Puerto Viejo you are goldie. Also Tortuguero in October the baby turtles are hatching so it is a good time to see the little tikes running to the water. All these areas will be having their dry season in October, while most of us are getting dumped on in the central valley and Pacific.
Cheers & Congrats
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Old Jul 29th, 2011, 02:39 PM
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First Congrats!

Second I LOVE visitcostarica.com but not in fall

It tends to float away www.weather2travel.com Climate Guides CR rains a LOT everywhere thousands left homeless every other
year particualarly on the Carib side.

After an entire day and night of rain in Arenal.net in fall

I resolved only to go in winter early spring to CR

In fall I go to Kailua-Kona Hawaii

Annual rainfall is about 10 inches.

gohawaii.about.com/od/bigisland/p/kailua_kona_a.htm

I have done the Ironman X 3 out there in October was perfect

LAX KON 4 hour direct flight volcanoes(erupting) rain forest

coffee plantations great beach and Scuba...

very similar vibe to CR with LOTS less rain

Priceline.com has great packages on the Hapuna Prince

awesome hotel paid $1k for air car room when there last.

stayhawaii.com konaweb.com good info

Have fun,
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Old Jul 29th, 2011, 02:47 PM
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2010 was very bad and 2008 was horrible in fall 40000 homeless

November 7, 2010 | Los Anonos, Costa Rica | ... Costa Rica Mudslides and Floods Pt III Thursday, November ... Barrio near San Jose, Costa Rica ...ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-516358

So plan carefully...
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Old Jul 29th, 2011, 03:46 PM
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That's a good point about Arenal's location, incabod.
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Old Jul 29th, 2011, 04:09 PM
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Just for kicks, look at the map I posted and hover over Puerto Jimenez - yikes.

Inca, I appreciate your info. I wondered how Arenal fared that time of year. We usually go in the summer.
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Old Jul 30th, 2011, 01:20 AM
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Go for Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic in oct. It's a better choice and somewhat like a mini Costa Rica.Sept through March are a bit rough down here.
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Old Jul 30th, 2011, 11:02 AM
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Hey Volcanogirl... I was actually looking at your map. which is very cool by the way, and started doubting my own words. I was up that way in October, but when I sat and thought about it, it was during the freak October we had a couple years ago, sunny almost all month. When I asked a local about the weather during the visit he told me about the Caribbean slope thing and I though "huh, that makes sense I guess" but now looking at the map not so sure... Sucks doubting yourself. I dont go up that way enough so I think I am now on the fence about it. Need Wendy from Villa Hermosa on this forum, she would know for sure...
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Old Jul 30th, 2011, 11:02 AM
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Hey Volcanogirl... I was actually looking at your map. which is very cool by the way, and started doubting my own words. I was up that way in October, but when I sat and thought about it, it was during the freak October we had a couple years ago, sunny almost all month. When I asked a local about the weather during the visit he told me about the Caribbean slope thing and I though "huh, that makes sense I guess" but now looking at the map not so sure... Sucks doubting yourself. I dont go up that way enough so I think I am now on the fence about it. Need Wendy from Villa Hermosa on this forum, she would know for sure...
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Old Jul 30th, 2011, 11:12 AM
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sorry for double post...internet hiccup...
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Old Jul 31st, 2011, 06:09 AM
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Hi everyone, a million thanks for this very helpful info. If we go to CR, we would go September 27 (leave at night) -October 9 (leave in morning) and try to pick the somewhat drier spots. Would stay in San Jose night of arrival and night before departure, with stays in Arenal and perhaps Tortuega. The advice we've been given is to not over-plan as we'll be exhausted from the wedding. Any advice on itineraries/places to stay/not to be missed stuff would be welcome . . . not sure if we should build in a third stop? Suggestions/wisdom welcome!
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Old Jul 31st, 2011, 09:10 AM
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Inca, it's always nice to get freaky good weather - seems like it always happens the other way.

Dancing, in the San Jose area we like Grano de Oro for a city hotel and Xandari for if you want something beautiful with great grounds and views. In Arenal, we love the Lost Iguana. Nayara always gets great reviews too and The Springs (pricey). If you want something affordable, Silencio del Campo is popular as well. Things you can do in the Arenal area include rafting with Rios Tropicales, doing the Cano Negro tour to see wildlife, visiting the natural hot springs like Tabacon or Eco Termales, ziplining at Sky Trek, hiking the Hanging Bridges, and hiking the waterfall and swimming at the base. Sunset Tours and Desafio are both good tour companies. It doesn't seem like the volcano is doing much lately, but when it does, it's very cool to see the lava flow at night. In Tortuguero, we loved the Tortuga Lodge - great service and good food and more private than some of the other lodges, also a little pricier - not sure what your budget is. Some of the lodges will assign you to groups for eating, touring, etc. which you might not want on your honeymoon. If you're okay with that then Mawamba Lodge, Laguna Lodge, and Turtle Beach Lodge are popular. Seeing the turtles is amazing, and you would be there at a great time. There's lots of wildlife in that area. We saw turtles, otters, crocs, amazing birds, poison dart frogs and lots of monkeys. It's primarily a canal-based environment, and you get around mostly by boat. Most people like to stay at one of the lodges and eat their meals there since it's kind of an isolated area. If you're interested in a very honeymoonish spot, the Peace Lodge, about an hour from San Jose, is really over the top with multiple waterfalls on the property and jacuzzi tubs, waterfall showers, and all that good stuff. It's good for about two nights.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2011, 04:17 AM
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I think it would be great place to enjoy your honeymoon..I sure that you are gonna enjoy there..Beach side is best to enjoy your moments.
There are lots of hotel for the honeymoon packages,
that are among the best for your honeymoon, as well as incredible activities and reliable transportation that will make your honeymoon a memorable one. You can choose from several options created based on our more than 6 years of experience in arranging the best honeymoons.
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Old Aug 7th, 2011, 01:14 PM
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Congratulations! We just got back and were in Tortuguera. We arranged it through Fran & Modesto Watson/Riverboat Francesca (http://tortuguerocanals.com/). It was wonderful. We had Modesto as our guide for 2 night package and he provided what most lodges do, but was flexible with weather and we got lucky and were his only folks. He has an incredible knowledge of the area as well as history of the country. I realize it's usually a group, but always small. They work with Laguna Lodge which I don't think is as "ritzy" as Tortuga Lodge, but it was fine for us. The grounds are lovely,very nice pool, & they also great you with drinks and cool towels etc but meals are buffet. We did have some torrential rain, but it always cleared and we missed nothing! Good Luck!
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Old Aug 7th, 2011, 02:36 PM
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We, too, have used Fran and Modesto Watson for two trips to Tortuguero - highly recommend them. This should be turtle nesting time, up through October, so that would be an added draw.

Also, Fran and Modesto base most of their clients out of Laguna Lodge which has always worked fine for us. But since it's your honeymoon you might prefer something more upscale like Tortuga. The Watsons do work with other lodges and can arrange your transportation to the dock at Moin from 3 different hotels in San Jose.

Congrats on your upcoming wedding and enjoy your honeymoon!
colibri is offline  
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