First and short trip to Costa Rica

Old Mar 26th, 2005, 07:36 AM
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First and short trip to Costa Rica

Had planned Belize for early June, but Hubby's schedule interrupted again. Thinking about changing to Costa Rica in July or August. DH, our 16 year old daughter and I will have 4 or 5 nights to spend. Not alot of time.

Option 1 seems to be fly into LIR and spend bulk of time in the Tamarindo or other beach area.

Option 2 seems to be fly into SJO and spend time in the Puntarenas or Manuel Antonio area.

Priorities are beach, perhaps fishing, and access to some 'jungle' activities - ie wildlife viewing, canopy zip lines, swinging bridges. Is this all possible from one location? I've been reading alot of posts, but everyone seems to have 7 to 14 days to spend, so some of the advice is not relevant.

By the way, flights into either city have us there by noon or 1:00 PM.

Thanks,
H
phieaglefan is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2005, 07:45 AM
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I'd go to Manuel Antonio or the Manzanillo on the Caribbean side if I were you! Both offer beach and jungle right on top of each other! There are more activities and more tourists at Manuel Antonio. The southern Caribbean is quite laid back with more of a Jamaican feel/rhythm. Not typical Costa Rican at all, but interesting nevertheless. Both about 3-4 hours from San Jose. Manuel Antonio slightly closer. Drive to Manzanillo more scenic (my opinion)--everything is scenic there! Have fun!
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 05:50 AM
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I would also pick Manuel Antonio over the Caribbean side.

em
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Old Mar 28th, 2005, 07:23 AM
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Ditto on MA. Easy to catch Sansa or Nature Air flight down there from San Jose and not waste too much time in transit. Visit the national park for wildlife viewing, go to the beaches and take a canopy tour. They also offer fishing trips-we talked to a couple who caught 4 swordfish in one day!! MA also has a good selection of restaurants.
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Old Mar 30th, 2005, 10:08 AM
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First of all, thank you for your replies! It looks like flying into LIR will be our only option. Flights into SJO are not available for the dates we're looking for.

So.... my new plan is to arrive at LIR approx noon, rent a 4 wheel drive vehicle, drive to Arenal. Spend 2 nights - do the hot springs, perhaps the suspension bridges or sky tram. Then, leave Arenal early, drive to Tamarindo or other north Pacific area beach and stay the last 3 nights. Return to LIR early the next morning for noon flight home.

Timing for this trip should be last week of July or first week of August. Will the roads be passable? How long does it take to drive from Arenal to Tamarindo?

Thanks again for your replies!
H
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Old Mar 30th, 2005, 12:36 PM
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The roads should be okay--we've done this drive several times in August and never a problem--yet! Tamarindo-Arenal, about 4 hours.
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Old Mar 31st, 2005, 05:52 AM
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Thanks shillmac. I appreciate the info. By the way, what's your preferred beach destination in Guancaste?
H
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Old Mar 31st, 2005, 01:19 PM
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Preferred? Tough one--I'd have to say Playa Flamingo--long beach, white sand, gorgeous sunsets!
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