First time travel to Costa Rica

Old Dec 12th, 2005, 11:17 AM
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First time travel to Costa Rica

Hi- I have been reading everyone's letter's the last few nights and it is very helpful. My husband and I ( both late 40's) are planning on 3 weeks in Costa Rica mid January 2006. We would like to see Arenal,Manuel Antonio( maybe Monteverde) and Mal Pai (Montezuma area). Any other ideas and which area would people suggest we see first. At this time we could fly into Liberia or San Jose (from vancouver, Canada).Not sure which would be best. Also do you think we have to pre-book accomodation or can we just wing it when we get there? We like beaches, Jungle, horse-back riding , atv's and night life and good food. Thanks for any help you can give us.-Rusty 59
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Old Dec 12th, 2005, 12:34 PM
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You should definitely plan an itinerary and book accomodation now. Many of the better lodgings will be fully booked for mid-January, 2006 and far beyond that.

cheers

Jerry
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 05:38 AM
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Thanks Jerry for the reply. I am a planner and my other half is not.I was just wondering if we had 3 weeks how to divide up our time. I would like to spend time in Santa Teresa/Mal Pai as well as Arenal and Manuel Antonio. From reading recent postings about Mal Pai area it does not sound like you need a car there. It kinda sounds like a car might be helpful in getting to Arenal etc. Any suggestions on which area to see first. Or does it really matter? I guess we should work on finding some accomodation first somewhere.I love reading about everyone's adventures. Costa Rica sounds incredible.

Mary-Anne
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 01:51 PM
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Just my dos colones, but I wouldn't want to be in Ste. Teresa/Malpais area without a car. It is very strung out, and you'll probably enjoy driving in to Montezuma or going over to Cabo Blanco for hiking. 3 weeks! Wow--have a great time!
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 03:48 PM
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Thanks for the response Shillmac. We had friends who went to Santa Teresa for 2 weeks and road atv's every where including into Montezuma. I guess from reading some of people's responses on driving in Costa Rica, I got a little leary. How safe or how wild is it. I have driven the entire Baja Penisula 4 times. Is it like that?
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Old Dec 13th, 2005, 06:22 PM
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We just got back from CR and rented a car which we drove on the Nicoya Peninsula. It was a blast. We took the ferry from Puntarenas (beware con artists on the line for the ferry) and drove to Montezuma from there. We also drove from Montezuma to Mal Pais and Santa Theresa, a seemingly simple task on a map, but really rough going. It was relatively dry while we were there but one of the roads from Montezuma to Mal Pais was closed. The problem we had was not so much washed out roads, but huge potholes. There are also some really steep spots. We found the roads out there to be even worse than the ones from Arenal to Monteverde in some places! But it's fine - the key is to have a HIGH clearance car. We didn't need the four wheel drive much, but we really needed a high car, and got a Suzuki Jimny. Do not get anything lower! If you can, get something bigger and sturdier - the Jimny really rattles and the seats are hard, but it's the cheapest and served us well. you can rent ATVs in Montezuma, and we saw a lot of locals driving them between towns, on errands and stuff it seemed, and that seemed to be the absolute best way to travel. we were jealous! anyway, good luck! btw, there also seemed to be bus services and little tours that would take you from Montezuma to Mal Pais for the day.
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