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First Time Travel to Costa Rica - San Jose & Manuel Antnonio

First Time Travel to Costa Rica - San Jose & Manuel Antnonio

Old Jul 30th, 2007, 08:55 AM
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First Time Travel to Costa Rica - San Jose & Manuel Antnonio

Hello,

This is the first time I am traveling to CR and would like to get some advice as to the dos and don'ts of traveling through the beautiful country.

Preface: We are traveling as two young, adventurous couples. We are arriving in San Jose, CR for a 7 day trip. 1 night in SJO and the rest in Manuel Antonio and the last night back in SJO. The trip is around Labor day of this year.

Does anyone have advice on any of the topics below:

1. Any site suggestions to visit in SJO that are can't miss?
2. We are renting a 4x4 to get from SJO to Manuel Antonio. Any suggestions of sites to see along the way?
3. Arriving in Manuel Antonio, we have booked the Costa Verde. Any comments on the hotel as far as likes/dislikes, what to avoid?
4. We are planning to go Sea Kayaking, Canopy Tour, and National Park Hike. Any suggestions/recommendations or companies to avoid? Any travel tips on things to bring or websites that are helpful?
5. Any restaurants that are can't miss?
6. Any close (1/2 day) trips of things to do that we may not be aware of?

I'm looking for any information or travel tips that anyone as to offer. So any posts are greatly appreciated.
MatthewW is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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Hi, Matthew - about an hour from San Jose is the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. It has 5 really gorgeous waterfalls that you can hike to. We loved it. The Peace Lodge there also has various things to visit - an aviary, ranarium, serpentarium, hummingbird garden, and a butterfly hatchery. We loved it there.

Driving from SJO to MA, I'd stop at the Rio Tarcoles - the river runs right under the bridge you're driving on and is full of big crocodiles. We saw about 15 of them, and it was pretty cool. Be careful about leaving stuff in your car here - there have been some car break ins, so someone may want to stay with your stuff on either side of the bridge.

Our favorite restaurant in MA was Ronnie's Place/Mi Lugar - it was $5 taxi ride from our hotel, and it's a great spot to watch the sunset and enjoy lobster and really fresh seafood. We also like Barba Roja for enjoying the sunset - just had drinks and appetizers there. Cafe Milagro is a pretty Americanized little place to get good coffee and things like espresso milkshakes. We also ate at Salsipuedes and had a bunch of little tapas that were pretty good. Ate at Agua Azul and the food was good - pretty Americanized menu we thought. Pretty view here also.

We hired a guide to spot wildlife for us in the National Park. Wildlife is pretty abundant; the monkeys did not seem afraid of people at all. But our guide did spot a lot of things we wouldn't have, and we were glad we hired him. They carry telescopes and will let you take pictures through them to get close to the animals. Also went sailing and snorkeling - sailing was fun, but the visibility was pretty poor for snorkeling.

Haven't stayed at Costa Verde, but it seems like people's opinions vary depending upon the room they get. For the most part, it gets good recommendations.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Aug 2nd, 2007, 01:44 PM
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Thanks, Volcano. That helps a lot. Does anyone have anything else on Costa Verde Hotel? What about outfitters to go sea kayaking or canopy tour? Any luck with any of them? Any other suggestions or recommendations would be great.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2007, 03:26 PM
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I like Costa Verde. I've been there three times--twice in Building B and once in C. B has better views, C better monkey sightings (in late afternoon---also around dining room around 6PM). The staff is not all that great, but to me the surroundings make up for their shortcomings. Nicholas, who is a sort of general factotum, is really nice. The food is good, but not great. It's been about two years, but I think you can get sea kayaking and whitewater rafting on either the Naranjo or the Savegre. I've been on both, and liked them both.

Carol
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Old Aug 2nd, 2007, 04:59 PM
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Cool places to visit in SJ are:

The Central Mercado
Museo de Oro (Gold museum) under the Plaza de la Cultura
Teatero Nacional (national theater)
Museum of Contemporary Art (my favorite!)
The open air crafts market in the Plaza de la Democracia


You can read about my day in San Jose here --> http://blogs.bootsnall.com/sean94110/?p=17
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Old Aug 2nd, 2007, 07:40 PM
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I've stayed at Costa Verde twice, liked it a lot. The views are awesome there, try to get a studio plus room. There are many things to do in the area, you can either book them yourself or have CV take care of it. Finca Valmy is great for horseback riding, Canopy Safari is great for ziplines, Iguana Tours has several options in the area, you could check out their website to get an idea. Keep in mind the MA park is closed on Mondays.
tully is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2007, 06:30 AM
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we stayed at Costa verde at the efficiency. The views from the adult pool are AMAZING!!!! Also we saw lots of monkeys at the restaurant down the hill from the reception. The reception itself is an old wagon how funny! One of the restaurants across the street is a plane!
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Old Aug 5th, 2007, 06:31 AM
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we did the horseback riding but if i were to do it again i would only do the half day tour because the full day seemed way too long.
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