Fitting in Isla Tortuga & logistics

Old Feb 15th, 2007, 06:57 PM
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Fitting in Isla Tortuga & logistics

I arrive at SJO in the early afternoon and will be in CR for 10 days. We plan to rent a car upon arrival.

My first days of the trip are unscheduled except we have reservations at Marriottís Los Suenos for nights 3 and 4 that we would like to keep, since we got an excellent deal -- but donít have to. During the first 4 days I want to get in Manuel Antonio and a cruise to Isla Tortuga and not do so much driving around.

Iím thinking the best time to fit in the Isla Tortuga cruise is on the first full day in CR. Ideally I think we would drive to Puntarenas the night before and stay there to catch the cruise in the morning but there donít seem to be any great places to stay. Also I would prefer to stay in the same place for the first 2 nights if it makes sense to do so. The cruise companies also provide service to/from area hotels and around SJO. Should we stay near SJO or should we stay in Puntarenas for 2 nights and then on day 3 head to Los Suenos and MA?

AlternativelyÖ should we head to MA as soon as we arrive, visit the park and stay there for 2 nights and then do Isla Tortuga from Los Suenos. Iím thinking that we have the resort at our disposal and Iíd really like to take advantage of it, but I want to maximize our days.

(after day 4 we head to Arenal and Monteverde, so Iím not leaving those places out of the trip!)

Please let me know if you have any thoughts about this. Thanks!
hamlet is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2007, 07:05 PM
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Isla Tortuga is so seldom mentioned on this board, I'm not sure many people know how best to help you. Most everyone knows about it, but I don't remember anyone having done it and posting about it.

Simply because Puntarenas doesn't draw a lot of interest as an overnight location (especially for 2 nights!), I think I'd opt to stay in San Jose or in Alajuela near the airport. At least you know there are any number of great places to stay in that area--can't say the same for Puntarenas.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 08:45 PM
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Hamlet
My wife & I go to Costa Rica every year and we try not to miss the Tortuga trip. The 1st 2 or 3 years we didn't do it because we thought it was far too touristy for us but after the 1st time we never miss it. It's a real hoot!
The Calypso cruise pick you up early in the morning and take you to Puntarenas and on the way they stop for breakfast.It's a whole day affair and it was still $99 each last week. Make sure you take the catamaran and not the ship. If you have a real calm day wth no winds book it for the next day & enjoy the snorkeling, etc.
Have fun.
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Old Feb 17th, 2007, 08:37 PM
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It's an anomaly that I see the Isla Tortuga tour listed everywhere I look, but (as shillmac says) haven't found many people (except costaroga) that do it. I've looked on various cruise forums as well to see if it draws passengers docking in Puntarenas - but nothing really there.

The whole thing reminds me of a cruiseship's beach day at their own private island. Personally I could do without it, but my husband seems pretty interested. True, I guess it is nice to see the coastline of a country from the ocean, as opposed to just driving it. Anyway, no final decision, we'll see when we get to CR. And if I do go, I'll be sure to report back on it.

It's been a few years since I've visted a country that is "new" to me. I've forgotten how fun, but overwhelming, all the researching and planning can be.
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 11:21 AM
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I think you hit the nail on the head. My guess (and I could be way off) is that it is a fun cruise over there with drinks and music (I won't call it a booze cruise, but we all know about those--they can be fun, but it seems a little out of place in CR!). I think most visitors to CR are more interested in immersing themselves in all that nature has to offer and the many and varied life zones in the country. It's all any of us can to to choose 2 or 3 locations out of all the offerings! Most of us don't take time out of that mindset to do the Tortuga type option--not that it wouldn't be fun, but it takes a day that a lot of people would prefer to use in the rainforest or viewing wildlife.
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 08:21 PM
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Hamlet & Shiilmac
The cruise is not like the PV in Mexico that goes to Ylapa. Now that's a booze cruise.
If you're interested in seeing the country from a different angle then this is for you.
On the island you can go snorkling, hiking, and there are some interesting things to see. They have wild boars and the last time we were there they had a tame scarlet macaw that you could pose with or take as many photos as you wanted to.
Coming from BC we really miss the water part of CR and I mean on the water. We also have 14 miles of beaches right in our city so we are hard to impress.
You regret missing this delightful cruise if you don't take it.
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Old Feb 18th, 2007, 09:00 PM
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I went to Isla Tortuga. I wasn't thrilled. I expected a desert island, but it was all built up with a snack bar (but no bathrooms) and volleyball nets. We did have a nice cookout, but the water wasn't good for swimming. It was too rainy to see anything snorkeling, so we were stuck on the beach - couldn't even hike in the interior. We both got sunburned during the 15 minutes of sun we got and I was so disappointed, having built it up in my mind.

Now, a booze cruise would have been great! We got there in a tiny boat that bounced so hard on the waves that our butts were bruised later.
nypintha is offline  
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