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Friends - Need your advice on my itinerary (8-Nights/9-Days)

Friends - Need your advice on my itinerary (8-Nights/9-Days)

Old Apr 2nd, 2010, 01:27 PM
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Friends - Need your advice on my itinerary (8-Nights/9-Days)

Me and my husband are planning our trip to Costa Rica early June. The plan are three places we chose to visit: Arenal, Monteverde and Osa.

We are in our mid 30's and we are more interested in the forest and wildlife kind of places than beaches and we like to do:
- Lava tour,
- Night hiking,
- Zipline (never done this before.. I am bit nervous)
- Hanging Bridge/canopy walk,
- Horseback ride,
- Coffee farm tour,
- Whale/Dolphin watching (if possible)
- see lots of wild life
- and possible see the country a bit more.

Here is my first draft of the Itinerary and would like to fill in as much as I can based on experience/advice:
Day 1 - Fly into SJO in the morning(around 10.00AM). Arrange a car&driver to take us to Arenal/La fortuna
Day 2&3 - Activities around La fortuna/Arenal area
Day 4 - Travel to Monteverde (jeep/boat/jeep)
Day 5 - Activites in and around MonteVerde

Day 6 - Travel to Osa Peninsula.
Questions here:
1) should we choose Drake bay or Puerto Jimenze?
2) Should we fly or drive(with Driver) from MV? If we drive, this will give us a chance to see the other locations on the way. Thoughts?

Day 7&8 - Osa
Day 9 - Catch the first flight to SFO to fly back home.

- Is this a reasonable plan?
- should we spend more time in one place than the other?
- will this be very tight(considering the season)?
snappy1 is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2010, 04:46 AM
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Looks fine have done it usually rent a cheap car

www.servicecarrental.com save a tonne over driver flights

enjoayable driving...your time is tight make more if you can

www.jintesdeosa.com Drakes is best for me...
qwovadis is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2010, 07:26 AM
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It's pretty rushed in my opinion. Is it possible to add at least 1 more night? If not, maybe I would switch around your destinations. Monteverde to the Osa in 1 day would be a trial, no matter how you do it. Driving would easily take 9 hours, a full day on the road. Driving plus a flight would still be a time-eater - about 4 hours to San Jose, leaving early enough to catch a flight to the Osa (last flights are usually 2 or so). So maybe better would be to go to Monteverde first, then Arenal, then either see if you can connect flights from Arenal to the Osa or drive from Arenal to SJ then catch your flight (would still have to leave early but the drive from Arenal is not as long).

All that said, I'd give the Osa at least 4 nights and Arenal 3 nights. Flying back same day as your int'l flight can be tricky - I've done it but you need to make sure you've got a decent gap of time in case of delays or cancellations on Sansa or Nature Air.

I really can't say if going into Drake Bay or Puerto Jimenez is better. I prefer the latter, but it really depends on what you're looking to do, your budget, type of accomadations you're looking for etc.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2010, 02:49 PM
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tully,

For now, i don't think we will be able to add another day. But I see your point.

One other thought is to travel to Osa on the day of arrival. I guess the drive from SJO to Osa would'nt be that long compared to my earlier plan from MV to Osa. Then fly back to Arenal on day 4 and spend the rest of the days in Arenal/MV areas and drive back to SJO on day 9.

This would also help avoiding the other concern you mentioned regarding the delays or cancellations on Sansa or Nature Air if we travel domestic on the same day as the departure day.

My only hesitation with this plan is that I have read several posts suggesting to keep Osa(the fantastic place) as the last in the itinerary.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2010, 04:02 PM
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snappy I really wouldn't suggest driving all the way to the osa on the day you arrive, it's about 7.5 - 8 hours. That'd put you arriving in the dark. You could catch a flight there on arriving and then rent your car in Puerto Jimenez, Solid has an office there. You could also catch a flight to Drake (usually the same flight to PJ), you won't need a car there. Actually depending on where you're going on the Osa, you may not even need a car.

Not sure if you can catch a flight from the Osa to Arenal, you may have to fly to SJ then drive or be driven. I'd check out the schedules at Nature Air and Sansa. Seems to me one of them, think Sansa, stopped their flights into La Fortuna, may of been the season I was checking.

Here's a good site to check driving distances http://www.yourtravelmap.com/costari...lmap/index.php though take it with a grain of salt. The drive, say from Dominical to PJ took me just under 4 hours and they say it's around 5.5
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 05:57 AM
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After reading some posts and pictures, I am bit worried about the snakes in Osa peninsula. I understand its a jungle and that's what to expect. Having a constant worry whether I will step on one in the trail makes me feel that I should plan for MA instead of Osa.

Am I ridiculous? Any experience to share?
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 07:09 AM
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If you're reading that recent trip report, the poster is a snake lover who actually went hunting for them. We didn't see a single snake while we were on the Osa. They are definitely there, but for the most part, they want to avoid you. shillmac saw a fer de lance, once of the deadliest snakes, in Manuel Antonio. We saw a snake in Arenal, but as soon as it saw us, it slithered away as fast as it could. They are everywhere in Costa Rica, but even after telling all our guides that we'd like to see one, we almost never do. They tend to be in leaf litter and under things off the trails. I definitely wouldn't give up seeing the Osa for that reason. I was a little nervous about going there, but I loved it.
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 07:19 AM
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Just don't go out in the rainforest at night without a guide. Snakes are much more afraid of you than you are of them, and they're extremely inactive during the day. Just use common sense--don't put your hands or feet where you can't see them.
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 08:42 AM
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There are snakes on the Osa??!! Now you tell me...

It's funny how what can be a draw for one person can be a deterrent to another.

The snakes on the Osa and throughout Costa Rica are beautiful, fascinating animals that deserve our appreciation. They are shy and non-aggressive and are certainly no reason to avoid the area! From someone who knows what they're talking about, I assure you that you will not be bitten by a venomous snake while on the Osa. Just like you're not going to be killed by a big cat or eaten by a shark.

The Osa is raw, rugged and beautiful beyond my ability to describe... Go there.
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 12:58 PM
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That's comforting.

Our plan(as of now) is to spend 2 nights in Monteverde and 3 nights in Arenal area during the first part of the trip before we fly to Osa on Day 6.

We are debating whether we should go to MV first or Arenal. Because the flights from SJO to Drake bay or PJ are around 11.00 AM, we are'nt sure if it would be easy to drive to SJO from MV tor Arenal.
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 06:37 PM
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The roads around Arenal are in much better shape than those around Monteverde if that helps at all.
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Old Apr 6th, 2010, 06:38 PM
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Can you drive to Monteverde, drive to Arenal, drop car in Arenal and fly to Osa from Arenal (stopping in San Jose)?
hipvirgochick is offline  
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