Fun trip for child.

Old Oct 9th, 2002, 09:50 AM
  #1  
David
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Fun trip for child.

I want to take my 7 yr/old son, and elder uncle to see the Rain Forest and beaches in Costa Rica, I've never been to C/R. Thinking about Manuel Antonio area, Quepos. Is he too young for such an adventure trip? Should I consider another area of C/R? Which top hotel near beach would you consider? Price not an issue?
Thanks
 
Old Oct 9th, 2002, 10:54 AM
  #2  
Ally
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No, 7 yrs old is not too young and Manuel Antonio would be perfect for a first trip. It's relatively easy to get to, absolutely beautiful and there are great facilities in Quepos in case something does go wrong.
Check out Tulemar Bungalows or Hotel California. Neither are ON the beach. There are only a couple hotels on the beach and none are worth it, IMO. Buses are easy to catch, cheap and frequent. Taxi's are also plentiful to get to the beach, but more expensive. GO. Have a great time.
 
Old Oct 9th, 2002, 11:44 AM
  #3  
Iza
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We went to Costa Rica twice with our daughter who was 6 the first time and 7 the second time. She loved it both times.
Manuel Antonio would be a good place to go with a child. The only issue, as Ally noted, is that no hotels there are directly on the beach so there is no easy beach access from the hotel (basically you have to take a hotel shuttle, a bus or a taxi). But the views are spectacular from most places. Even without that easy beach access, our daughter loved Si Como No (www.sicomono.com).
Also look into staying in Tamarindo where you can get a location directly on the beach (but no easy access to rainforest). Our family's favorite in Tamarindo (in all of Costa Rica for that matter) was Hotel Capitan Suizo (www.hotelcapitansuizo.com).
We also travelled to Arenal volcano which was cool although we did not get to see the volcano due to clouds and rain. We also spent a few days on Osa Penninsula where the rainforest and the nature in general surround you - we stayed at Lapa Rios (www.laparios.com).

The hotels I am mentioning and Ally mentioned in her message are top of the line small hotels in Costa Rica and I would strongly recommend that you stay in such places instead of large resorts.

Keep in mind also that none of the places I mentioned have TVs, and generally in Costa Rica there aren't too many typical "family attractions" like amusement parks etc. But if you like nature, peaceful relaxation, reading and playing games with your child you'll have a wonderful time.

Post here if you would like a copy of our trip report from our second (2wks) trip to CR.
 
Old Oct 9th, 2002, 12:23 PM
  #4  
Louie
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Hi David,

I agree with the others than Manuel Antonio is a good place for you. I think your son will enjoy being able to see actual wildlife (especially monkeys) which are abundant in the area (and tend to be somewhat elusive in other places). Many monkeys hang around the Costa Verde hotel, as well as sloths, etc.

One thing I'd keep in mind: travel from place to place in Costa Rica can take quite a while. You have to make long drives between places that aren't really that far away, since the roads are in pretty bad condition with lots of bumps and potholes. I'd avoid driving too much with a 7 year old. You can fly to Quepos (just outside of Manuel Antonio) or rent a car; the drive isn't bad and only about 3 to 4 hrs.

Avoid spending time in San Jose (you kid will hate it), and take a couple of organized day tours into the Central Valley (Braulio Carillo Park, Butterfly Farm). Then go down to Manuel Antonio.

If your uncle is "much" older, he might enjoy being able to experience touring the rainforest canopy in the Aerial Tram in Braulio Carillo Park (a day trip from San Jose). This tram allows you to ride seated while being carried through the treetops. Easier than lots of hiking. While I haven't ridden the tram myself, I've heard from a friend that it was very enjoyable.

As a dad, you're probably the best judge of whether or not he'd enjoy a trip like this. Knowing kids these days, I'd personally not want things too rustic... stick with the nicer accomodations. If he shows an interest in wildlife and science in school, etc. (as my 9 yr. old boy does) then he'll probably be interested, as long as he can see animals, play on a beach, take an easy boat ride and maybe ride a horse. And you can do this all in Manuel Antonio.

By the way, I've read that the hotel Si Como No (in Manuel Antonio) even has a small movie theater in it, along with a pool with a waterslide. This may be a good place for you to stay.
 
Old Oct 9th, 2002, 01:27 PM
  #5  
D
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We started taking our kids to Mexico at age 3 and 4. They have been having a blast for the last fifteen years traveling all over the country, exploring ruins, going to the beach. Your 7 year old should have agreat time in CR.
 
Old Oct 11th, 2002, 06:44 PM
  #6  
Katie
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Iza: We're planning a 2 week trip to Tamarindo next summer and have been doing alot of research on Capitan Suizo bungalows. Our kids will be 10 and 12, and I'm wondering if we'll be comfortable as a family of 4. I'm also starting to think we should add Manuel Antonio and Arenal volcano to our first CR visit -- rather than just stay in Tamarindo for 2 full weeks. If you could send me a copy of your last trip report, I would be very grateful! I provided an email address, if that helps. Thanks so much.
 
Old Oct 13th, 2002, 07:03 AM
  #7  
Iza
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Katie, I will top our trip report for you - I posted it here last year - look for a thread near this one referring to a CR trip report.
As to Capitan Suizo Bungalows: they are large but I am not sure if you will be comfortable as a family of 4 in one considering the age of your children. They are basically one huge room on two levels. There is one bed and one futon folding sofa which was comfortable for our daughter to sleep on and would do for 2 kids if they don't mind sleeping together (you are not saying whether your kids are the same sex or a boy and a girl). E-mail Capitan Suizo and find out if they can put in a roll-away bed in a bungalow (there is certainly enough space). When we stayed there we met some families there with 2 kids who were staying there and were comfortable in one room or a bungalow but their kids were younger and sleeping together.
I would definitely recommend that you do more than one destination in 2 weeks: Tamarindo is great but there are other very interesting places to see in Costa Rica that you should definitely visit if you have two weeks. Splitting 2 weeks between Manuel Antonio, Arenal and Tamarindo sounds like a great plan - you will be able to see a variety of places and vegetation and yet you will have enough time in each place to relax. Let me know if I can answer any other questions for you.
 
Old Oct 14th, 2002, 05:29 PM
  #8  
Katie
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Iza: Finally found my question and your response -- thanks for all the great info.

We have a boy and a girl (who would be miserable sleeping together now that they're older) so maybe a rollaway is the way to go. I'm hoping to fly into Liberia, either on a charter or on Delta. We live in Santa Fe, NM, so it will involve a litte extra traveling just to get to CR -- we'd rather avoid traveling from San Jose as well, once we finally get there. Thanks a million for sharing all of your expert experience -- you're the best kept secret in the CR travel industry!
 
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